Raven here. I’ve been thinking about branding a lot lately. Running an agency that specializes in branding might have something to do with that, but even if you’re not in my shoes, I think you’ll benefit from this.
You see – whether we feel it or not – whether we want to or not – we’re all walking around with a brand: our own.
And I don’t mean to go all Kardashian on you, but it’s true – our personalities, our occupations, our personal style, our preferences, our language – it’s all part of our personal brand.
For a long time, I thought that I could keep Personal Raven and Professional Raven separate. And, I had a pretty good handle on Personal Raven. She was fun, easy to talk to, appropriately self-deprecating at all the right moments.
Professional Raven was a whole different animal, though. The truth is, I felt like I was faking it.
But the thing is, I wasn’t. I had a great client roster, and they were all happy with my work. People called me for help, and they were appreciative of the time and knowledge I was giving them.
Yet, I’d get to talking with my seat neighbor on a flight or an acquaintance at a backyard BBQ and I would run fast back into the comfort zone of Personal Me, sometimes missing out on a great opportunity to grow my business or possibly advance my career.
I just never knew exactly what to say – how to fully express all of the goals I was helping my clients meet, the fun projects I was so pumped to be a part of, and the skills I was honing with my work.
I’ve said it before – but it really is funny how we can resist the solution, even when it’s right in front of our faces. Time and again, I preached strategy and planning before execution to my clients – we worked hard to get their messages just right, so they knew what to say, and when to say it.
As I’ve shared in previous posts, I eventually did put myself on the other side of the table, and worked through an awesome messaging exercise. I wanted to share more about the ripple effect that process has had on me personally.
I’m No Longer Divided
There’s no more Personal Raven or Professional Raven. I’m just Raven. And let me tell you, life is easier. Granted, I still have different roles to play in life (wife, mom, boss-lady, etc.), but I’m a more authentic and comfortable me in each of those roles now. The uneasiness that Imposter Syndrome brings with it no longer follows me around and lingers in the shadows.
Way Fewer Face-Palm Moments
You know those moments where you know EXACTLY what you should have said, 5 minutes after you should have said them? Yeah, I used to have those a lot. And the worst part is, they’re hard to shake. I’d keep thinking through what I should have done, in hopes that maybe next time it’d be different.
Now that I’ve got my key messages practically tattooed on my brain, I’m ready with a response to those intimidating networking questions.
I’m Saving Time
It’s amazing what a clear message can do for your time management. When you’re existing in the land of muddy messaging, it’s easy to stress over all the little things. Email responses, web copy, phone conversations – all of those things become far more focused and easy to crank out when your messaging is established.
In fact, a lot of that stuff has become essentially template for me. Meaning, I wrote one inquiry response email, and now I start with my template and customize from there. No more stressing over whether I’m using the right words or representing my business appropriately each and every time.
That said, it still takes discipline to be productive with all of the extra time I’ve gained. 😉
Where Are You?
Has anyone else been where I was? Are you still there? If you’ve had a face-palm moment, or you’re feeling a little fake when it comes to speaking with clarity and purpose about your business, I’d love to talk to you more about how messaging and a clear identity can help you grow.