Strengths Based Branding

In this post I will be sharing about something that has really continued to come to the surface. Not only in my own business but in other people's businesses in the community on Facebook. I want to talk to you guys today about one of my favorite topics, and it is strengths based branding.

I know that several of you in the Facebook community have gone ahead and purchased this book, called Strengths Finder 2.0, by Tom Rath. I love this book. I love it, I love it, I love it. And I'm going to you tell a little bit more about why, and how this book has transformed how I do branding with my clients.

Let's get into strengths based branding, what it is, why I love it, and why you will too.

This is Strengths Finder 2.0, there is a one and half hour test that comes with this book, there's a code, you take the test online.

It is really, really good.

It's part of the Gallup Poll. It's well researched, well backed, and I want you to know that I have done Myers-Briggs, I have done enneagram, I have done disc profiles, I have done all kinds of personality assessments.

I have a background in leadership, organizational theory, personality stuff, I did that in college, so it's something I really love, and something that really interests me on a personal level, but I love how it has come full circle for branding.

The reason why is because this book helps you understand and focus on your strengths instead of the areas where we tend to focus on, which is our areas of weakness. Our areas where we think we need work.

This is not something that is uncommon, right? I even talked about in the mindset series that we just wrapped up, that negative thoughts are on repeat in our mind.

80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% of them are on repeat, right.

We're not having a lot of new, fresh thoughts. A lot of that is because we're focused on, "Ugh, I need to do better here, ugh, I need to work on this, ugh, I need to get up earlier, ugh, I need to exercise, ugh, I need to have more quiet time." It ends up in this really negative cycle of shaming and discouragement, and none of that is actually benefiting you.

What Strengths Finders does is, one, it helps you identify what you're top five strengths are. There's 30-some different strengths in there, but it doesn't give you the full list in order of like, one through 30, here's your weakest point.

It says, "Here's your top five, now go and lean into those things."

It gives you something really specific to focus on, and helps you to understand the flip side of your strengths, and where it can go sideways for you. How it lands on other people, practically, what does this look like in the workplace, or in your home life and your relationships. It's very practical, it's an hour and a half of your life, maybe two hours if you read through your results and some of the other things.

Ultimately, it's such a small investment in yourself, in your business, and that for me has been an amazing return on investment and results in my business and in my life. I've been able to make that profitable for me, and I'm going to talk to you about how we do that.

The first way that it saves you money and helps you have way more momentum in your business is that understanding your strengths helps you almost completely cut out shiny object syndrome.

If you haven't heard that term before, shiny object syndrome is essentially you doing your own thing, you're staying in your lane, and there's this peer in your industry, or maybe they're in a completely different industry, and they're having success, and it's really cool, and it's like, "Oh my gosh that is awesome. They are awesome, I want to do what they're doing and have that similar success."

Then PEW it's squirrel syndrome, and you're off over here trying to figure out what it is that they're doing and how you can do it too. Then in the middle of doing that, somebody else comes along, and they're like, shiny objects, and you're like, "Oh, that's cool. How do I do that," or, "How do I incorporate that in my business?"

We're constantly wondering how they're doing what they're doing and being successful at it, and we end up losing momentum that we could have had from the get go.

Understanding this concept will make all of the difference for you when it comes to building out your brand that's going to be a stand out, captivating, and converting brand.

Embracing your strengths is really attractive.

Leaning into what you're good at is very attractive.

When someone is forcing themselves to put on a pair of shoes that doesn't fit, and they're kind of clunky, and they're flopping around in shoes that don't fit.

You should get a shoe that fits.

Or when somebody wears a jacket, and it's a little too big, or a little too tight, it's less attractive.

It is less attractive when they're trying to put on somebody else's style, right. I think we all kind of understand this intuitively, but we don't understand it when it comes to our brands, because it feels like a creative space where we can become anything or anyone that we want to be.

There is this idea, especially in the online world that you can put out a perception of yourself that you can control and manipulate. To some people, that's really encouraging, you can reinvent yourself, you can grow into something that you never thought was possible, but I want to challenge that thought.

I love the way Strengths Finder puts it.

In this book, Tom Rath starts challenging that very concept of, you can be anything that you want, and I've never really loved that, like, you're a pearl and the world is your oyster, go be whatever you want to be. In reality, people are wired certain ways.

To really go against that wiring feels like you're going against nature, and it feels wrong.

It doesn't feel good.

People end up getting stuck, they feel lost, they are just spinning their wheels, and I like that this addresses that issue, which is a real issue, and says, you may not be able to be whatever you want to be. Tom Rath says, "You cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a whole lot more of what you already are.”

For me that's a very hopeful thought of, I don't have to try and fit in to this square hole as a round peg, I can be who I am wired to be, who I'm created to be, and that's okay and when I lean into that, that's actually gonna be attractive.

When someone sees that and they're attracted to that, that starts helping to build something that we in the industry call your Know, your Like, and your Trust Factor. People get to know you, they start to like you, and then they come to trust you and what you have to say.

One of the byproducts of understanding your strengths when it comes to your brand, is that it automatically sets your position as an expert.

Who has ever been the go to person for something in their family or their friend group, right? We all have that very techy friend who we got o with technology questions.  In fact, yesterday my best friend texted me, and he was like, "Hey, do you know how to do a split screen on Facebook Live, interview style?" and I was responded, "Yep, do this, this, this, this, and this." I am a go to person for that kind of thing.

For other things, I have a friend who's very emotionally intelligent, and so good at reading people. I told my friend, "I have this situation, I don't know what to do, I don't know what I'm feeling," and she just totally spelled it out for me, what I was feeling and why I was feeling that way. It was just like, how do you do that?

This is stuff that you don't have to spell out for people, it just kind of spells out, it's more caught than taught. People are smart. People pick up on these things, and you become a go to person in your community.

Online, you might have to spell that out a little bit more, but understanding your strengths helps you to do that. This book gives you verbiage and words, so you're not working so hard at wordsmithing, your marketing, or your visibility.

This is why I really prefer starting with my clients on a strengths based platform, because it already sets the position, "This is what I'm good at, this is what I'm maybe an expert at, because I've nurtured this, I've gotten some certifications in this, I have 10 years of experience in this." They've taken their strengths and they've honed in, they've mastered it, they've worked at it as a craft.

Now, they've positioned themselves as someone who can really help in this area, or that area, but not these areas over here. These are my strengths, this is what I'm good at, and you can go to somebody else for support for those other things.

A lot of people are looking for their X factor in their industry.

You might say, "Well yeah, if I'm working in a copywriting industry, obviously I'm going to be good with words and so is everybody else. How do I set myself apart?"

The first thing to understand is that your strengths are not the same thing as your personality, and your strengths are not the same thing as your skill sets.

The way strengths work is, for example, I will use my number one strength, per Strengths Finders. My number one strength is that I'm a learner.

I am constantly learning, it's a very intuitive and natural thing for me to be learning how something works, or kind of breaking it apart in my mind as I'm enjoying watching it.

This happens during movies, "I wonder how they did that scene, I wonder how they did, you know, that shot." Or, I'm obsessed with courses and books.

This can also be a weakness, but the point here is that I'm a branding person, I am a coach who is a student of my clients, I am a student of what is going on there.

Another strength of mine is individualization.

This is not something that every coach comes to the table with, some coaches learn a method, and they teach that method over, and over, and over, and over.

I don't believe in cookie-cutter businesses, 'cause I think everyone has different strengths, and I think that we need to have custom solutions.

We can follow models and principles, but ultimately, a lot of times, custom solutions are required because of the dreams and visions that we have in our minds, and in our hearts.

My learning strength and my individualization strength really help set me apart as the kind of coach that I'm going to be, and I like using the idea of insurance people, or realtors, or car salesmen. These are people that are in every community, on every block, and so it's really hard to figure out, "How do I stand out from the crowd in an industry where, my job is to sell cars and the next guy is trying to sell a car, too. What sets me apart?"

Well, maybe your brokerage already has their branding, or maybe the dealership, maybe it's Mercedes, maybe it's Toyota.

Those things will be one of the things that sets you apart, but even more so within your own dealership, or within your own brokerage, how do you set yourself apart?

That comes down to your strengths, your personality, your values, and your visuals, right? These are the things, when combined, that help you to develop a strengths based brand.

I'll say those things again.

It is your strengths, it is your personality, it is your values, and your visuals.

When we get really clear on those things, it really starts to come together very easily. Most people find knowing and articulating their personality to be very easy, it's very obvious, such as, "I'm really loud and outgoing," or "I'm rather introverted, and shy."

Strengths Finders is a very practical, objective thing that you can get your hands on for a very small investment. This book is $13.00, and that includes the test.

This is a very small first investment in yourself, in your business, in your career, whether you're doing your own thing, such as, an online business, or you're part of something such as a brokerage, like a realtor or something along that line.

Your values are things that you may not be able to spout off the top of your head, but with maybe an hour of sitting down and thinking, "I really value community, I really value honesty, integrity, authenticity," and you can just start running down a list, and then say, "This would probably be my number one, this would probably be number two, this is my number three. I really want to highlight these three values as something that sets me apart in the industry."

Already you have  got your personality, your strengths and your values squared away, but the place where people start to get stuck is in their visuals. How do they come up with these visuals that represent, at a glance, their strengths, their personality, and their values? That's why I want to offer the brand assessment, regarding the visuals and the brand.

Strengths based branding, if you have that or if you don't have that yet, that's okay, but this is something that I really find a lot of my clients who are coming to me initially, they're really stuck on, "How do I create this visual without copycatting or trolling somebody else," and so we will sit down and start to dialog about the strengths, the values, the personality, and then that comes together in the visuals.

I hope, hope, hope that you guys find this information helpful, valuable, supportive in helping you to take small next steps in your business, and if there's something around branding that you have a question about please let me know. I would love to help answer that for you, and if you think that this community is helpful, I would love for you to invite your friends to join as well.

If you know you are ready to take next steps in laying a strengths-based foundation for your brand, check out my free course Mark Your X!