SELF Branding: The process

I like to divide the process in 4 simple stages. Discover, Recognize, Create and Commit. Let’s explore each of them:

1. Discover
This is more like a brainstorming stage: stay open to ideas, images and words that come to you. At this stage, everything is valid and possible!

  • Remember what you loved as a child – important information about who are are is stored in your first 4 years of life. For example, I remembered my favorite game was to dress paper dolls, create stories, and the edition of a magazine for my girlfriends when I was 10 years old!
  • Think of what you enjoyed doing that you also did well – I discovered that along my life, I had systematically helped my sisters and mom with feedback on their looks, and that I was helping girlfriends during emotional turmoils
  • Think of experiences that had an impact on you – where you learned something important, had insights or revelations
  • Identify your Role Models – whatever you are attracted to, is because resonates with something within you
  • Eliminate Money from this stage – focus on defining the lifestyle you want instead

2. Recognize

  • Your Story: this is the “heart and soul” of your brand. Don’t forget your “Country of Origin” – you may find anecdotes about who you are.
  • Your Emotional Appeal : Words that best describe your personality. How do you make people feel?
  • Your Description : What field or industry are you in (or you want to be in) – Who is your target audience? – words that describe your work? – bring the money here.
  • Your Function : What do you contribute with? How do you make a difference? What do you do that makes you unique?

3. Create a Self Brand that is :

  • Distinctive (recognizable – this is easy: You are Unique!)
  • Predictable (consistent – but allow room for contradictions: you are human!)
  • Meaningful (is why you do it! Stay close to your heart and define success on your own terms)
  1. Mantra”: one short and memorable sentence “I help …. with/to … so they can….”
  2. Story : remember the “why you do what you do?” – collect personal stories, anecdotes or clients stories to convey different aspects of your message
  3. Colors : that you consistently use in your clothes, decoration, paper communication -Red for a dynamic and powerful leader; Fuchsia for a woman of strength; Brown for a trustworthy layer; Purple for a creative mind; White for a spiritual leader; or total black, if you want to build up a shield…
  4. Smell : lavender could convey relaxation and reflection, while lemon grass is exciting and dynamic
  5. Sound : in my classes, I play tango music and in my events, female latin american singers – what does your brand sound like?
  6. Flavor : do you invite clients for lunch? or host dinner parties? or are in charge of choosing the catering for your events? use your country of origin or travels to add a unique flavor
  7. Greeting : making a great first impression is important – what handshake do you choose?
  8. Picture of you : that you consistently use in all communication pieces – make sure is updated!
  9. Wardrobe : you will need 3 kind of outfits: networking outfit that makes you feel confident and invite others to connect with you, public presentation outfit that helps you to project your energy to the audience, 1 to 1 interview outfit that grounds you in who you are and sustains your message
  10. Business Card : how does your business card stand out from the pile? does it generates conversation when you give it?
  11. Email address signature : could it be something else than ‘kind regards’? could you find a couple of words or a quote that communicates better your SELF Brand
  12. Thank You notes: Send hand written thank you notes to prospects, clients, superiors, colleagues, journalists, family and friends – they have a much greater impact than electronic messages! And people remember then.

4. Commit

  • To take risks
  • To not taking yourself too seriously
  • To not taking anything personally
  • To Self- Actualization
  • To show a little vulnerability. It opens a door in a grey wall , inviting people and opportunities to come in. Be the real you. People remember the real you.

What I learned in my journey paying attention to life lessons, is that when you stop identifying yourself with the voice of fear, limitations and assumptions about who you are, and you start listening to your feelings and inner knowing, you definitely start seeing new opportunities… that will be aligned with who you really are.

SELF Branding is about embracing diversity and inclusion. 
It is about recognizing that we all had enough of separation and competition.
It is about self confidence and respect. 
It is about being a little more human and creating a world where we are all happy to live in.
It is about recognizing that the world urgently needs more people who dare to lead by sharing openly their gifts, inviting others to do the same.

If you agree, what stops you from giving 100% of yourself?

SELF Branding: When who you are is what makes the difference

Could we create a world where everyone loves their job? It was the question I asked the audience of the Geneva Communicators Network during my conference on SELF BRANDING.

I believe that to love your job, or anything you do in life, it needs to be in alignment with who you are. We had constructed a world of wonderful people, with wonderful gifts, that try to be similar to each other in order to secure a place in the system and avoid criticism.

The beauty of SELF Branding is that it contains who you really are. It is liberating, as it is the base for finding alignment with anything in life.

Here are 3 KEY ELEMENTS:

1) What you do VS why you do it (motivation, purpose, believes, values)
2) How you do it VS what you contribute with (results)
3) Where you did it VS who you have become

Your personal brand is all about who you are, what you want to be known for and how you want to be remembered. People get inspired by why you do what you do, what you contribute with, and people remember how you made them feel…

Here are the 5 CHALLENGES:
1 – DARE to be your self (anyway, everyone else is already taken)
2 – embrace the idea of being different
3 – might feel risky and uncomfortable
4 – stay centered (people tend to ‘warn’ you of the dangers like rejection, criticism, mistakes…)
5- this is not about making your life easier, is about making it fulfilling

And there is 1 CHOICE you need to make:
Are you going to be part of the new world, where people are free, true to themselves and responsible for their own choices?

In the next article I will share the process of building your SELF Brand…

PS: Thanks to Glenn O’Neil for inviting me to facilitate this Lunch Seminar for the Geneva Communicators Network