In today’s episode, Anna looks at confidence in your personal brand, and how you can feel more aligned and confident with your personal brand.
It can feel a little ‘icky’ to think of yourself as a brand, it seems unnatural to engage in so much self-promotion after you never had to do that in your full-time job, and it’s easy to compare yourself and stress about how other people are doing it so much better.
Getting clear on who you are and what you stand for will help you feel more confident and focus on running your own race, rather than comparing yourself to others.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
Book a call – If you’d like help with crafting your personal brand, getting clear on what it is, how you’re going to build it online and offline, then get in touch by booking a call at onestepoutside.com/call
Confidence in your personal brand
Hello there. Welcome back to the Reimagining Success podcast. I’m your host, Anna Lundberg. We’re looking today at how you can feel really good and I mean, really, really good, about your personal brand. And that means, what your personal brand stands for, how you’re building it, how you’re promoting yourself. And there’s a helicopter flying above us. So maybe you can hear that, and there’s drilling going on and all sorts. It’s one of those days when I’m batch recording podcasts and all the sounds are going on.
So how can we feel good about our personal brand? Well, first of all, do you feel good about your personal brand? Let me ask you that. How do you feel about it? I know lots of us feel quite icky about it. I certainly hadn’t really thought about it, to be honest, when I was working in a job. It’s not something I really thought, oh, I need to be building my brand. Even though all the work we were doing was about building product brands, right? And that was really important.
I had people and I’ve shared this recently, I had a senior manager telling me that I looked too young to be promoted, which, it was just one person’s opinion, but fine. I got an incredible job. The second role, the second assignment I got into, because I had a good, I guess what I would now call personal brand, that I was known as a top rated manager and that I was good at what I was doing. But it certainly wasn’t something explicit that I was really crafting intentionally. In fact, in a way actually, I was going to say I don’t do that now because it’s so second nature almost. But definitely in the last few years I’ve wanted to, and I’ve had to do it more intentionally because I’ve been shifting away from something, changing direction.
And that’s it. When you want to do something differently, that’s when you do need to, you want to take control and do this intentionally. If you don’t care, if you’re happy where you are and you’re not really working towards any particular goal or you’re pretty fine just coasting along, then you know what, turn this off now. You don’t need to bother. Because if you’re happy where you are, there’s no need to do this at all. Of course, I imagine you do have some kind of goal in the future. And I would encourage you, as I’ve said before, to think about this, if not now, then make sure that you’ve set yourself up for success and to have as many opportunities and possibilities as possible when you do need them. If and when. And if not, then hey, it doesn’t matter. You’ve just done this exercise and that’s okay. No harm done.
But again, it can feel quite difficult to put ourselves out there, right?
As someone who’s maybe quite reserved, I remember someone gave … in fact, nobody gave me the book, but I bought the book called Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. And it’s that attitude, the good girl syndrome again, coming back to haunt me, of sitting down here in my corner, doing amazing work and thinking that’s going to be enough. And the truth is that people maybe don’t see me doing my amazing work because my head is down. They don’t see. And those extra 20% they know you’re putting in actually might not be that noticeable. And someone else is doing the 80% or 70%. Yes, you’re doing 90, you’re doing 100, but actually theirs is good enough. And they’re being much more outspoken, much more prominent, much more visible. And therefore they’re getting the opportunities, even though on paper, you’re doing a better job. If there were sort of an objective arbiter of who was doing the better job.
But nice girls don’t get the corner office, unfortunately. So if there is that kind of next level you’re trying to reach in your career and your business, there is an opportunity here for you to step into the spotlight. I know it sounds scary. And really become the face of your brand and to be your brand, right? Which you are. And be proud of what you stand for. Be proud of the stories you’re telling what you’ve achieved, believe in your mission, believe in what you’re trying to do. What impact you’re trying to have on the world. The difference you’re trying to make the legacy you want to leave. All these big words.
You might have a bit of imposter syndrome, especially if you’re in a new place.
If you’re levelling up, I always find that it’s easy to get quite comfortable and yes, I know what I’m doing. And everyone respects me. And I have this reputation I’ve been doing this for years. As soon as you step out of that comfort zone, out of the nine to five certainly, and into working for ourselves. Out of our immediate team and organisation, wanting to now, eek, maybe do a Ted talk. And oh, I’d really love to do a podcast one day. And maybe I’d like to speak on a big stage, be asked to do a keynote. Suddenly imposter syndrome comes slapping our faces, slamming back into us, whatever the violent metaphor might be, pop sets, rears its ugly head, I guess would be another way I put it. And all that self doubt creeps in. It can be really, really tough and look, we all feel it, right? And in particular, unfortunately there’s that comparinoia, or the comparison syndrome where we’re looking at other people who are doing different things. My goodness, she’s so confident on camera. Look at her do that Ted talk. I can’t believe it. How come she got it and I didn’t? It’s so unfair, and they’re so much further ahead than me and so on.
And again, I mentioned last week I had a client recently who said, “I just don’t like self promotion. I don’t want to do it.” So how can you feel good about this? How can you embrace this and get to where you want to be, despite all that imposter, good girl, good boy, comparison syndrome, ickiness and so on? Well, the key really is to step away from the noise of what other people are doing, reframe what this means and above all really think about why it is that you want to do this because that’s always the important thing to do, right? To remember, tap into, look, this is my bigger purpose.
And it doesn’t even have to be anything sort of lofty. This is the reason I want this promotion. I want to be able to travel more, travel less. I want to have more time with my family, whatever your why is. I want to solve this problem that I’ve seen in the market. It could be something simple, something very practical. It could be a big idea. I want to improve how we take care of plastic waste or the big topics around sustainability, of course, very important. Human rights. It could be something incredibly powerful, but whatever is important to you. That’s really for me, the key, and feeling more comfortable because of understanding why you’re doing this.
And if you spend the time to really get that self-awareness and understand what you stand for, how you work, a and so on, you actually get confidence from that process.
You’ll be mapping out your strengths, your skills, your experience. Really seeing, hey actually, and reminding yourself, I’m pretty good at what I do. This is how I work. And this particular setting, I feel more comfortable in this other one. Oh, that’s probably why it’s a bit uncomfortable. I don’t like X, Y, Z, or I wasn’t prepared enough. Right? Really getting clear on who you are, what you have to offer an employer or a client, whatever that is. And something that’s really important I think is to not take it personally when someone doesn’t like us. I know it’s hard. And I say this to myself, as much as to you. Not everyone is going to buy into you, right?
Whether that is, applying to different jobs and they’re not all going to want to have you, which is fine because that probably means definitely means, in fact, you’re not the right fit for that company or organisation. Not every potential client that you speak to or that comes across you online is going to want to buy from you. And it’s important to realise that, and it’s not personal. There are a hundred reasons why that client didn’t get back to you. Why they decided to work with someone else. Why they decided not to work with anybody. It’s almost never about you.
Okay. How can you feel good about your personal brand? The first one is, and I’ve said this now, is getting clear on why, why are you doing this? Why are you even listening to this episode? Right? Why do you keep coming back to this idea of personal brand? Is it a necessary evil, in which case, okay, there is a reason why you’re doing this. So let’s now look at, as we’re doing today, how we can make this more fun and enjoyable for you and how you can see the value of it rather than being so reluctant and feeling uncomfortable about it. So getting clear on why the personal branding piece is so important to you for you and for your aspirations.
The second one, I was just saying that now as well, is getting to know who you are, what you stand for, what you want to stand for. Understanding what your strengths and skills are. Understanding what your stories are, your values, your value, and that’s incredibly powerful. And that’s going to help you be truer to who you are, rather than trying to copy what other people are doing.
And that’s number three, be yourself. I did an episode a couple of weeks ago on how personal is personal. A question that came, in terms of, I don’t want to post my breakfast on Instagram, but I want to share all my vulnerabilities. That’s fine. But there’s a way of being yourself. You don’t have to come on and be all rah rah. You don’t have to be that perfectly quaffed, perfect nails, whatever stylish woman on there. I’ve seen lots of people I’ve met who look amazing. If that’s not you, that’s not me. That’s absolutely fine. Getting comfortable and not having to put on … caking on foundation and makeup for us, girls or boys, if that’s your thing. Styling our hair perfectly. My initial videos, I did curl my hair and all sorts. And I looked incredibly … well, I looked okay, but I looked pretty uncomfortable. They were all little bit stilted. Weren’t very natural. So try to find a way that you feel comfortable with being yourself without being too vulnerable. Still setting those boundaries, but just not trying to be what you think you need to be.
Number four is reframing it. This is not self promotion. Think about it as helping other people. Think about it as getting your important message out there. Think about it maybe as building a community. So you’re building a community of people who love paddle boarding. You’re building a community of people who really value mindfulness. So perhaps a little bit stressed in their work now and want to press pause and be present and really breathe things in and stop and smell the roses. You’re creating a community for people who want to make a difference in the world. And you’re wanting to make a difference. So reframe it. And that’s really key.
This is not about selling. It’s not about being sleazy. It’s not about pushing other people out of the way so that you can get up that career ladder. Think about what would make you feel more comfortable at this. How could you reframe this to make it sit well with you? And maybe you don’t call it personal branding. Maybe you call it something else.
And finally, I’m cheating because number five is to come back to number one, which is remember that why. Always come back to that. Look, I’m coming on now on Instagram to do this story. Why am I doing that? There’s a little why which is, hey, I just wanted to teach this. I have this teaching moment, a little story and anecdote I want to share. And there’s the big picture laddering that up into, hey, while I’m trying to make a difference here for my family, I’m trying to build a business that’s going to allow us to live the life we want. To have the lifestyle. We want to be present for my kids, to be able to travel the world, to be location independent, to be able to pay the bills, whatever that looks like. And remembering that personal why, your professional why, what change you’re trying to see? How are you trying to help others? What are you trying to achieve here? And why is it so important to you?
Again, I know so many people are so resistant to this. I had someone else on a workshop the other day saying, “Oh, I’m really good at the content side and the marketing, but just that thought of sales really makes me feel uncomfortable. And I know I’m not good at it.” Well, look, there are some things that we need to get good at and again, getting good at it actually is very closely linked to feeling good. Because if we’re good at something, it tends to be much more enjoyable and vice versa. If we enjoy something, we’ll be happy to invest time and perhaps money into improving, into getting better. So if there is a reason for this, and I’m assuming there is, why you’re interested in building a personal brand, get clear on why it is you’re doing this.
This is allowing me to escape the nine to five to build a sustainable business, that’s going to allow me to have the freedom, flexibility, fulfilment, financial security, and fun that I’ve always wanted. This is going to help me to get that next level promotion, which is going to mean that I have a team and it means I can step back or it means I can step up and step forwards and lean in. Whatever it is, right? It’s your definition of success, your reasons, your why. So getting clear on why you’re doing it, getting to know yourself and what you stand for today, what you want to stand for. Being yourself. Reframing this so it’s not self promotion. It’s helping, it’s serving. It’s getting a message out. It’s building a community, it’s making a difference. And ultimately, always remembering that why.
So I hope this has helped a little bit. It’s just a few thoughts, starters, I suppose, to shift your thinking, shift your beliefs a little bit around this idea of the personal brand. Again, please do get in touch. Message me on your favourite social channel or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about your specific hesitations and helping you get clear on your why. Helping you tell the right stories that you want to be telling in order to achieve the results, the success that you’re after.
Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
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Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
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