How to Leverage your Brand and Create Massive Impact
Your Unapologetically Authentic Personal Brand
You want to grow your impact, attract new clients, stand out, and raise the love child that is your business... right? So, you try to create your Personal Brand. You read books, watch video's, maybe work with a brand expert. Only to find out it doesn't work!
Because the result of all your hard work doesn't do what it's supposed to do: Grow your impact and guide The Right Clients to your Door!
Maybe your brand feels like wearing a way-too-tight-flashy outfit. It looks Grrreat on the outside, but it blocks your breath. Like that lovely red bra you fell in love with at the store, but never wear because it's not boob-friendly. At all.
Maybe your brand feels like scuba diving in a box of Lego. Every piece looks beautiful and shiny, but you have no idea how to click it all together into your own Millennium Falcon. Where is the instruction manual?
Maybe your personal brand doesn't feel aligned. You are a deep thinker and feel everything. You smell fake faster than those special Italian pigs can find a truffle. If your brand is not 100% congruent it will not work.
Maybe you don't have a clue how to really use your brand. Or maybe your brand is just very bland, beige and thoroughly blah.
Maybe - and this is in no way meant to shame you, because you're in the company of the majority of entrepreneurs - you never built your personal brand. For all kinds of reasons: - time, money, I-don't-need-that, 'Only for Established Entrepreneurs'.
Whatever your reason is, I'm here to show you that an authentic brand is the right fuel for your vehicle.
Want me to give you a hand?
Okay, let's start at the beginning. What is Personal Brand?
A Personal Brand allows you to Consciously Differentiate yourself from your peers.
That's fancy talk for: 'Don't fit in if you want to stand out!' and "Know what makes you unique and use that everywhere."
If there are 75 white, long-haired, shiny-skinned health-coaches who drink their green smoothies from Mason Jars, showing off their super-tight abs and sharing: 'Super-stuffed after one sip of my kale, cucumber, lemon infused smoothy', you NEED to consciously differentiate yourself in order to be Uniquely Yourself, and to attract the clients who want to be healthy but don't necessary feel at home in the Land of Perfect.
When you build your personal branding around the idea of "I Want to Look Like My Peers" you will be easily forgettable. Because you are interchangeable.
Are you with me? Your Uniqueness and the Fact that you Are Different is what brings you clients! And Impact. And that ultimately brings in the money.
By the way: Your personal brand is NOT your logo, your fonts, brand colors, or your website! That is the visual identity that is based on your personal brand.
This is what the majority of Personal Brand experts will tell you:
"A personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room."
" A personal brand is how you want people to perceive you".
And though there's nothing wrong with that it all comes from the mind. It lacks a heart/soul/mind connection.
I don't know about you, but if I can't feel it, I'm just not interested. And if you can't feel it, I'm quite sure your clients can't feel it either.
Enter Maya Angelou who famously said that it is all about feeling!
'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'
- Maya Angelou
This radically changes the perspective of your Personal Brand!
Enter layer 1 of the Authentic Personal Brand: How you FEEL about yourself + What your soul client FEELS about you = your Personal Brand.
Yes, you read that correctly: your SOUL client. Your soul client is a human being who completely
a. - connects with you
b.- and is in need of the products and services that only you can provide
c. - and will pay you for what you deliver.
#A. ASK YOURSELF: How do I make my soul clients (and also my friends and family) feel?
And for extra points: who are my soul clients?
We add a second layer over your Personal Brand: Your Zone of Genius, or Your Unique Brilliance.
Your Zone of Genius (or as my clients say: ZOG) is what comes to you naturally. Something that is so incredibly easy that you can't believe anyone wants to pay you for it.
You mumbling: "Seriously, why can't they do that themselves" is often a good indication that you're operating from your Zone of Genius.
Mine is soul whispering. I can connect to a large group of people and connect to their souls. I know. A bit weird. But it works much faster than traditional coaching and it helped me grow my business. So, it's a keeper!
I can talk to a client and within seconds receive Divine Downloads that allow me to co-create her unique brand. I can design a new course in under 5 minutes. It's annoyingly easy.
I'm not sharing this to impress you. But as an example. Because for a long time I doubted the value of my own work. We mistakenly think that real value comes with hard work, pain and a lot of tears.
But real value comes from ease!
I know for sure that you recognize something that comes that easy to you. Right?
#B. ASK YOURSELF: What comes truly easy to me, what is my unique brilliance and does my audience know about this unique gift of mine?
The third layer of your Authentic Personal Brand is Self-Love and Acceptance
Why? Because we're building a brand that is authentic. That represents The Best of You!
So, it must be rooted in you loving and accepting yourself. Completely! Because you can't expect your audience to adore you, to work with you and trust you when you don't do so yourself.
Self-love includes loving the extra kilo's, your education (seriously, when do you think you've got enough diploma's?), your messy/super shiny house, the wrinkles, insecurity, your wealth, the website that somehow never seems to be perfect enough or the fact that you are actually having a huge success . . .
The moment you accept and love the whole enchilada, you inspire your audience to love and accept themselves too.
This means you're not only practicing self-love and acceptance. You also lead by example. And what better way to create impact than by Leading by Example.
"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson
#C ASK YOURSELF: What parts of me do I try to hide, because I'm ashamed about it? How can I reverse that and wholeheartedly love and adore it? What could my impact become when I combine courage, self-love and acceptance and step into the light?
The fourth layer of your Authentic Personal Brand is Understanding what your soul client really needs.
Are you a wonderfully weird entrepreneur? Multi-passionate, sensitive and fiercely bright? Then this is the layer you need to understand and implement.
I know you can basically do anything once you set your mind to it. But it's your job to fully understand what it is that your soul client needs ... it's something ONLY you can provide.
For instance: you are a physio-therapist/singer/ pattern designer / collector of late 19th-century spoons / German Language teacher and you offer everything-you-know to e-ver-y-one.
This will not work. No exception. Never! You cannot be everything to everyone.
However, once you find out that your soul client really longs to express herself more freely, you can combine your singing and therapy experience. You create a unique service - that only you can provide.
Utilise your personal brand to create focus on this specific service. Think about it as aiming a spotlight on your unique service. Focus only on what becomes visible in the beam of light, while all your other knowledge and experience are temporarily out of sight.
#D ASK YOURSELF: What is it that my soul clients really needs from me? Am I only doing what I think works or can I focus more on what my soul clients really needs from me?
The fifth layer of your Authentic Personal Brand is Courage and Vulnerability.
I know. I never said this was going to be easy. But courage and vulnerability is paramount in your unapologetically authentic personal brand.
You want to create massive impact? Well, that requires courage and vulnerability. Leading by example, remember? It means sharing personal things, be open, get into the light. Be a leader. Stand out. Not by sheer force or screaming louder than the others.
But by showing the Real You to your audience.
This my friend, is much more than another simple action on your To Do List. The thing with courage and vulnerability is that it can hurt. Our over-privileged ego is also not a big fan.
Courage and vulnerability in your brand means no more hiding behind whatever kind of walls you have been hiding.
So, unless you do daily unprepared Facebook Lives - when you are a huge perfectionist - ; stand up at a business conference and speak your truth while your knees are trembling - because public speaking is a big fear -; or cry during a video message - instead of biting through the pain ; or you have the guts to say: "You know what? I really don't know the answer to this." - when you're used to being the expert of everything - you haven't had the courage to be touched and to touch others.
A word of warning!
Misusing vulnerability and courage as a way to primarily get more clients or gain success - I see it happening so often, and it's ugly- , or to make yourself small - (Don't mind me. I'm just a little girl) is not only a very bad idea, but your audience will 'feel' when it doesn't come from a place of integrity.
You can only touch others - and share your light and greatness - when you let go of your armour and let others touch you.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
― Brené Brown,
Your Authentic Personal Brand
Your Authentic Personal Brand lives in the intersection of self-love and acceptance, your clients needs, vulnerability and courage, how you feel about you and your clients about you, and your Zone of Genius: like a baby safely tucked-in, in its crib.
Your brand will create the impact you want it to make when it's congruent with you, and with the soul of your business.
Your brand is a living, breathing being. It will make you smile - not unlike a proud aunt, mother or grandmother looking at a child. It will generate happiness - yours and your audience, it will surprise , bring light and clarity, it will grow with you and for you.
In short: your unapologetically authentic personal brand is a manifestation of pure love.
Are you ready to create an authentic brand and change the world?
Here are three options for you.