Cultivating Your Website’s “X-Factor”

March 8, 2016 | Posted in B2B and tagged , ,

Once upon a time, before it became associated with British blowhards and wailing wannabes, the term “X-Factor” conjured up a much different image.

The “X-factor” refers to that certain something, a mysterious quality that you can’t quite put your finger on, something that makes someone stand head and shoulders above the rest. The entertainment world has had them in the form of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson, to name a few. These are individuals who had the ability to mesmerize others not just with their talent or looks, but by their very presence. And yet it’s impossible to put into words exactly why they had “it” when countless others with even more talent and even better looks remain anonymous.

The X-Factor transcends a simple list of traits or abilities. There is no sure fire formula for exactly what is needed and in what measure. Instead, the X-Factor is born when a unique mix of qualities converge, a perfect storm of magnetic attributes that not only attract others, but keep them riveted.

What does the X-Factor have to do with your website? Everything.

You’re good at what you do. Excellent at it, probably. But as you well know, it’s a competitive world out there. Someone else has probably hung a shingle that, at first glance, might look very similar to yours. How do you stand out from all the rest? How do you project that “certain something” that makes your business a Marilyn Monroe in a world teeming with pretty blondes?


Spoiler alert – it’s you.

That’s right. You are the magical quality, the “certain something”, that will draw others to your business. In a sea of similar looking shingles, it is you that will cause others to notice your shingle and think, “One of these things is not like the other…”

Your business, your website, needs to be an extension of you, of your vision, of the “why” your company does what it does. Your customer is looking for reasons to choose you over everyone else who might be vying for his or her attention. They are looking for the X-Factor.


successful young african businessman

1. Find Your Snowflake

Take some time to really understand what makes you and your business unique. Identify your strengths and don’t just play to them, rock them. Those with the X-Factor aren’t necessarily the best, the most talented, or the most experienced. They are the ones who know who they are, what they bring to the world like no one else, and they don’t let anyone or anything stand in their way on their quest to share it with others.

2. Be Fearless

A person with the X-Factor is by their very nature a risk-taker. No one ever reached the status of being head and shoulders above the competition by playing it safe. Will you make mistakes? Of course – probably lots of them. But just as Thomas Edison did with the light bulb, you will learn what didn’t work. And eventually, what does. And you will look like a genius for it.

3. Be an Authority Figure

There is lots of buzz these days about “becoming an authority”, and for good reason. No one wants a Jack of All Trades; they are looking for the Master. They want the expert in the field.

Look for every opportunity to position yourself as an authority. Write some articles, be a guest on a blog or podcast, participate in discussions, give a talk at a local function. Everything you say and do should convey your expertise and before you know it, everyone will know that you are the go-to person in your field.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

The X-Factor is not about having flash over substance. You must be able to deliver the goods.

Dedicate yourself to constant improvement, not only in your weaker areas, but also to bolster your strengths. Never settle for mediocrity. Because so few people bother to work on something they think they already have or do well, it is surprisingly simple to blow your competition away by making it a practice to make continual improvements. Thirty minutes of reading a day in your industry will amount to countless hours of studying over the course of a year, elevating you to expert status by anyone’s measure.

Take time to improve your communication skills. Don’t just keep up with industry news, soak up as much as possible. Learn a new aspect of your business that you can capitalize on when promoting your business. Every investment you make in yourself to excel not just in your business, but as a person, will pay in spades, building upon itself with an incredible compound effect.

5. Show Your Passion

Passion is a critical component of the X-Factor. It radiates out of a person like a positive energy, warming everyone around him. Passion commands attention and draws people closer; it’s infectious.

Passion is so important, in fact, that it can fill gaps and deficiencies in other areas.

Years ago when remodeling our house, we interviewed several contractors. All seemed very good on paper with great qualifications and nice portfolios. In the end, we chose a young contractor with slightly less experience, and not because he was the least expensive (he wasn’t). It was because of his passion. He sat at our dining room table and, with a glint in his eye, told us he had already memorized every inch of our house plans, that he could “see” how beautiful it would be, and he couldn’t wait to get started if we gave him the job. You’d have thought he was building his own house! Not surprisingly, we mailed off the signed contract and deposit within the week.

Figure out what you are passionate about in your business. It could be the work itself, it could be your “why” for doing what you do, it could be the joy you bring to others. Think of your accomplishments in your work – what made you the most proud? What puts a glint in your eye? When talking about your business, allow your inner passion to come through so others can be as excited about what you do as you are.

While the X-Factor may seem to be some unattainable element that you either have or you don’t, it is actually the product of having a clear vision of what you want, coupled with the passion and tenacity to do whatever it takes to make it happen. With dedication to rising above the crowd through careful attention and persistent action, you can easily create your own magic that will draw clients to you like moths to a flame.

Since 2003, Somethumb Web Design & Development has been helping our clients identify their own “certain something”, implementing it into every aspect of their website design to ensure their passion and uniqueness comes through. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on your next website project to incorporate your own X-Factor to help you stand head and shoulders above the rest.

About Scott Weiss

Scott Weiss is the founder of Somethumb, a creative services agency focused on web design and development. "Like" us on Facebook, "Follow" us on Twitter, "Plus-One" us on Google+, "Connect" with us on LinkedIn, and view our portfolio on

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