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How can you use imposter syndrome as inspiration when creating a personal brand? Let imposter syndrome guide you to be disciplined in differentiating yourself as a personal brand. Share how you are unique in what you do and how you do it by creating your key three.

Creating a personal brand is about differentiating yourself, and not letting imposter syndrome hold you back from being visible as the expert you are.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is differentiating yourself from all others in your area of expertise. The second job of personal branding is demonstrating who you are, what you do, and how you do it.

What is imposter syndrome and what does it have to do with creating a personal brand?

According to the dictionary, imposter syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that your success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of your own efforts, skills, or abilities.

Many times, entrepreneurs see what others in their space are doing and feel intimidated. Likewise, they may think that because someone else is already doing something, there won’t be enough clients for everyone. Similarly, people often feel that because someone has been doing something longer, they won’t be as good or don’t have the right skills. These feelings result in fear and anxiety, which ultimately lead to procrastination. Procrastination is inaction, equating to goals not being met and success not being achieved.

However, if you truly differentiate yourself people will see you as the person that is meant to help them. What makes you you is what makes people want to hire you. Likewise, what makes you you is what gives you the expertise to serve the way you want to serve.

Personal branding is about showing the world what makes you unique, you being you. Your experience, your story, and your voice make you, you. That is what personal branding is all about, owning what makes you unique and demonstrating that where you can.

Amplify your voice to differentiate yourself and stand out when creating a personal brand

If you do not use your voice to differentiate yourself, you won’t become known. Our voice, our appearance, our fashion, everything about us helps differentiate us from others in our area of expertise, whether local or online. Being a guest on a podcast is a great way to be present and have the masses hear your message.

Share what you’ve learned to help others

Take the hard work you did for decades, and share it far and wide. Don’t sit on your knowledge, share it.

Imposter Syndrome and how to use it for creating a personal brand

Even if you don’t have a degree, you can learn a skill, you have gifts, and you have had experiences that have taught you so that now you can help and serve other people. Often times people who don’t have a degree in something, feel that they shouldn’t be doing something because they don’t have as much knowledge, but that is not true. If negative imposter syndrome is holding you back, it’s important to recognize the skills and gifts you have that you can now use to serve others. DP emphasized that titles behind the name, don’t help differentiate you as a brand. Being one of one is key. There are a lot of careers where you are one of many, you aren’t standing out if you are one of many.

Learn more about Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Neil is a great example of a personal brand. Watch the video of Neil explaining the anatomy of the sound byte.

Share your level of expertise to differentiate yourself

If you want to stand out, you have to share your expertise. People will not find you if you are not sharing what you know and educating people on how you are unique and what you can do. Share your skills instead of being afraid and hiding your expertise.

How can you create a quick message that differentiates you? You have a very limited time to capture the attention of others and differentiate yourself.

The positive side of imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a powerful tool to make you better. It can make you more diligent in double and triple check what you create and share.

DP suggested that we stop calling imposter syndrome imposter syndrome and call it diligence, discipline, and rigor. Being diligent, disciplined, and rigorous will help you dive deeper into what you are doing to make it more valuable for people. Think of imposter syndrome as an opportunity to push yourself into being the absolute best at what you do.

DP shared that women need to embrace the fact that women run the world. Women have so much power and potential to change the next generation of the earth. Realize that you don’t have to have the light shining on you 24/7 but you stand out, speak up, and have an impact. Own what is yours to own, your voice, your experiences, and the expertise you have earned, and be willing to share it with anyone. No one can call you an imposter based on your own experience.

Differentiate wants from needs. Knowing what others want and need from you is another way to differentiate yourself. Often times people want to unload their problems and they simply need you to recognize the need. As you differentiate yourself by sharing that you understand the need will make you stand out.

The Key Three™ of personal branding

Create three concepts, words, or phrases that consistently, and concisely define exactly what you do and how you do it that you can constantly demonstrate in what you do. These will be words or phrases that people will appreciate and you will demonstrate in everything that you do.  DP used himself as an example. His key three are creative, collaborative, and provocative.

Robyn’s key three are strategic, creative, and empathetic. DP and Robyn do very similar work, yet they are very different. We can be in the same realm of work but be very unique and attract completely different audiences.

Don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back from creating your personal brand, instead use it to your advantage to be disciplined in demonstrating how unique you are in your area of expertise.

To get started on creating a personal brand, download my free eBook on The Purpose to Results™ Method.

About DP Knudten

DP has worked on some of the biggest brands in the business, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Great Wolf Resorts, ClosetMaid, and Georgia-Pacific, and at agencies like DDB Needham/Chicago and McCann Erickson/Atlanta. A writer by trade, he enjoys playing in the intersection between the visual and the verbal, using his NonFiction Branding™ approach to move people—and products. DP is the author of Nonfiction Brand – Discover, craft, and communicate the completely true/completely you brand you already are. He is also the co-author of ROTOMA – The ROI of Social Media Top of Mind and the creator. In addition, he is the host of two popular podcasts, The ROTOMA Podcast, and Nonfiction Brand. DP is a keynote speaker. DP also works for Southeastern Guide Dogs.


Learn more about and connect with DP Knudten:

DP Knudten website

Download DP’s free guide to creating your key three. 

DP’s book NonFiction Brand

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