During his one (and only) art class, Dr. Seuss turned his drawing paper around and was sketching sideways. The teacher scolded him, and said, "You can't draw that way! If you do, you'll never succeed."
What Dr. Seuss knew, and the teacher didn't, was that in order to succeed you can't do what everybody else is doing. Nor can you try to appeal to everybody. You've got to separate yourself from your competition in some way. Many people can draw and write books for children. None of them can do it like Dr. Seuss did.
Dr. Seuss's characters, The Grinch, Sam I Am, and The Cat in the Hat live on more than 50 years after they were first published because they're unique. Before you try to market your business, think about what you offer that's different. Do you specialize in a particular industry? Are you the most expensive or offer gold-plated, super-special service that's completely over the top - like having papers delivered by a butler dressed in white tie and tails? Do you do one thing really, really well?
Stick to your passion
Dr. Seuss wrote a truly awful movie called The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. It was so bad that he called it a "decabulous fiasco" and didn't mention it in his official biography. He was doing something he wasn't particularly good at. And it showed.
Choose a specialty that you care about. If you have a passion for genealogy, follow it and help people trace their ancestry. I love working with creative people, but I'd be hard-pressed to drum up much enthusiasm for promoting NASCAR. Be genuine, not artificial.
Not too narrow
If Seuss had stuck to writing for left-handed children named Max who live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he'd have been in trouble. No, his books were aimed at beginning readers. One of them (Green Eggs and Ham) had only 50 different words. A niche that is too small will make you unique. It won't make you money.
You may be worried that other people have said and done everything there is to say about being a Virtual Assistant or found every niche that's worthwhile. Someone else may also be concentrating on offering bookkeeping to dry cleaners - but they'll bring different skills, a different perspective, and a different personality to their clients than you will to yours. Stick to what drives you.
As Dr. Seuss said,
"Today you are You
That is truer than true
There is no one alive who is
Youer than You"
Jodi Kaplan has been called the Clarity Driver and the Wizard of Words. She blogs about broken marketing and how to stop it at Fix Your Broken Marketing.