Maybe it’s the Brené Brown factor (you can’t move for ‘This is my most vulnerable yet’ posts), but I’m talking a lot about fear at the moment with my clients.
I might not be quite there in an Oprah OMG-I-feel-your-truth kinda way, but I’ve found it fascinating.
Especially, what fear has got to do with branding. (It’s not a topic I see discussed.)
For small biz owners and solopreneurs, your brand can become indistinguishable from yourself. And that can be pretty exposing for many people, bringing with it a tonne of fears.
And it’s scary, too, if you’re employed but under pressure to boost your personal brand and win more business.
Because we worry about things like:
- What will people think about me?
- Will they like me?
- What if I’ve got nothing new to say?
- Will they think I’m showing off?
- Will I seem unprofessional?
- What if everyone else is doing it better than me?
- Won’t I look stupid?
And so on.
At my branding workshop a couple of weeks ago with the Association for Coaching, one coach bravely shared her fear. She was terrified of putting her brand out more strongly in the market because then she’d have a responsibility to deliver on expectations.
Quite a burden.
There’s no doubt that putting yourself out there can make you feel pretty (ok Brené, have your moment) vulnerable. And from there it’s easy to get the wobbles, the cold feet and the FEAR.
And when we’re afraid we tend to play it safe, go all middle of the road and greige (that’s beige for millennials). And playing it safe sounds the death knell for your brand. Dong.
That’s when you blend in with everyone else.
The most successful brands out there are those that jump in with both feet. They take risks. They go all out.
They’re not for everyone and that’s ok. But they’re fully committed like that awesome kid at Hallowe’en who’s sewn his own Chewbacca costume.
Sure, it can be scary to put yourself out there. But remember, most people are far too busy worrying about themselves to spend time judging you.
You can’t help your clients if they don’t know who you are.
So just think of your brand as a way to share the great things that you do. Tell the world exactly who you are, what you stand for and why you’re so brilliant.
Feel that fear and do it anyway. Oprah emosh-fest optional.