The short answer, there is no separation. One part does not end for the other to begin.
If you’re a professional woman, speaker or consultant, you’ll know there is no separation between “personal” and “brand”.
You are your brand. Your personal brand is all-encompassing.
Think of Oprah. How many countless personal stories she shared about her life? The most recent during the 2018 Golden Globes when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
It’s these personal stories that make you human, that build your personal brand to be more than just words on a paper or an image on your LinkedIn profile.
If you’re not being “personal” with your audience i.e. team, audience members, stakeholders, boss and, clients then you have yet to fully your brand.
Remember people are buying YOU. All of you, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Your stories, your vocal tone, your physical appearance, your presence, the way you lead a team, the way you deliver a keynote, the way you interact with your clients.
You can’t have a unique brand without it being personal.
As a professional woman, speaker or consultant, your value (whatever it is you create) is an extension of yourself and a part of your life’s story.
Personal Branding weaves together your life & your work—in the form of sharing your life’s work. Here’s a process from #simonsinek’s book (Find Your Why) that I personally followed to help me uncover my life stories. I am now weaving my personal stories into my work via my client sessions, keynotes and workshops to motivate and inspire others.
So grab a pen and paper and start finding the parts that are worth telling by examining your life to unearth what you’re really about.
I want you to think about what stories you can share when:
- you lead your next team meeting; what story can you share that will empower them to do more and be more.
- you deliver your next keynote; what story journey can you take your audience on
- you coach a client; what personal story can help move them from A to B?
Here’s another reason why it’s worth weaving your life and your work!
More and more are now asking employee’s to “bring their whole self to work”. No more do you have to wear a different face to work than you do in other parts of your life. No more do you have to exert additional energy trying to be someone your not. A study by Deloitte even reported that 61% of participants admitted to leaving a big chunk of who they are at the door before they walk into work.
Imagine the ripple effect of sharing our personal stories on our diversity and inclusion efforts.
Here’s a direct quote from CEO, KPMG Canada, 2016 – Elio Luongo, “At KPMG, we believe in Inclusion and Diversity. The unique experiences, perspectives, values of our people allow us to think differently which helps us better serve our diverse clients – ultimately making our firm the client choice and #1”. More details here
Now that’s validation that sharing your unique life experience also supports the bottom line!
Branding yourself might be easier than ever, but it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. That’s why sharing your personal stories will set you apart, no one else has the same story as you. So until you understand who you are underneath the outer shell, you are going to struggle to communicate your voice in a truly compelling way.
The world is ready for empowered women!