In an overcrowded marketplace, everyone is looking for a way to get noticed. I think one of the great paradoxes we’re all living with (and through) is that the more connected we become the more difficult it is to be heard.

You could try and get noticed by putting on a show. And some take that route. You could give yourself a catchy ‘persona’—and there are plenty of self anointed Diva’s, Gurus, Czars and Queens out there to be sure! And, to a degree, these tactics work. If done right, they can be fun. But, if done wrong, you risk becoming an inside joke. Not the best way to get noticed and make a serious impact on the world.

Here’s what I think. I think the best way to stand out is to be yourself—to find your own Signature approach or way of working (and being) and claim that. Signature is about fully being yourself and amplifying the elements that make you memorable to those who experience you and your work. It’s not about taking on a persona, or a kitschy title. Signature isn’t about putting on pretense. It’s about dropping it.

Signature is:

-- claiming your brilliance and being willing to show it off a bit
-- being authentic
-- being grounded in values that guide you no matter what is going on in the market
-- expressing your point of view, your creativity, your unique take on life and business
-- standing confidently and clearly in your message
-- having a style or approach all your own
-- being different because you ARE different
-- creating an experience for your clients, customers, prospects and those who experience your work
-- taking the lead more often than you follow
-- a willingness to step out of convention and challenge assumptions (especially your own)
-- making an impact with your gifts, talents and strengths
-- taking a stand for something of meaning to you and to others
-- trusting your own wisdom as much as you trust the insight of your mentors and advisors
-- finally being ok with who you are - and who you aren’t

It may seem like a tall order. At first, it may even feel scarier than playing a part, right? I don’t intend it to be. In fact, when you finally grasp that all you really have to do is be yourself, you may breathe a sigh of relief! When you let yourself off the hook about having to ‘get it right’ or do things exactly like others are doing them, you begin to recognize your signature difference. That’s when things get exciting!

Finding your signature difference is about finding the place where what you do and who you are is strong, clear and confident. I’m often asked how to figure this out. So here are 5 really straightforward ways to uncover your unique brilliance or find your Signature difference.

1. What is the experience you want your customers, colleagues and others to have when they interact with you and your company? What words do you want them to use when talking about you and your business? These can become the “signature” elements you put in place to stand out.

2. Think about the 5 proudest moments in your business life. What words, phrases, feelings and images come to mind? Consider how these might showcase the best and brightest about you and your business…and how that might just be your “signature” difference.

3. What compliments do you hear over and over again? If you don’t do it already, I highly recommend keeping a file dedicated to all the random and not so random feedback, compliments, thank you’s and appreciations you receive. These are clues to your signature approach and to what people value most in working with and around you.

4. Make a list of the 5 most favorite clients or customers or projects you’ve ever worked with. What was it about those experiences that made them so memorable for you? What were the results? What was unique about these 5? What was similar? This is like a little treasure hunt leading you to your signature ‘thing’!

5. Fast forward 3 years. You’ve achieved more than you could have hoped in the last 3 years. Your local newspaper is coming to interview you to share your success story. What have you accomplished? What are you known for? What are you proudest of? What stands out about you to get you noticed and acknowledged?

I would love to hear from you. What does being ‘signature’ mean to you? What are some examples of people, businesses, organizations or even events that capture the essence of “Signature”? What is YOUR signature?

Author's Bio: 

Register for your free e-course The 7 Surefire Strategies to Reignite the Fire in Your Belly at Shawn Driscoll helps high achieving executives and entrepreneurs breakthrough to the next level of success. She empowers them with the insights, tools and strategies they need to rise to the challenge of their personal mission so they can experience meaningful success while making a real difference in the world.