In a world brimming with voices, standing out is a feat achieved by those who embrace their authenticity. Being clear about who you are as an author or leader will help you make strategic decisions about your personal brand with your strategic goals in mind.
If you’re new here, welcome! My name is Andrea Reindl. I own Legacy Creative (this site) and I’m on a mission to simplify complicated jargon that over promises and instead pave a path for people with big ideas and the teams that support them to bring their visions to life. I’ve got a weekly YouTube show you can watch and subscribe to [here]. This is the episode about this topic. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
Here’s what I’ve observed after almost 15 years working closely with authors to help them brand and build businesses. Those who embrace their authenticity and have built large audiences, authored best-selling books, and cultivated thriving businesses are intimately in touch with who they are and what sets them apart. When their brand is based on a big vision, they tend to fall into one of these 3 categories:
Type One: The Deeply Researched Expert 🤓
These are the people who are deeply researched in their field and undeniable subject-matter experts. They have typically engaged in clinical research, worked extensively in their domain, hold advanced degrees, and are prolific authors. Think of icons like Brené Brown, Simon Sinek, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant. They are the epitome of subject-matter experts who rely on research and science to establish their brand’s credibility. This category is perfect for those who have immersed themselves in their field and want to share their findings. Does this sound like you? If not…move on to category 2.
Type Two: The Lived-Experience Expert 🤗
The second type of expert draws strength from messy authenticity and real-life experiences. These individuals have made a decision to live boldly, usually fearlessly, and openly share their stories. A shining example of this category includes Elizabeth Gilbert, known for works like “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Big Magic.” Another example is Glennon Doyle, who courageously shares her messy life and the valuable lessons she gathers along the way. If you want to go back before Instagram and Facebook, Erma Bombeck was an OG lived-experience expert who made a great living from her colorful writing and masterful story-telling skills. You can read about her [here]. Lived-experience experts often intertwine their curiosity with the wisdom and messy lessons of life. This category is perfect if you want to be a blogger, influencer, or writer who is going to share your life stories, and you don’t mind being open about them. Does this sound like you? Maybe, maybe not. It’s just an option. Moving on to type #3…
Type Three: The In-the-Trenches Expert 🧑💻
Think of this 3rd category of experts as those specific skills, practiced over and over again and cultivated with time, mistakes, lessons, and real-life examples. They may have transitioned from doers to teachers and coaches, guiding others toward achieving similar results. These experts are lifelong learners and are adept at teaching their craft. Some of my favorites in this category are Amy Porterfield, Alex Cattoni, Dan Martell, Rachael Rogers, and Alex Charfen. They blend education, lived experiences, and practical knowledge, and are now beacons for others who would like to do the same. Maybe this is a type you resonate more with. If so, awesomeness! It’s another great launch pad to build a business from.
Successful individuals who have built substantial audiences, penned best-selling books, and nurtured thriving businesses have a common thread—they authentically showcase who they are and what makes them unique.
Now, let’s explore how to craft your unique position based on your expertise category.
For the Deeply Researched Expert:
If you fall into this category, consider sharing:
- Your research findings and the journey that led to your discoveries.
- Meaningful statistics and their implications for your audience.
- Other research that influenced your conclusions.
- Personal stories that drive your points home.
For this type of brand, staying focused within your area of expertise while designing your business and business model is key. Your audience expects subject-specific content, making you their trusted source. This category thrives on pre-planned content, allowing you to stay ahead in your field.
For the Lived-Experience Expert:
Your content mix, qualifications, and business model will differ. Focus on creating content around:
- Your day-to-day life, embracing both its messiness and triumphs.
- Personal “ah-ha” moments, shared in the moment on your chosen platform.
- Authentic endorsements of products you genuinely love.
- Stories from your life, like journal entries, perhaps in real-time.
The key to success in this category is simply being yourself in real-time. Your followers expect nothing less, and that authenticity is your superpower. Being present and in the moment, as pre-planning too far in advance doesn’t suit your style.
For the In-the-Trenches Expert:
If this category suits you or your client, share:
- Real-life examples of successful case studies.
- Your deep fascination with your subject matter and your discoveries.
- Practical examples and step-by-step guides.
- Frameworks and templates that work.
- Your journey, including the highs and lows.
Experts in this category thrive on a mix of pre-planned and live interactions with their audience. As you ponder your own brand or work on one for a client, remember this concept. Understanding these three expert categories will help you identify your niche and position yourself effectively in the market.
If you found this information valuable and you’re passionate about branding or work as a freelancer in the creative industry, please give me a follow, or check out our YouTube channel, or if you’re an IG person you can find us there too. All the handles are Legacy Creative.
Finally, please share below with anything you already knew but now see in a slightly different light. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼