Towards the end of last year, I had a realisation about what exactly my "brand" was missing. I wrote about that realisation in an issue of Laura's Letters that hit inboxes in November. It seemed to resonate with a lot of people at that time, prompting probably the most amount of replies I've ever received from a newsletter campaign! Because the story is still relevant, and I think helpful for a lot of people, I've decided to publish it here as well.
So, read on to find out what my brand was missing! And make sure you sign up for Laura's Letters before you go, so you'll never miss another honest and chatty letter about life and business again.
These past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about being "myself". Partly because I started business coaching and therapy at the same time (both of which require you to think and talk about yourself a lot); but also because "myself" was what this wee little rebrand was all about. As part of all I've done over the last few months, I've had to think more deeply about my business than I ever bothered to before.
And that's when I realised what was missing.
For all my parroting about being authentic, there was always something holding me back from being truly who I wanted to be as part of Laura F Creates. Changing my name started that, but I realised (with the help of my coach) I was still in this little echo chamber of what businesses like mine should look like, and how they should talk and what content they should put out there. What it came down to was this: by putting myself in that echo chamber, I'd sucked the life out of myself and my brand.
So I started a little experiment. I started being more "myself" on my Instagram Stories. I stopped overthinking what I was posting and retweeting on Twitter. I stopped analysing every single photo I was putting up on my feed and tried to pull myself up on it when I started doubting myself both before and after posting; especially in the face of abysmal engagement rates... And look, my engagement still isn't great - this isn't a miracle cure, and I know I've got a lot of work to do there.
BUT I've had more DM's and Story replies on @laurafcreates than I've ever had before. I had my first semi-success with a tweet. And (maybe most importantly) I'm excited about the content I have ready to go and coming to you soon.
So here's how you can find yourself in your brand (if you've lost your way, or never gave it much thought to begin with):
- Unfollow or mute people who don't inspire you. I know, professional courtesy, blahblahblah. But if they're not inspiring you to try, and to be yourself and to not be like everyone else, then they're not providing the value that you need. Simple as that.
- Follow as many people or brands as you can find that make you feel something in your soul or align with your core values. Don't overthink it, just make your feed somewhere you enjoy being.
- Write down, in a perfect world where engagement rates didn't matter, exactly what you'd share with your followers right now. Whether it's a controversial caption, a rambling newsletter or a super creative photo you'd been too scared to attempt before... whatever it is, jot it down.
- Post it. Take the photo, write the caption, ramble away in people's inboxes. Just do it.
- Feel how good that makes you feel in your soul. Rinse, Repeat.
Because maybe what your brand was missing all along, was just a little bit more of YOU.
So, could your brand do with a little bit more of "you"? Try it out... I have very little doubt you'll see good results!
Until next time, look after yourself!