You need a core discipline that people can use to identify you, and preferably one that you are passionate about. You likely already have one (or more). Your core discipline becomes the initial vehicle for you to deliver value in the marketplace. Though it won’t be the only thing that makes your brand different, it will be a key point of distinction. One that is an important variable in the complex equation called your brand.
An example of someone who leveraged their core discipline – Walt Disney used animations to deliver the experience of fun and wonder, but then eventually branched out to toys, children’s books and even theme parks. All of which fit under the brand philosophy and the brand experience of fun and wonder. Like any branch of a tree, though initially singular – will become a platform for additional branches to sprout from. That same shape of nature, occurs in brands too.
For me, I started with the core disciplines of management consulting, design consulting, engineering and copywriting (persuasive writing). I managed to combine my ability to solicit a client’s needs, think strategically and analytically in terms of business, and to communicate a seductive message on behalf of my clients. My personal brand called Jon Low then established a reputation in the market with my copywriting expertise. One that had a unique selling proposition of – Jon can understand your business, and help you communicate what you want to say, but can’t quite find the words for.
Since then, my brand has evolved into branding and coaching. Simply because they were necessary components to the process of helping my client’s clarify their message. I realized they needed to understand their business brand, and to get to that level of understanding, I realized advanced coaching techniques could help them see what was behind their eyes or the picture they were in.
My intention was simple – do whatever it takes to get better results for clients. Adopting that mindset has helped me literally stumble into my footprint.
Start with what you know, and grow your brand from there.
Start with your core discipline, devote yourself to the delivery of value, and you will be amazed at what unfolds. So – do you love writing? Are you great with visual design? Or do you have the ability to use technology in a way that no one else can? Do you have a craft to which you have dedicated hours, years, blood, sweat and tears? Are you the symbol of the finest customer service? And more importantly – what industry have you served with that skillset?
Many questions. And you don’t have to have answers for them just yet. You just have to consider it for now. The answers will come with time. And as a note, it doesn’t mean you can’t have more than one preference – as your brand could operate in multiple commercial markets and environments, delivering multiple services, products with a distinct experience.
It is important to understand the core discipline of your brand.
It is likely the area you currently have greatest certainty, confidence, value and a reputation too. Which is a priceless position to be in.
Example – let’s suppose a lady has 8 years of experience in the financial sector as an analyst. If someone contacts her out of hours, and asks her “Can you create a model and a financial forecast for my investment portfolio?” She will likely say yes.
If the potential client asks “how much do you charge?” It is likely that the analyst will not hesitate to state her price. She has credibility, confidence and certainty in the value she delivers.
You too, have that somewhere in your life. Whether you believe what you currently do is of value or not, someone out there will likely pay you for your service and skill.
Let me know, what is your core discipline? I’m curious to find out.
For and with you,