Personal Brand Strategy

Fear and Self Doubt When Building A Personal Brand

Personal branding can be tricky on our emotions! Many of us get stuck in our own self imposed barriers as we put ourselves out there.
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Have you ever thought any of these things…?

“Who am I to put myself out there and splash my face over my website and social media? I don’t want to give the impression I’m showing off…”

“What will my colleagues from back in my corporate job think? What will my community think? What will my family think? What will other people in my industry think?”

“What if someone calls me out on what an imposter I am for creating an exciting persona when I’m actually an ordinary person living a normal life…”

“What If I’m just not cut out to be the face of my brand? Is that just reserved for the ‘pretty people’? What If I’m not thin enough? Not attractive enough? What if I don’t have a big personality and aren’t quirky or interesting enough to always have something to talk about? What if it’s just me and I don’t have a cute pet to pop in all my photos?…”

“How can I hope to compete with people who have been building their brands and content libraries for years – I’m so far behind and they have so much charisma. Should I just admit defeat now?…”

“I’m camera shy. I just want to be more of a “behind the scenes” lady. I’m not great at expressing myself on the spot…”

“Should I even be trying to make it about me when the whole point is serving my customers, not make it the {insert your name here} show? I’m not trying to be a celebrity or even internet famous. I just want to help more people…”

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First of all, you are so not alone, I have been there too!

I think most of us go through these “teething” periods when we’re laying the foundation of building a personal brand. You know the feeling…when you’re coming out of your shell like little baby teeth emerging through the gums and it hurts like hell and you want to hide in bed with the covers over your face and not do it? It can be an emotional rollercoaster!

I went through my own teething period years ago. Prior to that, I didn’t have a social media presence. I didn’t blog, I didn’t have many photos of me out and about, I avoided video like the plague, and I was really hesitant to step into the role of an “authority”.

And guess what — It really didn’t help me build my business…at all. But when I decided to give it a chance and back myself not only did I think “WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS SOONER??” but my business grew exponentially.

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People want to connect with people.

Not a plain, boring site which may as well be run by a bot. We all need to give our brands and our businesses a MAJOR injection of humanity. As a small business which I know you guys in my audience are, you’re not doing yourself any favours positioning your business as a faceless agency or shop. People want to work with and buy from small businesses because they can talk to a real person, feel supported and personally cared for, have a laugh, connect with the same likes, dislikes, values and sense of humour. So when you close yourself off to the idea and decide that you’re not enough to put yourself out there, you’re actually doing the clients that need you a disservice. Because they’re unlikely to ever know how wonderful you are and engage your services.

So if you’re wondering should I or shouldn’t I start? Here’s your sign – yes, you should definitely start!

What are you waiting for lovely?? Oh, that’s right…

> You’re hoping to magically cultivate some more confidence…

> You’re waiting to lose 10 pounds so you are happier to put photos of you online….

> You feel you need some more time and experience to hone your expertise so you don’t look like an imposter…

> You’re waiting to win the lottery so you can hire a fancy agency to make you look like a rockstar…

Newsflash — those things never happen when you sit around waiting for them.

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Confidence comes through action!

> The more you try things, the better you get and the more your confidence grows. The more you put yourself out there the more reach you get and suddenly you have a genuine audience and feel like you are actually helping someone, not just talking to yourself and that builds your confidence. So don’t wait around for confidence to suddenly appear in a poof of smoke.

> Waiting to lose weight? About half of the women I talk to say stuff like that. I said stuff like that before I got my photos taken. The truth is that it’s not about being the thinnest or the most attractive or having the best hair. I’ve seen super skinny, perfect looking clients look uncomfortable in their photos and more plus sized ladies TOTALLY ROCK their shoots. It’s so not about the way you look – it’s about the confidence you show up with. Easier said than done I know but if you can let loose and just be your beautiful self I can guarantee you’ll be happy with the results

> Waiting to get more experience so you don’t look like an imposter? Well honey we’re all faking it until we make it. Ask anyone successful. The more you share what you know with the world and get savvy with creating content, the better you will be at helping people. It’s not about being the person that has ALL the answers. It’s about knowing that one extra bit more than your audience so you can make a difference.

Think you need money to do yourself justice? These days no one cares if you have fancy equipment or look completely polished. I like to think, wouldn’t it be better to put SOMETHING out, even if it doesn’t have THE highest production value, rather than letting that hold you back from doing anything at all and letting you connect with your potential viewer. At the end of the day your audience wants to get a sense of the real you, especially on social media.

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Overall I think it’s so easy to procrastinate building your personal brand because it feels safe and comfortable to stay exactly where you are. But if it makes you scared and uncomfortable it’s your opportunity to grow into the business owner and brand you want to be. We know logically it’s important to put ourselves out there to grow our businesses, but we’re scared to start because our heart is getting the in way. Remember to be kind to yourself. Remember it’s not going to happen overnight so be patient with yourself.  You’ll go on the roller coaster of the normal “I’m-putting-myself-out-there-and-I’m-not-sure-if-I-like-it” thoughts and feelings. You’ll post something and be scared no one will comment while paradoxically being scared someone will comment.

But with time and consistency, you’ll realise that the only one holding you back from success was yourself and it isn’t really that scary after all. And eventually I reckon you’ll love building a personal brand and the feeling you get of knowing you have a true channel for self-expression and a platform to bring your message to those who need it!

I’ll leave you with a parting quote:

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end”

Robin Sharma



Hi, I’m Emma Brownson

For the last decade, I have helped hundreds of business owners clarify their essence and translate it into a bespoke brand identity system and website layered with authenticity, depth, beauty and care.

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