A few weeks ago, I attended a Personal Rebranding 101 webinar through my alma mater. The short workshop was presented by one of my former professors, and with my recent “return” to blogging I thought maybe the topic would be beneficial. I am developing dreams and aspirations through my focus on self love, and these goals will require growth and change. The focus was on branding yourself in terms of personal blogs, logos, social media, websites, etc., with the intention of shifting focus to the qualities you want to define your presence.
During the workshop, we were asked to spend five minutes writing down five adjectives that I want to describe my brand. In that moment, I chose the following:
These are the words I want people to think and feel when they read my blog. The exercise goes on further to cross-reference with descriptions from stereotypes, or competition, to make your five adjectives as true and unique to your brand as possible.
A few days later, I had an epiphany.
What if I could apply rebranding to more than just my online presence? This is about more than Cotten Tales, and the small platform I have here. What if I could apply these principles to Samantha as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, etc.? I’m going through some life changes right now, and focusing a lot of effort on self love and self discovery. I am pursuing change and betterment for myself, my family, and my relationships. In a sense, I’m doing a bit of rebranding of myself as a person.
I don’t really know what qualities I’m projecting. I hadn’t given much thought to how I want to be defined, in part because I haven’t known who I am at all recently. It’s an applied social science – our audience determines our brand. So how do the people who I surround myself with define me?
The only way to know is to ask. And I did.
I asked six people to send me five words that they feel describe me. From an outside perspective, what do people think of when they hear my name? I selected friends and co-workers initially, because this whole exercise was a bit spur of the moment and chaotic (and I’m not sure I need to project more of my crazy tendencies with the outside world). Some people responded instantly. One friend took a week to perfect her five words for me. I received a few random, one-off words from others who heard about my “project” in passing. Those words received from people further outside of my “bubble” are almost more powerful, because they are truly the attributes I radiate the furthest.
Here’s what I learned.
Every person had at least one word that matched or closely related to one of my five original qualities. But, what surprised me most were the words I didn’t expect to hear. Not a single one is critical (which I’m sure would change the further away from my inner circle I went), and many are attributes I strive for but didn’t think I possessed. In reflecting, maybe my brand is perceived better by my audience than it is by me. Do I feel courageous, powerful, strong, or resilient? Those are big words! And the answer is no – I don’t feel those things a lot of times.
But my circle thinks these things of me, so just maybe I should give myself a little more credit.
I encourage you to try this with your people. Unearth what qualities are important to YOU, and find out how successful you are in living them. You may just find out more about yourself than you think.
Leave a comment, and I would be happy to help define YOUR brand.