personal brand positioning
exactly what it is + how to do it
What the hell is personal brand positioning?! Like aren’t corporate industry terms so contrived and stupid? WE DON’T NEED YOU TO GET FANCY, JUST TELL US WHAT IT MEANS. As you know, I could easily rant about the branding industry all day. But since you’re here to learn what personal brand positioning is, I’ll spare you the rant (FOR NOW) and get right to it!
Positioning your personal brand within your industry is really not as complicated as it sounds (and why the branding industry needs to complicate everything, I’ll never understand) – it just means articulating what exactly you do, who exactly you do it for, and how exactly you do it differently compared to everybody else in your industry.
And why is personal brand positioning important? Because it makes your marketing easier, more fun, more powerful, and more effective! When you’re able to communicate your brand position in a way your audience will connect with, they’ll feel like your type of client. They’ll be drawn to your business on a subconscious level. They’ll want to be part of your world. They’ll use your brand as a way to claim an identity for themselves. That’s the power of effective branding – cool, right?!
Let’s go through a few examples of brand positioning so you can start applying the concept to your own business:
Sport Clips versus a high-end salon.
Whole Foods versus Trader Joe’s.
Jeep versus Honda.
Gucci versus American Eagle.
JC Penney versus Macy’s.
Each of those example pairs are technically in the same industry, offering the generally same products or services – but how they offer it and who they offer it to are completely different. Can you dig it?
And I promise: even if you think you’re in a completely saturated industry, there’s room for you. There’s space for your personal brand. You just have to woman up and claim it.
So how do you determine what makes you different when it seems like everybody is doing the same goddamn thing?! Well, let’s start here:
3 questions to ask yourself for effective personal brand positioning
1. What’s missing in your industry?
When you see marketing efforts by other businesses in your industry, what’s left to be desired? Is it simplified terms and concepts? Is it an outlook or attitude? Is it diversity and inclusion? Is it a high-end option? A more affordable option? A sustainable and ethical option? What’s missing, and how can you use your business to fill that gap? And hey – trust yourself when evaluating your industry – remember, you’re an expert!
2. What pisses you off about your industry?
Yes, of course this one is my favorite. Since you’re an expert, I know you’ve seen some shit! So what would you like to see changed, and how would it make your industry (and the world, let’s be honest) better? What makes you roll your eyes every time you see it on Instagram? What gives you that fired-up feeling in the pit of your stomach? What could you write a book about? What do you want to scream from the mountaintops? Whatever it is, don’t downplay it or back away out of fear of being too different. When you get the fired-up feeling, it’s a sign to dig your heels in harder.
3. What have your past clients loved about working with you?
If you don’t know why people choose your business over another, it’s time to get a testimonial workflow going! This can be as quick as sending an email to ask “hi, what did you love about working with me?” or as in-depth as creating an official feedback form. It’s okay to request specific examples of how working with you changed their life/business/relationships/etc. You’ll be amazed how your business transforms your clients’ lives when you hear it in their own words, and your marketing will level up because you’ll have all that juicy social proof!
Remember – personal brand positioning is actually really simple. If you first focus on the what, the who, and the how, the rest of your marketing strategy will fall into place a lot more easily.