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How to Establish a Distinct Brand Identity in a Crowded Market



How to Establish a Distinct Brand Identity in a Crowded Market

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In today’s digital world, crafting a standout personal brand is essential for success as a business leader. One thing’s for sure: Consumers trust and purchase from real people more than impersonal brand names. This is especially true with a service business. According to the recent national research study, “Trends in Personal Branding,” personal branding is more than just a social media personality contest. The data showed that 67% percent of ALL Americans would be willing to spend more money on products and services from the companies of founders whose personal brand aligns with their own personal values.

A personal brand that captures your unique expertise can elevate your business and create a loyal customer base. That same study mentioned above showed that 74% of all Americans reveal they’re “more likely to trust someone who has an established personal brand.” In perhaps the most powerful statistic of the entire study, it turns out that 82% of all Americans agree that “companies are more influential if their executives have a personal brand that they know and follow.

Let’s explore some action steps you can take to build a brand identity that cuts through the noise of a crowded marketplace.

Related: 8 Reasons a Powerful Personal Brand Will Make You Successful

Crafting and communicating your brand

Your personal brand is the story you tell the world, and your audience wants to learn something genuine about you and your brand story. It’s crucial to share not only your professional triumphs but also the personal stories and passions that make you relatable, such as your hobbies, family, travels, etc. Consistency in your messaging creates a coherent narrative, while authenticity fosters a trusting relationship with your audience.

Embrace the platforms where your audience engages the most. For professionals, LinkedIn is often the go-to, serving as a space to demonstrate expertise and share personal insights. Authoring books and hosting podcasts can elevate your authority, allowing you to reach a wider audience with in-depth knowledge. My brand and reputation on LinkedIn didn’t soar until I added a lot of authentic posts and stories and less boring business-focused posts. Sharing personal aspects should be done thoughtfully, ensuring each story aligns with your professional message and adds value to your brand narrative.

Building community and engagement

The goal of a personal brand is to create a community, not just a following. Engagement is key. Encourage your audience to participate in conversations or debates through comments, forums and direct messaging. This interaction makes your brand relatable and accessible.

Responding to feedback and adapting your brand message is important, but remember to stay true to your core values. Avoid the trap of overpromotion, and strive for a balance that promotes engagement over sales. Your brand should inspire interaction and foster a genuine connection.

Building relationships with other like-minded entrepreneurs can open the door to opportunities that are mutually beneficial, such as speaking on a podcast or attending an upcoming event. When you collaborate with others outside of your immediate followers, you’re able to tap into their audience, gaining exposure to potential customers who already trust your collaborators’ judgment.

To be most effective in growing your audience, select partners whose personal brands resonate with your own. Their followers should have interests that overlap with the products and services you offer. For example, if your brand is built on financial literacy, partnering with influencers in the personal development space could be advantageous.

Scaling your business through personal branding

Success in personal branding can often be qualitative. Look for engagement beyond likes and shares — genuine messages from your audience and opportunities for collaboration are indicators of a resonant personal brand. As your brand gains traction, use your influence to support your business goals. A strong personal brand can lead to new ventures and partnerships while amplifying your reach. As you scale, maintain the integrity of your brand. Growth should enhance, not compromise, the personal touch that distinguishes your brand from the rest.

Building a personal brand is an ongoing process that involves sharing your journey and leveraging your experiences. It’s a powerful strategy for entrepreneurs, offering a platform for growth and the opportunity to make a real impact. Maintain authenticity, consistency, and focus on community. These principles will guide you in creating a personal brand that not only stands out but also stands for something meaningful.

A reputation is built up by trust, and a personal brand is a trust accelerator. Another recent study found that 76% of American Millennials are more likely to buy from a person with a personal brand.

Related: 6 Strategies You Need To Ensure Your Personal Brand Stands Out

1. Define and deliver your value proposition clearly

Imagine you’re a chef at a bustling food market. Every other stall is offering a range of dishes, each with its own mix of flavors and ingredients. To stand out, you need to have a signature dish — something that no one else offers, that tells your story and satisfies a unique craving. Your value proposition is that dish.

What is it that you provide that no one else does? Maybe it’s a unique combination of services, or perhaps it’s a particular approach to wealth management that’s both approachable and highly effective. Once you’ve defined it, communicate it consistently across all platforms — be it on your LinkedIn profile, on your podcast shows or when speaking at events. Make it clear, make it appealing, and ensure it speaks to the core of what your audience values.

2. Personalize your client experience

Imagine each client interaction as a handcrafted gift. It’s not just about the content inside the package — it’s about the wrapping, the note that accompanies it and the perfect timing of its delivery. Your clients should feel that every piece of advice and every service you offer, is tailored specifically for them.

This doesn’t mean creating entirely different services for each individual, but it does mean understanding their unique challenges and goals. Use client feedback to refine your offerings. Send personalized communications. Host events that cater to their interests and values. By personalizing the client experience, you build a relationship that feels exclusive and deeply connected to their needs.

3. Educate and empower your audience

Just as a gardener nurtures plants to grow, so should you cultivate your audience’s financial knowledge. Education is empowerment — and by providing valuable, easily digestible information, you position yourself as not just a service provider but a guide and mentor.

Start a blog or a YouTube series focused on financial literacy, using simple language and relatable analogies. Explain complex concepts using common life experiences, like comparing diversified investments to a balanced diet. Not only will this reinforce your brand as a source of valuable knowledge, but it will also foster trust and deepen the relationship with your audience.

Related: The 3 Questions You Must Answer to Make Your Brand Stand Out

In a saturated market, your personal brand isn’t just a label; it’s your distinct edge. Your key to success is authenticity and engagement. By genuinely connecting with your audience and consistently delivering on your unique value proposition, you create more than just a brand; you build trust and long-term loyalty. It’s about being relatable yet professional, innovative yet grounded.

Remember, in the realm of entrepreneurship, your personal brand is a powerful tool that drives not just visibility but real, meaningful business relationships. Cultivate it with intention, and watch it become your most valuable asset in navigating the competitive business landscape that we all find ourselves in.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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