In my work with speakers, authors, coaches and consultants (AKA: “Experts”), I’ve determined that the single biggest mistake they make when developing and deploying their marketing, messaging and “personal brand” is that they forget that it has to be PERSONAL!
So many of us who are in the business of selling our expertise are caught up trying to be someone we’re not. We think “this is how I should be” or “this is how I should look” or “this is how I should act” in order to get the clients we want, earn what we’re worth, and appeal to the audiences we want to appeal to.
I know because this is what I did in the beginning of my career. As a sales consultant 7 years ago when launching my personal brand, I thought: “What is a sales consultant like? What does a sales consultant look like? What would she sound like? What would her business card look like?” This is the thinking that gave me a boring navy blue, black and white business card, logo and website. Needless to say, the leads weren’t pouring in.
Now, 7 years later, my brand is a true reflection of who I am: bright colors, Sharpie markers and Post-Its, irreverent keynote speeches, fun headshots in wacky poses… And business is booming.
That process wasn’t easy, nor was it fast. And it all came down to this one conversation that I’m going to have with you right here, right now.
When you strip away the layers of learning, socialization, and what your parents, family, friends, prospects and clients think you should be, what remains?
This is your true self. This is the self that you need to understand, capture and deploy in the world in order to create a compelling personal brand – or, because I dislike the baggage associated with that term – “Influential Identity” that is unique, authentic and – of course – drives business.
To create a powerful Influential Identity, you first need to first define the core, unique YOU, then look at what that means about your true purpose and then what you WANT out of your life.
Only THEN can you really start BRANDING effectively.