The goal of every personal branding campaign is to help the individual stand out amidst the competition. If you are a financial advisor, we want to help you become the premier financial advisor in your market—the go-to guru. If you are a dentist, we want you to become a local celebrity—the clear choice for any patient who wants the best treatment. So how do we accomplish this? A personal branding campaign has many elements, of course, but they are all focused on helping business owners stand out. In other words, we don’t want you to go with the flow. Below are several tips to help you stand out from the competition:
1) Make your personality part of your personal brand. There are plenty of competitors that offer similar products or services to yours. But none of them, not one single person, has your personality. So harness it! Make your personality a visible part of your brand—whether that means showcasing your sarcastic sense of humor or your impressive attention to detail. Your blog and your social media accounts are great platforms for this type of expression—and of course, in face-to-face conversations you should do your best to express your personality to everyone you meet.
2) Don’t hide your hobbies. When I tell clients to make their hobbies part of their brand, I often hear things like "But why would anyone care that I collect coins?" And yes, they are right—a potential customer is unlikely to become a client solely because of your hobby. But that isn’t the point—the point is that by sharing your hobbies, you give prospects an extra bit of information about yourself. And every bit of differentiation you can provide makes it easier for you to stand out in the minds of your prospects and customers. The point of sharing your hobbies isn’t directly to attract more business—the point is to make you and your business memorable for everyone you come into contact with. Ultimately, that memorability will lead to more business!
3) Don’t be afraid to stir the pot. Many business owners are so afraid of making a mistake when it comes to branding and marketing that they end up with a vanilla brand that looks just like everyone else’s. And while it is generally important not to offend anybody, don’t be afraid to push the envelope. If you can perform a service better than anyone else in your market, say so! If you have ideas that may shake up your industry, don’t hold back. And if you have opinions that may raise eyebrows, share them. Just make sure that you are staying true to your values and to the brand you are trying to build.
When it comes to personal branding, standing out from the crowd is always the goal.
JW Dicks (@jwdicks) & Nick Nanton (@nicknanton) are best-selling authors who consult for small- and medium-sized businesses on how to build their business through Personality Driven Marketing, Personal Brand Positioning, Guaranteed Media, and Mining Hidden Business Assets. They offer free articles, white papers, and case studies at their website. Jack and Nick have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, FastCompany.com, and many more media outlets.
[Image: Flickr user Utah-Dave AA71Z]