Margaret Mead once said, “Always remember you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else.”
The irony, no?
It seems like this is the case in the blogging scene today. There’s blog after blog after blog that looks like a simple copy of the last one you just left.
The same colors are used, the same content is shared—even the words seem to be the same.
But, in a sea of photocopies, there are still ways to stand out, be noticed, and increase your chances of standing out in a world of options.
So how can you be your unique self and stand out to the world?
Since I’m on a quote streak, Walt Disney once said this,
“The more you like yourself, the less you are like everyone else, which makes you unique.”
Slow clapping in my mind as I type.
Let’s dissect this.
In order to ‘like’ your self you have to know what you are about. In terms of blogging, your identity is clear. You have a platform on which you can stand on and say, no scream—
“This is me! And this is the message I have to share with the world!”
So, in essence, the more you like yourself the more unique you’ll be!
But let’s not stray too far. How do you decide when to be unique and when to use common practice?
It’s important to be able to differentiate what’s what between:
The Systems + The Branding
The systems are the tried and true proven methods that give results again and again.
- Focusing on a specific niche
- Having a clear contact point on your site
- Using opt-ins
- Adding an ‘about me’ page with pictures of you
- Posting on a consistent basis
- Consistent branding
- Breaking down your content so it’s easily legible
All these things are the things you shouldn’t try to be unique on.
Because, again, they are systems put in practice that have been proven to be effective and is advice you’ll find being given by many successful blogging pioneers.
e.g. you wouldn’t want to try to be ‘unique’ by not including the basics that every great ‘about me’ page should have and deciding you won’t have a specific niche.
You wouldn’t want to be unique by having ‘no’ branding, as a way to stand out.
Now, where you can focus your energies on being unique is the branding side.
This is where you have more leverage to try out some things to see what works and what doesn’t.
This is where you don’t necessarily need to use common practice.
Only because many bloggers use a certain color doesn’t mean you should use it too if it doesn’t fit your branding and the message you’re trying to convey.
It’s all about being strategic in choosing what you can stylize + modify and what you should leave as is.
But doing your own thing can take some thinking. These are some points you can steal to stand out and glow.
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1. Use Your Quirks
So you’ve decided to put yourself out in the big bad online world of business. Does this mean you should hide who you are in order to appeal to the most people possible and make tons of cyber friends? Absofruitly not.
It’s the opposite.
All those personality traits you think make you weird can work to your advantage here.
Enter the “When I Was Back In High School” test:
Where you the geeky band tuba player that was obsessed with organization?
The jock that only cared about Phys Ed and loved working out?
The kid that always included everyone and constantly tried to make them feel better?
This isn’t necessarily to tell you that it’s all rainbows and bunnies and that you should embrace yourself ‘cus you’re so unique and blah blah. It’s more about self awareness and what makes you, you.
Identifying + embracing your qualities is extremely important. But you know what’s more important?
Capitalizing on them.
Completely embracing your qualities and what you stand for is one of if not the best way to stand out.
If you think about it, when you are at ease with yourself and with the skills you have to offer, you’re simply in a better position to be the best at whatever it is you do—whether that’s copywriter, fitness coaching, consulting, brand design, food enthusiast, tech star, etc.
Wait A Minute!
If you take note, many proficient bloggers out there put themselves in a bright white spotlight.
As in, they take their personality + quirks, amp it up ten times, and then present themselves to the world.
This doesn’t automatically mean bright colors and disco lights flashing on your screen, though it can be, if that’s how you roll.
Enter Kimra Luna. This girl stood out to me the very first time I encountered her. You can guess why.
Kimra specializes in personal branding and online business strategy.
Her incredible story ranges from being a young mom on welfare to earning just under a million dollars on her courses in less than a year. You can learn more about her story here.
Scrivs at Obstacle.co is a great example of putting his personality and what he stands for out there along with some kick-ass visual branding that is consistent and uniquely stands out as his own.
Take a look at his home page. The first line reads ‘Let’s cut the crap.’ How’s that for an introduction? 😊
2. Have A Unique Lead Magnet
Unique lead magnets are a great way to offer something different that will make you memorable in that busy browser’s mind.
The sweet spot is making it less usual but more value packed + engaging.
Having a unique lead magnet shows that:
- You cared enough to put in the effort to make something valuable and unique to help someone
- Your brand doesn’t offer the same old same old
- You are truly passionate + care about what you do
For a list of ideas check out 10 Unconventional Opt-In Ideas To Grow Your Email List and see which opt-in idea you can try out for your own niche.
As an example, Mary Fernandez at MaryFernandez.co has a great opt-in not seen everywhere you click.It’s not only packaged nicely but it’s packed with useful info that many bloggers are searching for constantly in one place.
This sets her out from a blogger in the same niche that might just offer a worksheet as an opt in or a ‘sign up to my yawn newsletter.’
3. Have A Memorable Motto (Or Nickname)
A nice way to stand out in a crowded market is…let me illustrate:
Redbull gives you ________?
Tony The Tiger says his cereal is ________?
Nike tells you to _____________ ?
There is no way you’re reading these and not getting an A+. Because you know the associations. AmIRight?
Take Olyvia.Co (or Chief Olyvia). Right away you see that she’s a lady with a classy online presence that wants to teach you to do the same.
‘Earn brand cred with class + smarts.’
To that I say hell yeah…and that she’s eons more memorable than someone who didn’t pay as much attention to their personal branding.
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The Communication Stylist, Mrs. Nikki Elledge Brown, is yet another sweet example of personal branding.
Through her online brand she’s helped thousands of people find their writing voice, and continues to communicate with more than 20,000 email subscribers. I don’t think The Communication Stylist just happened to stumble upon her blogging prominence.
It was planning. It was positioning. It was ‘how do I brand myself + what I’m good at in a way that stands out and is memorable to the people I am trying to reach?’
What is your brand promise? And how can you say that in a short + memorable way?
Ready to stand out?
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4. Control Your PR
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that every person you see every day is a walking talking brand without even meaning to be? Yeah.
Everyone has characteristics that make them memorable (either in a good way or a bad way), even down to the most basic thing as their name— which then helps you decide if you can trust them, rely on them, or if you even like them in the first place.
That’s why there is lots of emphasis on presenting yourself well at the interview, making a good impression on your girlfriend’s parents, or making sure you show your skills so you can get picked by the cool kids at the soccer game.
All this to say that it’s a great idea to pay attention to your relations with everyone that comes in contact with your brand, which can be done by keeping your branding elements in check (ehem consistency).
PR and branding go mano a mano, which is why it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two.
Branding is more of all the technical components of your brand while PR is how you handle everything when it comes to interaction with the world outside your brand. In many ways, PR is controlled through the control of your branding.
Take Gary Vaynerchuk with The Gary Vee Show. Kick ass motivator to millions of people, investor, CEO, and all around entrepreneur, Gary makes sure his relationship with the people that follow him is pragmatic, personable, blunt, and as helpful as it can be.
In this video, Gary takes the time to answer the questions people ask him on social media, going as far as personally calling them. As a branding bonus, it gets filmed, posted online, and notice: the intros, music, + quality in all his videos is the same.
controlling your PR goes beyond controlling your brand and calling it a day. It’s about:
- Figuring out your message
- Deciding how you will communicate it to others
- Having clear guidelines
5. Revise Your Old Content
Time for some (possibly) painstaking auditing.
Ya gotta check out what you have in your blogging arsenal so far.
Is your content as note-worthy as your images? Better yet, do you have old content you can do away with because so much of your new content has gotten better over time? Is there irrelevant files and images on your site that you can eliminate or revamp?
If I were to make a slogan for this point it’d say ‘Keepin’ it fresh!’
You can’t expect to stand out with a chock full of old, icky, irrelevant content that only takes up space and makes you look like a novice.
New info is constantly being churned out on new methods, research findings, the latest trend, and even legit life wisdom from your mother. Your content will always be in constant need of revision to stay relevant and readable.
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6.Throw Away The Monotony
Emotions. Emotions. Emotions.
They’ve brought down empires and have sparked massive movements. Emotions are an everybody thing no matter the time in history, race, or ice cream preference.
Humans are emotional before we’re rational.
We first make decisions based on emotion and then try to rationalize them, instead of the other way around. Which is why many successful brands use that as the string they pull.
Because, in terms of connecting and being memorable (and selling), it works.
What is the emotional element in your brand?
Keep in mind constant contact doesn’t build brand relationship as much as sharing the same values does, which highly involves emotion.
The most excellent example I can think of, which took me two seconds because to this day it stands out to me THAT much, is Jon Morrow’s How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World.
Which, by the way, got more than 1,000,000 views and even Forbes wanting Jon Morrow as a columnist.
Just read it. That’s all I ask.
See what the power of emotion ( along with, equally important, brilliant writing) can do to you.
For me? I laughcried when I came across it for the first time. I had no idea I could do that. Got hooked. ‘Nuff said.
7. Stick To The Core Statement
I feel like this is something I constantly include in my writing at the risk of sounding redundant—it’s still a vital point to make every time I get the chance.
Just ask one of the greats in any field. This is especially true when trying to stand out in a seemingly overcrowded market.
- How frequently you communicate with your audience
- How frequently you churn out blog posts
- The type of header images you use in your content
- Keeping design elements with the same colors
- Keeping your voice constant throughout your content
- Delivering what you say you will deliver WHEN you say you will deliver
In short, consistency in all parts of your branding.
If you promise you’re going to make your readers absolutely hate meat and turn complete vegetarians in two in a half days one day then say the only way to vegetarianism is to shave your head, meditate, and fast for two months the next then you’re seriously in for no audience while getting lost at blogger’s sea.
If you say you can turn vegetarian in two and a half days. Say so thirteen months out of the year ( and prove it of course). Yes, thirteen.
Be A Voice Not An Echo.
Easier said than done considering the millions of blogs out there writing and talking about the exact same things you are 24/7, 365 a year, thirteen months at a time. Yeah, again, thirteen.
Keep in mind, standing out isn’t:
- Being a spontaneous everywhere blogger
- Doing uncalled for things to get attention
- Or even imitating everything a bigger blogger is doing
Standing out is more about looking in first, embracing the qualities that make you function and make you valuable, and capitalize on them as you show them to the world in unique ways that are true to your persona.
You can do it.
As writer and filmmaker Don Roff puts it, “Keep being bold on the page, and in life, and people cannot ignore you forever.”
P.S. Which tip will you apply to your business to get you to stand out and be a better online version of yourself?