The other day I was asked to speak at an event all about confidence and my topic was, how can we confidently brand ourselves. In this blog post I wrote down some parts of my speech – as an inspiration and to learn about confidence and personal branding.
We can all be confident! We have all been born confident! When I look at my youngest daughter I see this confidence in her, she owns the world. And we have all had it. There just came a time, earlier or later when this was taken away from us – more or less. But we all have it in us to learn to be confident again!
First I want to ask you:
Can you all confidently tie your shoe laces? Yes?
Can you all walk? Yes?
Can you all read? Yes?
All of this you were NOT able to do when you were younger!
Our kids can teach us so much about confidence!
My kids are just learning to tie their shoe laces and, oh man, it is hard work and it requires a lot of patience, especially for them.
I have four kids and I can vividly remember how they all started to learn how to , roll over, to sit down and to walk. They all had different approaches but they all put the energy in and learned it. They basically had no choice, they had to learn to walk, and they failed once, twice, twenty or over fourty times. Now they are confident walkers. And they will be confident in tying their shoe laces just like we all are!
Children keep on trying. We give up after two attempts.
What I want to say: confidence takes practice! Over and over again. It takes a lot of self motivation, hard work and dedication. We all have this for the basic things. Let’s transfer this to our daily lives and to our business!
Let me tell you a story.
I was working for a big company in Germany when I was looking to move abroad and gain work experience in a foreign country. They had a few offices in other countries and I knew I wanted to stay with this company for the long run and just go for a few years to broaden my horizon. Plus I love exploring new countries and traveling. One day a job description about a job as a product manager in London came up. It included flying from London to Hamburg every week to present the latest performance figures and product learnings to a big meeting that happened every week with all important people in Hamburg. I did not feel confident at all presenting - I mean I could not even say something in my class at school let alone speak! - (in fact when I started my job at that company a few years earlier I used to half hide under my table when I had to talk English on the phone - and my English was much better than many others in the office). In addition I was super scared of flying.
I applied anyway. And I applied for a job that involved speaking and flying every single week.
I got an interview and acted as if I was super confident with everything that was involved in the job.
I got the job.
And now I had to figure out how I would master both without living a life in total stress and anxiety.
With a lot of practice and by repeating it every week I got confident at it – both flying and presenting.
I did this job for almost three years!
What I want to show is that all it takes it a little push from your side and a lot of practice and consistency.
I quickly want to also explain what personal branding is before I dive into how you can do personal branding more confident.
What is personal branding actually?
We are all different. We are all our own personal brand. The way we walk, talk, act, dress, eat, what we do, what we are known for (eg. doing sports, playing and instrument, being a mom). All that is your brand or in better words it is actually your reputation.
A brand is the feeling you create for other people when they interact with you or your brand.
By changing yourself and the way you look, speak, act and behave you can influence the way you are being perceived. And over the long run you can change your reputation. In other words you can shape your personal brand.
Obviously it is often not so easy to change ourselves and people will notice if you are being authentic or not so it is easiest when you are just yourself. However there are so many things you can do.
First of all and as a starting point you need to think about your personal vision:
Who am I?
What do I stand for?
What are my values?
What do I want to be known for?
What is it that I am good at?
What is it I get excited about?
What are my core beliefs?
What is my style?
What do you know about other people and how they perceive you already?
How would other people describe me?
When do people seek my advice?
Take this as a starting point to define your own brand.
What do you want to be known for? - Become a leader
What is your niche? - Claim your space
How can I fascinate my audience?
What is my unique message?
Now incorporate all that into your appearance, language, they way you show up and behave.
By defining all that you have a backbone, the pillars that hold up your brand. You have a plan!
(I am all about goal setting and having a clear plan - this will give you confidence)
Knowledge and security gives you confidence. And now that you have this you know how to react and behave. You know what not to do and what to do.
Consistency - Show up - be passionate
By doing it over and over again, you will become more confident and you will build this reputation.
Examples about not doing sales. Or working only with women. Or being always on time. Or
You project this out to the world and everybody knows what to expect. They know that if they are looking for a person who is quirky they will go for you and take the downside of you being not on time. They know if they need a reliable accountant they will go for you.
I want to finish by giving you this to take home with you and think about:
Don’t let the fear of failure stop you!
Like the saying “feel the fear and do it anyway”
Every great athlete is nervous before a race or event. It is normal and it is good! It releases the right hormones, the body is alert and makes us perform better. But athletes also have the confidence in themselves because they have trained it over and over again that they will succeed.
Everyone can learn to be confident for their business and their brand – you just have to step out of your comfort zone and do it!
Join the community
This is me writing blog posts every week
If you enjoyed what you read just now and would like to get more tips and tricks about branding, website design, business and Squarespace straight to your inbox - sign up for my weekly Newsletter and I promise you will find help and support!
Nobody needs to be alone when starting and running a small business!