Martha's Dare inspiring you to achieve your dreams

Differentiate yourself !

There are thosands of people you interact with daily, how do you make sure that after meeting them they remember who you are. How do you differentiate yourself from others ? You may be asking, “Martha, why do I care if our interaction is memorable?” Let me give you a couple of examples.

Example 1: You are at a friend’s house for a party and you meet this GREAT person who you think you might want to see again – hmm, hope they remember your name !!
Example 2: Your name comes up at the promotion meeting at work, let’s hope that the Directors and decision makers around the table know who you are and can support the proposal for a raise.

Whether it’s in your personal life or at work, you need to know how to differentiate yourself in a meaningful, and memorable way.

In my personal life, my strategy for being memorable is being genuine. People pick up the positive energy that exudes from someone that is comfortable in their own skin. In addition, listen intently, and openly share elements of yourself. Sharing key elements of who you are is your key differentiation strategy here. Because, who knows ? Maybe the fact that you are gluten free, make killer brownies and dream of going scuba diving in Australia is the very thing that person X is intrigued by.

At work, my strategy has been two fold. Deliver results AND do something consistently well or that enhances a business interaction. Note, that no matter what, at work you have to deliver results and then some. If you don’t deliver results, people will remember you for failing, NOT who you are. What I do consistently that enhances a business interaction is that I use video in every interaction possible. I use it when I am on video conferences, I send video messages instead of emails, and when I advertise for jobs on my team I always include a video introduction and message. The key is to do it all the time to a point where it gets associated with your brand. Martha = Video.

Another approach is to do something really really well. Be the best practice. This doesn’t have to be something complex or big, it can be something very simple. The important thing is that you excel at it consistently and visibly. Some skills that differentiate people are: energetic presentations, high impact voicemail updates, being a super user of a common technology, or being an amazing project manager. A colleague of mine is the best Program Manager I know. She has her finger on the pulse of her projects and manages the stakeholders and risk with ease. She knows her schedule like the back of her hand and can tell you the dependencies like they were the name of her children. She is known throughout our organization for this and when people talk about Program Manager, they think of Mary.

Being the best at something, or doing something consistently that enhances an interaction are key ways that you can differentiate yourself AND build your brand. Being memorable has played a key role for me in getting assigned to new and interesting roles, getting promoted, getting to date 2 with my current fiancee, being asked to speak at events, and much more. Differentiate yourself and see the exciting world that follows.

Dare: I dare you to get noticed ! Your actions, level of openness, and results are a reflection of who you are. I chose to be a video rock star that delivers results !! Who will you be ?

About Martha van Berkel

Martha is the co-founder of Marketing Technology company - Hunch Manifest. She likes to fire up customer adoption and disrupting industries! She is a entrepreneur and a Mom!

2 Responses to “Differentiate yourself !”

  • After my time in South America, my differentiator was chosen for me – I was ‘the foreigner’. Since I definitely do not consider being different the most important thing about myself, I had to work to draw attention to my other characteristics; even at times being less ‘Canadian’ to fit in. Like you, Marth, I chose being genuine as my best differentiator. When I got back to Canada, my time in South America was still making me different. My perspective, my priorities and yes, even my way of speaking was a little different even though I was back on my home turf. One habit that especially lingered: South Americans always take time to greet people properly, look them in the eye and ask them how they are before getting to business… I kept that practice up for myself. Most of the time, people really appreciate it! Keeping up that personal connection both motivates me and differentiates me in my new working context, and I have a feeling it will for quite some time…