Be seen. Boost your visibility. Stand up to stand out. These are all short phrases you can find repeated everywhere in my branding, on my website, in what I post. And with good reason! Being visible to the right clients is the entire point of branding.
But in this noisy world, you’re untrustworthy until you’ve given something real of yourself. That’s where vulnerability comes in.
In my previous article, I said:
I speak on visibility, vulnerability and impact. I’m a brand strategist.
Creating a vivid brand requires these three cords, interwoven enough that you can’t pull one without pulling the other but still separate enough that you can see each thread individually.
It takes a vivid brand to be memorable, to cut through that noise and fluff that flies after and barrages the people around you. To set yourself apart, to not be part of that noise, that’s they kind of brand I strategize.
Last year I defined the word brandscape. To brandscape is to design your business landscape to match your inner game. While visual cues like your logo, your personal branding photos, the colors and fonts you use in media all represent your brand, your brand is made up of you, your core values, your story, and the results you offer your own clients.
The values you bring to the table are your non-negotiables. Personal power is one of my values and the core of what I do as a brand strategist is help my clients show what it feels like to work with them. A good trick here is to add so what or so that to a statement. In my case, I show what it feels like to work with you SO THAT you can attract the best clients for you into your business SO THAT you can do the work you are meant to do SO THAT you can start changing lives.
But sometimes, those values bring vulnerability into the mix. If, like me, you place a high value on aesthetics, then you’d never dream of putting out a poorly-designed PDF no matter how good the content. It’s something you could talk about, bring into your work. It’s a way you would resonate with anyone else that values beauty or aesthetics.
Until you’re willing to admit you’re not perfect or that–gasp!–you have struggles from time to time, you’re kind of just a talking head out there. It’s the details of your life that build your following of trusting fans and clients. Many times those details will be messy!
I was speaking with a potential client last night who shared with me a pretty rough story of nasty words between her and her teenage son and how she felt so guilty afterwards. Her being willing to tell that story as a part of the everyday working mom’s story is huge! It gives permission to her client base to be real and to admit they need help. It’s that kind of heartfelt story that grabs attention… and then the potential client might just find they agree with a lot of your message and become your next best client.
Others may have the same skills as you. No matter what work you do, what industry you reside in, there’s skilled competition.
But no one out there as the same combination of skills, values, story and results as you.
In that way, you will always stand out and always have a platform you can market. When you’re willing to be real, be authentic, you give an honest voice to your story.
The right people will always connect with that.