Whether you’re a freelancer, a consultant, coach or some other kind of solo professional, you have a personal brand.
Your personal brand determines how your clients, prospects and peers see you. What they think of you.
Your brand is a jigsaw of different influences – how you appear online, what you say, what it’s like to work with you, and what you do.
Most solo professionals take a pretty casual approach to personal branding. Their brand, such as it is, is largely accidental.
But smart individuals take a more deliberate approach.
Let’s take a look at what that might involve…
Have you defined your personal brand, or are you “undifferentiated”?
One important thing you need to do with your brand is separate yourself from the crowd.
You can’t afford to appear ordinary, or blend into a crowd of competitors.
You need to stand out as being different and exceptional in one or two important ways.
In the words of author, Jack Trout… Differentiate or Die.
To get a sense of whether you brand is different enough, go though your website, your LinkedIn profile and social media streams.
Does your brand stand out? Is it consistent? Does it represent who you really are, and how you want to be seen?
If you have trouble being objective with this process, ask a few friends and colleagues to give you their feedback. Honest feedback.
Presenting your true self as your personal brand is a powerful option.
For the longest time, differentiation was driven by “what” people did or offered their clients.
“I’m different because I offer design as well as writing services.”
“I’m different because I serve this very particular and narrow niche.”
But as each market becomes more and more crowded and saturated – and noise levels increase – differentiating your personal brand based on “what” you do is becoming harder and harder.
Far better to differentiate yourself based on “who” you are.
After all, while others can copy WHAT you do… they can’t copy WHO you are. They can’t be you.
Only you can do that.
Pitch your personal brand honestly, without hype or marketing speak.
If you’re going to build your personal brand around yourself and your character, you have to be mindful about the language you use.
When you’re selling “what” it is you do, you can use traditional marketing language. You can even be aggressive in how you position those services.
But when you’re selling the “who”… when you’re selling yourself, you can no longer afford to do that.
To build and protect a personal brand that’s based on your values as a person, you have to tone down the sales talk.
You have to talk less like a salesperson and more like the person you really are.
You have to put aside the marketing-speak and start selling yourself in everyday language.
Pitch yourself by being the most persuasive version of your true self.
And that is the promise of conversational copywriting.
Persuasion, without the hype.