There is only one you, and what you have makes you stand out from the rest of the world. In this episode, Gerry Foster continues his discussion about branding yourself, broadening his concept of branding your brilliance. When do you shine the brightest? He leads you to answer this question and reminds you of the inner power that you have that allows you to stand out and be remembered.
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Brand Your Brilliance
In episode five, I introduced the whole idea around big branding yourself, your services, skills, talents, expertise, abilities and all that good stuff because it is such a topical item. When I talk about big branding, I’m talking about being big in a way that allows you to have a mega impact so that you can create mega customers, be mega successful and have the ability to stand out when your competitors seem invisible. It impacts your ability to market and sell something that people can believe in while your competitors are playing small. This is a continuation of that because my approach to big branding, my formula is about cracking the safe, enabling you to get your fingertips on the tumblers, the things that is going to be required to crack that safe, to find that special code so that ultimately you can get leads, get sales and get paid during any economic climate regardless of what it is that you sell.
I want to back up because for those of you who remember what life was like in your business before the internet, I want to talk to those of you who are wanting to ramp up and big brand yourself or your services. A lot of what we were doing back in those days and still some of this is done now, is that we were focused more on having a firm handshake. We were all about letting people know about our credentials, our achievements, our awards. We want to make sure that we were dressed appropriately and all of that and along then comes the internet. By the way, the key was to do good work for the client and business would follow. It’s word of mouth.
Along then comes the internet. The next thing you know, we’ve got a zillion websites, blogs, social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all this different stuff. Now, it’s all about connecting with potential clients around the world. It’s the whole notion of, “If I can just focus on standing out by having a great logo, a great website, a great name, perhaps a tagline,” that’s no longer enough. The idea now is to be as successful as possible by putting your best foot forward, by portraying yourself in such a special way that they see you as being the brand to go with. This is about branding your brilliance. My question to you is this, when do you sparkle? When do you radiate? When do you shine the brightest? In those areas is where you can craft a brand that you want to be known for.
It all starts with you first being willing to believe in the power of self-appointment. It means that you are now going to assume your throne, claim your space and not wait for someone to come along and anoint you. You proclaim yourself as the authority, the guru and the expert in your field. You start determining what is it about you that makes you so special. You don’t have to worry about the image stuff yet. Don’t worry about what kind of marketing you need to do in terms of Facebook, search engine optimization, social media and all the stuff that’s out there and all the online marketing.
Before you focus on establishing your presence online, let’s first define what your presence is. What is it about you that is going to make you stand out from the rest of the crowd because of your brilliance? Once that’s nailed down, it becomes a lot easier to generate awareness of your brand through the right kind of marketing. Here’s the thing, it’s no longer good enough to just be good at what you do. Nowadays’ game is about harnessing your power to stand out, get noticed and be remembered because you offer something unique. Your uniqueness is what’s going to draw people to you. There are a lot of things that have to go along with that in terms of your message and your brand promise and all this stuff, but we’ll cover all of that in future shows. For right now, it’s all about you determining who you are, pivoting around those things that make you exceptional and extraordinary. As you’ve heard me say already, unless you brand yourself, someone else will. They’ll be more than happy to do it for you. They’ll be more than happy to label you, slot you, pigeon hole you, put you in a box and put you in a pocket unless you seize control over how people see you.
The next thing here is if you haven’t done so already, start finding your voice, identify your uniqueness, identify your strengths. Ask yourself, what is the one thing you do? It’s called your set you apart quality. It’s that one thing that everyone says you rock at and it could be your ability to solve problems unlike no one else. It’s your ability to produce outcomes for your clients or customers if you use that word or patients, unlike no one else. You have to find your voice. You have to determine, what is the rhythm of your brand?
Remember, I am the Branding Evangelist so if you read my story in episode one, I’m from the old school Detroit. I grew up in a Motown Era. I’m all about showing small business owners how to find the rhythm of their brand so that you don’t have to be like everybody else. Because if you start following the crowd, if you don’t start nailing down, what is it that makes you invaluably unique? What is it that makes you interesting and special as possible? What is it that is going to be your own flavor so that you can start laying down your own footprints? You can start treading your own path that people can follow in so that if people want to drink from your fountain, unless you do that, then you’re not going to have any aura.
Branding Your Brilliance: Self-appointment is when you assume your throne, claim your space, and not wait for someone to come along and anoint you.
It’s an aura that you are someone who is very much worth paying attention to. What is it that is going to make your brand as appealing as possible in terms of yourself, your services and your expertise? This requires self-reflection and you may not be able to do this on your own. You may have to ask people who are close to you and it may require you being willing to get totally vulnerable and transparent with people and asking them what is it that they love about you and what is it that they don’t love about you? Because at the end of the day, a strong brand, particularly a personal brand, when you’re branding an individual, yourself, around your expertise, skills, talents and abilities must allow you to be the hunting, not the fly. People are drawn to you. You attract the types of clients you’re looking for because of the strength of your brand.
You need to get really clear on who you are and what is it that you bring to the marketplace that distinguishes you? We’re talking about the defining characteristics here. We’re talking about certain qualities that people praise you for. Have you ever asked yourself a simple question like, “What do my clients love most about me? Why do my clients enjoy working with me? What is it that I seem to be best known for or maybe an area where I excel?” It does take a little time. It takes some thought as I said, but it’s worth it.
What you’re going to discover is that when you get really clear on what is it that allows you to be somewhat magical and captivating to others, you’re going to find that more and more people are going to be drawn to you. This is very important because this is about having influence. This is about influencing your target market in a way that you will engage people to want to hire you, retain you and work with you. If you truly believe in the power of self-appointment and you’re willing to assume the throne, then it means that you have to get really clear. In fact, I would say it’s absolutely vital that you know what is it that allows you to break free from that mode that people will put you in, slot you in and build your personal brand around those personal assets that not only make you unique but command respect. Then people will see that it’s a smart, good investment to work with you.
I want you to give the distinction here. It’s not just about a resume, it’s not about simply saying, “I’ve got lots of experience. I’m well-trained. I have a very satisfied client list.” It’s not just that because anybody can beat a resume. When you are looking upon yourself as this invaluable asset and you get really clear on those defining characteristics and shining qualities that set you apart, it makes you somewhat irreplaceable. Because then you’re going to be more recognized for who you are than simply what you do. When you’re clear on who you are, what you are speaking about and what you’re going to bring forth on behalf of the clients that you serve, what you’re going to bring forth is a better, brighter future for them that they can only get from you because there’s only one you.
You want to stand out. You want to stand apart. You want to stand above the rest of the crowd. You want to shine above everyone. Once that stuff is done, then you can think about your image in terms of your colors, your logo, your website and all that stuff. Right now, I want you to start asking yourself, “What are those unique traits that I possess? What are those unique properties that I have? What is it about me that garners so much attention? What is it about me perhaps that has someone see me as being innovative?” What is it about you that allows you to share yourself and your gift to the world in a way through social media down the line that will give people undisputable reasons to work with you? It’s something that is associated with your name.
The last thing I want to say about this is don’t believe that you do not possess something that you can big brand yourself around. Don’t buy into the belief that, “Jerry, other people have the same credentials and the same experience as me. I don’t have any unique areas of opportunity that I can capitalize on.” Don’t buy into the belief that you should not pursue your dreams and your passions. Do not buy into believing that you cannot scale up, 10x your business or whatever your big branding goals may be. Brand your brilliance and package your genius. You’ll be saying two of my favorite words, “Ka-ching, ka-ching.” Until next time, take care.
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