When you walked into your high school for the first time did you look around at all the little clicky groups of kids and say to yourself, “I want to be one of the (insert stereotypical group here) kids”? If you did, more power to you. Most of us seem to go through life just living according to our circumstance, instead of consciously choosing what we want and then going after it and making it happen. Just because we’ve been known as being a certain way our whole lives doesn’t mean we can’t choose to be perceived a different way moving forward. Once you “get” this it’s the most empowering tool you can have in developing your personal brand and becoming sought after by the “right” people.
I’m living proof of this concept. A couple years ago I was an unhappy stay-at-home mom taking a break from my career. I really hated my life and that feeling permeated my entire being. I would lay awake at night fantasizing about getting in my mini van and driving as far away from my husband and kids as I could possibly get and never go back. Looking back on the image I was putting out into the world now really makes me cringe. I was so negative, blaming others for my unhappiness and finding the dark side of every situation. I was not one of the cool kids, and for good reason. The person I am today would not want to hang out with the person I was back then. No way!
Fast forward two years and I love my life! I’m a successful business owner, a leader on the board of directors of my local chapter of NAWBO, one of the largest organizations for women business owners in the United States. I’ve lost 120 pounds since I went to the hospital to have my 3rd baby and I look and feel amazing. I haven’t been this size since I was 18 years old! I’m more in love with my husband than ever before and I relish the time I have to spend with my kids. I’m well known in my local community and sought after as a branding photographer who helps businesses promote and grow their businesses. When I meet new people they have already heard of me and are excited to meet me in person.
So, what happened? How did this drastic shift in who I was and how I was being perceived by others come about? How did I suddenly go from the most repellent person on the planet to a highly sought after, influential leader? The short version: I declared it to be so. I decided one day I was not going to be frump mom anymore and began to define what my personal brand would be. Much of this took place as I was forming my business plan for WorkStory (http://www.workstoryphotography.com). In deciding who my customer would be and how the business would fit into my life I had to take a close look at who I wanted to be as well. Getting super clear about who I wanted to attract into my life and who I wanted to be has been the roadmap, the guiding force behind every decision I make.
Here’s an example…
In deciding what type of hairstyle to have I ask myself and my stylist, “Is this frump mom? Or rock star, powerful business mom? I’ll take the latter!” When choosing which clothing to buy I ask myself, “Does this dress fit into the vision of who I want to be?” When choosing what to have in the background of my Facebook Live videos I ask, “What is this environment going to say about me and my personal brand?” If it’s not a match I make a change. If someone approaches me about a business opportunity or asks me to do pro-bono work I have to ask myself if it’s a good fit. It’s much easier to say no to things that don’t move you toward the vision you have for your life and your brand.
So, how do you define your personal brand? I’m glad you asked because I’m going to help you do it! I’m so excited to announce my upcoming Define Your Brand 5 Day Challenge starting August 14th!
This challenge will help you get super clear about your personal brand, who your target client is and what unique problems you help them solve. This will help prepare you for the next steps in building a rock star brand, which is a brand assessment and brand strategy (more about that later).
This challenge is totally FREE and all you have to do to join is sign up right here:
Get it on your calendar, August 14th through 18th! You’ll receive a daily email from me with an assignment and then we’ll meet each day at 9:00 a.m. in my private Facebook group for a LIVE interactive video training. Join the group here:
At the end of the challenge you’ll walk away with a clear definition of your brand, a vision for your life, a new understanding of your ideal client and what problems your product or service solves for them (and why it’s important to define that), PLUS, a glimpse at what you need to do with that information to start to build your powerful brand and become one of the cool kids at school!
See you soon!