5 Expert Proven Ways To Develop Your Unique Brand

By Dr.Okwukwe Davis

On May 31, 2020
your-brand-is-unique

No matter what you do or training to be, you have a unique personal brand. If you want to excel along a determined professional path, you must intentionally develop your unique personal brand. Knowing where you want to go, why you want to get there will help you determine how best to arrive. Also of high importance, is that it helps you know what is not necessary regarding your objectives. Imagine wasting your time taking a course that is not a prerequisite in your chosen program.

I have been practicing optometry for more than 17 years in Nigeria and presently Saudi Arabia. While still dedicated to my vision as a primary eye care practitioner, I have now committed to a new mission through design and strategy. To develop my new personal brand and accomplish my goals, I got certifications in digital planning and strategy, digital marketing, business management, and web design.

You may be wondering, “why would Okwukwe dabble into design and strategy?” Is Dr. Okwukwe Davis not supposed to be taking care of the eyes like an optometrist? Is it necessary to develop a new personal brand?

Well, he still does but now has joined the league of those who want to fight ugliness through creativity and strategic design. This is because I believe my optometrist colleagues and professional friends need to raise their star expertise. We must eliminate every ugliness in our way of growth.

As Massimo Vignelli said,
I also believe that 

“The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.”

Though not yet perfect, this is my new brand story. You too have a brand or like me trying to reinvent yourself. To develop a personal brand that embodies your unique self is not about being unauthentic but according to the experts you must

  1. Discover Your Purpose
  2. Determine your unique value proposition 
  3. Intentionally Craft Your Personal brand
  4. Craft your brand story and identity
  5. Build Relationships Through Networking 

Read on to understand more of these five expert steps to developing your unique personal brand. They will help you polish your relationship skills and sustain valuable connections. 

what-is-your-brand-purpose

1. Discover Your Purpose

Having a well-defined purpose could be a reason to continue even against all odds. Not having a purpose predisposes you to many distractions and likely loss of steam. Start  With Why is a book by Simon Sinek. The why of what you do is all about understanding and embracing a purpose.

According to Simon Sinek – a new york best selling author and speaker,

“People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.”

The Why which is your purpose is the reason that never changes.

Your WHY 
is the reason 
your brand exists.

In the above-mentioned book, Simon Sinek showed the concept of inspiring vs. manipulating. He proposed a framework:: The Golden Circle.

From this concept, you see that

Many people know WHAT they do.

Can clearly articulate the features and benefits of their products or services

Few know HOW they do it

Their unique differentiators and their value proposition

Very few know WHY they do WHAT they do.

Their purpose, their cause, or their belief.

WHY is the reason your business exists and why anyone should care.

According to him, WHAT is the easiest to know and articulate and most organizations start with WHAT: promoting features and benefits. A further focus will then be on HOW, with WHY always at the back.

Simon advocates that you invert the order by communicating from the inside-out of the golden circle.

Start with WHY, HOW, and end with WHAT.

Discovering and embracing your purpose will help you to

  • Articulate your vision
  • Craft a mission statement 
  • Determine Your Niche 

2. Determine your unique value proposition 

You cannot give what you do not have. If you have a purpose or mission to accomplish, you must then determine what qualities you have or need to have to achieve your purpose. There is something unique about you that you must leverage to excel. It could be your way with people, your creative disposition, etc.

According to Solomon Thimothy, the founder of Clickx, there are 4 Ways to Find Your Unique Value Proposition. These include:

  1. Identify your target market. 
  2. Define what makes you different. 
  3. Recognize the pain point that your product solves. 
  4. Consider what you stand for as a company.

To develop your personal brand, you need to determine your  unique value proposition simply by answering the following questions:

  • What benefit do you offer people?
  • Who are those people you serve?
  • How do you solve their problems?
  • What differentiates you from others?

3. Intentionally Craft Your Personal brand 

Having determined your purpose and now aligned it with your unique value proposition, you are ready to package deliberately yourself to deliver. This is about taking the best position to offer value. 

How do you define yourself? How do you present yourself to people? As an Optometrist, a lawyer, an engineer, a politician, a teacher, etc? Many today will define themselves along the line of their job description. Someone could say, I am a salesman. But come to think of it, who is not selling something? Daniel Pink, one of the New York bestsellers titled one of his books- To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. We all have value to sell. You want people to take action that will benefit them and you too. It’s a win-win strategy

Today, your brand is everything you do. This includes but not limited to how you answer the phone, how you treat your customers or those you come in contact with, how you talk or greet, even how you dress, etc. It embodies your whole personality, online and offline. 

Internationally defining your brand would also mean carefully projecting a determined brand image through your social media profiles, your email signature, and physical appearance 

Everything you do determines your brand. It becomes what people think of you beyond what you say. You should intentionally define your brand or your audience will do so for you. 

4. Craft your brand story and identity

This is where you must formulate your professional narrative. What do you want to consistently share with people and how do you tell your story? How do you tell people what you do that will make a memorable impression? This is especially more difficult when you are reinventing your personal brand like in my case. You are already known for something but you have to intentionally establish yourself in people’s psyche.

Your brand personality must be established at this point. Your authentic character or a suitable character should be established. You don’t want to be an accountant who appears for meetings showing off tattoos and wearing gold earrings. When people get the wrong narrative from interacting with you, they may disengage. This is not what you want. Sometimes, the criminals play this part better than those who have great value to offer. They make their target audience trust them. Your authentic brand story and identity must invoke trust.

In How to Create an Authentic Brand Story that Actually Improves Trust, Niel Patel – a marketing guru outlines areas you must look at. They include:

  • The story must be driven through personality.
  • The story should be simple.
  • The story shapes your reason for existence.
  • The story must connect with your customers.
  • Customers should buy a part of the story, not just a product.

So in whatever form you express your stories they need to shape your personality. It does not need to be complex and confusing for your target audience. Your brand story has to embody your purpose while connecting to your audience. Also remember that beyond your product, service, or goals, your audience emotionally connects to a part of your story. This is the ultimate beginning of brand relationships and continuing trust.

you-are-your-own-brand

5. Build Relationships Through Networking 

When networking is mentioned, many understand it solely means the individual is searching for employment. Aside from the wrong connotations, networking is a necessary activity towards building a compelling personal brand. This is especially rewarding when it is based on developing mutually beneficial relationships while being your authentic self.

According to Dorie Clark, a marketing strategist, and professional speaker, through one of her LinkedIn offerings on strategic thinking, one of the ways to project and plan for the future is to Identify informed people. This is the essence of networking. Interacting with people with established expertise in your industry or areas of interests will avail you of the opportunity to learn from the best

You are your relationships. World-renowned author John C. Maxwell said it most clearly,

“your network is your net worth.”

Follow these “8 Strategies for Building Real Relationships” as written by Sameer Somal in an Entrepreneur Magazine article:

  1. Make the right first impression.
  2. Deliver a relevant message.
  3. Be present and focused
  4. Leverage social media effectively.
  5. Be very attentive
  6. Prepare to facilitate conversations.
  7. Connect with fewer people that matter
  8. Always follow up.

In conclusion

Embracing these expert tips in developing your unique personal brand is like being mentored by a diverse group of gurus. You can never go wrong with them. Your brand will stand out and also deliver value in awesome ways.

To develop your unique personal brand is a sustainable way simply 

  • Discover Your Purpose
  • Determine your unique value proposition 
  • Intentionally Craft Your Personal brand
  • Craft your brand story and identity
  • Build Relationships Through Networking 

Arise and shine. Let me know your thoughts on personal branding. 

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