When you are thinking through your personal brand, what makes you distinct in a saturated market? There is no right or wrong to defining yourself, but there is a way to do it strategically that will make an impact on your business. Getting personal with your brand is guaranteed to set you apart from your competitors. There is no one quite like you!
Getting personal is the first step to setting yourself apart. It’s not quite what you think. Don’t feel like you have to share your deepest darkest secrets. Sharing what makes you unique, why you do what you do, and who you do it for is more than enough to begin relating to your audience and clients.
There are four things you can begin taking action on today that will begin setting you apart.
Why is “social media” in brackets? because although social media is a necessary evil to all our businesses and you must engage with your audience on this medium, it isn’t the only way to make connections. Don’t forget about your blog, email list, and in person connections.
If you are intentional about the way you connect with your audience AND your current clients, it will go a long way. You’ll create ongoing relationships that are built on trust and friendship. Intentionality is an authentic curiosity about the person you want to forge a relationship with. It is about listening, absorbing and understanding as opposed to “reacting” to a social media post or someone you are having a conversation with. People can sense, even online, when you are just ‘commenting’ or you really share a mutual interest in what they are talking about. Don’t get me wrong, not all our Instagram interactions can be deep and meaningful but think through some of the other opportunities where you may be able to get intentional with your conversations.
This is where I think ‘Networking’ gets a bad wrap. Networking doesn’t have to be a dirty word, if you approach each situation you are in with intentionality and authenticity then you are never really “networking’ you are simply forging new relationships and that is never a bad thing.
Let’s take me for example, if you have been around for a while you know I am obsessed with cheeseburgers! I can’t even get any good pictures of my burgers because I eat them before I even think about it haha! That is just a little quirky thing about me. But I bet you can relate to it in some way! Do you have a food obsession? Something you just can’t live without? When I post about this crazy need for cheeseburgers, I always get someone who DM’s me saying they feel like that about [blank]. The point it is, something that resonates with people and helps them connect with who you are as a person. You don’t always have to be selling them something!
Use these quirky habits and life experiences to build upon a conversation you might have in the future. People are people. It can’t be said simpler and everyone wants to feel connected. Letting them into who you are making a huge difference in setting yourself apart. You might not think that a shared interest in cheeseburgers will get you your next client. But if you peel back the layers, you will find you are more likely to book that client because of common interest over someone who may have beautiful work, but they do not offer any special connection to their audience.
This is simpler to intentionally engaging, but I think it is vital to remember that once you have booked your client, the relationship and engagement should not end. It is only truly authentic if you are maintain the interest in that individual throughout their entire client experience. Make sure you are following through and following up with clients on a regular basis and when the contract ends, that relationship can continue!
Think about this full circle for a moment. If you share about things you like, your family traditions, and/or the behind-the-scenes of your business life, then you have someone who engages with you because it resonates with them, you build a relationship off of those shared interests and that person ultimately becomes your client. Don’t you think you are more likely to have a positive and ongoing experience with this client because you can relate to each other on a deeper and more authentic level?
All of these action items build toward personal relationships and quality client experiences with the ultimate goal of repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.