How to dig up your differentiators to stand out and shine

Differentiators are among the most important drivers of your personal brand (other drivers are values, passions, superpowers, purpose and objectives). When you know what sets you apart from others, you can use that distinction to stand out and get the attention you need to advance your career.

We all have peers or competitors, people who do what we do or aspire to do what we also aim to do in the future. Jobs without competition are extremely rare. The King of England is the only person for this position, at least until he decides to give up the position or dies.

But if you don’t wear the crown, you can’t achieve your goals if you don’t stand out from the crowd. Your differentiators can take different forms:

Your How.

Unless you work in an extremely narrow field, such as working as a live model/human statue (that’s real work, a form of advertising), it’s hard to differentiate yourself simply by what you do. How you do it, however, can be a valuable way to demonstrate your uniqueness. Think about your method or process of doing what you do. What makes your techniques interesting or different?

Your point of view.

You can make a name for yourself because of your stance on your profession. For example, you might be the advertising manager who thinks marketing is an art and is constantly trying things out, adopting new ideas to see what you can create that will be effective and unique. Or you might believe that marketing is a matter of science. For you, data is the key to successful advertising.

Your original qualities.

What sets you apart may even be something completely unrelated to what you do, or irrelevant to what you do, but it makes you more interesting and intriguing. You may speak eight languages, but you work for a company that does all of its business in English. An executive I know was a world-class synchronized swimmer, but she worked in finance for a tech company. She’s the only synchronized swimmer I’ve ever met, which makes her interesting. And she connects her skills and passion for the sport to her commitment to precision, harmony and collaboration that she builds with her team.

For some of us, it’s easier to identify our differentiators when we first look at what we have in common with those who do what we do or who have the same career aspirations. Then we can identify those high-quality quirks that are distinctly different from those shared skills, interests, or experiences. Quirks are the qualities that set us apart.

Everyone has something unique and valuable to offer. When you are clear about your differentiators and apply them to your daily actions, you stand out, get noticed, and increase your success.

You know what else gets you noticed? Use your superpowers. It’s the driver of personal branding that we’ll cover in the next installment of this personal brand discovery series.


Guillaume Arruda is a main speakerco-founder of CareerBlast.TV and co-creator of Personal Brand Power Audit – a free quiz that helps you measure the strength of your personal brand.

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