It’s funny I’ve been doing this personal brand strategy stuff for years. I constantly talk about getting connected with your inner stuff, your inner wisdom, first and think about what it is that you want to create in the world. And then looking at a great content strategy to take that out to the world.
But this morning it occurred to me to say, just be you.
Don’t you love this quote? Be you, because you can hardly be anyone else or can you?
And that in itself can cause all kinds of problems and send your mind in a tizz with well, who am I?
Yesterday, I did a photoshoot. It was fun. I took my mum along because I wanted to create some fun for her, get us both dressed up and make some memories.
But it’s not that easy to pose and create an image of who you are. I ended up with lots of pictures that I liked, a few that I loved and loads that well, mmm, have hit the cutting room floor and been virtually burned.
They are all me. The faces I pulled are all me. The camera, they say, doesn’t lie.
While there is a place for modelling, by following others successful processes and methodologies, there is nothing like your way – by being you.
So, besides strutting your thing on the catwalk or in the photo studio, there is an argument that being ‘the naked’ you is what will win friends and influence people – that wonderful, know, like and trust factor.
You might not want to strut naked. I get that. There will also be parts of you that you don’t want to share. What if you share the real you and others don’t like it? My opinion is that is their problem.
Showing off (in the nicest sense of the word) who you are is fun. Plus it is what will help you to build a brand that is conscious, confident and conscientious. Or to use a very popular term authentic.
You already have a personal brand
You already have a personal brand whether you want one or not – simply by being you, you have a ‘brand’. What you do with it, is what will make the difference.
If your personal brand project needs to change, then make the choice to do that. Life is always about conscious decisions and choices. Don’t keep following a path that energetically does not feel right for you. It is draining.
While it may be tempting to say that you don’t care what others think, or they can take me or leave me, the reality is, if that’s what you think you may find yourself occasionally in the poo. Consider these statements:-
- Your personal brand exists in the minds of others in the way they perceive, think, and feel about you. It’s important to remember that your personal brand is not what you think it is, but it’s what others perceive it to be
- Personal branding is all about your audience – the person or people you most want to impact with your brand at work and in your career
- Your personal brand is built 24/7 and 365 days per year through what you say, what you do, how you do it, what you look like and the impression you leave. Of course, you are human, and you will make mistakes. Just consider which of your behaviours might damage your brand. Think before you act.
Interesting isn’t it that personal brand is about what others think and feel about you?
That’s because people judge us. Just like we judge them.
One of the things I love about where I live is that people are not booted and suited. My doctor for example dresses in jeans and trainers. The allergy specialist I saw recently looked like she was heading out to a club. My accountant also wears jeans.
It took me some time to get the image of what I thought they should dress like out of my head. And then imagine running a business network and highly qualified people turned up in shorts and flip-flops…
I used to worry all the time what others thought while saying ‘they can think what they like.’ My sensitive side wanted to be accepted, my big brash side said she didn’t care, my inner child sulked. The reality was I wanted to be loved just as I am.
I have been through stages of my life where I have tried to tone down my quirky side and wanted to be seen as ‘this professional’. When I got my MBA I didn’t give out another business card until the new ones with ‘look at me, I am now officially intelligent’ was written on them. The truth is I am professional, and I am caring, kind, compassionate, heart centred, soul led, a great listener, intuitive, funny and a whole host of other things.
I am also quirky, passionate about living life on my terms, having the freedom to be slightly bonkers when I want to, reserved when I feel like it, outspoken when there is an injustice that riles me and bringing my consciousness and spirituality into everything I do. I have found the courage to be me and that is my personal brand.
The years have passed where I didn’t like myself and where I wondered how did I attract the people and relationships that I did? I’ve worked hard to understand myself, to get what motivates me, to know how I do things.
Writing has helped me to find and express myself. Social media has enabled me to share that expression. Being just me has enabled me to find my tribe.
Standing up for what I believe in and living by my values has given me freedom. Setting boundaries and seeing who tries to invade them teaches me good lessons about standing strong in my being.
Loving who I have become has been the best of all. If you don’t like me, then that’s ok.
My personal brand is externally about how you feel and perceive me. There is no getting away from that.
My personal brand is also all about me and how I feel about myself, how I choose to live my life, what I want to share, why I share my heart and soul’s wisdom in the way that I do. It is being me.
I encourage you to get to know the real you, embrace and love you, share the beautiful, unadorned, naked you. Start today and fill the hearts of others with your essence.
When you do that and are consistent in how you communicate your brand, you will get noticed for all of the right reasons.
If you are not clear, a self-branding audit, which is deeply illuminating will help you to identify your most urgent personal branding challenges. It can be a time-consuming operation but the information gained can be invaluable to your personal development. It is your discovery stage.
If you know yourself, you can grow yourself
Come and explore your conscious, quirky, utterly delightful personal brand with me. I use writing aka journaling to help you to navigate to your heart. We’ll tap into your sense of fun to uncover your inspirational message. When you know what it is you want to say, you can move onto developing a brilliant strategy.