I know. When I say the word brand, you think about toothpaste or window cleaner. But if you’re a regular reader, then you know that I’ve been waxing on about the power of your personal brand (PB) — brand you — since West Week. PBs were a huge theme there, as they were at Licensing Expo and also during Social Media Week, a global conference exploring the economy of social media. I love what Danielle LaPorte says about personal brands in her book The Fire Starter Sessions, “they’re about soul packaging not persona manufacturing.” They’re about, “You. You at work. You in the world. You.”
being you is easy
Being authentic, organic and transparent is the essence of your personal brand. There is only one you. Whether you’re telling your story to the world, or in a room, if the communication is honest, you will do it in a way that only you can. Your ideal clients might not know how to express or achieve your style but they’ll recognize something emotionally, visually and consistently when they look at your portfolio. Whether they see themselves, or who they can be, it’s the interpretation through your unique visual lens that gives them a new way of being seen. So when you take what you see, which in design lingo is your vision, aesthetic, energy, story, style and interpretation of space — aka your It Factor— out of your marketing equation, you’ve taken you out of your business. Powerfully defining you and the way you do that design thing you do is absolutely necessary if you expect to stay relevant in the ever-evolving landscape of design business.
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your brand is your fingerprint
You can’t bottle your clients' precious found objects and vacation photos but you can capture and sell the essence of your Brand’s DNA and eliminate traditional ideas about competition.
Think about it. Unless you’re a twin, it’s genetically impossible for there to be anyone like you. You were born with everything you need. Consequently, if you confidently market from that singular space of knowing, and talk about yourself and your services in the way that only you can, you become inimitable in the marketplace. Yes, there will always be other designers offering their services, but none just like you.
If defining brand you doesn't feel easy and you've got no idea where to begin, I'm happy to help you get out of your own way. Why do you think you're not showing up at the level you want to play? Name one strategic step you can take to be more visible this year?