Designers use white space—the empty, negative space around the elements of a design—to make their key pieces pop.It works like oxygen—white space allows the beholder to breathe and take in the experience the designer planned for them. When it comes to positioning yourself in your market, think of white space as virgin territory that you can claim for your big idea and authority business model.You’ll want to butt up against some “key pieces”—i.e. a known territory of others with thriving, vibrant businesses. When “competitors” are making a living in your area of expertise, that’s an excellent sign there is room for you.Note: of course you can decide to craft an entirely new market—just be prepared to spend a ton of uncompensated time trying to pull in your audience.But white space means the exact positioning you choose needs to be empty.That gives you the opportunity to build it out and OWN it vs. being yet another voice in the chorus.White space means that your combination of big idea, expertise, message, style, and target audience is unique.Think about that for a moment. It’s why for instance, there are dozens of well-known authorities on sales, even though their basic message—“sell more”—is the same. They might:
Specialize in an industry: tech, banking, insurance, professional services.Focus on a niche big idea: teams perform better than solo sales reps, problem-centric selling, using EQ for complex sales.Preach a particular kind of sale: small transactions, on-line sales, long lead-time sales, over the counter sales.Zero in on a type of salesperson: introverts, women, realtors, retail.Consult on an aspect of sales: closing, opening, using emails to build relationships, phone scripts.Focus on sales level: beginners, masters, sales team leaders, VP sales.If you start to think about how they might mix these up, you’ll see they’ve got a virtually unlimited number of combinations to define their space.
And so do you.Remember too that you’ll add in your unique voice. How you “speak” to your audience based on your belief system, your experiences, the transformational ride you deliver to your clients and buyers.Carving out your white space—especially in a niche filled with heavy hitters—may not be the easiest thing you do.But it’s the single most important thing you’ll do on your way from expert to authority.