Positioning is Your Biggest Asset - Do It the Right WayJan 16, 2023
Who do you think of when you read these five words?
If you thought of Conor McGregor and Kanye West, you can see how powerful good branding is.
Of course, Conor and Kanye are megastars. But they would never have reached this level of influence if their brands weren't dialed in.
A good personal brand helps you:
- Create impact
- Wield influence
- Sell products and services with ease
You don't have to be on Kanye's level though.
A distinct and memorable personal brand gives you an abundance of opportunities.
Especially when paired with well-positioned offers.
Most Branding is Forgettable
Unfortunately, most people who want influence don't have it (yet).
If you're one of them, you're making at least one of these mistakes:
Your personal brand is unclear. People don't know what you do or why you do it because you haven't made it clear.
Your personal brand is not focused. People don't remember the key qualities of your brand because you muddle it with too many ideas.
Your personal brand is nonexistent. People don't know about your brand because you don't have a brand narrative or you haven't marketed it.
Your personal brand is too vague. Nothing separates you from the crowd, so people don't remember you.
Your personal brand is too specific. You don't have people to influence because no one fits in your niche.
Your personal brand is inauthentic. People don't listen to you because they don't trust or believe you.
Your personal brand is misdirected. You don't have a following because you target the wrong market.
When you understand this, it's easy to see what it takes to create a strong personal brand.
These lessons apply to positioning your offers too.
But implementing these concepts is another story. So that's what you're about to learn.
But first, let's cover some basics to make sure we're on the same page.
The Difference Between Branding, Marketing, and Positioning
It's easy to get lost in the digital marketing jargon. So let's clear it up real quick.
(These are my own words. Some are like the online definitions, some are a bit different.)
Personal Brand — the public's perception of who you are, what you do, what you're about, and why you do it.
Personal Branding — the act of creating a distinct and recognizable personal brand.
Brand Narrative — the personal qualities you choose to highlight, along with what you do and why you do it.
Positioning — how the market perceives your offers in relation to others.
Marketing — how you communicate your brand narrative and positioning.
Here's what you need to know:
Good brand narrative + good positioning + good marketing = good personal brand.
Your brand is about you.
Your positioning is about your offer.
So, you must have a deep understanding of who you are and what you offer.
Otherwise, your marketing will suffer. And if your marketing flops, your brand flops.
But don't worry. If you keep reading, this won't be a problem for you.
You'll learn how to create a good brand narrative and position your offers. Your marketing will work.
And you'll begin the process of developing a strong personal brand.
This means you'll build an audience of true fans who want to pay you for your offers.
Creating a Brand Narrative
The ideal brand narrative is the five words — core pillars — that define you most.
Then, you add what you do (at a high level) and why you do it.
This is the lens that focuses all your marketing (content, ads, products, services, etc.).
It ensures that you stay on-brand to remain memorable, unique, and authentic.
First, we'll cover the rules for finding your five core pillars.
The 5 Core Pillars
You want to choose five words that best describe who you are right now.
Follow these rules when choosing them:
1. They can't be too vague.
You need to show off some of your less common attributes.
McGregor could use "Irish" because Irish people are not common celebrities or fighters.
But Kanye wouldn't use American because most famous rappers are American.
Yet, when you mix high fashion and rap, Kanye stands out from the rest.
2. They can't be too specific.
Your brand narrative needs to give you room to grow and evolve.
If Kanye used "rap" instead of "music," his gospel music would be off-brand.
If you have red hair, "ginger pride" could be perfect — if you want to flaunt it and give confidence to other redheads.
But the singer Pink, who doesn't always don pink hair, may choose "rebellious" as a core pillar instead of "pink hair."
3. They must be authentic right now.
Too often I see people trying to create a brand based on who they want to be. I've even done this.
One day, I want to own a ranch or a cabin in the mountains. I want the freedom to build things and do whatever I want on my property.
So I tried to tie that image to my brand.
I used a banner picture showing a beautiful ranch.
I talked about the cool things you could do with a big property.
But they weren't authentic to my current life. I'm a dad living in suburbia. I don't spend hours working with my hands on my property every day.
A better word would be "freedom." It still contains the value I have and my future desires. But I also live by these principles right now.
I have the freedom to work out when I want. I can choose who I work with, what I work on, how I do it, and when.
I value freedom of speech and religion.
For me, "freedom" is more authentic than "rural."
Choosing words based on who you are right now makes you more credible and trustworthy. And it's easier to create content that aligns with who you are, as opposed to who you want to be.
4. They must be positive.
A good personal brand is positive. You attract people because you improve their life.
Maybe you make them laugh. Maybe you help them forget their hardships. Or maybe you help them become the person they want to be.
For Kanye, "confident" is a better pillar than "arrogant."
"Provocative" is better than "rude."
Some people think he's arrogant and rude. Especially when he took the mic from Taylor Swift as she accepted her MTV Video Music Award.
But Kanye didn't lose fans, he was being outspoken. He was just being Kanye. And it was on-brand.
Your Purpose — What You Do and Why
You need to be clear about what people can expect from you and why you're giving it to them.
Dan Koe is pioneering the future of work through philosophy, curiosity, and the internet.
He often talks about why he does this — he hated college and didn't want to work a typical 9-5. But he struggled to succeed in online business — until he didn't.
So he helps free people from that same struggle. (This is my guess from what I've read. I'm not speaking on behalf of Dan and could be wrong.)
Jack Butcher's purpose with Visualize Value is simple and clear (this is from his landing page):
When Jack was trying to leave his 9-5 to build his agency, he burned money searching for clients. Then he tried using design on social media to help people visualize ideas and it took off.
He realized these designs are powerful and others could do it too. Now he teaches his process to help people maximize their impact online.
One last example: The Cut Board Pro.
Their cutting board has a connectable tray to hold and separate scraps and chopped food.
What do they do? They help people cook faster so they can spend more time with their families.
Why? It was their dad's invention and they want to fulfill his dream. They lost their parents to cancer and know how precious each minute with your family is.
On top of that, their dad developed a 9/11-related cancer as a firefighter helping at Ground Zero during the 9/11 attacks.
So they donate to the FDNY Foundation to support other firefighters with 9/11-related diseases.
By itself, people wouldn't buy a slightly better cutting board when the one they have works fine. People buy their product because of their purpose.
Your purpose doesn't need to be this crazy. But you do need to be clear about what you do and why you do it.
If you're only doing it for the money, it's hard to stick with it through the struggles of starting a business.
And others won't have a reason to buy into your work.
Knowing Yourself Takes Effort
Finding your core pillars takes work. Knowing what you do and why you do it takes time.
For your core pillars, you need to create a list of potential words, sift through them, and pick the best ones.
Sometimes you need to use a thesaurus to find words that are more accurate or encompassing.
Sometimes you need other people to help you see things you're missing.
And sometimes you need to give your brain time to think through this exercise.
Because the best words rarely come during your first pass.
This is a work in progress. And so is figuring out what you do and why.
But you need to start today.
Your goal is to pick five words, then two sentences. You want these to be permanent but it's okay if you adjust them over time.
Do the best you can and iterate as you progress.
The Brand Narrative is a Filter
The purpose of this exercise is to create a filter for your marketing.
Effective marketing requires repetition and cohesion.
Your content should emphasize your chosen qualities. And people need to understand what you do and why.
For example, let's say you create YouTube videos, and "freedom" is one of your core pillars. An American flag could hang in the background to strengthen your brand.
Or "strength" could be a core pillar for someone who was bullied growing up. Maybe they help people get strong to improve their confidence.
They could create content around strength and confidence to enhance their branding.
On the other hand, avoid things that conflict with your brand narrative.
If being a dad or a family man is a core pillar, it won't help to post a photo of you and your buddies going out drinking.
It detracts from the image you want to portray.
This is why your brand narrative needs to be authentic. It should be easy and natural for you to maintain.
This doesn't mean you should wing it. Be strategic.
Planning and consideration help you express a streamlined brand concept.
Put your core pillars, along with what you do and why, on display.
The right people will relate. You will connect on a deep level.
And you'll build the foundation for trust and loyalty.
With this, you have the personal side covered. Now let's focus on positioning.
Positioning Your Offers the Right Way
With your brand narrative complete, it's time to position your offer.
You want your audience to see it as the best solution to their goal.
"Make people an offer so good they would feel stupid saying no." — Travis Jones
To do this, your offer needs to be:
- The best.
It's a hard concept to come to terms with as a beginner or struggling entrepreneur.
"I'm new and make little money. How am I supposed to be the best?"
I'll be honest — these were thoughts I had as well.
But picture this:
Fitness trainer #1:
He's helped hundreds of people lose weight, with loads of proof and happy customers. He promises to help you lose 20 pounds in the next 12 weeks.
Fitness trainer #2:
He offers the same thing, but he just started. He helped his cousin lose weight, but doesn't have any pictures to prove it.
The only way you would pick #2 is if he is significantly cheaper.
People assume trainer #2 needs to improve the promise in his offer.
"Maybe he could help people lose 25 pounds instead of 20."
But if everyone does this, the claims grow until they become unrealistic. This is not the answer.
Here's a better approach:
Trainer #2 changes his positioning instead of his claim.
Now, he helps men over 250 pounds lose their first 20 pounds in 12 weeks without going to the gym.
By making niching down his offer, he can position himself as the best.
Here's how you make your offer unique.
Hormozi's 4 Steps to Niching Down
In $100M Offers, Alex Hormozi explains how you can make your offer unique so you can be the best:
- Help a unique avatar (men over 250 pounds)
- Solve a specific problem (lose 20 pounds in 12 weeks)
- In a unique way (not shown above, but we know it doesn't involve the gym)
- That reverses their biggest objection (doesn't want to go to the gym)
Dan Koe does this well with his info-product, The 2-Hour Writer.
He's not just teaching you how to write better.
He helps people who want online influence learn how to consistently create high-impact content using his two-hour content ecosystem without spending thousands on a degree.
No one can be better than him at this because it's his system.
And it's obvious that it works for him. He publishes consistently, has a big audience, and gets tons of support and engagement.
Back to trainer #2 above. He has proof that it worked for his cousin.
Since his new and improved offer is unique, he can be the best at it because no one else is competing with him.
How to Find Your Positioning
Now it's your turn.
Start narrowing each of Hormozi's four steps to niching down.
Here's an example:
1. Unique avatar: men -> dads -> entrepreneurial dads
2. Specific problem: get in shape -> increase muscle -> put on 10 pounds of lean muscle mass
3. Unique solution: work out -> work out at home -> work out with bodyweight exercises
4. Reverse biggest objection: without going to the gym -> without going to the gym or using any exercise equipment
Now you need proof. And gaining credibility is easier than you think.
Offer your services for free or at a low price to get a few testimonials.
Once you help a few people, you now have proof that it works. You become credible.
And since your offer is unique, you become the best at helping these people solve this problem in this way.
Each Offer Can be Different
This is where things get fun.
You don't have to pigeonhole yourself to a tiny sliver of the market.
Remember, your brand narrative is vague enough to allow growth and evolution.
It's only your offers that need this level of precision.
If you want to capture a new subsect of people (within the audience of your overall brand), you can create a new offer.
AJAC (Alexander Cortes) is a perfect example.
His brand is high-level. He's the OG of Fitness Twitter.
But he has over 40 unique programs and offers. They include:
- Ancient Athletics: a program based on how the Ancient Greeks trained
- Tall Man Training: a program for lifters over six feet tall
- Posterior Power Program: a program for a heroic ass and posture
Each of these may seem too specific. But they've helped him sell over a million dollars in info products.
And they all fall within his brand narrative.
Align Your Offers with Your Brand Narrative
When creating offers, make sure they align with your brand narrative.
For most of you, this shouldn't be hard. If you don't drink alcohol, you probably don't have a guide to making cocktails.
Remember how we talked about keeping your brand narrative authentic to who you are today?
You also want your offers to align with this image.
Your offers go into your marketing and help define your personal brand.
Done right, they reinforce your core pillars.
For example, if you're a relationship coach, your brand narrative could include being happily married. If so, don't help guys get laid more. Help them find and attract women with the potential to be their future wives.
Summary of Steps to Create a Brand Narrative and Position Your Offers
1. Find your five core pillars — the words to describe your personal brand.
- They shouldn't be too vague (you need to be unique)
- They shouldn't be too specific (don't pigeonhole yourself)
- They should be authentic to who you are right now
- They should be positive
2. Answer these questions about your purpose:
- What is a high-level overview of what you do?
- Why do you do it?
3. Combine your core pillars and purpose into a brand narrative (1-2 sentences).
- Oprah: She's an African-American lifestyle personality who promotes self-enlightenment, self-esteem, and self-efficacy through inclusion, empowerment, and spirituality.
- Kanye: He's an outspoken, provocative, and audacious creator using music and fashion to inspire confidence, promote love, and bring awareness to African-American hardships.
4. Make your offers unique (so you can be the best).
Use Alex Hormozi's 4 steps to niching down:
- Help a unique avatar
- Solve a specific problem
- In a unique way
- That reverses their biggest objection
5. Add credibility to your offer.
Use testimonials and case studies to showcase your knowledge and results.
If you don't have any, help people for free (or at a low cost) to get some proof ASAP.
Take Your Personal Brand to the Next Level
It's hard to fail if you do these things right, as long as you persist.
Of course, you still need:
- A good service
- A way to find customers
- Content that attracts an audience
And many other things.
But dialing in your brand narrative and positioning improves everything else that follows.
And without them, you have to get lucky for it to work (hint: you won't).
If you're an aspiring coach, I have some exciting news coming your way.
Especially if you want to:
- Create clients whenever you want
- Build a bulletproof program that exceeds market expectations
- Simplify online coaching so you only spend time on things that matter
If you're hoping to go from zero to regular $5K months, stay tuned.
Something is coming soon.
- Rob Riker