How to Differentiate Your Brand and Attract More Business Even in Crowded Markets and Challenging Times.
Many entrepreneurs get so caught up trying to be like the people the big fish in their industries, that they lose sight of themselves. Forget about them. Here’s the truth: the X factor in your business is you.
To grow your online presence and boost your authority, you need to first know who you are – what makes you awesome. This is what you have to offer the world. Not your products, or programs or services. Being you is your greatest competitive advantage. You need to understand how to leverage the unique combination of strengths, skills, knowledge, passions, experience and character traits that only you have.
As a small business, coach or consultant, your business will grow when you lean in to who you are instead of focusing entirely on what you do. I hate to break it to you, but there is probably nothing that special about what you do. Sure, you have your own way of operating, but your products and services probably look similar to others in your field.
The special sauce that you bring to the table is how you present yourself - your voice, your personality, your perspective, the way you relate with your audience. So, don’t mask your personality behind false notions of what it takes to make it in business. Don’t hide your voice in jargon or marketing-speak.
Being recognized as an authority is about bringing the full force of who you are and sharing that strategically with the world.
2. Find The Right Ears
Million Dollar Coach Taki Moore says that instead of trying to shout louder to get your voice heard, you need to whisper into the ears of the right audience. If you’ve been trying to be all things to all people, make today the day you stop.
In order to create a brand that stands out online and become an Authority Brand, you need to identify and really get to know your people. Who do you serve? Are you current clients your ideal clients or just the people you happen to have been working with so far?
Establishing authority in your market will depend heavily on your ability to get into the heads of your perfect people. From client calls, surveys and online detective work, you can discover your ideal clients’ fears, frustrations, wants and needs. Then you can begin to create the solutions to get them from where they are to where they want to be.
This is when it pays to be as specialized as possible in your services. We all know that specialists are more highly regarded than generalists, right? Even if you have already niched down to a particular service or target audience, think about whether you can specialize further. The defined your market, the easier it will be for you to get to know them and speak to them in the language that resonates with them. Yes, you will turn other people away, but that’s the point. Your brand has to be wrong for some people so that it can be highly prized by the people who believe you are speaking directly to them.
The more you home in on your audience, the better you can solve their specific needs and challenges and also connect with them emotionally. This is how you become a sought-after and trusted brand.
3. Package Your Expertise
You know what the main difference is between you and a recognized thought leader? They document their process. They have created a unique methodology or process which they use as the foundation for all their programs, content, speaking engagements etc.
You have so much knowledge trapped in your head. Establishing your authority is about becoming known for what you know. You need to unpack your IP and document your process into digestible and replicable systems that solve your customer problems in a unique way. This how to scale your business.
You will use your signature framework to design a signature offer – for example a group coaching program or online course – typically a mid-priced offer that sits in the middle of your marketing funnel. You can then tap into different elements of your signature framework to build out other products and services from entry-level to premium.
Creating a signature process or unique methodology also makes you distinct. You are able to position yourself as an authority because you have a defined and unique perspective that stands you apart from your competition.
Your proprietary process also attracts clients and followers as it gives them more confidence in your work when they can see a path to results.
4. Communicate Your Value
It doesn’t matter how fantastic you are at what you do, if you can’t explain to people why it matters or how they will benefit. The ability to communicate your value is the difference between sales and crickets.
The three tools you need to communicate your value are a strong value proposition – which basically explains why someone should do business with you over your competitor; a unique selling proposition (USP) – what makes you different (bearing in mind that the difference should be one that actually matters to your customer); and your elevator pitch – the short statement that succinctly and clearly tells people who you are, what you do and why it matters.
The most important of these – the one on which the others are based – is your value proposition. Without a strong value proposition, your entire marketing will flounder. Selling your products and services will feel like swimming upstream in treacle. In other words, going nowhere fast.
The key thing to remember is that your value proposition should focus on the people to whom you give value, not on how valuable you are. Start first by writing down all the functional and emotional benefits of doing business with you. Then list all the ways in which you solve your customer’s problems and the aspects that make you different from your competitors. Once you’ve got all these down, you can then spend some time massaging the content into a short, clear value statement.
5. Tell Your Story
In case you hadn’t noticed, people are neck-deep in information. They do not need more information. They want perspective. They want connection. They want transformation. This is why story is so powerful, especially when it comes to projecting yourself as an Authority Brand.
Whether it is a powerful Origin Story that allows you to share who you are and establish your credibility or a case study that shows your solution in action and gives your audience social proof that what you do really works, story should be your primary communication vehicle.
The human brain is wired for story. Telling stories revealing who you are, sharing what you care about and your perspective draws in your audience and gives them the emotional connection that they crave. Story allows you to speak intimately to your audience so you can build strong relationships with them. Story makes you memorable and helps you position yourself as a true authority even in the most crowded niche.
The trick is to be strategic – knowing how to tell the right story to the right audience, how to choose the format that will tell the most compelling story and how to leverage your stories into different types of content.
Categories: Personal Branding