How do you introduce yourself when you meet someone for the first time? Defining who you are is essential for building a successful business. In this blog, I’m going to talk about why defining who you are matters and give you some exercises to help you get to know yourself really well so you can be confident when you’re talking to others whether face-to-face or online.
People want to get to know the real you
People buy from people. If you are building a personal brand business, your customers want to get to know you. The real you. They want to know that the person they see projected on social media is the same in real life. Now, this might feel a bit uncomfortable but as Amy Porterfield said in episode 300 of Youpreneur FM, you need to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
Amy says: “Focus on getting uncomfortable on a regular basis when it comes to speaking your truth and taking people behind the scenes and talking about the things that make you a little squeamish because you think, wait a second, is this a little too much information I'm sharing? Do people really want to know the side of me? Should I be this honest?
“The answer is yes. Yes. And yes, the more I get uncomfortable and the more honest I get with my tribe, the more I can see that they are gravitating toward me and my message.”
Does it matter if you divide opinion?
If you were at this year’s Youpreneur Summit, you will know that I love Marmite. For those who haven’t come across this spread, it’s famous in the UK because you either love it or you hate it. If you’ve tried it, just thinking about Marmite will have made you react one way or the other. You’re probably either smiling and dreaming of toast, or you’re grimacing right now.
It doesn’t matter to the manufacturers of Marmite if you don’t like it. The product has been going strong for decades. They know there’s a group of people who love it! The same applies to your personal brand.
You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try to. You’ll end up flip-flopping or being so dull no-one will notice you. People want to know what you stand for. That means knowing who you are, what you value and giving your opinion.You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try to. You’ll end up flip-flopping or being so dull no-one will notice you. People want to know what you stand for. That means knowing who you are, what you value and giving your opinion. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
What’s your why?
Simon Sinek, the author of Start With Why, argues it’s not what you do which inspires people to buy from you but why you do it. When you are defining who you are, what your business does and how it can help your customers, think about your inspiration. What led you to this point? What’s your purpose?
Knowing why you are doing something keeps you motivated. It helps you get out of bed in the morning and to do the hard work. It also gives you a story to tell. People will respond far better to the story about why you were inspired to do what you do than any sales pitch.
Defining who you are helps you focus on what matters in your business
We’ve all worked with people who had a weak spot. Something that was part of their job description which they weren’t great at. You might think of yourself as a good all-rounder but there’s likely to be a chink in your armor.
While you can teach yourself how to do your own accounts or how to build a website, you should consider whether this is a good use of your time. Does learning how to do this new thing excite you?
Defining who you are and what you don’t do (or don’t like doing) means you can see what tasks you need help with. Would your business benefit from someone else doing admin or working on sales while you focus on the things you’re really good at? Don’t waste your time on things which people who are better at them than you could be doing on your behalf.
How to go about defining yourself
Who do you think you are? You might have a very clear idea about your identity and values but not everybody has. If this is something you struggle with, here are a few ways to start defining who you are:
What are your strengths? Write down what you’re really good at. Praising yourself can feel a bit odd but if you were talking about you to a friend or recommending yourself to a colleague, what would you say?
What are your hidden qualities? Soft skills matter. The World Economic Forum has a list of top skills people need to avoid automation taking over their jobs. Now no-one can replicate you. That’s the beauty of a personal brand business. But qualities like creativity, the ability to negotiate and being able to see connections and solve problems are going to make you interesting to your customers.
What are your values? What are the main things which are important to you? If they matter to you, they will matter to others.
What makes you different? It might be your love of your favorite sports team, or that you have a formula for getting results in your niche. Perhaps you have a particular style. Whatever it is that makes you stand out, make it part of your brand.
Being a personal brand entrepreneur means you are free to be you. Defining who you are and letting the world know it enables you to build a successful business working with people who know and love you.
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.