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When I first took over marketing director at a hotel, the first question I started asking was, “What makes us stand out?”

We knew that more than anything, we could give our clients an outstanding experience. We treated our clients like royalty, and rather than trying to market ourselves as the best hotel, with the biggest rooms, and the lowest prices, we honed in on what was most honest and most unique to us - the experience that we create and the great care we treat our clients with.

You have to do this for your personal branding and your organizational branding. Start by not being afraid to stand out. Work on the thing that makes you different from everyone else, because that is how people remember you in a sea of competition and noise.

When you scan social media, or when you are watching TV, think about what makes you stop and actually pay attention to something. You are drawn into the unique things that stick out. You are drawn to authenticity and to stories that resonate with you.

What is it about your restaurant or coffee shop or organization that makes it all its own? What is it about your story that is so beautiful and unique that it will cause people to go to your website and find out more information about you?

What makes you different is what makes you strong. What makes you stand out from everyone else is what makes people remember your brand. Branding is perception and perception is reality. If people do not know what you offer and your unique story, people will not remember you.

Do not be afraid to embrace your unique story. You made be “weird” or different, but it is those brands and businesses that become leaders.

Do not get influenced by the status quo and competition.

When I first started, I had people tell me, “Do you really want to reinvent the wheel, since people here have been doing marketing for a long time?” They were telling me not to start a business, even though I knew I had unique value to bring, because someone else was doing.

You cannot let people or even your own thoughts keep you from charting your own course. The great thing is that there is a lot of disruption happening now. There are so many people paving their own way and making things happen that no one thought possible.

Be sure that you are not afraid to define what makes you unique then market the hell out of it.

Embrace you and your story and keep sharing it over and over again. Be unique and let others know about it. 

- David L. Joyner and the Joyner Media & Strategies Team