how to brand yourself as an entrepreneur
It seems like everyone and their cousin’s dog’s best friend’s owner is starting a business in your industry these days. How are you supposed to stand out in a saturated market? What actually makes a brand unique? Is being extraordinary impossible at this point? How do you make your business feel different? IS THERE ANY HOPE AT ALL?!? Yes, and good news: it’s actually a lot simpler than you think. In this post I’m letting you in on how to brand yourself as an entrepreneur with three secrets to making your brand unique!
Before we get into it though, I want to remind you that building a genuine brand is simple but never easy. True brand clarity work requires a certain amount of of self-reflection and intentionality, but I swear on my cold leftover pizza it will ALWAYS be worth it. The more your brand empowers you to be yourself, the easier it will be to run your business the way you actually want. And isn’t that the point?! I DIGRESS. Let’s do this.
Secret 1: find your deeper purpose
Did I just turn you off with the phrase “deeper purpose?” I mean even I threw up in my mouth a little bit. But I promise I’m not tryna get all spiritual on you, and this is an affirmation-free zone. What I mean by finding your deeper purpose is simply this: make your work about more than just what you technically do.
Your brand is NEVER about what you technically do. NEVER, EVER.
Not ever. Okay, just so we’re clear.
If you’ve already given some thought to this, consider this your official GOLD STAR STICKER! Now take this time to put it into words. And if you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, here are some questions to get you thinking about what your deeper purpose might be:
Why does what you sell actually matter?
What impact are you trying to make on the world? (YES – the whole world. It’s safe to think big.)
How do you want your clients to feel when they use your product or service, and why is that important?
Here are a few examples of how to brand yourself as an entrepreneur to get you started:
Technically: You care for children during the day.
Possible deeper purpose: Your clients are working moms and you want them to feel like they can have a business WHILE ALSO being excellent mothers (by leaving their children in the very best care, of course!).
Technically: You cut and color hair.
Possible deeper purpose: When people feel good about their appearance, they behave and make decisions more confidently. You help them nurture that confidence so they can make a statement and show up as their best selves in the world.
Technically: You help people decorate their homes.
Possible deeper purpose: By intentionally designing a space, you help your clients feel grounded, successful, and proud of the lives they’ve created.
Secret 2: Interact with your audience instead of just marketing at them
There are endless distractions on the internet (like for example just earlier today while I was supposed to be sending emails I was watching parrots dancing to death metal and omg so cute), so in order to build a unique brand as an entrepreneur you have to be memorable. And the best way to be memorable? Be visible consistently enough that people remember you.
Don’t just post some new photos from your portfolio and believe your work is done! Start asking questions. Invite opinions. Ask for recommendations. Reply to comments and emails. Go leave comments on their posts. Start real conversations about big topics. INVITE CONNECTION. This is the most effective way to make your audience feel seen and important.
Plus, having one-on-one contact with you solidifies the idea that you are a real human person and not just a business. Interacting on a personal level gives your business substance – it transforms your brand from an idea into a living, breathing entity that people will get excited about interacting with.
Secret 3: Have the confidence to show up as yourself in your business
You want to know how to build a brand as an entrepreneur? The juiciest secret I can give you is this: your real superpower for building a unique brand is, of course, you. Because as cliché as it is, you are already unique. No one is you, and therefore no one can do what you do exactly the way you can. It doesn’t matter how saturated your industry is, you bring something special to the table (even if you don’t know what it is just yet!).
My clients spend so much time, energy, and money trying to stand out online, but once they realize all they have to do is capitalize on their uniqueness, marketing becomes effortless. The same is true for you.
So rally the courage to show up as yourself when it comes to marketing your business. Every time you record a video, write a newsletter, post to social media, speak with potential clients, or make a sale, just be you. Give your brand a voice and a personality, and show us that you believe in something beyond just what you sell.