Being An Entrepreneur Means Being A Brand
By Dustin Briley
As an entrepreneur, you’ve got 10,000 things to do every day. Emails to send, clients to contact, sales calls to make, inventory to manage, and a thousand other details. You feel like you constantly have to hustle in order to keep your head above water.

When you hear marketing experts talk about building a personal brand, you roll your eyes. Who has time to build a personal brand? And why bother? You seem to be doing alright as it is. Why should you take away time from other important activities? 

We totally understand those questions. After all, “branding” is a sort of nebulous concept. For some people, branding is all about having a flashy logo and a catchy slogan. For others, branding is about making sure all the colors and fonts are the same across every bit of company material.  

If you’re not even clear on what branding is, why should you bother investing time trying to build a brand? 

Here’s why... 

If you want to scale your business to six-figures per month, you absolutely MUST develop a powerful, unique brand.  

Or, to put it more concisely, you can’t go big without a brand.  

Yes, we realize that’s a big statement, but we intend to back it up. In this article, we’re going to break down: 
  •  What exactly branding is
  •  Why you need a powerful, unique brand 
  •  Concrete steps you can take to start developing your brand today 
What Exactly Is Branding, Anyway? 
Let’s be clear: branding isn’t primarily about logos or colors or catchphrases or websites. Yes, those things matter, but they’re not at the heart of branding. 

After all, would you still use Google if they changed their logo? Of course, you would. Would you still shop on Amazon if they changed their font? No doubt.  

Branding goes WAY beyond surface things like colors and logos.  

So what is branding? Or, put another way, what is your brand? 

Your brand is the thing that sets you apart from the competition. It’s your secret sauce, the unique value that you bring to the table.  

Google has established themselves as the tool for searching the internet. That’s who they are. It’s their brand. Their logo may change but the core problem they solve will never change. They have built a multi-billion dollar business on that brand.  

Whole Foods has worked hard to become the organic supermarket brand. They’re not trying to be Wal-Mart, which is the low-price supermarket, or Publix, which is the customer service supermarket. All of Whole Food’s branding efforts have centered around establishing themselves as the place to go if you want to buy organic, healthy food.   
At the core, your brand consists of two things:
  •  The problem you solve
  •  The unique way you solve it 
Google solves the problem of finding specific information within trillions of web pages. The way they solve the problem is with a unique algorithm no one else has.

Are you starting to get clarity on what branding actually is? It’s the unique value that sets you apart from the competition. It’s your secret sauce, the thing that you offer that no one else does. It’s the highly specific, effective way that you solve problems that makes customers want to work with you.  
Why You Need A Unique, Clear, Powerful Brand
By now, you should be starting to get some sense of why you need a powerful, unique brand. But let’s push a little further so that we’re crystal clear on things.
You need a unique, clear, compelling brand because…
It Sets You Apart From The Competition
Red Bull has positioned themselves as being the energy drink for those who love to live life on the edge. They put on extreme sporting events, organize crazy stunts like the world’s highest skydive (from outer space!), and are constant sponsors at things like the X-Games. Fifteen years ago, Mountain Dew used to occupy this space, but as Red Bull worked hard to define their unique brand, they pushed aside Mountain Dew. Now Red Bull is the energy drink for thrill seekers. 

This is the power of creating a unique brand. It separates you from your competitors, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. The more you become known as THE go-to person/business for a particular problem, the more you stand out from the competition and the more customers you attract.  
It Allows You To Attract Your Ideal Customer
A second massive benefit of crafting a powerful and unique brand is that it enables you to constantly attract your perfect customer. Not all customers are created equal, with some being a better fit than others. The more you work to define your brand, the more you determine exactly who you want to work with and then start attracting those people.

Let’s say you’re a sales coach. Does that mean you want to work with all salespeople everywhere? Probably not. Maybe you want to work with salespeople in the medical industry who move a certain volume every month and have a lot of upward potential. If you want to attract these people, you need to build a brand that positions you as the Medical Sales Expert.  

Consider Tesla, compared to Ford. Telsa is going after the luxury car market, while, for the most part, Ford is geared toward middle-class consumers. Because Tesla has cultivated and crafted a luxury brand, it attracts people who want to purchase high-end cars. Tesla is THE car for the Silicon Valley luxury high-flyer. That’s the power of a brand. 
It Allows You to Charge A Premium Price
Most importantly, the more powerful your brand, the higher the price you can charge. Think about it this way. If you are THE go-to person in your industry for a particular problem, you will have a ton of potential clients flocking to you. The greater the demand for your business, the more you can charge.

In some ways, it’s the scarcity principle at work. No one can offer exactly what you do. Because there is a scarcity of your particular brand, you can charge a premium price for it.

Think of building your brand like creating a limited edition painting. The scarcity of it drives up the price, which means you make more revenue.

Billionaire Warren Buffett puts it this way: 
"Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it's not going to get the business. "
Your personal brand helps people understand the UNIQUE value - that something special - you bring to the table. And it’s that something special that people are willing to pay for. 
How To Build Your Unique Brand
Now that you have a sense of the what and why of brand building, it’s time to talk how. What are some practical ways that you can begin crafting a brand that will set you apart from the competition and attract your ideal customer? 

Here are 3 steps to follow: 
Step #1: Identify Your Unique Service Proposition (USP)
Your USP is the unique value you bring to the table. It’s the individual, creative way that you solve problems for your clients. 

For example, if you are a medical sales coach, your USP could be, “I help medical salespeople generate more leads through online advertising.”  

Notice how specific the above USP is. It’s not just about generating leads. It’s about generating leads through online advertising. That’s the special sauce that sets you apart from other coaches who teach more traditional lead gen methods like networking and cold calling.  

The first step in building your unique branding is getting ultra-clear on your USP. What is the unique solution that you bring to the table? 
Step #2: Determine What Sets You Apart From The Competition
In addition to being clear on your USP, you also need a firm grasp on why someone should choose your business over a competitor. What do you offer that your competitors don’t? 
  •  Years of experience?
  •  A proprietary solution?  
  •  Technological expertise?  
  •  Higher quality?  
  •  Lower cost?  
Your USP and competitive advantage are two sides of the same coin. Each play off and strengthen each other. 
Step #3: Speak The Language
Once you’ve identified your USP and competitive advantage, you need to start speaking in those terms. Whether it’s the copy on your website, a phone call with a prospective client, or closing a large deal, the words associated with your brand should shine through. 

It should be obvious to everyone exactly what you offer and why it’s a good solution. Don’t beat around the bush when talking about your USP and competitive advantage. Help potential clients understand the value they’ll receive if they work with you.  
Start Building Your Brand Now
Without a defined brand, you’re really going to struggle. You’re not going to attract the right clients. You’re going to have a tough time closing sales. If you can get leads, they’re going to be very unqualified ones - people you don’t really want to work with. 

You absolutely MUST have a clearly defined brand that determines who you are, who you work with, and what you uniquely bring to the table. 

If you want to scale to six-figures per month, the first step is getting crystal clear on your brand. That is the foundation upon which everything else is built. If you don’t do that, you’ll never be able to attract the kinds of clients who will pay you what you’re really worth.  

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