Why is it so hard to brand yourself? Those of you who know me know my favorite phrase “Trying to brand yourself is like trying to cut your own hair.”@Heather Poduska (Tweet this) You can do it, but you probably won’t be satisfied with the results. Why is that? Why do we need someone else to help create a brand, and a personal brand at that!
Don’t we know ourselves best? Don’t we have a pretty good clue about what are strengths are and what makes us special? Well, if you are off and running and have all the clients you want, have a crystal clear platform, know exactly how to articulate your value and have an image that authentically reflects the vibe of your business, then the answer is YES! Woohoo, my hats off to you. You did it, you’re a genius.
For most of us though, there is a mumble jumble going on in our brains. There are so MANY things to think about. We are complex. If you are fresh out of the womb, you have a clean slate, but most of us have a myriad of experiences and talents we’ve honed and interests we’ve developed over time. Trying to decide how all of those pieces are going to come together in one tight, cohesive message can seem really daunting.
Even when we finally do make some decisions about how we want to represent ourselves and our business, that mean ol’ gremlin pops us and reminds us how silly we’ll look if we’ve made the wrong choices. You start to wonder, “What if I choose what I like and I don’t make any money? Won’t people think I’m too full of myself if I really step into the spot light? Will people “get” me if I really put myself out there?”
Of course, your chances of making more money increase when you have a strong brand. Even if some people are uncomfortable with you stepping into the spotlight, you know doing so will dramatically increase your chances for success. And if you really do put yourself out there, you will evoke empathy from a tribe of loyal followers! Intellectually, we know these things to be true, but our hearts and vulnerability keep us immobilized. That’s why it’s so important to get help.
When you have a caring mentor or coach or even a wise buddy, you have someone to support your decision-making process. You have someone to say “Hey, girlfriend, you really can rock a leopard-print dress!” or “If you are being completely honest and authentic, do you think that is right decision for you at this time?” Sometimes, just having someone there to listen and be present is enough. Other times, you need someone to help you do the heavy lifting.
What I have found is even the brightest entrepreneurs need help distilling and organizing their thoughts. They need someone to say “make it clearer, make it more precise.” To make a strong brand, you have to take an enormous amount of knowledge, skill, expertise, personality and emotion and compress it into one clear message. It can be done, but it takes effort and is much easier with support. It’s just like having a personal trainer at the gym. You can work out on your own, but when someone else is there to push you and help you with your form, you end up with a much tighter physique.
So do your brand a favor. Don’t go it alone. Not only will you end up with a clearer, stronger brand, you will feel more empowered to take yourself and your business center stage.
I love to hear your voice!
What do you find most difficult about trying to brand yourself?
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If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.