the honest girl’s guide to
I get it! From the outside, personal branding can seem like an exercise in pretending to be someone you’re not. But I want to share it can actually help you build your business from an even deeper place of honesty and true-to-yourself-ness!
amplify a worthy message
Branding can help you take a worthy message, and give it a bigger platform.
Recently branding has taken on a new life in the world of social and cultural movements. We use brands to express our identities, our beliefs, our values, and what we stand for. We join social movements and consider ourselves part of a tribe. We use brand as shorthand for "I believe in ________" and "I'm the kind of person who ________."
Yes, your brand can be about key value propositions and strategic differentiators... or it can be more. Your brand can be about believing in something and sparking a movement – for self-love, for sustainability, or for any idea worth spreading.
If all you have is a big heart for what you do, a message worth sharing, a voice you’re willing to use, and a bundle of insecurities (okay, that part’s optional) then you’ve got the makings of an awesome brand. No rose gold accents required.
Branding is actually an amazing tool for self-discovery and acceptance. It brings you face-to-face with yourself, your motivations, and your unique gifts. It helps you tune into what you want to bring into the world and create. You get to reframe the things you may call weaknesses, as and see them as differentiators.
The truth is that branding is a natural fit for dreamers, idealists, and empaths. It’s the spiritual side of business that captures the imagination, stirs the heart, and inspires people. It's uncovering who you are deep down, and bringing it into the light for the world to see, in a way that feels right.
What is it about what you do that lights you up? Why do you have a heart for this work? What unique gifts, talents, and perspectives do you offer the world? What's the story behind your passion? What's the impact you want to make in your career?
If you live for the limelight and spend your days lounging in designer dresses, that’s awesome! If you’d rather work behind the scenes while munching on goldfish crackers, or go stomping in rain puddles, or never wear a smudge of makeup in your life, that’s awesome too!
My point is, you do you. Whatever you put out in the world will come back to you. The right people – your people – will take notice and gravitate to you.
serve and love people better
A brand is a lot like a relationship; it doesn't work if it's one-sided. You need to know your people! You need to relate to them, understand them, feel their pain, and allow yourself to be consumed with helping them solve their problem.
A good branding process forces you to get outside of your head and into the head of your ideal client. How is she feeling? What is that like? What is she searching for? How can I help?
And from that space of caring, attention, and concern, come ideas and solutions that you'd never stumble across in your own head.
You have to get down in the dirt with people, examine the problem and feel the weight of it, see its sticky-ness, experience the discouragement. Know their passions and goals for their life, know their pain, and then go back to the lab and find a solution.
make better decisions
As you build a strong brand, every part of how you build your business should come from a place of intention and honesty about who you are, how you actually spend your time, how you live your life.
That includes how you market yourself!
If you don’t naturally spend every second posting on social media, don’t suddenly try to be that girl! (If you are that girl, that’s cool too!)
When you know what your brand is all about, it becomes easier to make decisions that embody and reflect the brand. You know how to choose platforms, structure your workflow, and show up in a way that aligns with the values you're telling people you believe in.
Plus, in branding, quality wins over quantity always. Yes, people need to be exposed to you a few times before they remember you. But if the quality is missing, and you’re not sharing relevant content, all the quantity in the world won’t help you!
find clarity and ditch the overwhelm
It can be hard work to take your multi-passionate human self, and dial in on what to share, how you position yourself, and how to craft a message that works for you.
Some things just don't belong in your brand or marketing. In fact, sharing everything about yourself can be really confusing to your audience because they don’t know what’s important!
If you want a brand that people connect with, know, like, and trust, you have to be focused around a core idea and message worth committing to. This helps you avoid telling a confusing story about yourself and diluting the power of your message.
You can be multi-passionate (aren’t we all?) but don’t make it your audience's job to sift through conflicting messages and value statements to figure out what service you’re offering. Make their job easy by keeping your message tight and focused, and using visuals that reflect and support your narrative.
Their busy, tired brains will thank you!
Start by getting clear about who you are. Get back in touch with your natural inclinations, strengths, gifts, and passions. Who are you, deep down? What do you bring to relationships and to the world that is special? What qualities do you have more than your fair share of?
What do you want to achieve in your brief time on earth? What’s your vision? Your values? Your purpose? Mission?
What do you stand for and want to share with the world?
Your story and how you got to where you are
Your voice and message
What all this means for your brand