In order to build a personal brand that stands out, you must first consider your competition. Regardless of your chosen field, there will always be someone else doing what you do. If you want to be successful, it’s crucial to know – and show – how you stand out from the pack.
Your Personal Brand Begins with You
When I was working in the hair industry, there was a salon on every corner. The competition was fierce, but I had a steady stream of regular clients because they liked what I had to offer. They came back time and time again for my passion, my ideas, and the service that I provided. Simply put: they couldn’t get me anywhere else.
Unfortunately, too many working professionals believe that standing out is a bad thing. They fall in line with their corporate culture and work overtime, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Over the years, they watch their more confident colleagues move up the ladder and end up feeling stuck in a job that has never felt like a good fit. The solution to this problem is differentiation.
Tips to Differentiate Your Personal Brand
Whether you’re working in a salon or a major corporation, clients will want to work with you because of what you bring to the table. Here are some tips to help you differentiate yourself from other people who are doing the same job.
- Know Your Client: Find out who they are and what makes them tick. Get online and research their company. Look at their LinkedIn profile. Check to see where they went to school or who they’ve worked for in the past. Do a little digging!
- Express Yourself: Find creative ways to express yourself with clothing and accessories while sticking to the office dress code. If everyone wears khakis and white shirts, maybe put on a bright colored shoe or patterned sock. Use clothes to illustrate your personality.
- Do The Unexpected: When working on a project, ask yourself, “What is the one thing I could bring to this assignment that no one would expect?” Don’t just do what’s been done before, ask questions, offer creative solutions, and surprise people with your ideas.
- Follow the Rules: It is possible to abide by the policies and procedures that your company has put in place while still differentiating yourself. Share your opinions and ideas but keep it in context. Don’t be disruptive or disrespectful. Be assertive, not aggressive, and think before you talk.
- Pay attention to the details: The details start with you. When you walk out of the door in the morning, you should be groomed and dressed well. When it comes to your work, look for ways you can serve your clients more effectively. Gather all of the information you need to complete a project correctly the first time.
- Be considerate: Do this with everyone in your work environment, not just your boss. Show that you care. Ask questions about your colleagues’ families, vacations, hobbies. You don’t have to be “work-work-work!” all of the time. People want to know that you care about them.
- Communicate effectively: Ask your client how they prefer to communicate. Keep their preferences in a file. Maybe they prefer texts or phone calls over email. Perhaps they don’t like to be bothered before noon. Whatever they want is what you should be doing.
- Be The Solution: Stop complaining about what’s going wrong at work and start offering solutions to common problems. If you have a “difficult” client, take the time to listen to what they have to say. Ask questions, do your research, and show that you care about creating a positive experience for everyone.
Remember, your personal brand isn’t just about what you wear – it’s about the total package. People notice when you’re strategic, effective, consistent, passionate, and when you always bring your best self to the table. Build a personal brand that stands out.
If you need a little help to build a personal brand, are seeking clarity on how to differentiate or need to talk through a situation, I’m here to help. Contact me today, and together, we will find a solution to the issue you are facing.