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There are lots of people who can snap photos. What makes YOU better than the rest? Last week I wrote about creating your personal value proposition so you are noticed for the right reasons. Here is the second step on how to create your PVP.

A PVP represents your personal brand. It is what you stand for. Or, as my friend Michael Drew says, it is also about what you don’t stand for.

Here is my example of designing my personal brand. My private and corporate clients know that I am a tough-love but compassionate coach and trainer. I speak with a German accent, I drive a German car, and my training outlines and workbooks have concise bullet points. I am driven by results and I dislike excess.

I often joke that I would have loved to be a funny German. But since there are no funny Germans, I reverted to being a more believable, solid, German-engineered brand.

I could have chosen to be apologetic about my flaws. Instead, I turned the things that make me unique—my heritage, my accent, and my sometimes awkward Germanisms—into my advantage. There is only one of me.

Start here:
To create your own PVP, let’s start by looking at what you stand for. Gary is in the solar energy business, which means he can’t race around in a Ferrari. Yep, a Prius is a better choice for Gary. Nancy and Mike chose to live in the mountains in Colorado far off the grid. Their personal brand leaves a zero footprint. Marni creates Five-Minute Meals and she believes in fast, delicious, and completely organic. Her lifestyle includes daily workouts, unscented soy candles (who knows what is burning in those waxy ones?), and she won’t eat or put anything on her body unless it is free of chemicals and additives.

Imagine your brand as its own entity and persona. What does it look like and what are its interests? How does it dress? Think of Marni’s example above. Is polyester or cotton more appropriate for her?

As a business owner, you are part of your business’s brand and you want consistency in everything related to your brand. It is perfectly okay to say, “This is what I believe in,” as long as you can state it clearly. If you’re a fashion photographer, do you dress stylishly? If you’re a sports photographer, do you actually play any sports? You get the picture.

It is important to understand what you are naturally good at, which is why I have all of my clients take the Myers-Briggs assessment. You want to build on your strengths and be able to communicate them clearly.

With that in mind, I want you to actively promote your brand at your next client meeting. Share ideas that naturally play to your strengths. Tell your clients about more than the type of work you do; tell them the value to bring to the assignment.

Next week we will talk about the third step in creating your PVP. Stay tuned. In the meantime, let me know how these ideas are working for you. I live for feedback!

Click here for Step 3 of creating your very own PVP

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