It goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway:
We live in a technologically advanced era.
What happened in the Year of the Plague (2020) was just an inkling of what will come — more online shopping and socializing.
The fact is, friend, EVERYTHING is shifting to taking place online, in some form or another. I’m willing to bet my bottom hyperinflating dollar that deep down, you know that you’ve got to lean into these significant cultural changes and do more to position yourself for success online.
So, who are you online anyway?
This post is gonna make a case for putting in the sweat equity of building your personal brand online.
Order, order! Counsel is about to state their case.
Online Branding Positions You for Future Success
Have you ever reaped the rewards of making a great decision in your distant past? You thank past you, right? Well, that’s pretty much what will happen if you start positioning yourself for building a personal brand online NOW.
Okay, what exactly do I mean by that?
Let me first tell you what’s in it for you.
Everything. Yes, everything.
Building your brand online can make or break you. In a crowded online marketplace, brand is so important.
If you’ve got two people selling the same thing, how do you pick which one to buy?
- Maybe you go by the colors on the packaging
- Or the tone of the marketing materials
- Perhaps you pick who seems more trustworthy
All those things have something in common — they have to do with the brand.
The good news is, you are in total control of your branding. While it’s true you aren’t in complete control of how others perceive you, you are in control of the information you share online. This gives you a massive influence on how people choose to perceive you.
And it’s all in your hands.
The reality is, if you don’t position yourself for building a brand online, you leave yourself wide open to interpretation. And it might not be pretty.
A very personal, personal branding story
I had a long talk with my 17-year-old son recently about building his online presence and what’s in it for him.
First, I asked him three questions:
1. What are your goals?
His answer was to play D1 football in college and move onto the NFL.
2. What’s the market and your competition look like?
After he shared his big goal, I said, “Great! That’s a huge goal but in a very saturated market. Breaking this down, the competition looks like this:
There are over 1 million high school football athletes competing for a D1 position. Fewer than 2.9% make it to the D1, and fewer than .2% of those elite, battle-tested athletes get into the NFL.
That’s some crazy talent to compete against.”
He readily agreed.
3. So, what’s your plan?
More specifically, I asked him, “How are you going to position yourself as the obvious choice?”
His answers were pretty good. He was going to:
- Outwork his competition in-season and off-season
- Focus on improving his speed and footwork
- Work on strength conditioning and building muscle
- Improve his nutrition and health
- Make sure he gets good grades
These were excellent answers, and I see him executing these tasks daily. My was response was:
“That’s great. But it’s not enough. Because the competition you are up against, the ones you can’t see, are doing all these things too!
These are the baseline for what you need to achieve. But what are you going to do differently from your competitors, so you stand out amongst them and position yourself as the top candidate?”
Personal Branding and Positioning: Where Everyone Gets Stuck
Question three is where everyone gets stuck! Think about all the times you’ve read a company’s About Us page for any old widget or done-for-you service. It goes something like this:
“We care about quality and integrity, honesty, and only deliver the best!”
Yeah, great. So does everyone else. And customers expect these things. They expect businesses to be honest, deliver a good product, and do what they say they’re gonna do consistently.
Apply this situation to online dating.
“I brush my teeth twice a day and shower, so I always smell decent and not like roadkill!”
Oh boy, what a catch.
Like, being clean is expected. It’s not anything exceptional.
It’s easy to research your competition, know what they’re doing, what you’re up against, and meet the baseline. It’s not so easy to put the work in and commit to taking action daily, going above and beyond that baseline.
But if you’re intentional and have a plan, it becomes much easier to go above and beyond and set yourself apart.
My son’s work ethic and discipline are through the roof. He’s better at it than most highly successful adults I know. What I told him, and what I want you to know, is this:
Positioning yourself for success: Overcoming the stuck.
You can have the best process in the world.
You can have the best product on the market.
You can be the most elite athlete (entrepreneur, programmer, cabinet maker, whatever) who’s ever lived.
You can be the most qualified candidate for the position, and in your mind, have done and given everything you possibly could to reach your big goal.
If nobody knows about any of those qualities that make you stand out but you, your chances are slim to nada of getting what you want.
Because someone out there with less talent, who is less qualified, will position themselves as the BEST— whether they truly are or not.
And because they got the attention, they WIN!
I promise you that people will not take the time to try and figure out if you are the actual best and truest fit for them.
You have to make it easy for them to reach this conclusion without having to dig out their Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat and magnifying glass.
ATTENTION is what you’ve got to get.
Positioning yourself correctly to get that attention is what I want you to understand. And that’s more than possible. It’s not only possible, but it’s also easy if you have a plan.
Not only is it possible and easy — but it’s also your ticket to getting what you want!
Okay, Denise, that sounds awesome. I’m in. How in the hell do I do that?
I am so glad you asked!
Your two very super easy and effective steps for positioning and building your personal brand online are:
1. Make a list and check it twice.
List all of the things that would differentiate you from your best competition. Picture the person who’s at the top of your field. What do they have, and what do you have that they don’t? Make a list of those 5 to 10 things that set you apart.
These things will make you your unique selling proposition. You, my friend, are different for a reason!
2. Share and showcase it.
It’s now a part of your job to share that list far and wide! Talk about it, post it, put it out into the universe for everyone to see.
And most importantly, LIVE IT EVERY DAY! It’s your new work uniform.
Positioning your online brand for success early is that easy.
Really. All I’m asking you to do is be your best self and display that top-shelf sh$t to the universe.
Everyone looks good on paper. It’s your job and your responsibility to position yourself as the obvious choice off paper through your unique selling proposition. You just have to share it, so you capture the necessary attention.
Make it easy for people to come to the right conclusion — that you’re the best at what you do, and you’re MORE.
When people come across your online offerings, they should want to meet you in person to see if you’re even real because they feel like they’ve won the jackpot.
Let’s take a step back and see how the conversation with my son ended.
I told him:
Anyone who’s going to invest in giving you a scholarship is going to do their homework. They’re going to do some digging and want to know what you’re like off paper.
Positioning yourself online will answer those questions and help differentiate you from all the rest!
So, get started now, making it easy for people to conclude that you’re the obvious and best choice. Plus, it’ll hold you accountable to be and do your best because you’ll be on display, so to speak.
Look at it this way:
If the recruiter has a shortlist of five top athletes — who are superstars on paper — and he can easily find a ton of info out there that makes you look like a hero, and the others just teenagers.
Who do you think is going to stand out?
And remember, this is all going to happen without a single exchange of words.
Now, here’s what I have to say to you about all that and a bag of chips:
The bottom line is, we all have the same amount of hours in a day to get things done. So, put yourself out there, hold yourself accountable, and position yourself to get what you want.
Whether you realize it or not, you are building a brand. And brands aren’t built overnight. It’s one day, one post, one conversation, and one client at a time.
Work on your brand and your positioning a little bit every day and year from now. I promise you, you’ll look back and realize you’ve made a greater impact on your business success because of it.
If I can sum this up for you in one sentence so you will remember this, it’s
Put on your hardhat architect, let’s get building your brand now! Grab your blueprint — the Branding with Influence Guide. It’s been battle-tested from years of my struggles building my own personal brand online. Use it to become crystal clear on how you are, what your message is, and how to use it to consistently and confidently show up online.
Speaking of positioning an influential brand, I feel humbled and grateful to be featured in New York Weekly as the Top 10 Business Coaches to Watch Out For In 2021 amongst some insane talent. You can check out the article HERE!