You know those pesky resolutions that keep repeating on you like last night’s garlic bread? They often relate in some way to our personal brand, in terms of how we feel about ourselves, as well as the image and message we intend to project in the world.
- Naomi Estment is a personal branding photographer, videographer, trainer and award-winning blogger.
You may still want to earn more money, make a bigger impact, get fitter, lose weight or improve your relationships, for example. The list may seem frustratingly static, so let’s tackle this head-on with five practical tips inspired by my PB (personal best) time on a recent parkrun. Why? Well, firstly it feels fantastic to achieve a milestone, in one form or another, early in the year. It also primes your mindset for success, in all areas of your life.
Being in business can be challenging. Raise your hand if you agree. Mine is raised high, having been in the game since January 2001, when my husband Dave and I started our professional photography and videography company. I’ve since launched my own company too, to help women in business boost their visibility by shining on camera and becoming the stars of their brands, instead of just the face of their brands.
Showing up boldly can feel like a roller coaster ride. Exciting? For sure! Scary? Definitely, maybe even sometimes to the point of making you feel queasy, like that leftover whiff of garlic.
But it’s essential to your personal branding success. One way to stay motivated and go the distance in 2020 is to start racking up personal best achievements right away, so that stale resolutions never repeat on you again.
5 Tips To Boost Your Personal Brand In 2020
1. Ditch procrastination
Mel Robbins teaches this expertly in her book The 5 Second Rule and her TED talk How to stop screwing yourself over. She describes the “effort needed to shake up your life” and explains “how turning off our brain’s autopilot and demolishing our comfort zones is key to a rewarding life”.
I took this idea to heart and kicked off 2020 with an 8am parkrun on New Year’s Day, followed by my personal best three days later.
If exercise is a priority for you and you’re not familiar with the parkrun phenomenon, it started off in the UK and already has more than 3 million participants around the world, plus a number of dogs, who walk, jog or run various 5km courses every Saturday in over 20 countries. It’s free, “all about inclusiveness and well-being”, with the mission “to create a healthier, happier planet”.
One of the most powerful contributors to boosting your personal brand is to feel fabulous, so consider how you can develop your health and fitness, starting today.
2. Be accountable
Okay, I’ll admit it. Against Mel’s best advice, I did hit the snooze button before that recent parkrun. What can I say, we’d had fun the night before! It was so tempting to stay in bed, but my sister-in-law, Bev was expecting me to show up. She’s the one who introduced me to parkrunning about a year ago and is my firebrand accountability buddy.
This is a great backup plan to bolster my buy-in to The 5 Second Rule because it can sometimes be easier to let ourselves down than someone else we care about who’s relying on us. It works well in business too, and so does the mastermind concept.
I’m part of a group of six female entrepreneurs who meet monthly for two hours to share mutual support, brainstorming opportunities and plenty of laughter. They also provide priceless input about my products and services, as well as how to hone my brand, and vice versa.
3. Follow mentors
A good part of my recent personal best parkrun time is owed to a series of runners who I followed for a few short but difficult sections of the course. Consciously intending to shave seconds off my time here and there, I drew confidence from their example of what was possible and ran for a bit on some of the hills where I’d previously walked.
When it comes to business and personal branding, I’ve learnt so much from mentors along the way, directly from their teaching and from their example.
First and foremost, for me, is Marie Forleo. Winning a scholarship to her online B-School in 2016 inspired the launch of my company and online course.
If you have an interest in expanding your business online and haven’t yet attended B-School, I can attest that it’s brilliant. Marie’s new book Everything is Figureoutable also fulfils the promise of its can-do title. Authenticity is the foundation for successful personal branding, so you never want to copy your mentors or get caught up in comparison, but rather be inspired by what you can achieve too.
4. Participate in community
Parkruns have a powerful vibe that encourages people to keep coming back for more. We get a kick out of feeling successful and achieving things, more so if this is accompanied by recognition.
Soon after each parkrun, you get an email that lists how you fared relative to your gender and age category, as well as the whole field, spurring you on to stretch yourself and improve your results. It’s also no wonder that the kudos feature on the Strava fitness app is so popular, allowing friends to give each other virtual high fives for a range of fitness achievements.
Importantly, these are geared for you to compete with yourself by setting new PBs and supporting instead of beating others. This is fundamental for business and branding success too, bearing in mind that a key objective of your personal brand is to build your “know, like and trust” factor; and that your best indicator of success is the way in which others respond to you.
5. Run your own race
A profound lesson I’ve learnt from parkruns that applies equally to personal branding is to run your own race. This is especially clear to me from doing parkruns with Bev. She’s a demon on hill climbs, often leaving me in her dust by the time we reach the top.
My strength is running faster on the downhill and flat sections. On balance, both of our overall times are significantly better when we don’t try to keep up with each other, because that drains our reserves. Instead, applying our best effort where things come easily to us and pacing ourselves through our respective challenges is better in the long run and much less exhausting.
The same can be said for building your brand. While it’s invaluable to maintain special relationships along the way, you need to unleash your own unique X factor to become the star of your brand, in your own time.
So, focus on keeping your eyes on the prize, whatever that means to you and your business, and consistently keep pushing the boundaries of your personal best.
You’ve got this! 2020 is your time to shine. You can make it your personal best yet.
As a special woman&home offer, get Naomi Estment’s ROCK THAT LENS online course at the South African Rand equivalent of the US Dollar value (a 93% discount) until 29 Feb 2020. The course will help you to shine on camera, boost your visibility online and become the star of your brand. Add the coupon code LOVEW&H on the checkout page. Click here.
Read more about Naomi in the February 2020 issue of woman&home where she, together with two other women, talk about the crossroads that changed their lives.
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