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Skill Share: Personal Branding

In May, LOKAL had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Kelly Barnard from Canvas Consulting Group. She shared many good tips on creating a personal brand, and now she’s written more good info to share with you.

Personal Branding: What It Is and Why It Matters.

By Kelly Barnard

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, there is a lot of “noise.” Creating a personal brand is the perfect way to stand out, get noticed, and be remembered. It creates a more memorable and meaningful experience, opening up new opportunities and deeper connections.

Kelly Barnard

What is a personal brand? 

We often consider it one of the following: A celebrity – an individual influencer. A personality – a tone, a voice, a way of being. A style – a fashion, a look, a haircut. A visual identity – a color palette, a font, a collection of content. With 15+ years of experience in marketing/advertising, I can confirm it can be all of these things. At the same time, it’s so much more. I believe a real personal brand goes deeper. It is your reputation. Your calling card. How you show up. What you want to be known for. It’s who you are.

Here are 5 layers in discovering and aligning your personal brand:

  1. Verify your strengths – in the context of your weaknesses  
  2. Understand your values – what’s most important to you 
  3. Consider your passions – how you stay inspired and become inspiring 
  4. Connect to your purpose – the vision that will keep you going 
  5. Bring it all together – getting grounded in the who you are and why it matters

ONE. Strengths.

The thing is, perception is reality. It’s critical to understand any gaps between your strengths and weaknesses as you see them AND MORE IMPORTANTLY as others seem them. I suggest asking yourself what are your top 3 strengths and weaknesses and then ask 5 people that you trust, who will be really honest with you. Where are the disconnects? What’s holding you back from your goals?

TWO. Values.

Values are your internal compass – guiding you through your decisions and actions consciously and subconsciously. Outline them, define them, and determine if you’re living in alignment with them. This is how you show up and how you can best connect with others.

What good shall I do this day?

THREE. Passions.

When you combine your passions into what you do, you have more energy, engagement, and enthusiasm that is palpable – internally for yourself and externally to others in every interaction. Passion can play a decisive role in inspiring those around you and motivating them to join you on your mission.

FOUR. Purpose.

Your purpose is your big picture, an inner idea of what you would like to achieve. When you combine clear values, engage your passions, AND take “on-purpose” action, you can follow your roadmap to anywhere you choose. It is essential to visualize the kind of future you want and consider what you want to experience and accomplish.

FIVE. All Together Now.

Clarifying your unique strengths, values, passions, and purpose gives you great direction and criteria for what to say “yes” to and when to say “no” to when faced with the many opportunities and requests you will encounter over a lifetime. Being mindful and intentional in a YES, you are choosing to stay aligned and in integrity with yourself, what you want, and what you can authentically offer others. This leads to focus, momentum, opportunity, and more joy. Yes, more joy. There will be less “that doesn’t feel good or not right” in our lives.

Say Yes! to creating a personal brand

So what? Let’s talk tangibles.

Having a clear, strong personal brand can help you get that interview and land your dream job. You’ll stand out on paper and sound as unique and talented as you are, unlike the many resumes that all sound the same. A personal brand can support you in sourcing the right clients and signing more of them. When you show up in a meeting and describe your experience and services with your full power and presence, you will be lit up from the inside out. Your potential client will feel moved to work with you, and the financial consideration becomes secondary. In both examples, a clear personal brand makes you more confident in who you are and what you offer, which ultimately deepens how you can connect and interact with other humans.

What’s next in creating a personal brand?

To be truthful, this is easier said than done. This exploration can be confusing as conflicts will arise as you access your strengths and the perceptions of people you trust. It can be overwhelming and challenging to drill down and truly simplify your core values and passions. It can be tough to articulate your real purpose. 

It’s a two-part process. First, understanding and defining, then refining and celebrating. The goal –  a real connection to your inner truth so that it can be expressed consistently in life and at work. These exercises will also spruce up that old a resume or LinkedIn Profile, prepare you for a job interview (especially that dreaded question: “Tell me about yourself.”)  Or, this work will inspire more clear positioning and services for your business.

I’d love to support you on this journey. Let’s paint your personal + professional brand canvas together. ~Kelly

This world is but a canvas to our imagination 

Henry David Thoreau

Contact Kelly at


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