Don’t fall for the branding or differentiation trap

When you start a new job, a new business or are working to grow your company, you do everything in your power to make your mark and communicate to people why they should work with / hire you. What’s the newest buzz and latest greatest answer to your easy success? By branding yourself and being different!

This past week I was asked by someone inquiring about my services how I’m different from my competitors.

The question stumped me (I couldn’t come up with an answer) because I haven’t thought of my competitors for such a long time…years in fact.

Yes, I know. I’m supposed to have my ‘differentiator’ dialed in and it should flow easily from my lips.

Just like everyone else who is learning the ropes the first years in their business, I studiously observed and analyzed my competitor’s approach. But as my work (and I) matured I didn’t find a need to watch my competitors anymore. I’d been so intent and attuned to my clients, which resulted in creating unique solutions specifically for each, that I’ve carved out my own approach.

Thanks to that phone call I had the big ah-ha moment and I clearly see the reason why I was at a loss for words (yes, I know the irony – the communication specialist at a loss for words). It feels good to have carved out this space and not look in the rearview mirror anymore. I focus on the road ahead instead.

Why am I sharing this with you? To share what I’ve learned – to forget the buzz about branding and stop trying to communicate how you’re different.

Just do good work. Be curious. Solve interesting problems. The rest will come. And what you’ll discover is great material for your presentations and communication pieces without contrived branding or looking like you’re trying too hard to be different.

To Your Voice,


I help build confident voices so they’re heard.

Janice Tomich is the founder of Calculated Presentations, a company dedicated to bringing out speaker’s stories to influence change. Janice coaches professionals, entrepreneurs, TED and TEDx speakers. She is a champion for equal representation by a diverse pool of presenters for all speaking events. Follow Janice on Twitter @janicetomich, on Facebook, on LinkedIn and subscribe for newsletter updates.

Be bold. Get heard. Inspire action.