You know who you are, do I need to point it out? Okay, I will! Never have I had the problem of judging other brand identities for their own good of course! Hehe! Let’s start with my online brand identity crisis story first. Yes, I screw up too!
My first steps into the online realm were more like tiptoes. Although I had all the experience in the world (Big brand recognition, art & advertising degree, and all the tools any lady-boss would need or want) there, I was, hiding behind my name and feeling pretty damn alone and unsure of everything! Of course, I didn’t reach out to anyone because that would have implicated I was not a leader in my industry. (my first mistake! Always reach out and band together. We are not alone.)
I was so professional that building a trustworthy reputation with actual personality was null and void. My hiding went on for months. What I see now is a wall I put up way before I went into business. In essence, I was protecting myself from being judged, and in this, I was failing big time at every turn. It was a lot of work, felt draining, and created only enough money to pay the bills. I was happy to be out of the corporate cubicle life, but I didn’t feel the full connection to what my next steps were and how the rest of the year was going to look like and I had anxiety and cried almost every week.
I had 2 choices at this point in my journey:
1.) Keep being as professional as possible because people will eventually notice and respect my overall appearance and invest in me. More ads, more promos, more branding! (Not! Boring! Crash-n-Burn! Shallow!)
2.) Re-think my approach to my visibility by understanding how to create relationships through letting my walls fall to let people see who I am and what I offer on a personal and professional level. (This was a terrifying choice! it was the right one.)
Choosing #2 was against everything I trusted and trained for in my corporate life; it felt wrong. My entire body said, “don’t do this.”
Nothing in my life or business was working so choosing #2 became my obsession and mantra in life. I stood firm and decided to unlearn everything and channel someone who I hadn’t talked with in a while…my inner child. She was not afraid, and truth-be-told, she was pretty pissed off that I had been living such a structured and boring life. I immediately went off the rails and decided to let my light shine as bright as it could and essentially stand naked in front of the world. I didn’t have as much to lose as I convinced myself I did. What worried me at this point in my life was not being the inspiring and intelligent woman my brand identity said that I was. That is what made me feel like an imposter in my life. So, I began the BIG experiment and started over in my messaging, story, and overall approach to online visibility and creating relationships. Long story short, I now am a visibility and brand expert that lives with total freedom and works on a global level with women who are ready for more in life.
Is your brand an empty shell? Are you hiding behind your logo and website copy? Does showing off scare you? Have been thinking about sharing yourself wholeheartedly with the world but afraid we may not like what we see or hear? Does business feel like work and drain the energy from your very being leaving you lifeless for your family? I thought running a business was going to be fun and empowering. In the beginning, it was super hard and felt like a lot of resistance. It was all my fault that I took the approach I did. But it also became part of my journey. I made a decision, and I want you to know that no matter how elevated you may be right now, there is always room to grow. People work with people, not logos.
So, you might be excited right now and feeling like it is time to become more than *just* a brand. Woot woot! I have your back and am thrilled when a woman at every level of business want to embark on this kind of authentic path. Here are some things to do right away to get more in touch with your business and brand.
- It’s great to have a team create content for you. I certainly do, and it is amazing to free up time. BUT, too many times I see lady bosses relying almost 100% on their systems that other people have created for them. Consider reaching out by live broadcast at least once a week to talk with your audience. You will not only create deeper relationships with the fans you already have but attract more amazing people to your tribe. You have 5 minutes a week to do this. Try it out right now. Stop reading and go broadcast live on Facebook, Periscope, Twitter, and Instagram. Think of a broad topic that you’re passionate about and just do it.
- Start a brand inspire Pinterest board and start pinning images that not represent what your brand might look like as a person, a piece of art and as a package. Yep, pin images that are full of emotion. Examples of general keywords I start with to find for my clients are Vogue photography, packaging design, typography, color palette, crystals, paintings, empowerment, flowers, and much more. In these broad range searches, you can then become more accurate by adding more to your search. Such as, “business woman photography blue” or “retro hand lettering red” are a couple of great examples. And start pinning away as if no one will ever see this particular board of yours. In fact, in the board settings, you can make it secret if you would like to. With pure creative abandonment go nuts and then take a look at how this board makes you feel in the end. Does your brand feel aligned with what you just created? If not, it is time to make some adjustments and get back to what you naturally and intuitively love.
- Experiment all the time with your online persona! It is a difficult move for any woman. Embedded deep inside our bodies at a molecular level is the need to be perfect and serve others. It can be a great thing if you use it correctly. I love perfectionism because it calls upon the best of best in the world to get shit done! But it can also keep you from being yourself and getting creative. Especially if you are on the upswing in your career and feel nervous about messing with a formula that seems to be working. You see, the thing is, if you’re not experimenting then eventually you are going to putter out. Your business needs to be refreshed all the time to experience growth. Through “play time” you will get messy. You will also have aha moments and shifts that are at epic levels. There is always work to do, and you will never have it all perfect.
The first step is admitting you have a problem. Ha! It is true.
Accept the fact that yes you may be hiding behind your brand identity. Admit you may also be holding back on your whole story and messaging around it. Now prove to yourself that you are ready to get creative and play around with your business by doing something else today with it. A big adjustment can be hiring a brand expert to walk through this with you. A small change may be updating your profile picture to show off the true blue you. The best way is to start writing and showing up authentically for yourself. Know that failure will happen and this is where the magic begins. Here is the real beginning, no matter how long you have been at this crazy exciting life of an entrepreneur.
What if I gave you everything that you ever needed to rival big brands like Apple right now… Do you think you could carry it through and be successful? Nope. Here is why: Your business is not a franchise. I cannot give you the tools and expect you to carry them as I would if you’re not involved in the process of creating it. Immerse yourself if the knowledge that you will not lose clients if they truly know who you are. Immerse yourself in your brand today. We want to see and know you.
Before diving deeper into why I wanted to do what I do… I felt like I was standing on the edge of the water, standing there I only saw the wide-open ocean. I knew that on the other side there was something great waiting and calling to me. Now I am in a big boat crashing through the sea and writing my story. Most of my life I was too afraid to make the journey. What we don’t see, we create big stories with to fill that void. The stories are there to validate our fears for the most part. It is normal. But do you want to be normal? Or would you rather be extraordinary?! Be afraid that is okay. But be courageous enough to step into your power and tell all of us what that is by leaving all the rules behind and becoming more of who you are already.
Tell us all about it! That is where the brand identity is, in your story. We cannot make you a template for this part!