If you’re a business owner I know you’ve probably heard people talk about how important it is for you to differentiate what you offer from what your competitors offer. You want to stand out from the pack and really get noticed. And to do that you need to be different. Think Target versus Walmart. They offer overlapping products, such as household and beauty items along with groceries. But they each have a different appeal. Walmart is the place where you can go to save a ton of money whereas Target is known for their more stylish and cheap chic offerings. (If you’re interested in more great examples of brands that effectively differentiate from competitors, check out this article from HubSpot - 10 Brands That Brilliantly Differentiated Themselves From the Competition.)
But if you’re running a small business, particularly a service oriented business such as coaching, consulting, or business services, you might find yourself in a sea of competition with no clear way to stand out from your competitors. Let's take life coaches for example. If two or more life coaches offer similar types of services - coaching and guidance related to career and personal matters - how can one life coach really differentiate her business from another? It can be a real challenge.
Well, allow me to introduce you to yourself! (Did she mistype that?!) No, that’s what I meant. You, the founder of your business, the person who delivers the product/service, is that differentiator. But, wait, you think, that can’t be right. I need to differentiate my business, not myself, so let’s focus on how to differentiate my business brand. But, I submit that for most entrepreneurs, particularly service based ones, your personal brand is deeply intertwined with your business brand and your prospective clients cannot separate the two in their minds.
Think about it. YOU’RE the one delivering the service. YOU’RE the one showing up to promote your business online and offline. YOU’RE the one that people (potential clients) interact with. It’s YOU who people do business with. Not a faceless company. So when you’re considering how to differentiate your business you need look no further than the mirror.
Your unique and authentic personal brand is what separates you from your competitors.
Convinced?! Great. But exactly how do you do this? How do you use your personal brand to help your business stand out from competitors? This is where you take a good, hard look at what makes you unique. Consider your passions, your values, your strengths and weaknesses, your unique set of skills and abilities, your personal superpowers (hint: the things you do better than anyone!). Identifying all of these things about yourself is the start to letting your personal brand set you apart from others in your industry.
And once you’ve identified those unique and authentic personal brand attributes be sure that they come across in everything that you do, both online and offline, for your business. By clearly and consistently letting your authentic personal brand show up in your business, you’ll attract those clients who are a good fit for you and what you offer. Just as some people are more attracted to Target’s unique attributes rather than Walmart’s, some clients will be more attracted to your unique set of personal brand attributes versus those of your competitors.
Simply said, YOU are the key to all that makes your business a great fit for your ideal client. So let the true YOU shine through!
Let me know how I can help!
The Brand Teacher
Want to make sure your personal brand is working for you to attract your dream job or clients? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's schedule a chat about how we can work together or book a Personal Brand Boost Strategy Session today!