“What’s with the chicken?” That’s the question I often hear when someone visits my website for the first time. My response? Because I like chickens. Because I love their playful, easy nature, and that they don’t over-complicate life. But it’s also because chickens so aptly represent my personal brand, which I’ve distilled down into two words: Champagne & Chickens.
Two little words to describe that I have a playful sense of humor and I’m just as comfortable walking around barefoot in the garden as I am getting dressed up to attend a symphony. Two seemingly dissonant pieces of who I am, united by two words and a single photo.
That’s why when you visit my website you’re greeted with a photo of me holding a glass of champagne in one hand and a chicken in the other.
But the truth is, I developed my personal brand at a time in my life when my self-confidence and self-worth were at an all-time low. And it was in the midst of that heavy life moment that my brand became undeniably clear to me.
In an attempt to reclaim my sense of self, I hired a wardrobe stylist, a business coach, a forgiveness coach, and an interior designer. I also began building relationships with other strong women who empowered and encouraged me to show up a little more authentically every day.
Little by little, I pieced myself back together. And it was my personal brand, along with a solid self-care practice, that led the way.
What is a Personal Brand?
If you’re wondering what exactly a personal brand is, here are a few perspectives:
- “…establishing and promoting what you stand for.” – BrandYourself.com
- “…the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see you.” – InfluencerMarketingHub.com
- “…the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.” – Wikipedia
Much like a business brand, your personal brand is a representation of who you are and what you value. It shows people what they can expect when they interact with you.Your personal brand is a representation of who you are and what you value Click To Tweet
Why Have a Personal Brand?
There are three main benefits to having a personal brand:
- It builds confidence
- It helps with decision-making
- It sets expectations
First, personal brands help you build self-confidence. When you’re clear about who you are, you stand a little taller, speak a little bolder, and make decisions more quickly and easily. Brands are a lot like boundaries*.
When you have a solid brand, you’re less concerned with “fitting in” and more concerned with making a contribution to the world. Besides, it’s a waste of time and energy trying to be someone you think the world wants you to be. If you aren’t being yourself, you’re just being a half-ass version of someone else. By standing in your truth, you’re attracting the people who are meant to be in your life and repelling those who aren’t. And that’s a good thing.
As you lean into who you are by developing a personal brand, your confidence will grow naturally.
Second, personal brands are exceptional decision-making tools. They serve as an internal checklist to help you evaluate new opportunities to determine if they are a good fit or not. When one of your options aligns well with your brand, you’ll know it. And saying yes will be easy.
When I stopped saying ‘yes’ to everything and learned how to say ‘no‘ to what was out of alignment with my brand, I was able to avoid the stress and resentment that almost always came along with them.
Third, when you live your personal brand — in how you speak, write, behave and dress — it helps people understand what to expect from you. And that helps you build rapport and trust. Personal brands set expectations early, often before someone even meets you. By experiencing you first through your personal brand, it’s much easier to connect when you do finally connect person.
Establishing a personal brand is vital, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a teacher, a stay-at-home dad — or have any interaction whatsoever with other humans.
How to Use Your Personal Brand
So, once you’ve established a personal brand, how do you go about using it?
The simple answer is every chance you get.
My personal brand comes across in my writing style, how I speak, my wardrobe, my home decor, and many other areas of my life. It’s an expression of who I am that extends beyond words and into how I actually live my life.
There’s no right or wrong way to use your personal brand; trust your intuition to guide you. You’ll begin noticing when you’re out of alignment more and more, and it will prompt you to make adjustments as you go.
What Personal Brands Are Not
While personal brands are helpful, they do have limitations. What a personal brand cannot do is define every aspect of you. But that’s not what they’re designed to do anyway. You’re a complex being who is constantly changing and growing, so it’s impossible for you to be defined completely at any given moment.
The intention of a personal brand isn’t to put you into a box, it’s to make you more relatable to others.The intention of a personal brand isn't to put you into a box, it's to make you more relatable to others. Click To Tweet
How to Establish Your Personal Brand
If you’ve been struggling to define your personal brand, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to connect the dots between all of your unique characteristics and tie them together.
If you’re ready to explore further, consider joining the Lifestyle Design Studio, an online community that offers the tools to not only establish a personal brand, but also refine many other areas of your life.
Regardless of how you choose to define your personal brand, one thing’s for certain: When you get clear about how you want to show up in the world, your confidence will grow, you’ll make better decisions, and you’ll be able to build deeper relationships with people who are meant to be in your life.
Ready to Develop Your Personal Brand?
Join the Lifestyle Design Studio now.
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