I've been listening to podcasts on a daily basis for a few weeks now. It's mostly interviews with successful people who talk about their journey to where they are now.
One question that comes up very often is: What would you tell someone who is just starting out in your field and wondering how he/she can differentiate him/herself?
The answer has been mostly a variation of "Don't try to imitate someone else. Be more of yourself."
An example: Suppose you think there is nothing special about yourself. You think you are really boring. Then you could make this your thing - being boring. You wear it as a badge of honor that you are the most boring person ever.
Since I've heard this, I've been thinking about what THAT is that I can be more of.
When I worked for large corporations it was so easy to blend into the crowd of thousands of employees. Nobody needed to notice me, necessarily. I did my job and that was it.
Now, as a freelancer, I need to step out into the open. I need to be seen - to attract clients, to build authority, to establish myself. That is a fascinating and terrifying experience.