How embracing my business personalities helps me help others define their Personal Brand
If you’re a multi-skilled portfolio-careered slashie, you may be having trouble wrangling your many brilliant superpowers into one succinct by-line. This is where your Personal Brand is essential.
As a Personal Brand Specialist/agency owner/web-developer/graphic designer/photo editor/ecommerce specialist/SEO consultant/copywriter/social media manager/teatowelist, I know the anxiety of trying to reel off your elevator pitch while staying true to your Sybil-sized professional personalities.
I built my website agency: Love Communications, after a redundancy from a full time role I loved. This shook me and showed how vulnerable and tenous is full time employment. However, the most significant contributing factor for taking the money and starting my business, was that in my role as employee, I was silo’d. Unable to use my full skillset, nor able to explore other roles, I’d been labelled into a single identity.
I suspect the many hats I now wear: running my website agency Love Communications; Personal Brand specialist via the Personal Brand Pathway and making homewares from antique linens on Love And West, is a response to this.
Specialising and narrowing doesn’t seem to be in my skill set. I couldn’t only run Love And West, nor could I only build websites and brands. I think I would always create other interests and income streams.
Embrace the slashies
In darker moments, I think of this as a personal failing. There’s a ‘switch cost’ to multi tasking – that time lost when you switch from one task or role to another. My internal voice scolds that I’m inefficient or running too many ‘side-hustles’. I know now, though, that judging myself poorly for the many sides of me isn’t relevant. Multi tasking is the way I’m hard wired, and I’m disciplined in managing my varied roles in defined time blocks.
The secret is, no-one needs or wants labels or job descriptions
What makes you valuable to clients, customers, employers and collaborators is the outcome you deliver and the problems you solve.
For me, my many interests allow me to see things from a broad perspective, understanding the inter-relatedness of modern working life, and the many challenges faced by business owners who literally are doing everything:
- My homewares brand gives me first-hand ecommerce skills on shopify. A fiercely loyal wordpress builder, Shopify isn’t a platform I would have explored. I now understand has great applications for many businesses – is easy to use, a great DIY tool, and I can roll this knowledge into conversations with ecommerce clients.
- Selling at markets help me connect with customers – to talk about how they buy, what they’re looking for, what search terms are being used. It also connects me with other small business owners – to share and support. In a silo’ed digital world, this is food for the soul.
- My varied experiences help me see what’s unique and personal in my clients – how they interrelate in their industry and community – this is great for product building and for their SEO
- My photo editing experience helps me identify what’s needed in client photography, to tell the story of how they are different from their peers and to make their online experience immersive
Knowing yourself, valuing your full skillset and knowing the outcome you get for clients and customers is not only a coherent way to sell yourself, it gives you emotional stability. It evens out those peaks and troughs that mean you’re happy when things go well, but shaken and tremulous when things are more difficult.
Define yourself by the outcome you deliver and the problems you solve:
Communicating the benefits your full breadth of skills delivers shows the future people experience after working with you, not the ‘features’ of your job title. This is the value, role and focus of your Brand – that beautiful amalgamation of everything that makes you so very You.