Lately we've been doing a lot of thinking and work around personal branding. Whether you're starting up your own venture, working for a big global organisation or simply having an exchange with someone on the street - we're all trading off our own brand every single day.
As a bit of a stickler for design I spent a lot of time nurturing the essence of Chapel Lane. I knew, as a business, how I wanted to look, sound, feel and be perceived. I also have a great understanding of our strengths; the sort of work we love doing, the people we want to work with and the brands that share our vision and goals. I'm proud and humbled by the friends we have across the world, the creative and innovative individuals contributing to a whole range of colourful industries - who we can turn to for ideas and inspiration. Being a small business, however, you cannot hide behind a brand when the brand is YOU.
I read one of those cheesy quotes (you know the ones, written in brush lettering against a soft focus picture of the ocean ..) on a friend's instagram that said "surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious". I thought it was a bit of a cop-out. Sure, its great to have fabulous people in your life, but there comes a time when you cannot rely on those around you, and the focus has to shift to yourself. Make sure that you reflect who you are and what you want to be.
I approach this in exactly the same way as I do a business - What are you offering to the world? What are your best qualities? How can you lead with those and make them clear to your audience/customers? It's a confronting process to go through, but probably the most essential step for anybody to take. It's not all about how you look, but more how you present. It's doing whatever it takes to ensure that all of the knowledge, expertise, creativity, humour - all of the good stuff radiates from every pore. But absolutely, a Chanel handbag helps, it always helps.
To be continued..