The Risk of Skipping Inner Work in Personal Branding
It’s not something you see; it’s something you feel.
It’s not words only; it’s a message.
It’s not the output; It’s what starts on the inside.
Talking about your Personal Brand here. Contrary to what most people think, this is not about marketing, a logo, a website, a profile on LinkedIn or your speakers kit. Sure, those are tools that will help you make your personal brand tangible, but it’s not where you start.
Like corporate brands, a personal brand is mainly an experience that other people get when interacting with you.
Everybody is a personal brand.
This starts within you.
Your personal brand might be the happy, bubbly, eternal optimist everyone loves to spend time with.
It might be the everlasting, always complaining, critic that people rather avoid because of the negative vibes.
It might be the angry, bitter single that has lost faith in love and unknowingly pushes everyone away who tries to come near – a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Either way, it’s an interesting dynamic between your personal reality on the inside and how others on the outside perceive this. First in, then out. Like expression is also something that comes from within and is pushed out (ex = out, pressare = push).
Where do many people fail in personal branding?
So why do many people still believe that it’s enough to start on the outside, with a new wardrobe, LinkedIn profile or website?
- Because they want a quick fix and think they waste time if there’s no immediate, tangible, measurable result
- Because they think that if they can’t SEE it, it’s not there and people won’t notice it
- Because they THINK we can simply go on the way they have, and all they need is that output
This is one of the biggest challenges in what I do: people wanting the quick fix, because the ROI of personal branding is usually more long-term.
I believe this is a flawed way of thinking. Here’s why:
- You risk investing in something (websites, profiles) that seem to be right, but may not align with your authentic self, your potential and your future goals
- You haven’t done the deeper work on your personal brand consciously, meaning you’re just winging it, without knowing if this is right
- People FEEL when something’s off, because it doesn’t align or feels incongruent
- Which means you need to do it all over again later on: you wasted time and money
Not Doing the Work Often Leads to Not Standing Out
I see this happening all the time. People who THINK they know themselves well enough to start on the doing-bit, only to find out that they have no clue what really sets them apart. They don’t know what really makes them remarkable. And they don’t know how to express themselves in a way that serves them and others.
They simply show up in a way that fits the status quo in their industry. Corporate people emphasizing the same qualities constantly, mainly in a very one-sided, masculine way. Spiritual therapists and coaches doing the same thing, but with a different set of qualities. Either way, it’s very one-sided and nobody stands out.
You cannot simply keep doing what you’re doing if you want to be more successful and attract a new kind of client. If you want to be recognized for your amazingness, you need to uplevel your skill set by doing the work from the start.
Consciously. Not simply because you ‘assume’ you know.
Courageously. Not led by fear and your inner critic.
Rebeliciously. Not merely following the status quo.
This Is what Personal Branding Should Entail
Personal Branding is a conscious leadership skill that answers three questions:
- Who do I choose to be, so I do justice to my true desires and inner being?
- How do I want to show up, so that I can serve myself and others in the best way possible?
- What will I say and do to make a difference?
After you’ve created complete clarity on this – and this is a wonderful journey within that will propel you into your potential – you can start the marketing, the logo, the LinkedIn profile, the Tinder profile (oh yeah, I have a product for ya that will help), and the rest.
It’s SO MUCH EASIER when you’ve done the prep work and you KNOW what you want, how you wanna do it and why this is the best way of presenting yourself. This inner work helps you save time and money massively, and more importantly: it gives you an innate sense of purpose.
Need help with this? I’d be thrilled to work with ya!