Working in Public Relations allows you to shine a light on your clients, always being able to duck having to ever talk about yourself. In conversations, you can turn the conversation around and throw a question back at the questioner, hence the ability to be a good interviewer. Working on PR-led communications means getting to put others in the spotlight all day long, the relief of never having to talk about oneself.
The trouble was that this meant I was hiding behind my business brand and in particular my website. If you’d ever seen it you would have struggled to find me anywhere on the site and that includes the ‘about me’ page! Ok, so I had an issue with having my photograph taken – who doesn’t? Dare I admit that the ‘hero’ photograph was of a rather muddy, but glorious pig. This suited me just fine, it wasn’t about me anyway was it. Or was it?
It wasn’t just a confidence thing, at the time it felt right. It’s not about me, I said, it’s about you – my clients, fellow business owners or suppliers.
How wrong could I have been?
Working with businesses to build reputations, amplify their businesses through public relations and create communications with impact to inspire and influence. My website didn’t really do what it said on the tin.
Now I’m not suggesting you should go and pour fertiliser on your ego, it’s not about that. It’s about being true to yourself. When you’re building a personal brand, more than anything you need to be authentic. The previous site didn’t do that – I owned alpacas not pigs for starters!
The time was right for a re-brand. Time spent repositioning and re-evaluating not just working on a logo but the services and value offered. Take a look at my new website and logo www.fionajohnson.co.uk Yes that really is me and yes, I’m proud of my work. How can any business owner ever get to grow and strengthen their reputation, or create communication with purpose if they never get to find my website. It’s there to add value and offer support and if I’m invisible or the services I offer cannot be found, discovered or read then there will never be any connection. And certainly, no building of any trust.
It’s all there in glorious colour (dark liver if you really want to know) I’m the brand and it’ll be me that you’ll be building a relationship with should you come on board. Now it says more on the tin and clients aren’t taking a blind leap of faith.
If you are considering repositioning or rebranding, here are some insights that were learnt along the way.
People buy from people. Never has a truer word been said. Even more so for owner-managed businesses. Whether you are the brand or not, it’s an extension of your personality. Let it shine through. Be yourself, if it’s appropriate inject your personality into your brand.
Establish your tone of voice. Don’t go pretending you’re all ‘la de da’ if you’re not. You’ll create the wrong impression and put customers off when they discover that you haven’t been authentic with them.
Having your photograph taken isn’t so painful after all. Research your photographer making sure you click (excuse the pun) before the photoshoot. They’ll have their own take and style but it’s you that needs a look and a style, so make sure you find the one that shares your vibe. That way you’ll be more relaxed on the day, ensuring the natural you to shine through.
Don’t be afraid of colour. Supposedly colours have hidden meanings behind them. By all means do your research, but make sure you choose colours that resonate with you. Not simply because you’ll be looking at them for years to come but because they reflect you and who you are as a business owner as well as representing your product or service.
Finally do some work on your values. Re-branding isn’t simply about a logo or colour chart. What do you stand for? What skill do you have that you know is a deal breaker? It’s all part of making you you or your brand your brand. When customers and clients are looking for a service to work with it could be the connection shared through the same values that seals the deal. Clients will be looking to build a subconscious tribe around them and you want your skills and values to resonate with them.
Now that the work has been done do let me know what you think of my new brand and website and keep me posted on how you’re getting on with any brand work you are currently doing or considering in the comments below.
If you need to talk through any ideas or need help with positioning do get in touch via my site. Your public image is your reputation and you want it to be protected, nurtured, and grow. Brand identity is just the beginning, and shouldn’t be confusing, let me help you navigate and demystify it for you, developing a brand and website you can be proud of so that you too can create impact and influence with your audience.