First recognize that you do, indeed, have a brand.
You are a product of your thoughts, beliefs, values, experiences, and how you show up in the world.
A brand is nothing more than reputation, character, and how others experience you. It’s you; showing up full on as the very best possible version of yourself (and your business) right now.
I have worked with clients who initially rebel at the idea of being thought of as a brand, but if we simply change the lens through which we view the concept of “branding”, ie: thinking of it in terms of your imprint, influence, and impact; a light goes off and true alignment starts to take place.
So, ready to refresh your brand?
1. Brand yourself first.
Think of your name as the umbrella under which everything else is under. So let’s say that you are a life coach and you founded the business “Utopia Life Coaching”. In this digital age of information overload, people remember people, not business names. By branding yourself, you become memorable.
So you would be Suzy Sunshine, Founder of Utopia Life Coaching and Creator of the Utopian Coaching Model. This allows you to be nimble + flexible in the direction of your business and yourself.
Here’s another way to think of it:
When you think Martha Stewart, you think Martha Stewart, not Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
When you think Oprah Winfrey, you think Oprah Winfrey, not Harpo Productions or Oxygen Media
Here is the biggest resistance I encounter around this: You think it’s vain or grandiose to use your name.
Here is my question for you around that: How will your right people find you and the solution that only you can offer to their problem? How will you do your great work if you’re hiding behind a company name?
You are all that and a bag of chips (healthy ones of course…like sweet potato).
I’ll say it again: people remember people
Brand yourself and build out from there
2. Start where you are and keep it simple
I get it; you coach, you paint, you write, you speak…you have a lot of talent and creativity to the table. You do not need separate websites for everything you do. You don’t. See Tip #1. There are ways to encompass everything you do in a clear and compelling way without driving yourself (and your potential clients) crazy.
3. Get crystal clear on your why + your values + your gifts + your superpower
When you know why you do what you do (think of the biggest, baddest, most awesome results people get from you), life really can be a dream.
Why does this matter to you and why should it matter to others?
Know the answer to that question and you will have your “why” and “values” clarified.
Think about how you want to be of service and what flow feels like to you when you are doing your best work. Own your gifts and if you want to “lean” into anything, lean into that.
4. Be First Person
Unless you are royalty or founded a company with others, ditch the “we” or talking about yourself in the 3rd person in your bio. Third person speak creates a distance and unapproachability. Branding is about having conversations and connection. Use first person when talking about yourself and have a media kit ready to download that is in the more traditional 3rd person format.
5. Know who you want to talk to and work with
I’ll be honest…I struggled with this one for quite some time. I believe everyone can benefit from crafting a strong and resonant brand and from understanding what a brand really is, but I’m not right for everyone and not everyone is not right for me.
I first learned about identifying the ideal client through traditional demographics, but I have found that much valuable is knowing psycho-graphics: what do my people think about, what do they struggle with, how I can provide clarity, am I relevant to them, what are their beliefs and values (surprise…they are similar to mine).
Branding takes time, requires mindfulness, and a desire to show up in the world as the best version of you.
Are you ready?
Kristin Drysdale says
This gives me a lot to think about. I really like the examples of Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey as personal brands, with their respective companies. I feel like I have a better understanding of what personal branding means. Thank you!
Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts 🙂 I’m so glad that it gave you food for thought and perhaps gave you some clarity!
I think changing the lens through which we view the term ‘personal branding’ is the first step in owning who you are and how you show up in the world!