The following excerpt is from Karen Tiber Leland’s book The Brand Mapping Strategy. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

  • Care 2 Communities turns converted shipping containers into sustainable health-care clinics in the developing world.
  • Income Store, a two-time Inc. 5000 designee, helps individuals, companies and private equity firms buy revenue-generating web­sites at two times earnings.
  • Donny Epstein, founder of the Epstein Institute, travels the world along with his wife, Jackie, treating titans of government and industry (including self-help superstar Tony Robbins) with his proprietary methods of healing. Donny is the creator of EPI Energetics and the developer of Network Spinal Analysis and the Reorganizational Healing and Living program.
  • The California Rangeland Trust is a nonprofit organization founded by a group of innovative cattlemen and cattlewomen in 1998 to conserve the open space, natural habitat and stewardship provided by California’s ranches.
  • Jeanne Bliss is founder and president of CustomerBliss and co-founder of The Customer Experience Professionals Association. Based on her extensive experience as a customer service executive in five Fortune 500 companies, she has created The Five Competencies: a proven framework to build your customer-driven growth engine.

Defining your Signature Services

Just by reading the examples above, you may already have a clear idea of what your personal, team or business Signature Services are. If you aren’t, make an inventory list of all the competencies you possess and services you offer. Then take a close look at each one, and see if you can articulate it more specifically, narrowly or uniquely as a Signature Service.

If you’re still stuck, try talking to a few of your clients and co-workers and asking them to add to your inventory list. They will often get to the heart of the issue immediately be describing exactly what you provide. Sometimes the hardest thing to see is what’s right in front of us.

Executives have Signature Services, too

A Signature Service is not just the purview of entrepreneurs and organiza­tions. Executives also have Signature Services, in the particular skill set or talents they bring to their organization. For example:

  • “I help individuals and teams who are experiencing confusion, iner­tia or lack of movement get to the heart of the matter quickly and find meaning through dialogue and actionable feedback.” -- Leslie, vice president of HR at a Fortune 500 financial institution
  • “Managing complex, multicultural and multigeographic worldwide transformation projects.” -- Nancy, chief innovation officer at a Fortune 500 high-tech company
  • “Planting seeds for the future in daily conversations and combining the ability to get people on the bus with the vision for where we are going.” -- Stan, vice president of marketing at a leading internet company

Clarifying what your Signature Services are as an executive allows you to make stronger choices about where to spend your time, prioritize projects and surround yourself with others whose Signature Services complement your own.