Guest post by Heather Marsh
There tends to be confusion around the word “brand”, so let’s first clarify what a brand is and what personal branding means.
Many people hear brand and think logos, tagline, or images, but these are assets used to symbolize and communicate your brand.
Your brand has already been created. What others think of you, what you’re known for; that, dear Fempreneur, is your brand. Companies have brands, you do too.
The good news is, you can refine how you present yourself using your assets, to define their impression of you. This process is called personal branding.
Why does this matter?
How you show up has a direct impact on your attraction and recognition. Your visual style reflects how people can expect to feel working with you. Most importantly your brand does 2 key things:
- Creates trust, which is essential to building and maintaining relationships
- Makes it easy for your ideal clients to identify you
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, I know you’re eager to know the Top 4 Personal Branding Mistakes to avoid making.
1) No visual consistency
Generally where people get tripped up most is on the visual side of branding. I know progress wins over perfection, but when every design piece you put out there uses different fonts or colors, you’re creating confusion and lack identity.
In all aspects of marketing it’s essential to use consistent colors, fonts, design, and images that embody your personality and make you more recognizable and trustworthy. Don’t forget yourself; you are your biggest asset – your appearance and behavior send messages that need to be consistent too.
2) Not dressing to your role
Not all of us need to wear suits to be seen as business women. Rather, we need to dress for the part of the business woman we want to be known as – the best version of ourselves that supports our business goals and brand.
If you’re known for taking bold risks, but you wear a dated grey suit to meet with a potential client, there’s a disconnect. Alternatively, you walk in with a black dress with a leopard print belt, and matching pumps. If your client wants someone that takes risks, who do you think they’ll be drawn to?
3) Wrong style of visuals
Choosing the right style of visuals, especially with your design and images, impacts who you’re appealing to.
Example: Professional organizer Jane, works with busy moms to make their home functional and have space for all the toys. If Jane has a sleek and shiny website, with studio images, wearing a suit and organizing office tools, that sends the wrong message. That could make her mom clients think she’s too professional to come into their home, where she’ll likely end up picking cereal out of her hair when she leaves.
4) Copying others
This mistake is critical to your credibility and bottom line. I know it’s tempting – you see someone who’s successful, and you want to mimic them. Ask yourself honestly though, do you want to be a second-best version of them? They have different strengths, passions, and purpose… and while some may be similar, their ideal clients aren’t yours.
As Sara mentions in a previous post, attracting your ideal clients is easier (and can increase $) when you are being authentic to who you are …“it alleviates concern about competition and supports an abundance mindset- that doing the right thing and being true to yourself will attract the right people and opportunities.”
So, now that you know these top mistakes, I hope you will do whatever it takes to avoid them and focus on being the very best YOU that you can be. Your clients are looking for you, how are you going to show up?
Heather Marsh is a Personal Brand Stylist specializing in working with passion-driven independent consultants, coaches, and creative women, that are motivated to grow their business. Heather provides a foundation of inspiration, education, and services for these women to look and feel their best, so they can confidently promote their business, online and in person. Through strategic personal branding, personal styling, design, and photography, Heather and her style team work with clients to ensure they are making an authentic first, and lasting impression that closes the gap between them and their marketing. Learn more at HMMCreative.com.