Before I was a coach, I was a publicist for many, many years. And I can tell you with certainty that personal branding is all about promoting your freak factor. It’s about standing out and being authentically different. If what you offer is the same as everyone else, you’re replaceable. Understanding and living your differentiation is the best way to attract attention from people and companies who might not look at you otherwise.
Last week I spent some time with Universal Music’s Women’s Group helping them define their personal brand. Collectively, they have similar goals for moving the company forward. Individually, they couldn’t have been more different. And that’s good. If they were all the same, the company would not gain steam from the contrasts that each person brings. Instead, they would offer one solution for every problem. In a world that is changing and evolving, it is important to have choices and fresh ideas that are as unique as the person who gave them.
Several key components are essential to creating an authentic projection of yourself to shine into the world. These elements include your values, skills, purpose, freak factor, and passion. Often my clients find it difficult to define these aspects of their lives. Sometimes it’s because they’re afraid of how they will be perceived and sometimes it’s because they honestly have never spent much time analyzing what makes them who they are. In either case, I ask them these important questions:
Values: What are the top 3 things that really tick you off? Write down your answers and then write down their opposites. Those are the things that you value.
Skills: What comes naturally to you? What do you do better than anyone else? These are your top skills.
Purpose: If time, money, and know-how were not an issue, what would you be doing? This is a clue leading you towards your life’s purpose.
Freak Factor: If you were receiving an award, what would it be for? What makes you different than your best friend and your boss? Think about it. This is how you are different and what could set you apart in a world full of look-a-likes.
Passion: What do people ask you questions about? What can you speak on authoritatively? These do not have to be work-related. Figure out what that whispering voice is saying to you and write it down. And then link it to your career.
Knowing who you are and what you can offer will set you apart and make you stand out. When we live in alignment with who we are at our core, we are happier, more satisfied, and we sparkle. Go ahead, lean into your inner freak.
Get your freak on.