Oh, hey there guys!
If only you could see how classy I look right now. I am currently wearing colored socks with bears on them, brown leggings, a white nightgown, a black hoodie with the hood up ninja style (hey, it's cold in here!) and a zebra print Snuggie.
Yeah ... my dress code is the epitome of professional at the moment!
What are YOU wearing right now?
Wait never mind don't answer that!!!! That totally sounded like some creepy, perverted stalker and I am NOT a creepy, perverted stalker person!!! Can we just pretend like I didn't ask that? Pretty please?
EHEM!!! I've been working my own business full-time for over FIVE years now. (Holy shite- that's half a decade!!!) And one of the things I'm constantly getting complimented on is how I manage to stand out in a see of a billion blogs and photography websites. Wanna know my secret?
I have modeled my brand and business off of :::drum roll please::: myself!
Yep, I'm constantly thinking of ways that I can infuse myself into my blog and business to make it memorable, to connect with other people and to be different. With the ten billion blogs and businesses out there today standing out is more important than ever! So today I'm sharing five ways that you can eliminate competition by being yourself!
(Pssssst, I created some free, spiffy worksheets to go along with this post to help you out, so click below if you'd like to grab them!)
1. Share personal stories.
Whose ready to listen to a broken record?! (Are you waving your hand around in the air very wildly? I'll bet you are!) But for REAL ... I've said it once (or ten times), and I'll say it again: there's only one YOU. And only YOU have the specific stories that have happened to YOU. Yes, some of your stories might be similar to other people's stories- but they're not exactly the same.
You want to share personal stories throughout your blog and business because not only will those stories differentiate you from others, but others will be able to relate to you on a personal level. Sharing stories will allow others to connect with you! For example, I could spew out lots of facts and statistics about why a particular acne relief product might be awesome, but what if I added a personal story to it about my own personal struggle with acne and the huge mental toll that it took on my life?
What do you think would be more effective: the facts and statistics? OR the emotional story that probably thousands of other people can relate to?
Share bits of your story whenever you can. In your blog, when you are promoting products and services, when you are giving things away.
2. Ask others what your 3 strongest qualities are.
I've done this a few times over the past couple of years, and it has helped me SO much! Some times it's a little hard to be objective about your own strongest, most awesome qualities and THAT'S why it's great to ask other people! Plus, you'll probably start to notice some common qualities among the answers that you get. For example, "funny", "brave", "creative" and "enthusiastic" were among the top 5 most common qualities that people used to describe me. (I mean ... I never would have thought of myself as particularly brave, so the fact that lots of people saw that in me was quite interesting!) The exercise was really helpful because I was then able to figure out specific ways to add these qualities into my business!
Like into my writing. (I don't hold back when it comes to sharing funny and random thoughts and using exclamation points to convey my enthusiasm, haha!)
And my blog design. (I like to think that it's a bit creative, maybe? Hopefully? Please say yes!!!! Hahah.)
And the freebies that I offer. (When creating them I always think, how can I make them fun AND creative?)
So now it's your turn! Ask people what your 3 strongest, most awesome qualities are! You can e-mail friends, family and coworkers and/or ask people on Facebook. (I did both!) Once you have at least 15 different people answer, take note of any common qualities and write 'em down. Think about specific ways that you can add them into different aspects of your blog and business!
3. Discover your voice and talk in it.
Do you want to sound like some boring, stale-like-yesterday's-bread person when you write?
I didn't think so.
When I write blog posts, I simply type as I would talk and I type as though I'm talking to ONE person! Sometimes I picture that I'm talking to a make believe, curly, red haired Irish woman named Bitsy whose sitting on the other side of my computer. (Don't laugh- it totally helps!)
Some people panic when they sit down to write a blog post and it's like their brain suddenly becomes a constipated fart and they've forgotten how to speak correctly.
Well, forget how to speak "correctly."
Just speak like YOURSELF. Okay? DO IT!!!! (I also wrote this post on how to use your voice to make your blog stand out!)
4. Create a List of things you adore and incorporate them into your blog + business.
Yep, make a list of things that you love and find ways to incorporate them into your business! You know what I adore? Cats. Coffee. Color. Laughing. Zombies. (For the record, I loved zombies way before they became a "thing!") Because I'm aware of specific things that I love, I can find ways to incorporate them into my blog and business! For example, in my old blog I took my love of laughing and all things funny and created a series called Laugh Fest. I've used my love of color all throughout my brand and blog design. I've taken my cat obsession and have sprinkled it into posts like 14 very important business lessons that I learned from my cat!
Get my drift?
Make a list of things that you love and find ways to infuse them into your biz!
5. Figure out your strengths and build them into your business.
Are you aware of what you're truly good at?
No, not what you'd LIKE to be good at or what you THINK you should be good at.
I'm talking about what you are naturally and truly good at.
If you don't know what your real strengths are, you should definitely check out the book 'Now Discover Your Strengths' by Marcus Buckingham. It's amazing at helping you to discover your natural abilities! You can also do like we did in step 2 and ask others. Figure out what your strengths are and build them into your biz!
For example, one of my natural strengths is being really positive and excited! I try to let these things shine throughout my brand with my tone of voice, my brightly colored designs, my silly attitude, etc. Another one of my strengths is organization, which is why I like to write organizational posts that will help people like an epic guide to creating the ultimate to-do list and how to conquer blog overwhelm in 24 steps!
Are your wheels turning yet? Are you getting pee-your-pants excited thinking about ways that you can stand out by infusing yourself into your blog and business?!?!? (Speaking of standing out, you might also enjoy the post I did on 27 powerful ways to stand out online. Woo hoo!)
What is ONE thing that you're going to do THIS WEEK to put a little YOU into your brand?
And now :::suddenly starts talking in an old man voice with a british accent::: if you'll excuse me ... my hands are rather cold and I do believe that it's time for another cup of tea.