How To Differentiate Your Personal Brand
Stand Out In A Crowded Marketplace
Have you been hesitating to launch your business because there are “so many people doing it already”? Or maybe you haven’t written that book inside you or applied for your dream speaking opportunity because you’re not sure if you’ll stand out from everyone else talking about the same thing. Trust me, you’re not alone. One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “how can I stand out in an already crowded market?”.
If you’d love some support in creating a brand that stands out, this post is perfect for you.
In this post, we’ll discuss:
What a brand really is and how you can create one.
How to position yourself or your company as the go-to expert in your niche.
3 Ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
What is a brand, really...?
When most people think of branding, they think of the creative side - logos, colors, photos, aka the visual representation of the brand.
But the truth is, a brand simply the perception of the masses. Your brand is what other people think of you or your company.
And while your brand is essentially your reputation, you do have some control over it.
When I teach branding in my courses, I have students close their eyes and picture what people are saying about their product or service. What do the testimonials say? What are people writing to customer service?
They key is to start with a clear understanding of what you want your reputation to be.
Now is the perfect time for you to do the same. Even if you’ve already spent time developing your brand.
So take a few moments and ask yourself - what do I want people to think when they engage with my brand? How do I want them to feel when they engage with my brand?
Jot down your answer and read it everyday.
That answer will be your guiding light.
Every decision you make when it comes to your brand should be in alignment with what you want people to say about your brand and how you want them to feel.
This is how you will start to differentiate yourself. Because when your competitors or others in your niche write out how they want people to feel and what they want them to think, their answers will be different.
Will there be some overlap, possibly.
But it won’t be the same exact answer.
Be An Expert
Having clarity on how you want people to feel when they interact with your brand is just part of the equation.
To truly stand out, you’ll want to be perceived as an expert.
The first step in positioning yourself in the marketplace is identifying what you want to be an expert in!
One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make is to focus all of their attention positioning themselves as an expert in an industry they can’t stand.
There is no point in creating a business you don’t love just because you know you can get paid for it.
There is no point in creating a business you don’t love.
So how do you determine what you want to be an expert in?
Here are five questions to ask yourself to help you hone in on your expert topic:
What topics would you be excited to talk about for the next 3 - 5 years? (create a list of at least 5)
What topics would you love to teach others about? (create a list of at least 5)
Close your eyes. Pretend you’ve just been asked to do a segment on the Today Show, what topic do you see yourself talking about?
You’re about to do a book tour for your first book, what is that book about?
You have been asked to give a workshop on one topic for the next 12 - 18 months.
You’re super excited that the workshop is about ____________. What is the first thing that came to mind?
How to become the go-to expert
Once you’re clear on your area of expertise. Focus your marketing messages and activities on positioning yourself as the go-to expert.
Becoming an expert at something doesn’t always mean that you’ve spent decades working in an industry.
It does mean that you’ve put in the time, effort and focus to acquire knowledge on a topic.
Here are 8 ways you can position yourself as the go-to expert in your niche:
Create a signature system or framework that teaches your clients or customers how to do something or how to get a certain result.
Self publish a book that helps your customers solve a problem or learn something new.
Interview other experts in your field or industry on your podcast or blog.
Speak at conferences with other thought leaders in your space.
Teach things from books you’ve read and share them on YouTube or via Facebook Live and give credit back to the author.
Create an opt-in or a free guide of the best advice you’ve read or received on a topic.
Enroll clients or customers into a case study program and document their successes.
Share testimonials from dream clients on your website and social media.
One of the best ways to differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace is think strategically about what you want your reputation to be and live up to it. Being the best version of yourself or your company will have you stand out among the crowd. And when in doubt, think about what’s uniquely yours (a system, a framework, a process, etc.) and share that with the world.
Need Help With Your Niche?
Comment below with your biggest marketing and branding questions.
You’ve so got this!