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Understanding Your Brand

Lesson 4 from: Personal Branding for Creative Professionals

Dorie Clark

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Lesson Info

4. Understanding Your Brand

Lesson Info

Understanding Your Brand

As we start to think about personal branding essentially we we have a multi step process, right? We were talking in our first segment about the fact that if we're really doing it right, personal branding starts out by beginning to get a sense of who we are now, how are we perceived by other people? And, you know, what is that brand baseline next we move into the phase, we're we're proactively saying, well, how do I want to be known? And what do I need to do to make sure that I actually m known that way by other people? And then third and finally it becomes about living your brand and making sure that all of your actions everything you do manifests it, but you can't get anywhere if you don't have an accurate perspective upfront of what your current brand is in the marketplace. So that's that's where we're going to start today and we're going to begin than to take it through to the messaging. So the first piece is that we're going to be talking about a focus group, and this is actually s...

o I'm starting with this because this is something I want to I want to tell you, you're kind folks at home this as well, that I think this is something that is meant as kind of a, uh, you know, a metaphor thought problems something like this you do not literally have to do this okay because I will tell this story and some of you will say oh, this is amazing I'm going to do this and some of you are going to listen and say oh my god this is horrible this freaks me out and so it's okay if you were freaked out no worries think of it as a metaphor okay? And we will get into away you can apply it in your own life so that it's it's a little you know kind of tamer version of this but I want to start out because it's a very interesting story I think so as I was writing reinventing you it was going around you know, I have I have a consulting business I help clients with marketing strategy and so one of the clients that I was working with it was thiss woman who worked at the largest foundation in massachusetts and so she was you know, we were working together on a project and I was telling her about the book that I was writing which became reinventing you and she told me you know she said, oh, this is so interesting and all the stuff you're telling me about personal brand but but you know, this actually reminds me of something that I did this reminds me of the focus group that I had about myself and I said wait a minute, what do you mean by that? What would focus group and I said you have to tell me more and so she did and it turns out this is this is a really fascinating woman, you know who had a cool position if the foundation is a senior program officer so she was really overseeing a lot of interesting charitable activities, but a few years previous she had kind of hit a wall with her career. She had been doing cool stuff, but she was just feeling like she was in a rut, you know? She felt like she was a little bored with what she was doing and she really wanted some kind of direction and she was telling this to a friend of hers and her friends, you know, who worked in marketing and branding said, I know we will do a focus group for you and she said, well, tell me what I would look like and so many of you are probably familiar with focus groups in in general, right? So, you know proctor and gamble or whoever they want to put out a new shampoo so they'll get a room full of, you know dozen consumers and and they pass it around and everybody sniffs it and says what they think of the smell and people watch behind smoked class and say, oh, well you know, they said that they liked the mango but they didn't like the persimmon and you know, then they make their decisions so you know, some of us have all seen that on don draper maybe even some of those who participate in it but what would it possibly would liketo have this for yourself? Eso this woman mary she so she let her friend on just kind of go for it and so don asked merry to invite about, you know, ten to twelve of her friends and these were people all throughout mary's life some of them, you know, like her sister had known her forever. Some of them were more recent friends somewhere colleagues and they all came one day to mary's a unit to mary's house. And so john led the focus group. Mary sat in the corner. She was actually not permitted to speak except if she had a clarifying question to ask. And and so don led this focus group. And for a couple of hours they talked about mary ann about her life, her career and her strengths. And she told me that it was actually the most enlightening professional experience she had ever had because she said, you know, dori, other people can see things about us that we cannot see about ourselves, and so for some people, they're going to take oh no this is a way to scary it's crazy but for those of you who are interested in it what I thought was fascinating don asked four questions they kind of got everything kick started and he had each of the respondents go through the questions that they asked where mary's greatest gifts are what I had to fill that fill that out and to talk about their response he asked you know what could you see mary doing and you know, she was at a point where she was thinking about maybe changing careers or something and so that was really interesting idea she got all kinds of you know, suggestions everything from being you know, I like working in politics to being a children's book author you know and it really sort of began toe show what her strengths were the world would be a better place if mary did what that's an interesting one and then finally how will they help mary what will what will they bring to the mix and so going through really, really kind of a powerful thing for her she was really able to transform herself and in fact transformed her her career she ended up with a new career is a result of it and she transformed her life she she decided to have children which she did not have before and it really crystallized for her that yeah that's something she wanted todo um this was big for her when I tell this story sometimes a comment that I get from people it's like one of one of two thanks right so the first one is you know oh my goodness I can't I can't imagine because you know what people said all these really negative things right? And so the the response here that the truth is if these are your friends odds are they're probably not going to say really horrible things to your face okay you probably don't need to worry about that so much that you know this is not gonna be like you know barry such a jerk and here's why the risk is actually more the opposite which is that they will only say nice things and you won't get the full picture of yourself so how do you deal with that? And so I asked marry that question and she said you know it was it was interesting what she learned to do and this is the thing that I would suggest to you guys is you know, just kind of the the thought problem is that she realized that you need to kind of listen around the answers and here's what I mean by that so someone is going to say something that's you know that's basically a strength right let's say you are an amazing tactician that sounds like a good thing right? The question that we need to ask ourselves is is it possible that the opposite of that thing, maybe you do the opposite of that strength? Could it be a weakness? So if you are an amazing tactician, if you're really good it's sort of the nuts and bolts of whatever, does that possibly mean that you are not strategic enough? What's what's the polar opposite, and it doesn't necessarily imply that, but it could, and so you've got to ask yourself that question if people say, oh, well, you're, you know, you're so sensitive and loving and giving clearly that's a great thing to bay and it's a wonderful thing in moderation if it doesnt mean, oh, you're so sensitive and giving that you never look out for yourself and you're a pushover, so we just want to say, and we're going to talk about this a little bit later how do your strengths and weaknesses interact with each other? But getting feedback from other people can be a really interesting and powerful way to be in the process of understanding more about ourselves and about our brand. So, you know, part of why this matters so much is that we do all have blind spots, you know? I mean that's a reason they're called blind spots, which is that we don't even know that they exist, and yet nonetheless they could actually be really shaping are how we operate in the world because people are reacting to us based on certain things that they take this fax and if we don't know what they are, we're really operating at a handicap. And so one of the stories that I think was really interesting that I learned in the course of researching reinventing you was about a gentleman who was working with an executive coach and, you know, you guys maybe familiar, one of the very first things than an executive coach will do if you're working with them is that they'll do it's called a three, sixty so that's, you know, three sixties, a circle, and basically the idea is that they will interview all the people around you. So your boss, your appears, your employees and they'll try to get a really comprehensive picture of how you operate in the world. You know what? Our dorrie strengths and weaknesses, how is she with people, et cetera, and so they will take this feedback though anonymous isat and then they'll come back to you with a report, and so there was a guy that one of the executive coaches we're working with and he the feedback was getting about him was terrible, it was really had people, said he's, a jerk he's arrogant, he, you know, he's so obnoxious he doesn't respect other people it was really harsh and so you know, obviously when you get feedback like that a good coach wants to dig a little bit wants to say well okay, how does he do that what's the specific thing and it turned out that you know, as she was digging she discovered a couple of interesting things number one he had no idea people felt this about him one hundred percent club alice number two in his heart he was really not like that he was not intending to be rude he was not, you know, a dismissive person. He was not the jerk that people thought that he wass this is, you know, it's not like, oh, I hate people so I'm not listening to you he really was trying to be a good, you know, team player the problem in his case was that he had a really bad habit and that was that he interrupted people it was as simple as that, but he did it enough times over and over again that was his way of being in the world. It just it just cut you off and people began to say well via see doing that and we develop stories about other people and we think in stories and the narrative though that people created about him was he is not listening to me because he doesn't respect me and that is incredibly damaging and people began to say you know I don't want to work with this guy he is a jerk I don't like him and it was obviously impacting his career so you know he was he was stuck as an executive because of that and so one of the things that's so powerful for us I think that a lot of times you know when we think about personal branding we think about reinventing ourselves I think that a lot of people think that it's this huge enormous task right but it's like oh it'll be this thing it'll take years you know and sure like listen let's not you know whitewash it here it is true that depending on whatever change you want to make sometimes it could take years sure maybe you have to you know if you want to be a doctor and you need to go back to medical school that's gonna take a while but not every changes like that and in fact some changes can happen in an instant I don't mean that you can take a ah hardwired habit and you know suddenly make it okay because things take time but as soon as this guy heard the feedback and he was willing and open in his heart teo hearing it he took it in and took it seriously he realized what have I done and he was willing to start making the change and so that this doesn't mean you're perfect you know you're not going to be perfect on day one but it means you can start to catch yourself you can sort of see oh oh wait no you finish and you do that over time and within a period of a couple of months if you're really conscientious and you sustain it people are going to begin to see you differently they're going to understand you're making a change and you really can begin to take control of your personal brand in that way so that's that's pretty powerful but so many of us most of us probably can't afford to hire an executive coach on her own and so that's why there's actually an exercise that I'm gonna suggest that we do now that is what I will call a modified version of the three sixty eh so that we can begin the process of figuring this out on our own and so this is this is the three words exercise and so for those of you following along at home uh one of the things that you could do if you have the workbook if you bought that you can you can do it with us but for the folks here in our studio is on page two and what I would liketo ask you guys to do so in here and also at home is to answer this question if you only had three words to be able to describe yourself, what would they be? We were talking earlier about the fact that for most people you know, maybe three things is like the most that they're gonna have uh in their heads about you so my question to you is if you could pick what those three words are, what do you wish that people would think about you and so that's number one in the number two is this is helpful for us to figure out what we wanted to be but it's also helpful for us to go out into the world and to ask other people this question? So if you only had three words to be able to describe me, what would they be? This could be incredibly telling because what we discover is that pretty soon you know, by the second, third, fourth person you're talking to, you are going to see distinct patterns in terms of what they say about you and also in terms of what they don't say the answers they're going to cluster and you could really learn important things about what is coming through loudest toe other people about you so I will invite you now please feel free in studio audience teo to take a moment right down these three words he only had three words to be able to describe yourself what would they say? I mean, I can tell you and you try to practice what I preach and so just recently I went through around where I was asking some friends about it and, you know, it's amazing what they say and what they pick up on my three words that I got from my friend tim recently you guys can get away and you know, you could tell me if this seems good but tim's words that he had for me he said curious was one I thought was pretty good cause they do ask a lot of questions that used to be a reporter the second one was this is technically not a word unless maybe you hyphenate it but he said what you see is what you get s o he you know, gets this may be authentic, you know, or whatever. And then the third one that he came up with was was bright and he said it had two meetings they say one was was that, you know, I was smart, but the other one was that was kind of sonny and so so I think I think that was very nice, but it's interesting is really a fascinating process to find out what you know because the problem with us right, the problem in humans were in our head twenty four seven we know all the little nuances about ourselves and so ultimately that's problematic because we know too much we know too much and so you can't see the forest for the trees and it is incredibly useful to have other people's perspective because they can tell you with much more clarity what is coming through in a big way versus what is coming through in a small way and we need that kind of guidance so that when we're coming up with the vision about what we want our personal brand to be we need to know more about what we turn the volume up on and then what do we kind of turned the volume down on to get to the place that we want to be so and so just as a reminder here the exercise is if you only had three words to be able to describe yourself what would they be right him down and then in the second part is to think through I suggest six but you know you could have more you could have less six people who you want to ask that question to this is like your homework assignment tonight you can go out and ask them this question you know he doesn't have to be six people all in one night but you can begin the process and you know find out some really interesting things about yourself so that's uh that's the process here and so it looks like samantha you might be done at this point is that right? Would you be willing teo, to share with us what your answers are curious? Because this is you know, this is our big opportunity teo to grow. Okay, um, so for my three words, I chose personable, loyal and consistent okay night and pretty much chose those words because that's how I think of myself, yeah, so I'm curious do you of the people that you came up with asked the question, teo, do you think that they would pick the same ones? I would think a good majority of them wade night and I decided to start with my mother because she is my mom, but she's also, you know, honest yeah, and she could be brutally honest that she has to be that's, right? It pays it pays to have some people that you talk to who, you know, you have that kind of relations shit with, you know, to get to really get the straight scoop so that's fantastic. And so, you know, it's it's interesting, because as you're thinking about this, you know, you're writing down these three words and a way of thinking of it, I mean, so number one is like, well, how do you think of yourself what's top of mind, but number two is to really begin to make that vision, so if you know, if if personable, loyal and because consistent yes so that's that's a really great, really great brand tohave and so how in your mind, samantha, does that tie in with you know you're you're sort of professional brand like, you know what? Why why're those things powerful in terms of why I should do business with you? Well, personable, I'm easy to work with him. I get along with pretty much everyone and I make them feel comfortable around me as well. So in photography that's a big deal because people are not comfortable being in front of a camera loyal um, I want you to feel as good about the interaction is idea so it's not just about money, it's about both of us, you know, taking the value and appreciating it and wanting to do business again with each other and consistent. So you see my website, I want you to know that I could do justus well with your chute or with whatever project our job that I'm gonna work on. Yeah, that's, that's really great, because those, you know, this is the seed of what can set you apart professionally. I mean, you've put your finger on it because you know our personal brand, we always want to start with you know who we are inside and, you know, what's most important to us, but it's also useful, just to be, you know, we're not like, you know, what is the world want me to be, you know? So I can pretend to be that, but it's, useful to at least be cognizant of, well, what are the concerns that the world has and what do you know? What does the world really need? And so if you think about photography, you're exactly right there's a lot of people who I feel a little nervous about the process of having somebody up, you know, up in their face, like snapping photos, and, you know, particularly at personal times, you know, they're they're at home with their family or, you know, there are at a wedding or wherever it is you want somebody that you feel like is on their side, you know, you want somebody who is not just, like, going through the motions like, oh, yeah, this will dio, you know, you want somebody who you really feel like she is my advocate, and she is going to take pictures that make me feel and look my best and somebody who's, trustworthy, who's, dependable, you know, I can't I can't mess around if I'm taking the day off work and you know I'm gonna be home with my kids I don't want some crazy photographer who's been up all night partying who's gonna get there three hours later you know I'm gonna pick samantha because I know she's loyal and dependable so these are sort of the cornerstones of things that can become brand values that you're known for so I think that's that's really important thank you for sharing playing along with us you hear some of the feedback I love cabin says my three are inventive, efficient and humanitarian curious carries respectful, trustworthy and creative and then we have some people my boy and molly you're saying I don't know if my family gives the best quality feedback and molly says my family are the last people I'm asking hi ginny brown did this exercise a while back and asked my four year old nephew and I got switched such sweet answers happy tall smiley there's a brand right there right on actually sally you were playing along where you know I did it all right what do your words just trying to work out who and I was actually just thinking then the only family member right ask is my brother who I really see who I probably ask the one that would have the list positive, you know? Ah no I can't my words were curious creative encouraging I like it. I would put like adventures I had adventure. I don't forget that was like a heifer knighted too creative adventure that's part of the homework, right x and the vocabulary by asking the people that are in your three, sixty around you, right that's that's exactly right? Because, you know, if if sally, you're asking half a dozen people and four out of six or like, dull where's adventure, you know, union unions really thinks I guess this is maybe a bigger role in my life than I thought, and I mean it. All right, you you drove cars across desert is am I telling the truth here? If I did have it eventually oh, it would be missing if it weren't you. Yeah, and I actually did this exercise a couple of years ago, and I went through my email and found some of the old results when actually asked people what did you find out? I found out that people thought I was creative, dramatic and bold those air the top three words that came through at that time. Yeah. Now the coolest thing though to is that it's a very timely thing, right? So this is who you are, right in this moment right now, but we're allowed teo evolve and change too, right? Absolutely. And so so, yeah, it is it is an exciting thing because if you're in the process of making a transition, you know, it's it's kind of an interesting things like, you know, before and after pictures, right? You know, ask people now and then let's say, you know what? I'm gonna personal branding campaign for the next year I'm going to, you know, do these things, I'm going to get to the place that I want to get teo and see at the end of a year, if you ask people the same question, all right? They're not going to remember it's going to go out of their head in thirty seconds it's not gonna be like, well, last november twenty fourth I said, blah, blah, blah, so see, in a year, if they're saying the same things to you or if it's changed in the direction that you want it to, that could be a really powerful measure of progress, so I think that's pretty interesting. Yeah. So dead. How about you? What did you come up with? Um, I I like, inventive actually cause I was like, should I see innovative or creative or like, something about generating a lot of ideas, but I chose creative, um, ambitious and multifaceted sir thank cool and what what types of people I mean I'm just curious because you know, some people at home are probably thinking like well who would I ask this who would be good and so what air like the categories of people that you were gonna ask um they're mostly like friends I put my mom in there as well but I was trying to think of it like people who are business associates that I encounter regularly and actually I I couldn't really think I sort of have like clients that I interact with very rarely so I don't think they would have the insight to summarize me was pretty much friends yeah cool and how how in your opinion do your awards tie into your sort of business brand you know what what what do you think really distinguishes you are why I should work with you well the ambitious thing is but that I have vision and scope for what is possible and get it done yeah um but it could also be overly ambitious sometimes so I could see the gift and shadow in all things creative obviously is good in my industry because you know it's entertainment so they wanted to be creative and I don't think the party yeah um idea generation is never ever going to be my problem actually my problem is too many ideas on dh then the multifaceted thing luckily is in my favor in and the industry have chosen but it's also something that it's like I see so many facets and I want to bring so many pieces in and I'm basically essentially like a collage artist of creating a thing out of so many elements and but because my mind is always aware of that, sometimes I don't have the focus right, which is why I kind of need to bring in like, more like production assistant take people who are like, yeah, yeah funnel my energy into you know, so yeah, absolutely what I really like the way that you've parsed it because I mean it's it's really interesting I mean, just just from this exercise of like, writing down, you know, what are your three words? You've actually managed to do a few things I mean, one is like, okay, what's the what's, the shadow side of the word, you know, what are the things I need to be cognizant of and just sort of aware like I can't go too much in that direction that's really powerful and you've even taken it to the steppe of well, okay, if I want to make sure that this doesn't go too far that this stays as being a really good virtue, what are like action steps that I can d'oh and so if I am this amazing idea generator, I'm really creative but it's kind of hard to like get down to brass tacks and you know, k, we need to do this, then this then this maybe I need to bring in additional help or freelancers or subcontractors or what have you two be able to help with those things so that I can really focus on playing to my strengths? So I think it's really powerful because I mean, literally all we're doing here is, you know, coming up with what? What are three words and you're able to use that as a kind of blueprint for wow, how should my business be? What direction do I go? So that's, uh, that's pretty incredible, yeah, from the internet and a couple of people boarded on this already, but this is from what? Not what, what, what um says how specific should the words babe? Because it seems like there's a lot of the same words used by different people, and is that a problem in terms of using a cliche or would like innovation? That right now is a sort of an overused word? Yeah, I mean, we these three woods woods that we're using in ourselves to clarify, I guess is the other is the sub context or are we putting them out, in which case they're buzzwords front, yeah, exactly what I mean certain you know certainly you could you know sort of you know think of them as things that you you want to share with the world but I I'm really envisioning this as being a kind of internal exercise at least for for a start so it doesn't bother me too much if the words are you know things that other people would use like you know can you both be creative I mean yeah you can both be creative because because a you are but be it the nuances mean different things to you and that's actually okay this is this is step one off a self knowledge process and then you know this so one a is like water my three words one bee is going around to the rest of the world and saying ok, well if if you were picking the three words for me what would they be and they kind of mixing and matching right saying ok what am I hearing back is there a gap between what I think and what the world thinks on if so you know what can I learn from that like does everyone think I'm way more adventurous than I am and and what does that mean? Is that actually really good like I should sort of own that or is that bad because they think I'm like some crazy risk taker you know so it's it's uh you're not necessarily going to get a definitive answer by coming up with the words but you are going to get leads that we then pursue and say where does this go what does this mean it's kind of the start of the philosophical reckoning as it were which I can use because I was a philosophy major in college so I think philosophical reckonings air awesome so I want so this has been great so okay continue you know stewing on this, folks yeah, call your three words you could just take it in and let him marinate in your brain as you're doing that I wanted to tell you the story about a woman who I also profile in reinventing you who I think is pretty interesting her name is libby wagner and libby wagner we hear a lot of stories you know, like like lisa you know lisa granik and the first one who, you know she's a legal scholar and and then she says no no I want to give this up I want to do something fun and awesome I want to be in the wine industry right? So we hear that a lot well, we hear less we hear far less just kind of kind of interesting livy wagner was a poet who decided she wanted to become a management consultant. I know barbers like what w t f ha ha but nonetheless these focus exist and so whether you are in fact, at home audience, if you are a management consultant, wants to become a poet or if you're a poet who wants to become a management consultant, one of the things that I think is, you know, is pretty cool is that these principles work both ways, but I like living because she's actually kind of an extreme case, right? Because you can, you know, it's like a common story. If you're a management consultant, you could be like, oh, but, you know, I've always felt the poetry inside me and I was an english major, and I'm pursuing my passion but it's a harder story to tell culturally, if you're a poet who says, no, no, I really want to fix your business and so it's interesting to sort of explore what that looked like. And so in her case, I mean, she you know, she made cem some transitions. She went from being a poet. She taught at a community college, she'd written three chap books of poetry on dh then she she took a job where she was running a training programme, and so she began to do kind of, you know, like organizational development kind of things. And so that was how she began to sort of learn about the world of business so she got, you know, the skills and the training but then when she decided to go out on her own and really start her own business that's it's kind of a tough story to tell and in fact early on she actually didn't tell anyone that she used to be a poet that's that's the really interesting thing she was embarrassed about her past and we you know, we talked about this earlier with dana boyd one of the most important and empowering things that we can dio as we come to own our personal brand is to say, you know what I own my past I am not embarrassed about it it is part of who I am and it gives me the strength that I have today and so you know, the first lady was still afraid that if someone discovered she was a poet they wouldn't take her seriously she's making business recommendation even if it was the best recommendation in the world they would they would say, oh, come on, you're a poet what do you know about this? And they'd shut her down and she just kept silent voted but the truth the interesting truth here is that if you stand down your diff chris is if you try to keep quiet about your past or about what you've done it means that there's, not a lot of story to tell, means that you're not really very different from anyone there's, nothing that distinguishes you, and if that is the case, it means that there's not really a good reason for someone to pick you rather than anyone else. And so, as libby got more comfortable in her own skin, she got more comfortable as a management consultant. She began to realize, you know what? This these people, they're not asking to see my credentials, they're not asking, did you know? Do I have an mba? They want to hear my ideas, they want to hear the results that have gotten for clients it's not about, you know, a certain type of training or whatever it's it's about can I do the job? And so she began to realise that actually being a poet was not something to be ashamed off. It was a strength, and she had to learn how to tell the story of that strength. I mean, we can, you know, we can easily see how someone could say, well, you know, you you know you didn't go to business school, you don't know anything about business, being a poet is a weakness, but if you look at it from the other angle if you were a business owner and you really want to connect with your customers or employees or your stakeholders in the community, if you have an important message you want to get out, do you actually want to entrust that message to a bunch of mbas? Or do you think it might be a good idea to have someone who has spent her life studying the nuances of language tto help you convey that message effectively? And she began to say, you know what? Mba is no a lot of things that I don't I wouldn't necessarily want to go to libya, wagner tio tio run my financials for me, but if you want to create a message that has power and it resonate and that makes people stop and take notice, maybe it's actually not a bad idea to goto a poet instead who specializes in that? So she began to lead with that instead of running away from it should be in tow, own her past and own her strengths, and in the process she she created an e newsletter called the boardroom poet her twitter handle is at boardroom poet, and it became a core part of her brand and why people hire her today fortune five hundred companies employ her because of what she brings to the table, so I think you know, the lesson here is that inside your weakness lies your strength I one of the people I interviewed for reinventing you was a woman and phyllis stein used to run a career services at radcliffe you know radcliffe college of harvard university and she told me that interestingly enough for a lot of really high achieving people and you know, maybe you guys too felt this maybe some of you guys at home who felt this it is a lot easier to identify your weaknesses than it is to identify your strengths. I mean, it seems it seems kind of ironic and, you know, certainly in america there's sort of this rap like oh, we're such a narcissistic culture everybody's ago I'm the best you know, but when I get when you get down to it there's a lot of self doubt there's a lot of you know kind of questioning and you get people who are really talented high achieving people and you know, you ask him their weaknesses and oh, you know, I really must tell you all the weaknesses you see ok, ok, well, what do your strengths and they'll say, well, you know, I could do such and such well, but I know a lot of people who do that better and you know what? I can do this but I mean, you know, that's not really very distinctive and you know, I could do that, but I've only been doing it a few years you've got you've got an asterisk for everything and if that's how you're thinking it's really hard to own your strength and you know just just recently just a couple weeks ago I was doing a workshop at a law firm I was doing you know, kind of personal branding workshop like this and it was really interesting because I was talking with with a woman there and she was saying she was like oh, I don't really know you know what my strengths are this is really hard you know is having them doing exercise and so I decided to try this I'm like okay, well what do your weaknesses and she says I know like in two seconds she's like my big weakness is that I'm I go to meetings and I never know what to say she says you know there's something happening in the meeting everybody's talking and I just you know, kind of freeze I don't know what I want to say and then like thirty minutes later I'm like, oh, I should have said this and she said I really want to be able to think on my feet and it's just so hard for me I can't do it I feel like there's a really weakness and so you know, I thought about it from it and I said so basically what you're telling me is that you're a lawyer who doesn't speak rashly who really listens and takes things in and who comes up with you know in formulates deliberate answers tio what a problem is and she says, well I guess so and I said, you know what? That's actually probably a pretty good thing for a lawyer to be because if I was hiring a lawyer I wouldn't necessarily want one that just like shot off in the mouth ever all the time you know what about this? What about that and then it's like wrong so strengths and weaknesses it's an interesting conundrum yao dead is okay if I tell a short story I would love it yeah, so what's powerful about that is your reframe and I had a friend do a similar thing for me because I was sort of like saturn returns okay? I've been doing this fluffy like I've been performing and doing you know, with musical traveling and I have had this very, you know, colorful, wonderful kind of life and career but now I have to take things seriously and like I'm gonna you know, I need to do some adult stuff now so I was like studying marketing and like got a career coaching certification and I was like, I'm gonna be a strategist like I was kind of heading towards you know you would have been my like role model at the time I was heading in that direction that was like thinking my strategic mind is like what you know how I would be an adult? And, um and it just wasn't really working, though, at the same time, and I'm getting all these calls like you come dress up like a fairy, come to make kids party paid faces and I'm like, yeah, sure, but, you know, I'm doing this, and so is this weird thing that, like, it wasn't working, and this the world was asking me this, so I was talking to my friend about it, and she was like, well, you know, that all those, like, corporate people at those events that you're sort of wanting to be more like are jealous of you and your job that you're being paid to dress up and walking stoltz that their party, if they hate their jobs, right, like, and I'm like, no, no, you know, and she's, like, you're like, she just basically because I was just minimizing, yeah, what I had done, like, you know, and I had, like, ten, twelve years of it, and I was just, like, writing it all off, right? And she was, like, it's, amazing, what you doing, what you get paid to do and how creative and awesome bubba, bubba it's, you know, and so just her, her valiant and reframing it, and it's telling me that that is my asset and here I am like trying to compete with those people who have twenty years you know? And it just so basically I catalyst arts I had created to try and be this like strategic thing for artists as like a coaching business and I just re branded cattle sites I was like, well, shoot I have all this experience of all this and I just embraced it yet and so that that's actually like the point when I could say sort of like everything the success part of things began when I just like this is actually who I am and instead of telling myself a story that the world wants me the world will take me serious certified global block yeah it was like embraced it so that that reframe and that um and then it did end up being like a rebranding oven existing thing and that's launched my whole agency that's still powerful thank you so much for sharing that because I think that's that's exactly right I mean the place where you can really take off like the moment where it clicks is the moment where you really own your past and you own your strength you own your unit using business charging tone you're competitive advantage you know what do you love what you good at? What have you spent your time doing what you know what do you throw yourself into? And if you can grab that and take it and turn, it turned into what you're doing it's, incredibly powerful, because the truth is it is, you know, if you are competing on the same playing field as everybody else, it's, kind of a loser's game, because there is always going to be somebody that has more experience than you. So you want to be a career coach. Well, guess what you're competing against, you know, somebody who is the, you know, the former head of career services and radcliffe, you know, it's like, okay, but you know what the former head of career services at radcliffe has. I am willing to bet you never walked on stilts on. If you say, you know what, I own the difference and own your past, that that can really take you powerful places. So I think that's amazing. I love it.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Dorie Clark - Personal Branding Workbook
Dorie Clark - Syllabus

Ratings and Reviews

user Snaphappy

I took advantage of the free on-air broadcast. It was a marathon day jam-packed full of things that are rarely, if ever, included in branding discussions including business etiquette ( how to navigate awkward and uncomfortable situations) developing discernment regarding on your clients and associates, developing crucial relationships for clients, collaborators, mentors and sponsors, finding the appropriate social media channels for your business(es), and real-life examples from audience participation. Credit Dorie for my "aha" moment where it all came together resulting in focus and a clear idea of what my business is, my brand and a strategic plan I began implementing within hours after viewing the broadcast. This course is an absolute must for any creative with a business idea, a new business or an established business who wants to keep up with current business trends taught by a witty, intelligent, engaging, insightful, and inspiring instructor and equally informative guest speakers and who doesn't want to reinvent the wheel or spend a fortune going down rabbit holes. A very big shout out to Dorie and Creative Live - my creative go-to "peeps"!

Washeelah Youshreen Choomka

I came across Dorie Clark's work three days ago. I bought three of her online courses. I started with this course and I feel so grateful to her. She has done an amazing work and the course is awesome. I have been in politics before as a woman from a small island in the Indian Ocean and I wish I had done this course that time. The content is properly structured and Dorie's delivery is perfect! Thank you!


Dorie is awesome. If a teacher can get me fully engaged while I'm taking a class from home, they are a great teacher! After taking this class, I felt inspired about my future. I learned new things and was affirmed on some existing knowledge which is also a good feeling. I would definitely take another class from her and feel this is an important class to revisit.

Student Work