Today we are diving into some Q+A related to personal branding. A boss babe asks:
“How do you differentiate yourself in a saturated market? Not just with your personal story, but how do you do things differently? For example: video content, blogs, content. How do you make it stand out and shake the viewer/reader?
I think every entrepreneur in the world has asked themselves this question. However I believe we tend to over complicate things unnecessarily. I’ve discovered three simple key ways to help differentiate yourself in a saturated market! Yes it’s possible!
VISUALLY — HOW CAN I SET MYSELF APART AESTHETICALLY?
This is by far the easiest one and usually the first thing people consider when they want to stand out. This can be done by asking yourself: “what are the common trends in my industry?”
Example: I’m in the women’s digital entrepreneurial space, which tends to be very Caucasian (#bigfacts), ultra feminine, luxe, high heels, blonde, etc. Meanwhile, I’m very punk rock in every sense of the word, but especially visually. Even my IG feed is unlike anything you’d see in this industry. However, if I was a rapper or musician— this might not have the same impact as it does in my own industry.
Does that make sense? How you stand out in your industry will depend entirely on what’s already “trendy” in your niche. So if your industry is very sterile and monochrome, consider being that POP of color!
Key: Whatever branding you decide to incorporate, remember to keep it consistent and cohesive. Meaning: every touch point that your target market comes into contact with should be reminiscent of all your other content for this niche. This is why branding in the beginning is vital so that you can at least keep the consistency up visually (because this helps facilitate the “like, know, trust factor” for potential clients/customers!).
CONTENT— HOW CAN I TIE MY PASSIONS, HOBBIES, INTERESTS, ETC INTO MY CONTENT?
In order to stand out with your content, you’ll want to figure out how to tie together the things you enjoy partaking in or learning about. It doesn’t matter if it’s knitting or crafting, fishing or pinball machines— try to identify some lessons in your interests, the lessons within your industry, and marry them together.
Example: If you follow me on IG, then you already know how much of a nerd I am. I am obsessed with all things geek culture and I make sure to incorporate it at every chance I get. I have selfies of me holding Star Wars mugs. I even have my own “Peter Parker Method” to personal branding named after— you guessed it! — Spider-man!
Does that make sense? A great habit is to keep a running word doc (I use Google Drive!) of your interests, topics, etc that you can always refer back to whenever you need to create content.
Key: Whatever you decide to tie into your content, remember to make a strong stance. If everyone in your industry is saying one thing, shout from the roof tops something completely different (but still equally VALUABLE, remember that!).
ASSOCIATION— WHO COULD I ADD VALUE TO?
This is one I think people default to because, while it does take some networking and finessing of some things, it is the fastest way to stand out in a saturated industry. And I’m talkin’ 0-100 fast, too. Ask yourself: “who could I collaborate with that shares the same target market as me?”
Example: I just read on Twitter the other day that Lyft is collaborating with certain Planned Parenthood locations and offering from rides to + from Planned Parenthood for free. How amazing is that?!
Key: Don’t be basic. This is your chance to really think outside the box (in fact, throw the damn box away!!). You could collab in the form of guest blog posts, podcast interviews, IG Story Takeovers, etc. And consider folks outside of your industry, but those that still share the same target audience as you!
Shamia Casiano is an Afro-Latina entrepreneurial photographer, designer, gamer, and vampire slayer. She has an extensive background in acting, film, theatre, and improv. Shamia's been featured in Ebony, Cosmopolitan, Grind Pretty magazine, and Marie Forleo's MarieTV. She's married to her handsome nerdy college sweetheart and they have a 6 year-old pup named Lucky, who doubles as her home office assistant.
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