To achieve success and stand out in the competitive business landscape, aspiring entrepreneurs should aim to become a 'Category of One.' This entails creating a unique and unparalleled position in the market by deeply understanding their niche, defining a compelling brand identity, constantly innovating, delivering exceptional customer experiences, leveraging technology and data, and embracing sustainability and social responsibility. Effective marketing and storytelling, particularly through the use of video, play a crucial role in communicating this distinctiveness to the target audience. While the process is not instantaneous, with dedicated communication and a commitment to excellence, businesses can attain a level of success that sets them apart as industry benchmarks.
It's about highlighting your expertise, knowledge, experiences, skills alongside your personality. Having a strong personal brand will significantly help build your public. Having a really excellent personal brand is vital if you’re the face of a company or in fact any organisation or group. The goal is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
A – Audience and Authenticity
C – Congruence, Consistency and Content
E – Excellence and Engagement.
Most people strangely really struggle with this when they first start out. And yet knowing who you’re talking to is the number one task. It’s paramount for building a strong personal brand. It's the foundation upon which you can tailor your message and image to resonate with the right people.
When you understand your audience, you can create content, products, and experiences that cater to their specific needs, desires and interests. For instance, if you're a fitness influencer, recognizing whether your audience is primarily interested in weight loss, muscle gain, or overall well-being will inform your content strategy.
Similarly, if you’re a tech’ entrepreneur you can adjust your brand’s messages to appeal to investors, customers or potential collaborators, depending on which you need.
In essence, the better you understand your audience, the more effective and authentic your personal brand will become, The goal is to establish a deep and lasting connection with the audience who matter most to you.
Is this the real you or a version of you. You’ll have a hard time maintaining a personal brand if there isn’t a solid core of truth to what people get see and hear from you. In professional circles we know there’s a level of performance and our enthusiasm and interest for the subject needs to come through. On many occasions you can consider yourself in the infotainment business, so your communications need to be clear and directed to the bulk of your audience. It’s often the case when you’re speaking in a second language or have a strong regional accent that you’ll need to make the effort to adapt slightly. My best advice is don’t act as someone you’re not. Instead be the authentic.
Do you match up with what your audience expect? For example, there’s no chance of me talking about guitars when I play the ukulele. But could create a strong personal brand as a Uke player crossing over to any other instrument.
There was a bit of research I saw a while back which said where people who wear a white lab coat we’re perceived as more knowledgeable. Steve jobs made black T-shirts synonymous with Tech Entrepreneurs. You should make your brand’s styling work right though all your media assets – the colours and fonts on your website and social media visuals.
It’s vital to embrace change. Actually, continually improving your products, services, and processes is essential and innovation is the lifeblood of being a 'Category of One.’
Look for opportunities to disrupt the status quo and challenge industry norms. Look to see how you can reduce friction for your customers. Can you make your products smaller, faster, cheaper? Can you add or remove features to make things easier for them? Testing ideas and getting feedback from trusted customers is hugely valuable. Don’t forget to use video as part of your launch and communications. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth many thousand more. When you consistently innovate, you position your business as a leader, not a follower.
First and foremost, you’ve got to commit and be visible. This means regularly providing new content for your audience. Obviously, no one want to hear a stream of unconnected ill-considered consciousness.
That said there’s also no point on sitting on an idea waiting for to magically improve. The fact is (and this may be lost on my friends across the pond the saying is Today’s headlines are tomorrow fish and chip paper, which harks back to the days before health and safety, and we worried about ink poisoning, when fish and chips were wrapped in newspaper) that social media eats ideas. So, if you have something worth posting just post it. When you get into the swing, you’ll honestly come up with lots of great ideas.
If something works, do more of that. But don’t be afraid of pushing a boundary or two something a little different. You must always innovate, from time to time re-invent yourself keep yourself relevant.
Personal Branding is about establishing your reputation and identity for yourself as an individual. It's about highlighting your expertise, knowledge, experiences, skills alongside your personality.
But to really excel it importantly to understand what your audience gets from watching or listening to you. How are you adding to their sum knowledge or providing a new perspective. How are influencing their thoughts, experiences and wellbeing? Of course, you don’t need to guess this. You can ask them. As an expert in your subject ask what they would like to see.
This blog post and the social media around it, was created because people said to us, they want to learn more about our how we approach Personal Branding and the 1-1 presenter and media training we provide.
To excel in a crowded market you have to be distinctive to stand out. This could be providing insider information, new or expert perspectives and alternative approach of communicating an existing subject. Chance are a Google and YouTube search will throw up 100s of items and pretty much every subject. However, don’t be disheartened. Look at when then were last published and the size of the audience. Can you provide something which is different, interesting and more up to date?
Excelling with more mainstream subjects can be hard and not everything has to be new or a new perspective. An approach we take is to think systematically. Can an idea be synthesized with another? Can an idea grow or be extrapolated to an extreme. Is there some small nuance that people may not know or fully understand. Is there something in the past which has a bearing on the idea.
Another way people try to standout is by being controversial, outrageous, or have a minority view. This is obviously great if you give voice to an otherwise not heard minority. And it’s okay to have a polarized audience, but will you be okay with any negative responses from those that disagree and most importantly how will that negativity affect the value of your personal brand?
Music is an area where people find their audience by feeding on what is already there. For example, by mashing up several tracks to create something new, extracting, modify sounds or generating new sounds to make their own music, and my favourite, providing deconstructions of classic tracks. With imagination these ideas from music can be applied to any subject.
Are you entertaining and informative. All the social media algorithms reward engaging content. Views, watch time, shares they all go towards ranking your content. The higher the score the more people get to see your content … the more it gets shown and so on.
Creating engaging social media videos requires a strategic approach that captivates your audience from the very first frame. Start by defining a clear and concise message that resonates with your target audience. Visual storytelling is crucial – across film, TV, and social media we always say ‘show not tell’. You can add compelling visuals and creative editing techniques to maintain interest. Keep your videos short and to the point, as attention spans on social media are typically brief.
Interactivity is key; encourage comments, likes, and shares by posing questions or running contests. Consistency is essential, so establish a posting schedule and maintain a cohesive visual style. Finally, pay attention to analytics to learn from your audience's preferences and adapt your content accordingly. Ultimately, the most engaging social media videos are those that evoke emotions, inspire action, and leave a lasting impact on the viewer.
Catch Phrases – use them. Examples. And if you keep using the you’ll then you only need to say the first part, Examples
Always Communicate Clearly – I love this one. To start can you articulate your personal brand in three words or less. Give yourself a title. We worked for the head of a building safety equipment supplier. We gave her the name Hard Hat Heather. Another guy was a self-employed hard landscaper with his own machinery - we called him Digger Man. Steve the head of an electronic component supplier - tricky? Not really! Silicon Steve. Recently we helped brand a photographer specialising in close-up camera work. Obviously, he gained the moniker Macro Man.
Are your key messages encapsulated in three words or less? The science of why humans like things in threes is interesting but for another time. For now, you can supercharge an idea into a headline if those words have a natural rhythm, rhyme or use alliteration. By way of example this section is called Always Communicating Clearly. It’s part of a series of contented called Professional Personal Branding.
I’d love to tell you there’s a magic wand which churns our brilliant three-word phrases, but it does take some mental effort. To just to get you started you could use an AI tool like ChatGPT. Here’s an example.
“Provide 20 video titles for a series of informative videos about content marketing. Use words that have natural rhythm, rhyme or alliteration. Each title must be 3 words or less and include at least one action verb.”
There are one or two usable ones here and the AI will of course get better. In the meantime it can kickstart your own creativity.