Build Your Brand in Four Simple Steps
- Employment, Future of work, Job search, Networking, Working longer, Skills Building, Lifelong learning, Entrepreneurship, Career pivot / transitions, Workplace tools, Multigenerational workforce
Why Everyone Needs a Brand Positioning
Is this really another blog about branding? Yes it is. But wait! Don’t go!Because this one’s different. Just like you. We’re all our own brands, like it or not. And the more we can lean into who we are, what we do and who we serve, the easier it is for us to drive connection.
It doesn’t matter if you’re job hunting, starting your own business or a current small biz owner or solopreneur; you are your brand. What you put out in the world in terms of message, voice or appearance expresses who you are to others. Every minute of every day. The more you understand that and the more you understand who you want to attract, the easier it is to connect.
Brand positioning is what you stand for and what you offer. Once you have that, you can then start to add your personality (we’re going to save that fun stuff for a future post — sorry).
Your brand positioning is typically internal facing but then adapted for external messaging. For the purposes of this exercise, think in terms of internal. This is content that will help you shape your external message. Regardless if you have your own business or are an employee or looking to pivot, think of this in terms of who you want to address and what makes you special.
Your brand positioning should:• Help inform your marketing decisions• Effectively differentiate your brand• Be believable• Be flexible enough to allow for growth over time• Paint a clear mental image• Speak directly to your core audience• Be consistent across all aspects of your brand• Motivate your audience• Be easy to understand• Stand up to your competitors• Be unique• Be memorable• Be YOURS and yours alone — own that Sh$%!
For now, I’m going to give you the four steps or four components that make up your brand positioning. Feel free to print this out and start using it as a worksheet to flesh it out on your own.
- Who is your audience? What are their pain points?a. Get as specific possible and drill down.i. If you’re a business coach maybe it goes like this: women, women leaders, women leaders who are stuck, women leaders who are stuck but want more.ii. If you’re a job seeker try something like this: potential employers, potential employers in tech, potential employers in tech who need developers, potential employers in tech who need developers that know python.
- Where do you play? What is your category?a. Again, get granular here.i. For those coaches out there try this: Coaching, life coaching, life coaching for executives, life coaching for executives who are unhappy.ii. For job seekers focus on industry: tech, tech focused on AI, tech focused on AI for women, tech focused on AI for women who aren’t tech savvy.
- How are you different?a. What do you offer that no one else does? How can you frame something in a way that’s unique to you? Lean into your strengths here. If you aren’t sure, ask friends, a former boss or colleagues to chime in. They always see what we can’t.i. Are you organized? A creative thinker? A collaborator? A go-getter? Able to rally people around ideas? What is your secret weapon or special sauce?
- What will your audience/customer get? What’s the payoff or benefit?a. What are you solving for them? What will they walk away with? Be super specific here as well. Think beyond the obvious.i. Do you offer to save them time? Money? Are you reliable? How do you address their pain points? For example, I’m a copywriter but my clients don’t just get content, they get content that sounds like them. They get content that clearly explains what they do and drives stronger connections with their audience. In other words, I make them sound better.
The key with this exercise is to keep doing it and honing it. Eventually you want to put all four pieces together to form one overarching positioning statement. It could take you five tries, or 10. But the more niche you can get, the more you can drill down on who you are and what you stand for, the more your brand will do the messaging and advertising for you. And that leads to clarity which leads to offers, clients and connections.
This post was originally published on Jul 15, 2020 on Medium.
Danielle Hughes is the Chief Personality Officer of More Than Words Marketing, a copywriting and branding consultancy that helps individuals/organizations write & develop a Genuine Personality Brand. She also chairs amazing.community’s Advisory Board.