I’ve recently been getting a whole lot of satisfaction from doing personal brand coaching with women who I would describe as being in a work life transition.
I know a lot about professional and career transition having shifted from entry level accounting employee to full-time dance practitioner, to ad agency account executive and strategist, to head of marketing for a telecoms company, to brand and communications consultant.
That path has been varied, colourful, interesting and my personal experience comes in handy when working with these ladies. But what I notice most are the things they all have in common.
They’ve been in a particular job or profession for over a decade and feel a strong need to do things differently.
They believe that they have more to give and they've started some interesting projects but don’t know exactly how to build on them or what to focus on first.
They’re hard workers who’ve been dependable, committed employees or professionals.
They come with their hearts and heads open to learn.
They want to recreate their lives or some part of it in some way.
They see a bigger picture for themselves but it’s a bit blurred.
They want to leverage some part of their innate abilities, learned skills and greatest strengths to become of service to others for something distinctive.
For each of them their personal brand building is more of a calling, something that would leave them incomplete if left undone; something that doesn’t leave them alone and well,… they have to answer the call.
Like I said it’s personally satisfying to work with them. I’m inspired.
Ladies this is what “brand” means!
Inspired or not, I have to reiterate to them why they’ve really sought out my advice (even if they didn’t know it). Any time you’re talking “brand”, you’re referring to an asset; it has a transactional worth. It either creates dollar value in the now or it builds the goodwill that produces future dollar value. Building a strong brand is simply good business.
You see there's an added value to a product that by its name alone commands a greater price per unit or greater repeat spend than a competing product. And it's the same with a person. That's why building a strong personal brand is important, especially for solo service providers.
So this is the real deal sistas
The real questions for these women are,
Do they truly know who they are?
Do they know what is distinctive about what they have to give in the marketplace - what will they be known for?
Can they identify in a detailed way for whom their distinctive “sauce” will make the most monetary sense? Who will buy?
Are they willing to take the consistent steps over the long haul to establish themselves as being known for their distinctive thing or category of things? Building a strong brand takes time
My coaching is about getting to these answers, among other things. It’s intensive and every session is work for these ladies because that’s the training ground for the road ahead.
My work with them isn’t about creating a pretty logo, and cool visuals to “put out there”. That comes after the self assessment, the professional assessment, the market assessment.
The transition they’re seeking requires an actionable plan, then consistent action. The transition they’re seeking requires them to be reliable, dependable and hardworking for their individual calling. An inward focus that may feel new to them.
And these ladies have to determine exactly what they want out of the process for themselves as much as they determine how they want to serve potential clients. As the face and person of their brand they will be its engine. They must be fuelled not only by financial gains but by fulfilment gains.
For each of them my job is to help them develop that new inward focus into a thing of value offering financial and fulfilment returns.
Working with them certainly does that for me and I’m working hard to return the favour.
If you liked this post you may also enjoy Your Personal Brand as a Body of Work.