Your business, like you, is a work in progress. You’re constantly refining your marketing message, your ideal client, and even your brand, to some extent. As a coach who helps entrepreneurs discover, love and live their authentic selves so that have the confidence to boldly live their purpose, I think it’s important that your business reflect the Real You. But how much of “You” should be in your “Authentic Brand?”
I love Brene Brown, who unabashedly promotes a life of authenticity. Recently, a bit of a tiff began brewing between Brown and Adam Grant, who basically said that nobody cares who you are unless you’re a celebrity. Branding expert Julia Hook has a great discussion on this debate in her blog post, “Is ‘Be Yourself’ Bad Brand Advice?”
When I had my website redone a while back, the designer threw in a mini-branding bonus which included a logo. My two stipulations were that it had to be purple and it had to be bold. She gave me several options from which to choose, and I asked advice from two mastermind groups that I was a part of. I’m SO glad I did. Turns out, the one I liked best – the one I thought reflected my personality the most – was the least favorite, hands down. Everyone thought it was too unprofessional.
Eventually, I decided on a compromise – a design which maintained some of the sassy flavor I wanted, while still being professional enough to attract my ideal clients. After all, what good is it to have a brand that’s “me” if nobody will even listen to what I have to say, right? (Though I did briefly entertain the idea of a singing purple penguin wearing a tiara – I guess there’s something to be said about total commitment to a cause, right? ☺ )
So how much of “You” should be in your “Authentic Brand?”
I’d say enough that you love it. Enough that it attracts people who love you for you – people you don’t have to put on an act for. Too many women I talk to say they’ve spent so much time being what other people expected of them that they don’t know who they are anymore. This happens so easily in our personal lives; it’d be a shame to let it happen professionally as well.
One of my heroes in this area is Kimra Luna. “Conventional wisdom” might dictate that if you’re in the business space, you should wear a suit – or a least a button-down shirt – and look “professional.” But Kimra’s totally rockin’ it in her own signature style, blue hair and tats and all. I love it! She knows who she is, and she’s playing it full out.
So what about you? How have you incorporated your personality, your quirks, your unique self into an authentic brand? How much is too much? Is there such a thing as too much? Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts below.