Keep Your Brand On-Point this year NYC

4 Smart Steps to Keep Your Brand On-Point this Year

If you are up to date on the latest trends in growing your reach online, whether it is for yourself, business, or passion then you know cultivating your leadership brand means creating content for the web. Content is valuable, purposeful, creations (whether an article, video, comic, podcast, etc.) that attract a particular audience and ultimately drives them to take action.

Yes, all those infographics, quote pics, even random Twitter rants you post are tied to the web of your brand. In a sense, this becomes the pre-impression before the first impression someone might get from meeting you more personally. In a sense it also forms an idea of who you are and a baseline for the value you bring to the table that people can start to believe. 

self authorship zinga hart - Quote is Our Self Image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become

Can you visualize your self-image clearly?

While your integrity is usually tested in real life, your reputation is partially set on the foundation of what you post online. While you don’t have to be a prolific author to write your story, you do need to respect how critical it is to maintain your authenticity, while growing your personal or business brand. Self-authorship is a theory attributed to Baxter Magolda, and is defined as “the internal capacity to define one’s own beliefs” as she wrote in Three Elements of Self-Authorship. This self-definition is at the foundation of developing your personal brand over the course of your success journey. Owning your beliefs takes time because you need to sort out the wealth of information you have absorbed and learned over a lifetime and distill it into your core sense of being. While, not quick task, with simple steps you can begin to dig in deeper, find your internal sage and use that to project and share your brilliant brand with the world in a way everyone can agree upon.

Here are four simple steps to author your self-definition so you can grow and polish it over time.

  1. Journal on what you think you have to do in order to fulfill your dream life: What are the essential things you need to live. Be specific: “Using the bathroom, eat, sleep” are some basics to include, but keep adding until you’ve exhausted your ideas, “own a business, have a family” could all be a part of this list.
  2. Walk away from the list for a day or so and then return. Look over the list and question how this master to-do list aligns to your values, your mission, and your vision. If it doesn’t click, make a note of how the “have to” came into your life. For instance, if you wrote, “own 20-bedroom mansion like Oprah” but your vision is to travel for the rest of your life, then consider Oprah’s role in influencing your personal beliefs.
  3. This working list is for you to return to and to refine over time. Choose the strongest beliefs of the work you have to do to live a full life. Notice what comes up over and over, notice what you are most proud of as you go about your days. Reduce your have to four or five sentences to keep your essentials close.
  4. Own it. Write it out, make it your screensaver, or create a ringtone. Figure out a way to keep your essential commands to yourself a constant in your life.

There are easy steps on the road to self-authorship Of course, there are many more steps on this journey, from vlogging to therapy, but what matters most is getting started. Thanks for walking with me!


For more here’s a Youtube video on the four phases of self-authorship

Want a partner to help you hone in on your self-definition?

Set up a free phone chat with me here!

Simple Moves for Personal Brand Consistency

Who’s focusing on their personal brand this year?

I definitely am!

Hanging out with women’s empowerment groups, a new network of fabulous friends and potential partnerships, as well as facing anything that feels like fear head on and with gusto!  The energy of my personal brand building focus contagious and like I discussed at my recent workshop, From Passion to Process, where your passion is your energy! It is a colorful word for describing the feeling that arises when we are doing something delightfully desirable.

passion is energy feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you oprah


One part of facing my fears was doing starting my YouTube channel! Cheers to all the vloggers out there, creating video content is an intensive activity!  Although, I create content and help small businesses’ build their brand strategy, putting myself right in the center of of building my personal brand still comes with an edge of awkwardness. Yet, I know confidence comes with time, and I look forward to learning and growing by following this new avenue in my life.

How are you growing your personal goals?

If building your brand means incorporating a new strategy, tactic, or method, how do you ensure that you stay authentic to your core values and vision, while treading across new lines?

Tying your vision to your brand means taking control and ownership of every bit of it. From your colors to your fonts, from your values to your guarantee, you need to ensure that you consistently apply your brand across your communication channels, so that you are easily recognized and familiar to your ideal audience.

So what are the major components of your brand that you need to think about? This awesome slide show by  Jarkko Sjöman covers some basic features of a personal brand with the sage advice of Will Ferrell. 


Below are some free or low cost moves you can take to improve and align your personal brand today!

Google Yourself (Or Your Business) 

I just did it! Wow, one year ago it my LinkedIn popped up and that’s about it. Now my content, websites, and many other streams of how I want to represent myself on the web comes to the top of the list. How is your Search Engine presence?  Is Google linking you to the content that you are most passionate about? If you are not showing up in the ranks you may want to consider if it’s time to focus on your online brand. Offline method: Do a personal SWOT analysis. 

Update your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is the place to be if you want to have a voice in the professional sphere of our economy. Since I enjoy working with small businesses, start-up entrepreneurs, and non-profit directors, I make it my mission to meet, connect, and learn with the best that LinkedIn can offer. Updating your LinkedIn profile to include your personal vision or mission statement and the specific values you bring to employers, gives your general audience an anchor to who you are.

Create a piece of content (write a blog post, share a video, make a flyer for you local bulletin board) 

Notice I didn’t say start a blog. You no longer have to have a blog to post articles. LinkedIn Pulse is a great platform for sharing content articles, while aligning to your personal and professional brand at the same time. Is this advice to not start a blog, far from it, but if you are not ready to dig into building your own blog yet then a small step forward would be to post there. That goes for other content as well, find ways to collaborate if running the entire content marketing enterprise is too much to manage right now. You should always strive towards having your own platform for hosting and controlling your content, but not having one is no excuse for not participating.

These small steps are only a beginning! If you checked out the SlideShare above you will see your business card, resume, website, and everything you create or is associated with you is a part of your personal brand. Checking on your brand’s bits and pieces means spending time combing through who you are and how you come across to your audience. Building your brand is about ensuring you are authentically projecting your core value, purpose, and passion with the world, which is no small feat!  Keep striving because your end vision is definitely worth it. 

From Passion to Process: 1st Workshop of the New Year!

I had a ton of fun today at Scribbles in Kent, OH. I hosted a workshop titled from Passion to Process where we reflected on our passions and then set aside time to build a system towards enacting our passions on an annual, monthly, weekly, and daily basis. It was a blast and such a good feeling to hear it was a helpful session.

northeast ohio passion discovery

Bonus: Scribbles is awesome and I thank them for hosting us! Their wall is lined with books and getting to color on the table tops was a creative feature.

passion discovery worksheet

One part I was particularly proud of was transforming my personal at-home command center into a useful printable for everyone that attended. The full version of the 2016 Command Center is attached below. I condensed it to one-page from them to save on printing costs and paper, so I wanted to share the full-version should there be any visual types out there.

Screenshot 2016-01-09 at 10.09.20 PM


Grab the free full version printable 2016 Command Center today.


Building Your Authentic Self-Definition

Building your self-definition plays a crucial role in how you lead yourself towards success. The challenge arises when you must sift through the input of others and find the wisdom nuggets you identify with, and with which others can mostly tolerate.

Trust, there is a lot of input.

We can’t help it, we want to see you take action, and so you are offered information to inspire your next moves. In addition, businesses want to envision you your ideal reality and offer you a solution to buy. While this can be useful when needs arise, it can also fill your mental chatter with clutter that distances you from the voice of your Self. 

  1. a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
    “our alienation from our true selves”

This can make communicating with your authentic self feel like the Tower of Babel when the discord first struck.  Chaos and confusion as you try to build and yet somehow manage to stagnate or destroy simultaneously.

Yet, you need to  envision something and you need feedback to ensure your definition can withstand the test of time.

How can you balance between external inputs and internal controls?

There are many ways, but a reliable method can be borrowed from the business world. Small businesses and enterprises alike benefit from what is called a SWOT analysis. This assessment lists the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that a certain enterprise, team, product, or brand faces. It helps sort a wealth of information so you can turn it into actionable feedback.


To incorporate this practice into your own success path  take these simple steps.

  1. Choose a personal goal you are pursuing.
  2. On your own, list what you consider to be your personal strengths that might help you achieve this goal and weaknesses that may inhibit you from achieving this goal.
  3. Next, consider any opportunities you could take of advantage of to reach these goals or any competition that might be in the way. Write these down as well.
  4. Then go around and ask people you trust or your closest circle of acquaintances and ask them the give you the observations from points one and two. What do they think your strengths and weaknesses are? What do they think of your goals and what challenges you might find along the way or what gaps they might hope you fill.
  5. Finally align the feedback notes you got for yourself and from your circle and see if where they align and where they don’t. Are your strengths viewed by your circle the same?
  6. Go over the feedback and use it to determine what you want others to know and how you can get there.

The personal SWOT assessment is a decision making tool to help you unlock possibilities for yourself as you develop her brand.

Click to download the Personal Definition SWOT Assessment

Let’s connect!