Branding just got
Human. Online entrepreneur. Recovering lawyer. Strategist. Creative. Borderline hermit. Still addicted to bacon. And house plants.
Let’s rewind a sec.
Blue sky. Red cardigan. Phone call from my mother. It could have been any other day… except it wasn’t.
It was the 17th of July 2014, a date that’s now easier to remember than my birthday, because that was the day that changed everything. It sounds dramatic, because it was.
A plane has been shot down in Ukraine, and we think Andrew, Es, and the boys were on it.
Andrew and Estella were my Aunt and Uncle. Jasper and Friso were my cousins. They were 14 and 12.
After I’d battled against knock after knock on the door from journalists hungry for a headline, after I’d written a family statement that would be read out on the tv to an audience of strangers, and after I’d numbed myself from watching the news over and over just so I could see their faces on the screen one more time, I sat on the bench at the top of the hill a few footsteps and heartbeats from my home and said to the love of my life: nothing will ever be the same again.
I was right – in more ways than I could have understood back then.
This is what I call a defining moment.
I’ve had one. You’ve had one.
This was the moment I promised myself I wouldn’t ever make decisions according to someone else’s rules. Someone else’s game. Someone else’s blueprint for success. Instead, I would turn to entrepreneurship as a way to discover what I was truly capable of and create a business and a life on my own terms.
On my 27th birthday, I quit my job and started my company.
3.5 years, 150+ clients, and a true taste of that oh so coveted freedom later, I can confidently say it was the best decision I ever made.
Be the diamond amongst the bricks
Defiance is hard when we’re programmed to conform. To feel safety in following the pack – even if we have no idea where the pack is going, or, more importantly, why.
And then we’re surprised when business decisions feel like tornadoes, and our doubts are as painful as listening to fingernails on chalkboards, and we go to check in on our dreams and find that they’ve fallen into a deep sleep. Much like me after too much pasta.
If it feels like every step forward seems to be taking you further from home, and you’re having trouble getting traction, playing bigger, being noticed, or attracting the right clients and opportunities to your door, the answer might not be in what you’re selling, it might be in the way you’re selling it.
In other words, don’t sell a service, sell a story.
Anyone can sell a service, but only you can sell your story in a way that your people can see themselves in. That’s the true foundation of a captivating brand.
The brand you’ve created has got you this far, but now it’s time to uplevel it like the powerhouse you are. Even stories need a strategy.
That’s what personal branding is all about. It’s deep! When you’re the face of your brand, YOU, your personality, your worldview, your quirks, your beliefs, and your differentiators have to be laced through every facet of it in a smart and irresistible way.
That’s what will draw people – the right people – closer.
The truth is, you can only convert them after you’ve captivated them.
That’s where I can help. Let’s start a quiet rebellion together.
Come in closer
- For almost 3 and a half years, I would shimmy into a shift dress, paint on my mascara, do the 15-minute commute to the office, and plonk myself down in my office chair to start work as an employment lawyer / clockwatcher
- The day I won my first big case was the day I resigned
- I took a huge pay cut to try my hand at legal recruitment and let’s just say it didn’t go too well given that cold calling made my armpits sweat more than is considered normal
- I managed to talk my way into a copywriting job at an advertising agency in Cardiff despite having no experience and there being no role available
- As part of that role, I got to write websites, ads, radio scripts, and even assisted with a tv ad for the Mr Tom peanut bar, which involved an adult man dressing up in a squirrel costume and running around a park in London (the audition tapes were as hilarious as you would imagine)
- I told my parents, who I’m very close to and love very much, that I was quitting my job BY EMAIL, laying out responses to all of the objections I imagined they’d throw at me
- My company pre-rebrand (see, rebranding is natural evolution!) used to be called PepperJar, the idea being that I would help business owners spice their words, because no one’s favourite flavour is vanilla
- I’m British, so yes that was the correct spelling of favourite
- In 2017 I moved into my dream home in Penarth Marina, UK and officially became a part-time hermit (if you want to join Hermits’ Anonymous, go to the postbox).
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Your 5-stage bible for building a personality-infused brand that captivates and converts the people you’d love to work with and puts you in a league of your own online.