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A Personal Brand is Your Unique Story

If you’re like me, there are parts of the journey that have been more challenging than others and there are some things I really don’t want to share.  These things are what will help you create a successful unique personal brand.

However, there are a lot of things that, good or bad, have made me who I am and are the parts of my journey that have rooted me in the work I do today.

If I hadn’t experienced a need to transition from corporate to creating my own business, I might never have found the work I do now.   My story has differentiated me from all others in my industry and given me the gifts of both strategic thinking and creativity with which my business is built.

Everyone has a story and journey that leads to unique gifts that differentiate you from others in your area of expertise.  But how do you identify those hidden gems that differentiate you and compel others to purchase from you or hire you?

In episode 79 of The Second Phase Podcast Robyn Graham shares how to differentiate when creating a personal brand. On the podcast graphic is a photo of Robyn sitting on a white fuzzy rug wearing jeans and a black t-shirt that says woman up.

What is a Personal Brand?

You all know that I talk about personal branding…all the time.   As an expert in personal branding, I’m often asked what a personal brand is.

My answer always includes differentiating yourself from others in your space.

Your brand is not what you think it is, it is what others think it is.

Therefore, there is power in differentiating yourself and differentiation is key to creating a successful personal brand.

Your Personal Brand is Someone’s Perception 

If your brand is the perception someone else has of you, where is that perception coming from? 

You must help them create that perception.  You do this through your brand messaging, the content you have on your website, your blog posts, your email newsletters, and your social media platforms.

The next question is how can you differentiate yourself so that you not only stand out in the sea of online noise but also leave a great impression so that others have a good perception of you?

Your Personal Brand Must Be Compelling

Be compelling.  The more compelling you are, the more different you will be in your area of expertise.

How can you be compelling when there are so many others in your niche?   Especially if you are a coach or a photographer.   There is one of each on every corner of almost every town, at least in America.   It’s wonderful, and there is certainly enough work to go around for all, but the competition is tough!

Compelling means: to evoke interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way. The more compelling you are through your personal brand messaging, the more you will differentiate yourself in your area of expertise.

If you are sitting there thinking that there is nothing compelling about you, think again!

Key tips for creating a personal brand. 

An Example of  Differentiating

We all have a compelling story or at least compelling parts in our journeys.   Our stories of who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how we got here differentiate us and compel others to connect with us, like us and trust us.

Every unique thing about you is part of your compelling story.   If you are a business coach, you might focus on mindset.   That’s fantastic, everyone needs help with mindset.   But why do YOU focus on mindset?

What things in your journey led you to focus on the importance of mindset?

The answer to that question is the thing that will compel someone to connect with you and eventually purchase from you.

Differentiation is Zigging When Everyone Else is Zagging

Differentiating also goes beyond being different within your niche.   It’s about disrupting your industry by zigging when everyone else is zagging.

Thinking outside of the box becomes critical.  If 10 people are mindset coaches and you are one of them, how can you differentiate yourself in that space?  It’s a must-do exercise if you want to stand out from others in the professional space you are in.

Here’s a simple exercise for you.  Make a list of ways that your work is different or unique.  Sticking with the mindset coach as an example, perhaps you’ve created a reverse thinking model.

Or maybe you’ve developed a strategy for transforming negative thoughts into positive actions.

Could it be that your approach is so unique that your clients are experiencing more positive results than you’ve ever seen or read about before?  If yes, then you are doing something unique that differentiates you in the area of mindset coaching.

Another Example

In a recent interview for the show, a guest who is a business coach uses mindset within her coaching structure.  But she doesn’t focus solely on mindset because she believes that mindset alone won’t propel you forward.  You need strategic thinking too.   Therefore, her method is combining both strategy and mindset to produce results.

When it comes to differentiating, you want to remain focused on your gifts and abilities.  If you are good at mindset coaching and have a nice book of clients, don’t try to add on another type of coaching to get more clients.   The more focused you stay, the more long-term success you will have.

Instead of thinking about new ways to branch out and risk losing focus, think about more ways to differentiate yourself.

How to Differentiate

Here is a list of ideas for differentiating yourself and your personal brand:

  1. Services

    1. The services you offer are unique in the niche you are in. You may be doing the same thing, but you are serving your clients in a unique way.   Think about the mindset coach who also combines strategy.
  2. Customers

    1. Your ideal audience should be unique to you. Define the people you want to work with and look around to see who thinks you’re great. You have gifts that are meant to serve a certain group of people.   Likewise, you only want to work with certain people.   Who are they?  Create your content for those people specifically and this will differentiate you as the person who works for/with those select people.  The strategy and mindset coach works only with female entrepreneurs in service industries.
  3. Location

    1. Do you work only in your geographical area or do you work with clients across the continental United States or even internationally? Is there direct competition?  Branch out with your location to limit the competition.
  4. Speed and Ease

    1. Is it easy to work with you? How fast do you provide results?  Can people get on your calendar or do you have a waitlist?   There is no right or wrong answer.  Both can be right depending on who your ideal avatar is.  In fact, sometimes when people have to wait to work with you, the demand actually increases.
  5. Pricing

    1. Higher prices – if your prices are higher, you won’t be for everyone. You can differentiate yourself as best in a class by having higher prices and great testimonials and referrals.
    2. Lower prices – warning! Don’t be undersold.  If you have lower prices you will attract a different clientele than if your prices are the highest in the industry.  Don’t undercut your prices so much that you start hating your work and become resentful of the people only willing to pay the low price you set.  You have to know your value and stick to it, but if you believe your prices should be the lowest in the category, be sure you are still providing quality so that the perception of you is great value for the price, not only the lowest price.
  6. Quality

    1. This refers back to results. How impactful are the results you are achieving for your clients?  How quickly are your clients achieving the results they came to you for?   The mindset and strategy coach has clients that are achieving $10K months within the first month of working together, while the mindset-only coach has clients achieving $2K months within the first month of working together.
    2. Differentiate yourself by the results you are achieving for yourself and your clients.

Disrupt Your Niche

Here’s something I learned in my brand specialist certification training.  The more you make assumptions about your industry and disrupt them, the more you will differentiate yourself.

Keep in mind that your goal is to differentiate yourself in a way that provides a positive perception for those who are in your ideal audience.   You want to differentiate yourself in a way that converts your ideal audience to raving fans, clients, and referral sources.

Your personal brand is not what you think you are, it is what others think about you.   It is the perception that others have of you.   You have the power to control that perception and differentiation is the key to driving the focus onto your brand and business.

Struggling to Create Your Personal Brand?

If you are struggling to find clarity with your personal brand, struggling to differentiate yourself from others in your niche, or finding it hard to stand out in the sea of online noise connect with me.

There are different ways we can work together to help you find absolute clarity with your personal brand and to differentiate within your niche so that you can improve your brand messaging and attract more clients.

To learn more about your host, Robyn Graham, click HERE.


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