This is the third post in a series of five about creating your personal value proposition (PVP)—your unique skill set and the integral component of your personal brand.

Are your emails riddled with spelling mistakes? Does figuring out the logistics of your next shoot take you hours? Do you break out in a cold sweat when upgrading Photoshop because it means you would have to watch a tutorial? The point is, most people know what they are terrible at.

“Wait Beate,” you say, “I thought my PVP was supposed to build on my skills. Why are you focusing on my shortcomings?”

Let’s recap. The first step in building your personal value proposition is to identify what comes easily to you. The second step is to communicate why this is a good thing and how to use it to your advantage. This third step is how to build your influence based on your strengths by showcasing your super skill. That means you have to know what you are not good at, and here is an example of why…

When I was running my photography licensing business, my Controller, Sharona, waltzed into my office and LOCKED the door. She threw a stack of papers in front of me and then crossed her arms and waited.

Uh-oh, this did not look good. What had I done? I looked at the papers and five minutes later my entire business strategy changed and I put one division on steroids. And wouldn’t you know, that rapidly-growing division was the reason we were acquired by a Bill Gates company two years later.

What happened? Sharona had sliced and diced our numbers in a way that only she can. She dazzled me with her super skill when she figured out which product line could be our runaway hit. Not an easy task when you consider that we licensed in 76 countries and she was managing around 40 reseller contracts and thousands of images.

When I hired Sharona, I knew I needed someone who could provide me with better numbers, but I wasn’t clear about what that looked like in detail. I can set up operational systems, just not financial ones. Her references indicated she had a certain flair for bookkeeping, so I brought her on and let her loose. There is no way I could have dissected the numbers like Sharona did. Sharona made sure I noticed her super skill that she called slicing and dicing, she demonstrated that she was the very best, and therefore became irreplaceable.

Now, back to you. Being good and being great are two different things. With a great PVP, you are the very best at what you do and the undisputed logical choice. What is your super skill in your photography business and how can you sprinkle it throughout your work?

Explore: What areas do you stand out in? Think about organizing, planning, executing, breaking things down, translating concepts into images, time management, people management, follow-up, etc. The more narrowly and clearly-defined your super skill set, the better.

You advertise your super skill generously and fearlessly; this is the uniqueness clients are dying to know about. Jobs that showcase your brilliance are the ones you pursue with a vengeance. You want everyone to know that you are the go-to person for this one super skill. You become an irreplaceable asset and your influence expands.

As for the tasks that you are not the best at, I want you to find strategic partners or hire someone with the super skills you lack.

This third step can be tricky so please let me know if you have questions about how to dazzle with your super skill.

Click here to read about the fourth step for creating your personal value proposition.

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