The choice about how you and your staff show up to represent your product or service is yours. KatyG_1000WEBgreen-e1306177470448Katy Goshtasbi thinks that “an effective personal brand starts with the understanding of who you are as a business owner and an individual. Without this solid foundation of a sense of self, it is not possible to build an effective personal brand that then translates into effective business branding.”

Katy, how did you get started in this business?

I was a successful lawyer for many years, practicing all over the legal industry- from lobbying on The Hill, to the SEC, to law firm life and then in major corporations.  I was always giving advice to my fellow lawyers- branding advice on how to be successful.  Little did I know back then, personal branding and development of business development skills for professionals is my natural talent.

I consider it a privilege to help professionals develop themselves as the brand. It is a concept that is never taught in the curriculum for professional degrees.  Since people buy people, before they ever buy a product or service, it is important to know yourself well so you can sell yourself genuinely.

Katy, what are some signs that a professional would need to work on their personal brand as a business owner or a corporate employee?

– The biggest bottom line signs are:  1)that business has slowed and revenues and sales are down and/or 2) the individuals within the organization do not sync well in some sense with the organization’s brand. These signs directly correlate with poor self-confidence, morale, and performance with respect to the owner and the staff, if any. Most often business owners and staff don’t know who they are and thus, can’t establish an effective personal brand to then sell the business brand.

What are the first few questions that you ask when you start working with your clients?

I always ask what their personal branding goal is for themselves. Without a goal and intended results, it is impossible to achieve success. I also ask them what their number one personal branding issue is and what is taking up their thinking time. The more time we spend in our head instead of creating our business realities with others, the less we are out in public connecting with our clients and prospects and the less effective our personal brand.

How would you know that your branding mission accomplished?

We take a base-line survey before we begin with respect to self-confidence and stress and then we take the same survey at the end of our work with clients. I often don’t even need the final survey – I can see the progress clearly with clients and they always see results in terms of self-confidence, revenues and business growth a few weeks into our work together.

I know you brand individuals but I also know you have some larger corporate clients. How do you apply branding in a corporate environment? Do you work with people in groups?

With corporations, we are hired in for multiple reasons. One, if a corporation is shutting down or laying off staff we go in to transition the staff out of their jobs – we establish a personal brand for them, boost their self-confidence, develop their natural talents and unique selling propositions and work on their resumes, interviewing styles so that they can find the right jobs or develop new careers. Two, we go into growing companies and work with executives/upper level management to help them define their personal brand, understand the corporate brand, and transfer that personal brand successfully into the corporate brand so they can then represent the company well and increase their success within the company.  Lastly, I travel and speak nationally to corporate audiences on the importance of personal branding in an effort to educate.

To learn more about Katy’s work and her speaking engagements go to her web site: