Unapologetically You: How to Bring More of Your Self into Your Brand (and why it matters)

Unapologetically You: How to Bring More of Your Self into Your Brand (and why it matters)

branding Mar 01, 2024

Today, I’m here to share a conversation (and the lessons behind it) I recently had with a friend and renowned thought leader in the field of personal growth. This expert, let's call her Allison, found herself at a crossroads when an unexpected message popped up in her inbox.

The message was from someone seeking a faith-based coach to work on their team and they thought Allison would be the perfect fit. 

Now, Allison does have faith, but in a way that's more aligned with spirituality, crystals, and tarot cards, not the traditional Christian faith the inquirer was implying. 

This led to a moment of profound confusion. Why would someone looking for a Christian, faith-based coach reach out to her? What had she been putting out into the world to make someone think she was the right person for this opportunity? 

We uncovered that this misunderstanding highlighted a significant issue that lay deep within her brand: she had been concealing a crucial part of her identity.

Despite having a spiritual practice that deeply influenced her work, she had never shared this aspect publicly, fearing it might deter potential clients. This omission wasn't a small oversight; it was a foundational element of her brand that got left out, leading to years of operating a business that didn't fully showcase her truest self (YIKES!). 

This approach of trying to be everything to everyone resulted in a paradox that couldn’t have made itself clearer. By hiding this important part of herself, she inadvertently lost people who would have been drawn to their genuine message and values, and attracted those who were not the right fit. 

This story just goes to show the confusion and missed connections that can occur when we don’t show up fully aligned in our brands.

When you dilute or hide who you are, you not only create confusion but also miss out on forming meaningful connections with your ideal audience. Allison’s journey is a powerful reminder that embracing and sharing your true self, values, and beliefs can transform your brand from being just another option for any random person on the internet, to being the only choice for those who share your vision and values. 

Let this story be a call to action to assess your brand and make the courageous choice to show up unapologetically YOU. Read on to discover some ways you can do this. 

Understanding Your Brand Soil

Just as a tree needs nutrient-rich soil to thrive, your brand requires a solid foundation to grow strong and make a real impact. This foundation – your brand soil – is made up of your core values, mission, vision, and unique stance on topics that matter to you and your audience.

Your Brand’s Point of View

Your point of view is like the nutrients in the soil; it nourishes your brand and gives it life. This element is essential not just for your own clarity, but for connecting deeply with your clients. People are drawn to your brand because they see a piece of themselves in your messaging. When you're open about how you think and what you value, you give potential clients a reason to work with you amidst the many, MANY options they have online. 

On the flip side, trying to appeal to everyone by hiding important parts of what make you YOU, leaves your audience confused and disconnected. Sharing your unique perspective helps them understand where you stand, fostering trust and respect. It's about making an impact by being yourself.

Your Position in the Marketplace

Understanding your place in the market is like knowing the best environment for your tree to grow. It’s about differentiating yourself from the competition and clearly communicating why potential clients should choose you. This clarity isn't always easy to find on your own, so don't shy away from seeking external perspectives to better understand your unique value.

A clearly defined brand soil does more than just support growth; it resonates with your audience on a deeper level. This alignment between who you are and how you present your brand is what builds a lasting connection with your clients. 

Identifying Your Core Values

Understanding and articulating your brand's core values is like laying the foundation for a house. These values are not just bullet points on your website; they are the beliefs and principles that guide every action, decision, and interaction your business engages in. They shape your brand experience and influence how your brand is perceived by the outside world. 

In today's online space, where potential clients are bombarded with endless choices, they gravitate towards brands that resonate with their personal values, seeking not just products or services, but relationships and connections that feel meaningful and authentic.

Now you might be asking, “Okay Jessie May, that’s great, I agree! But how do I actually know what my brand’s core values are? And how do I share those with my audience?”

The journey to unearthing these core values and ensuring they're not just visible but vibrantly alive in your brand's messaging and positioning, starts with introspection. Even if you feel confident about who you are, viewing your personality through the lens of branding can unveil new dimensions you might’ve thought couldn’t fit into your brand or weren’t sure if you should share. This process is all about narrowing down from the multifaceted aspects of your beliefs to pinpoint the ones that truly define you and your brand, NOT about hiding parts of yourself that might be perceived negatively by someone online. 

I encourage starting with my Brand Archetypes Quiz, which illuminates your brand personality by tapping into the 12 Jungian archetypes. Aligning your brand with an archetype not only helps clarify your identity, but also makes your brand more relatable and trustworthy to your audience on a subconscious level.

Another invaluable tool is my Power Profile Assessment, grounded in color psychology, which assists in selecting brand colors that genuinely mirror your essence. Choosing brand colors that are aligned with your brand's soul ensures that every visual aspect of your brand communicates the right message, thus amplifying your truth out there in the world.

Integrating core values into your brand isn't a one-and-done task. It's a continuous process of aligning your actions, decisions, and communications with these values. 

It's about consistently showing up in a way that resonates with both who you are and who your audience aspires to be. From the stories you tell to the visuals you use or the causes you support, every element of your brand should be a testament to your core values. To learn more about creating the emotional impact of your brand in a way that’s based on your core values, check out this blog post. 

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Attracting Your Ideal Clients 

The journey to attract your ideal clients starts with a crucial realization: trying to be a brand for everyone is a fast track to becoming a brand for no one. 

Attempting to create this mass appeal not only dilutes your message, but can also lead you to attract an audience that doesn't resonate with your core values, leading to misalignments between what you offer and what your audience expects. 

But, before you can effectively define and attract your ideal client, you first need to have a clear understanding of who you are as the face of your brand.

Your brand's truth is its magnetism. When you align your brand messaging, visuals, and overall presence with who you naturally are, you create a brand that's not only unique but irresistibly attractive to those who share your values and vision. 

This isn't about narrowing your reach but deepening the connections with those within it. The allure of playing it safe and remaining neutral is understandable in our polarized world. However, this approach just leads to a brand that's forgettable and interchangeable. Standing strong in your values, on the other hand, fosters a sense of trust and reliability, compelling potential clients to notice you, feel drawn to you, to believe in what you stand for, and ultimately, to choose you to be their guide.

So, make sure you’re crystal clear on your brand soil first. 

From there, the focus shifts to understanding and connecting with your ideal audience – delving into their goals, dreams, challenges, and lifestyles. This understanding enables you to tailor your messaging and offerings in ways that resonate deeply, meeting your audience where they're most receptive.

The natural first step in trying to identify your ideal clients is by creating an ideal client profile. But what actually makes this commonly-used tool work well, is not using it just as a static reference, but as a blueprint that informs how you communicate, what you offer, and how you present your brand to the world. This ever-evolving ideal client profile ensures that your brand speaks directly to the hearts and minds of those you aim to serve.

When you embrace your brand's truth and focus on those you truly wish to serve, you create not just a brand, but a community – one built on shared values, mutual respect, and genuine connection.

Defining and Portraying a Clear Brand Identity

Think of your brand identity as the foundation of your house. Without a solid foundation, everything else you build might wobble or, worse, crumble. That foundation? It's all about being super clear on who you are, who you're talking to, and the unique problems you're solving. Without that solid foundation, it’s like you’re just hoping the wind blows in the exact right direction at the exact right time so your house can stay standing by chance. 

Without a clear brand identity, you risk never being seen by your ideal audience, unable to connect with those who are searching for exactly what you offer.

When you’re hiding important parts of yourself in your brand, the trust your audience has for you takes a total nosedive because people sense you're not being upfront (and trust me, they can sense it). It’s like when you sense someone's holding back in a conversation; you can't really connect with them, right? 

And when your message is all over the place, it's confusing. It’s like telling a story where the beginning, middle, and end don't match up. People spend so much energy trying to figure out what you're talking about that they miss the point entirely. Worst case, you end up attracting folks who were never meant to vibe with your brand in the first place (like Allison did). That's a recipe for disappointment on both sides.

And it's not just the outside world that gets mixed signals. Inside your team, if everyone's not on the same page about what your brand stands for, things can get chaotic. Imagine trying to row a boat where everyone's rowing in different directions. Not very effective, is it?

Being real and sharing what you stand for can actually draw the right people to your brand like a magnet. It's all about sharing the bits of your beliefs that gel with your brand's mission in a way that speaks to your people. This doesn't mean you need to broadcast every personal belief, but rather highlight those that align with your brand's mission and resonate with your audience. 

But, and this is a big but, you have to keep it balanced. It’s about sharing, not oversharing. You want to invite your audience in, not step over their boundaries.

Strategically blending your personal convictions with your brand’s voice can make your brand stand out in a crowd – in a way that feels less like speaking just to speak, and more like sharing a relatable story. 

The Power of Visibility 

When it comes to making your brand stand out, visuals and messaging are where it's at. They're the first impression of your brand and they’re what will help your audience connect with you from the get go. 

Choosing the right imagery, colors, and language isn't just about looking good; it's about feeling aligned. It's about ensuring every photo, every color, and every word you write reflects your brand’s essence. This is where diving deep into your brand archetypes can be a game-changer. Archetypes help crystalize your brand's personality, making it easier for you to select visuals and language that mirror your true self. 

And guess what? When you use our customizable Brand Bundles inside the Impact Tribe, you have a tool specifically designed to bring your archetype to life across all your branding materials. It’s like having a cheat sheet to ensure your brand visuals and messaging hit the mark every time.

But, as I’ve said before, jumping straight into visual branding without doing the groundwork first is like building a house on sand. Sure, it might look stunning for a moment, but it won’t stand the test of time. I've seen too many bright-eyed entrepreneurs pour their heart, soul, and wallet into branding, only to end up with something that feels off. That's because the essence of your brand – its soul, if you will – comes from understanding who you are, who you're speaking to, and what makes your brand tick. And that understanding comes from introspection, not just inspiration.

So, before you start dreaming about color palettes and logo designs, take a step back. Dive into the core of your brand. Who are you? What do you stand for? And how do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand? Get these answers down, and only then should you start thinking about how to visually and verbally embody them. 

Your brand's power of visibility lies not in how loud it shouts, but in how sincerely it speaks to those it’s meant to serve. Authentic visuals and messaging aren't just pretty decorations; they're the heart and soul of your brand's communication system.

Brand messaging is how you communicate your values, your mission, and your point of view to your audience. Just like visuals, your messaging needs to reflect your truth in a way that resonates with the people you want to attract and serve.

But how do you craft messaging that hits home? 

First, get crystal clear on your brand's core themes or topics. What are the key takeaways you want your audience to have after they interact with your brand? Once you’ve clarified that, infuse your personality into your messaging. If your brand were a person, how would it speak? What kind of language would it use? Would it be formal and professional, or casual and laid-back? Remember, consistency is key. Your brand's voice should be recognizable across all platforms and touchpoints.

This is where your brand archetypes can once again serve as invaluable guides. Each archetype has its own unique voice and tone. For instance, a brand with a Caregiver archetype might use nurturing, supportive language, while an Outlaw archetype might adopt a more bold and defiant tone. By aligning your messaging with your archetype, you create a cohesive and compelling brand narrative that captivates and connects.

Also, remember that great brand messaging doesn’t just talk at your audience; it engages them in a conversation. It invites them to interact, to share their thoughts, and to be part of your brand’s journey. This two-way communication builds a community around your brand, turning clients into loyal fans and advocates.

How to Implement Changes in Your Brand

Implementing changes in your brand is a crucial step towards staying aligned and relevant over time. As we grow and evolve, both personally and professionally, our brands must reflect these changes to remain true to who we are. Recognizing the need for a rebrand, whether partial or complete, is a sign of deep self-awareness and commitment to your business's authenticity.

When to Consider a Rebrand

Rebranding isn't something to take lightly or do on a whim every time a new trend catches your eye. It should be a thoughtful decision based on significant shifts in your values, mission, or the way you wish to present yourself to the world. Signs that you might need a rebrand include feeling disconnected from your current brand identity, noticing that your brand no longer accurately represents your vision, or simply finding that your visuals and messaging have become outdated.

Communicating Changes Without Losing Trust

Communicating changes to your audience requires transparency, honesty, and a clear explanation of the reasons behind the rebrand. Start by sharing the journey that led to this decision and what you hope to achieve. Whether you're opting for a full rebrand to align more closely with evolved values or a partial rebrand to refresh your visual identity, let your audience in on your thought process.

Steps to Implement Changes

  • Assess the Need for Change: Reflect on your brand's current state and the disconnect you feel. Identify the areas that no longer resonate with your values or audience.
  • Decide on the Scope: Determine whether you need a full rebrand or if refreshing certain elements (like your logo) would suffice.
  • Develop a Clear Plan: Outline what changes need to be made, how these changes will be implemented, and the timeline for rolling out your new brand identity.
  • Engage Your Audience: Use your platforms to share the rebranding process. Involve your audience by sharing sneak peeks, the reasoning behind the change, and how it benefits them.

Rebranding offers a unique opportunity to realign your brand with your current vision, values, and the needs of your audience. By taking thoughtful steps and keeping your audience informed and involved, you can navigate this transition smoothly and strengthen your brand's connection with its community. This blog post goes more in-depth on the rebranding process. 

Embracing Your Brand's Truth

Truth isn't just about being honest; it's about the essence of your brand's identity, values, and purpose woven seamlessly into your own. It's what transforms your brand from just another choice in a sea of options to a memorable, relatable, and trustworthy beacon for your ideal clients. 

It's easy to drift off course in an attempt to cast a wider net, but at what cost? By diluting your values or holding back parts of your story, you might be missing out on forming those crucial deep connections with your audience. 

Questions like, "Am I truly representing what I stand for?" or "Could I be fostering deeper connections by sharing more of my journey?" are vital. Aligning – or realigning – your brand with your core values magnetically attracts those who share or aspire to those values, and repels anyone who doesn’t (which is a great thing)! 

But where do you start? 

The thought of taking steps towards a more aligned brand presence might seem overwhelming. But the secret to success here is to start small and focused. 

Your brand's journey to authenticity is never really "complete." It evolves as you evolve, adapting as your understanding of yourself, your audience and their needs deepens. Embracing this evolution allows your brand to not just grow, but to thrive with a sense of integrity and purpose. 

Your truth isn't just a unique selling point; it's the core of your brand's identity. Now is the time to embrace it fully. Your audience isn't just waiting for what you do; they're waiting to connect with the real you.

If you want to become the fully expressed entrepreneur you’re ready to be, then the Impact Tribe is waiting for you! This is the place where purpose-driven fempreneurs gather to learn, explore, and support each other along the way. You can learn more or join us here if you’re interested.


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