In his new book, The Rise of the Youpreneur, Chris Ducker argues that the key to building a sustainable, future-proof business lies within your own experience, interests, and personality. Ultimately, finding success boils down to unleashing the power of your personal brand (what he calls, being a "Youpreneur").
It sounds simple, but taking the leap to becoming a "youpreneur" takes vulnerability and authenticity.
I know the tactics Ducker suggests in his new book work, because they are the same strategies I used to pivot from my career as a TV news reporter to an entrepreneur. I didn't know it at the time, but leveraging a strong personal brand and loyal fan-base is what helped me to build a successful business, with zero experience.
Here are my top four takeaways from Ducker's book, if you want to leverage your personal brand for business success.
1. Be Original
While it may feel like there are no new ideas in business, Ducker suggests you can avoid the copycat marketing that is so prevalent these days, by building a business centered around you.
Anybody can have the same business model, the same services, or the same pricing. But nobody has your exact personality and experiences.
While you might be able to "get by" for a while modeling your business after another, ultimately, being successful boils down to being different and memorable. The easiest way to do it? Infuse your personal brand into your business.
As Ducker says, being different from your competitors beats being "better" every time.
2. Share Stories
You don't have to look far for the most powerful marketing tool in your business: your own stories of what you have done and what you can do for other people.
Ducker shares that in order to use your stories to attract the right people to your business (and repel the wrong ones), you need to identify your true strengths and weaknesses and use these to captivate your audience.
It makes sense. People like doing business with other people. Major brands spend millions to develop characters or spokespeople that their customers can relate to. The benefit to the "youpreneur" business model is that you already have the spokesperson (you) and the stories to go with it.
Spend time identifying which stories your audience can relate to and leverage those in your marketing.
3. Create Content
Ducker recommends taking one piece of content and re-purposing it on multiple platforms.
This is something I call the "content compound effect." It's where you take one piece of content, let's say a video interview, and you turn it into a blog post, a podcast, and a media pitch. You can develop a webinar around it or offer a live workshop on the topic.
I started doing this in business out of necessity- I just didn't have the time to create original content on a dozen different platforms. Turns out, it's a pretty effective marketing hack. If you're going to spend time creating content, you might as well get the most return out of it as possible. Re-purpose your content for different platforms and you'll reach more people as a result.
4. Be an Expert
Ducker shares how he experienced a major shift in business when he decided to put himself front and center by hosting a podcast, blogging, and doing more public speaking.
It's easier said than done, but for those willing to do it, the rewards are significant.
I've worked with many entrepreneurs who are too humble or overwhelmed to take center stage as an expert in their industry. The ones that are willing to take the leap and share their expertise in media interviews, training workshops, and public speaking, benefit from reaching a larger audience and making a bigger impact.
While Ducker lays out a full strategy to becoming a Youpreneur in his book, I don't think it has to be all or nothing. Pick a couple tactics and start small. Begin infusing more of your personal brand into your content or your web copy. Make some media pitches and do a couple podcast interviews. Start peeling back the layers of your business to reveal the authentic, original brand of you and you'll begin to experience the benefits of being a Youpreneur.