Confusion to Clarity: 3 Questions Every Personal Brand Needs to Address


By Denise Schmeichler, {grow} Community Member

I like to remind my clients and students that I am just like them. Just because I teach it does not mean that I don’t go through the same cycles that they go through. Being open about my own struggles allows them to see that I am human and it helps me to connect with them at a much deeper level, because I truly understand their pain.

The truth is that I have made all the same mistakes that they have made and many more.

The path to entrepreneurship is definitely not a straight line and going about it alone definitely makes it an uphill path. That’s exactly how I felt almost two years ago. I was doing all the right things — at least I thought I was.

I did my best to follow the advice of every guru that I followed, but looking back now it was a huge mistake. I was spending a lot of effort and resources promoting myself and doing everything possible to be known, but I still felt like I was missing a piece of the puzzle and I kept questioning if my efforts were worth it.

I knew that I needed to ask for help and I also knew it could not just come from anyone.

It had to be from someone in the industry that I admired and respected and who would also be available to coach me. That’s how I met Mark Schaefer.

In our first conversation, Mark introduced me to the framework that would soon be revealed in his book KNOWN. After our call, I had a lot of homework, but the key to getting clarity and answers to my questions was simple, just answer the following three questions:

1. What makes me different?

When I started to create content, I started creating content in English, but after a year, I made the switch to Spanish and neglected the content in English. The truth is that I did not have a clear vision for my business or my content. I did not know what direction to take so I really did not know whether my content should exist in English.

Finding what makes me unique was key to getting clarity. Mark refers to this concept as “my place”. After my conversation with Mark, I realized that I must create content in both languages, English and Spanish, because that is precisely what will set me apart and would serve as proof of my ability to move between the two worlds.

2. Where should I publish my content?

In other words, what is “my space”?

That’s how Mark referred to the second part of his framework. In my case, “the space” chose me, but it sure helped to have someone with experience point that out to me. As it turns out, we don’t always see what’s right in front of us. I was getting great results with my blog posts thanks to the simple infographics that I was creating, which helped move my reader from feeling like a total beginner with no path to having a clear picture of what they need to do. It became clear that my goal was to continue to use visuals to solve the problems of my audience.

The key here was to notice that by answering this question, I was also choosing my main social media channel, which in this particular case, the answer was Pinterest. From that point on, every post that I created would have to include an infographic that I could promote on Pinterest.

3. Be open to the unknown

I clearly remember Mark’s advice around this question, which at the time, I am not sure I completely understood. It went something like this: Stay open, experiment, it’s ok not to have all the answers. It’s sometimes in the unknown that we find the answers to our questions.

As I did not have a clear step by step strategy to follow, I decided to keep it simple. I would stay consistent with questions one and two above. In other words, I will create content regularly and continue to use visuals so I could build trust and create room for experiments and that’s exactly what I did.

In this process, I have learned many lessons and have also seen my results dramatically improve.

Having the answers to the three questions above have helped me keep my focus during the last two years and allowed me to go deeper in the areas that I am really good at and that I also enjoy.

I now see how the path from confusion to clarity can be simple when you have someone to guide you, especially if it’s someone who has already walked the path.

Denise Schmeichler is a Hispanic Online Marketing Specialist in the US and the World, empowering and helping service-based business owners to create content that attracts clients. Founder of Netklik

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