Internal Branding: Get the Inside Right So The Outside Falls in Place

BrandingEveryone has a brand. The problem is, most people don’t realize it. Many people associate “personal branding,” with movie stars, high-profile executives or athletes. They don’t realize that whether they are a stay-at-home mom, a budding entrepreneur or a mid-level executive, their personal brand is just as relevant (if not more so) than those people they are reading about in magazines.

Why? Because your personal brand, also known as “reputation,” is the gatekeeper between you and higher income, key opportunities and ideal clients and promotions. Have you ever heard the saying “your reputation precedes you?”

It’s true. When you are the best, people know it. All of the sudden you find “opportunities literally falling in your lap.” But the truth is this tends to only happen when you take 100% responsibility for how you are perceived.

But how do you build a Fierce Personal Brand when you don’t feel worthy? When deep down the “stories you tell yourself,” aren’t the stories you would want others to here?

I often tell clients, if you don’t believe it, neither will we.  However, there is one caveat. You can learn to strategically “fake it.” To act “as if” until it becomes so.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Design a Personal Mantra: Write a series of mantra’s and/or affirmations that declare your magnificence to yourself. These will help you begin to embrace the “you that you are stepping into.” Then, make sure that you read them several times a day. Get up in the morning, light a candle, close your eyes and repeat them several times. Visualize what you are saying and begin to embody the feeling that is behind it. For example: I am the leading authority on personal brand strategy. People search out my expertise from near and far, because I continuously deliver insightful strategies that elevate my clients and deliver the results they are seeking.
  2.  Collect Testimonials: Dedicate one day to pulling together every positive email, testimonial, “thank you note,” congratulations, article, and praise, award you have received and put them in a centralized location. The goal is to have a place you can turn to so you can see how fierce you really are. Often, we forget what we have done that make us so good. But in order to transition that inner dialogue from negative to positive, we need to set up constant reminders.
  3. Invest in Personal Development: Are you truly investing in yourself and if so, what does that look like? Place first things first. If you want to build the fiercest brand, you must be the best. That means you must read every book, take every class you can get your hands on, volunteer, get certifications, and study your craft so you know it as intimately as possible. Sally Hogshead, once said you are your best 401K. Remember that.
  4. Look the Part: The moment you step out, you should exude having “already arrived.” Dress for the role you want. Dress “as if.” Most people dress the opposite. If they are “Struggling” they look like they are. They exude an anxious energy. One way to shift that is to Uplevel your attire. This trick will instantly give you confidence. Help you stand taller and begin to own who it is you are “trying to be.”

Don’t look at these strategies as magic bullets. They are simply designed to serve as working strategies to help you get close to believing in yourself and your abilities, so the entire world can do the same.

Jennifer Ransaw Smith is the CEO and Chief Brand Strategist of Brand id|Strategic Partners, a full-service personal branding agency that helps entrepreneurs and executives leverage their skills and talents to become industry rock stars. You can contact them at