Personal Brand Strategy: Differentiation

Photo by Tyler Casey on Unsplash

Photo by Tyler Casey on Unsplash

You’ve started to participate, maybe even speak at different events. You’ve revamped your social networking profiles and have made checking to key platforms a daily habit to help amplify your profile. And you’ve started to execute on a content strategy to demonstrate subject matter expertise and share what you know.

Your next strategy should be to differentiate yourself from the competition by “mixing it up.”

I wrote an article a few years back out on LinkedIn called ‘Above the Line Marketing‘ where I discussed the fact that all of your competitors are blogging, going to events, posting to social, etc. That’s the baseline of marketing and branding. No modern company, or personal brand, can grow their audience without a similar baseline of marketing activities. The question becomes: How do you stand out when everyone is doing the same thing? How can you differentiate when everyone is attempting to use the exact same channels?

The answer: Create strategies that go beyond the baseline. You’re probably familiar with the Four P’s of marketing: Product (what you’re selling), Pricing (how much you’re selling it for), Placement (where you’re selling it, such as shelf position, or region/industry), and Promotion (your messaging and channels of distribution). When something is not working, or the competition is drowning out your ability to succeed, you can change the “marketing mix” to take your brand beyond the baseline.

Some ideas for going beyond the baseline activities to build your brand:

  • Create healthy daily habits and repeatable processes for how you consume content, synthesize this information, and generate your own content in response.
  • Leverage the free website and social analysis tools out there to ensure that your online presence is constantly optimized.
  • Create a personal user adoption strategy, replete with campaigns, due dates, and channel distribution plans.
  • Brand your content and images.
  • Get the most out of your evergreen content, doing more than publishing once to your blog.
  • Create branded bling and give it to your fans.
  • Create content, images, memes, and swag that people want to share.
  • Consider getting a publicist or PR agency. It doesn’t cost as much as you’d think, and can seriously amplify your personal brand.

As with the other strategies, this is not an all-inclusive list. Depending on your branding goals and the industry or vertical in which you are building your brand, there are a lot of great resources out there that can help you to develop your strategy. Three books that I highly recommend you read that will help you to develop a strategy that breaks through the noise of your competition are Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout, The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, and Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. All great reads!

Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.