What does branding yourself have in common with branding a zillion-dollar corporation? More than you might think!
Both endeavors should be intentional. Both brands should be consistently applied. And both branding processes need to tease out and articulate what makes you different from all the other professionals in a crowded marketplace.
Really, it comes down to this: what makes you unique?
What do you do that no one else can? What do you bring to the table that no one else has? Why should your ideal audience hire or use you instead of the 99 other CPAs/dogwalkers/graphic designers they can find on LinkedIn or Google or hiremepleaseimdesperate.com? (For that matter, why should your boss or your board of directors appreciate you as you toil away quietly for the good of the organization?)
Think about it. You may have similar credentials to another leader, business owner or job candidate. You may even provide exactly the same services. But you are different Your personality, your experience, your values, your approach — some of those things are unique. And the way they combine in you is absolutely singular.
Whether you’re seeking a fresh opportunity, opening a new business or just sharpening your professional image, the first step toward success is figuring out what makes you different. That “voodoo that you do so well,” as Cole Porter so beautifully termed it.
Saying it out loud — and putting it into your personal marketing materials (bio, social media profiles, resume) — serves a variety of purposes. It better defines you. It helps generate connections who’ll love what you have to offer. It helps you own your expertise. And it lets the wrong people know not to bother getting in touch, which saves everyone a heap of time and trouble.