Three Ways Your Brand Can Differentiate You from the Competition

One of the primary objectives of personal branding is to differentiate yourself from the competition in your market. In other words, you are seeking to persuasively answer the most important question your prospects and leads will ask, namely “why should I choose you instead of competitor X?” In many cases, “competitor X” will offer cheaper rates, or may possess more experience, or some other tangible advantage.

A strong personal brand is the key to differentiating yourself from your competition—and a strong brand will give you the power to charge premium rates, while still attracting plenty of new business. Below are three specific ways in which your personal brand can separate you from the competition in your market.

1) An effective personal brand builds credibility. Take a look at the Home page of my website ( You’ll note a long list, on the right hand side of the page, of the numerous media outlets to which I have contributed. This provides instant credibility, and it will do the same for you. Write articles. Publish a blog. Look for opportunities to be featured in your local newspaper or on TV. (If you’re not sure where to start, contact me today!)

2) Your personal brand positions you as an expert in your field. In addition to building credibility, a well-crafted brand will position you as a leading expert in your industry. This is extremely valuable—imagine for a moment that you are looking for a new accountant, for instance. Would you prefer to work with one of the hundreds of anonymous CPAs in your town, or with an individual that is recognized as the leading expert in your area? Of course, you’d choose the expert—and you’d likely be willing to pay a premium for his expertise. Pursuing the media outlets in the previous paragraph will help position yourself as an expert, but don’t stop there. Pursue public speaking opportunities, consider publishing a book or an e-book, and look for other opportunities to bolster your status as a leading expert.

3) A strong personal brand communicates your personality. At the end of the day, people prefer to do business with others that they know and trust. This is an area in which many business owners go off course—they are so busy marketing their products and services that their brand lacks any personality whatsoever. As a result, it is hard for them to establish a personal connection with their market, and therefore it’s harder than it should be for them to close a deal. Done right, your brand can position you both as a credible expert in your industry and a real, breathing human being with an attractive personality. Do this by injecting your personality into your branding and marketing efforts when it’s appropriate. Sprinkle some jokes throughout a speech. Talk about your local sports team for a few minutes before you begin a face-to-face sales pitch or presentation. Share your frustration with the latest American Idol vote on Twitter and Facebook.

A strong personal brand will differentiate yourself and your business from others in your market—effectively allowing you to lock out the competition. Contact me today if you’d like to learn more!