Every day, I see mental health entrepreneurs who are struggling to find their place in the world of private practice. Folks that are not really sure what to do, to attract ideal clients in an endless sea of Psychology Today profiles.
I have been looking closely at the huge difference Branding can make when it comes to building your practice. When done properly it IS the one thing that can help you grow a practice that you love in a way that feels natural to who you are.
Oddly enough, most mental health entrepreneurs don’t ever even think about Branding. As a matter of fact, we are often not crystal clear on what branding is. Even if we have a vague idea of what branding might be, we tend to overlook the importance of branding, by putting it off or avoiding it altogether.
But I have witnessed first hand the transformative and powerful impact branding can have on our businesses and private practices when we approach it the right way.
Usually, when it comes to branding, we begin to look OUTSIDE of ourselves through competition and comparison trying to find what works…instead of looking INSIDE to define our brands for ourselves.
Focusing on the “competition”, surveying the landscape in our field to see who is out there doing something similar to what we are doing. Where does that really get us? When we find someone that shares our niche, is nearby in location or has a similar personality, we look even closer to see what they are doing…so we can try to compete. This approach can lead us to an unhealthy and unproductive rut.
Being overly focused on what other people are doing and trying to find a way to outwork them doesn’t give you any time and creativity to work on building what is unique to you. When you are running the Competition Program, thoughts of what others are doing continue to linger in the back of your mind. Instead of creating something that works for you, you keep referring to what others are doing.
Competing is the first step on a slippery slope to what I know for sure to be the most dangerous way to approach your business. Once you develop a tendency to look at others who are doing what you’re doing in your industry/niche…the next natural thought is to compare.
Comparison is the thief of joy, confidence and creativity. It really never helps us grow. We waste precious time and energy comparing ourselves to someone else and try to find ways to compete with them to feel successful.
If your focus is “comparison,” then instead of focusing on who you are and what you bring to the table, you’re only viewing yourself through the lens of what others are doing. You’re looking to them for ideas of what works, and often walk away feeling “less than” because in your mind, you haven’t measured up.
I say that it’s finally time to shift our focus!
Stop looking at the competition because there is no one like you, no one who can do the work like you! These mindsets don’t build confidence, help you become stronger, or grow in the ways you need to grow as an entrepreneur.
But you know what does?
That’s right, contrast.
What makes you different?
How do you stand out?
This is how you will find the contrast you need to spotlight as you develop your brand.
As you’re trying to figure out this whole branding thing, ask yourself the following questions:
- What makes me different from people doing similar work in the same industry/niche?
- What makes me stand out from the people around me?
- How do I serve my clients differently than others?
Find your unique voice and what makes you different, and that makes competition a non-issue. Give yourself the gift of confidence that comes when you stop comparing yourself and really embrace your own journey and your own progress.
With contrast…clarity and confidence follows.
Building your brand to stand out from everyone else is crucial, but it’s hard to achieve this by yourself. To learn more about how contrast can make a huge difference in your business, and get rolling on creating your business’s unique brand, then check out Becoming Brand Confident today!