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BizMe is an online resource for professional women

Freelance writer Suzanne Smelcer just published a fun piece on personal branding on the recently launched BizMe site. I was fortunate to be included as resource for her article, Shake the Funk – Ignite Your Spirit. Thanks Suzanne.

Here’s the excerpt from the Creative Gun part…

Focus your resolutions on revitalization, not reinvention.

As owner of Creative Gun Consulting, Karen Hitchcock assists companies in crafting their unique business story and then utilizing the right tools and tactics to communicate it. Many of the same marketing strategies she uses to fashion an awesome corporate brand identity can also apply to someone’s personal brand.

“What personal branding comes down to is authenticity,” says Hitchcock. “This goes for individuals and for companies. You can’t be what you’re not, even if you can get away with ‘faking it’ for a while. The strongest brands are those with a good sense of self. Look what happened to Coca-Cola when they tried to get all New Coke on us? Utter failure. They strayed from their identity and they paid.

“Don’t do this on a personal level. If you’re a bubbly, quirky girl, embrace it and seek out people and organizations that need your energy. If you’re an observer, make sure everyone knows that this is your strength. You take in all the facts before judging and this is also an attractive quality. Organizations, and the world, need all kinds of brands.”

So when it comes to making life changes, Hitchcock warns not to yell “Reinvention!” with the shriek of a banshee. Instead, focus your resolutions on revitalization of your personal brand, not total reinvention.

“What you really need to do is just get back in touch with your original self,” she says. “Think about where you are and who you’re with when you feel most like your authentic self. What does this woman look like and how does she act? Now, get in touch with that woman and give her a pep talk.

“A little cosmetic fun—think pedicure, a long run or a new outfit—will give you a short adrenaline rush, but remember that these highs are short lived. Try to go deeper, by reading inspirational books. Even a great novel that has a strong female figure may be the ticket to getting excited about things again.

“Do something outside of your comfort zone when you’re in a rut. Call that friend who pushes you to be impulsive. You have a comfort zone for a reason—to feel safe. Remember that the opposite of comfort isn’t danger. You can stretch and still be comfortable. Get it?”  Karen Hitchcock



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