Are you the type of person who tends to start a project without a lot of preliminary consideration and planning? Do you tend to work on numerous projects in different areas simultaneously? If so I can relate. I believe in getting started, experimenting, and not having to limiting yourself to one area of interest. I believe in a renaissance type of approach to finding your brand or niche. Needless to say, this approach can help you get started on a lot of fun and creative things, but may lead to getting stifled when it comes to steady growth and development. The dilemma stems from a lack of clear brand awareness and hence unsuccessful promotion and strategy. Fortunately these important details come with time, which is why I’m writing this post. I want to share my personal insight about how a fragmented person (such as myself) has started to find coherence and clarity between vast interests and creative endeavors, and also because I will be going through a major branding overhaul with this site and my personal website, which is currently under construction, over the next few months. I’m still in the process of cultivating my niche, creating unique value, and working to stand out, but this is what I have learned thus far and begun to implement in order to develop my personal brand.
Find what you do better than anyone else by overlapping talents
What are your core strengths and natural talents? What do you feel capable doing that you could build on? We are all gifted in a certain area and have talents that need to be encouraged. Find that one thing you do best and begin to build from there. If you have many interests and talents, and feel segmented, don’t worry. Keep working to develop your personal brand by fitting together your talents in a novel way. I personally went through this and realized that what I can offer most effectively is helping people push past fears and self-limitations, and start to build up more positive mental and emotional resources. Despite my original intent with creating this blog, this is the direction it has gone because I feel most capable of helping people in this manner. As well, I have a passion for music along with personal development. I have decided to blend these in a unique way to incorporate another avenue to inspire and empower people. This could have been something I excluded from my personal brand because it didn’t fit and seem relevant. But, that would mean I was limiting my scope on providing value and using my talents. The point is, recognize your calling card or where you can shine brightest, and discover a way it can be of value to others.
Be yourself but don’t be boring
This was a struggle as I started to pursue an online brand. It’s easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, and project and unauthentic image of who you really are. I am learning to accept what I have to offer and am approaching my personal brand based on my unique qualities and experience, instead of wanting to match up to someone who is already established and successful in an area unfitted to my strengths. This can be tricky because you have to stand out and have something significant to offer while at the same time not overestimating your value. More importantly, when your brand extends outside the internet, people will catch on very quickly if you image is authentic or not. The point is, you may need to develop more skills, knowledge, and experience, or even beginning to cultivate a unique hybrid niche, instead of trying to fit into one that’s already out there. This is the strategy I’m taking. There are not many coaches/psychologists/musicians/motivational speakers out there who help people find success and significance, and I believe there should be. If you can uncover a strategy to make money from what you love to do, it’s no longer a hobby. You can create your brand around your interests and generate awareness by forming a hybrid niche.
Continually learn to find your passion and create a hybrid niche
I am working to educate and learn as much as I can this year, more than I ever have before in my life. I’m engaged in another coaching certification program, working to get my counseling license, studying about positive psychology while writing a blog at PsychCentral, just finished up a meditation instructor certification, reading voraciously, and beginning to develop products. What all this workaholic behavior offers is a chance to experience a broad range, but still interrelated range, of knowledge to begin adding greater value by blending these together into a cohesive brand. I believe that molding a disparate array of talents and skills into a hybrid brand can help people stand out amongst the various niche markets of today, and more importantly, offer immense value to better peoples’ life.
Build trust and consistency
You must trust and believe in yourself first and foremost. You have to know what you’re all about before you can really be branded effectively. This is where I fell short initially. I had numerous interests but knew I couldn’t be an expert in everything. So, it took a long period of time to find clarity on who I am and what I have to offer. Similarly, this lack of clarity has a negative impact on networking and building an online reputation. Without a clear message and image it sends people mixed signals. These inconsistent signals prevent people from knowing what to expect, which can be a little off-putting. So, as much as I’m an advocate for taking action and working with what you have, do your best to be consistent in your branding and message. There may come a time when you reconsider your personal brand and what you really stand for. Hopefully, sharing my experience offers a little hope and direction if you haven’t quite pulled everything together yet, and when you do, it will be an exciting moment that will offer you valuable insight into a business plan and personal mission.