For speakers and authors who want to get clients. the message is clear:  your brand must stand out and be unique.

How many times have you heard that message? Probably too many times.

Yet, it is true. But most consultants and thought leaders don’t know how to be unique. Here are a few tips on how to brand yourself properly.

Author Joe Calloway has written a book called “Category of One.” I like that positioning!  What he is saying is that when people think of a solution provider, only one name comes to mind. You want that name to be you. Adopt the “category of one” mindset that you and only you can accomplish this task.

Now the question turns to “what is that task or solution?” Let me explain by focusing on what it is not.

It is not being everything to everyone. Nearly every new entrepreneur and small business makes this mistake. It isn’t bad to have lots of solutions or features, of course, but it makes it hard to stand out and be a category of one. That’s because everyone else is doing the same thing and sending the same messages. You might be great, but it’s hard to stand out when your message and market is the same as everyone else’s.

The true answer in defining how to stand out is to pick an niche and be the leader in that niche.

For example, I received an email the other day for someone who was promoting a message of how to start a business — not unique. But he was focusing on the 50 and older man who just got laid off or who took a buyout package. Now that’s great thinking!  If you are in that target market and you searched Google for a consultant to help you, you’d find lots of people. But if you were just cashing your severance check wouldn’t you want to work with someone who understands what it is like to be 57 and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life? That’s a different skill set and a different mind set than someone who helps anyone and everyone start a business. The same logic holds true for vertical markets. For example, if you wanted to start a fashion business, wouldn’t you want someone who understand the ins and outs of that industry instead of a jack-of-all-trades?

To brand yourself as a category of one, you must find your niche. This niche probably — hopefully — will match your passion as well as your experience.

Here’s another way to define a niche. I have a number of clients who are women authors who have written books about dating.

This is another area in which you can become a category of one. That’s because these books focus on women at different stages of their lives — young and single, divorced with kids, divorced with no kids. divorced with kids under a certain age, widows, young widows, old widows. It was fascinating to see because each group had its own unique issues. For example, what do you tell the children? Do you introduce the man to the children? Do you let the man sleep over? The answers would vary if the children were pre-teen, teen or adult.

If you take these examples and apply them to your business and your message, you will be closer to building a brand that identifies you as unique and a true “category of one.”

The Los Angeles Times called Dan Janal “an Internet marketing expert” who helps professionals build their businesses with publicity and Internet marketing tactics. To learn more about Dan’s coaching and consulting services, go to For a free report on how to get your message printed in top tier media websites, go to