I work one-to-one with a lot of professionals and business owners on elevating their profile or brand. No matter what their industry, product/service offering, or target market is, this is always about highlighting and communicating what makes them amazing as PEOPLE.
There are countless businesses that say their point of difference is excellent customer service. Likewise, there are a great many professionals who say they have great attention to detail and are hard workers.
So what? Everyone says those things.
You have to drill down further to clarify and communicate what makes someone amazing at their work – what unique combination of personality traits, skills, experience, values, interests and talents does that person bring to what they do?
When you pinpoint, highlight and elevate these qualities, positioning them clearly and succinctly – you have a personal brand. When you do it collectively as a team – you have a business brand with a real, meaningful point of difference.
Accountants are a classic case of a profession that can only really highlight a meaningful point of difference and value through highlighting their people. Clients work with, stay with and refer an accountant because they trust them as a person and see them as knowledgeable advisors. So if you’re an accountant, you need to demonstrate why I should trust you to help me with one of the most important areas of my life – my finances.
Working one-to-one or with teams, I use a system of questions and activities to draw out what makes people amazing. To understand why their target market would want to work with them above anyone else. I then help them strategise how this can be communicated most powerfully and effectively to achieve whatever business or career goals have been set.
It’s always interesting to see that there is so much more value to what people bring than what they first tell me (or have listed on a website or LinkedIn profile).
If you’re working on your company brand and communicating your value, start with your people – they are the real value in your business after all! Ask them questions like:
- What are you best known for in your work achievements?
- How would you describe your work style? (e.g. your particular methods, communication style, approach to projects, values in work)
- What do stakeholders value in what you bring to your work?
…and have them dig deep, beyond a few words, beyond the obvious.
Likewise, if you are a consultant, speaker, or any kind of professional looking to elevate your profile and build a network of quality connections and clients, list your key strengths. Reach further and be specific – if you are good at writing, what is it you achieve with your writing? Do you teach in an entertaining way, tell great stories that make people connect with your message, draw a large readership? What do your skills do for people?
When you clearly demonstrate what makes you amazing and how you are going to help solve a problem or achieve a goal, in a way that is real, human, individual and meaningful, you will successfully set yourself apart from the competition and gain interest based on value, not price.