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Personal Branding, Podcast

5 Signs Your Personal Branding Strategy *Urgently* Needs an Update

Overwhelm. Stress. Anxiety. Feeling of failure. Not doing enough. Not BEING enough.

These are all common themes with my clients, my friends, and yes, even me.

So let’s unpack them, because the reasons behind why we’re feeling this way and why our businesses seem to be stagnant despite the ridiculous amount of time, energy and resources we’re pouring in are very real.

As always, we’re going to work from the inside out and tackle: 

• 5 different clues that tell me your brand & marketing strategy is no longer working (or perhaps NEVER worked)
•  why marketing your business is feeling way too hard
•  the real reason the algorithm seems to hate you
…and so much more.

*Tough love and vulnerable share warning. 

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Read the full transcript 👇

You’re listening to Episode 36. Five signs your personal branding strategy urgently needs an update. Yes, we are diving into a few different things today, strategy related, but also talking about how what you’ve been doing lately is making you feel and how there are all these different clues, sometimes maybe triggers that may be telling you something maybe telling you that your strategy is either out of date, out of alignment or just ineffective. So we’re going to dive into five of them today. And I’m hoping this reaches you at exactly the right point in time, I often get messages where people are like, Oh, I’m so glad you said that right then because I needed this message. I kind of need this message myself, which is why I’m creating this episode. I’ll explain more in a second. But um, yeah, if this was you, and this is one of those like, huge sigh of relief type episodes, let me know. tag me over on Instagram share this episode @iamkat elizabeth. And I would be really thrilled to hear that it helped. Anyways… 

Welcome to the personal branding project. I’m your host Kat Elizabeth an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you build personal brands that change your life for good from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life. And the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week, I’m bringing you inspiration, practical advice and the occasional dose of tough love. So you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality. 

So welcome back, once again. And thanks as always, for having me in your in your holes. This is a it’s so funny, I have been putting off recording this episode, like the episode was going to be different, like three times, maybe four times over this week, every day that has gone on like today is Thursday at the time of recording this, it will also be Thursday when I publish this because this is my style at the moment, I just record and I share. Sorry, not sorry. We’re gonna talk about that actually, very soon, and how this is very relevant to the episode itself. But essentially, I had like, every single day, something was going on, there was some theme of the day and I was like, Whoa, I need to do an episode on that. And then the next day would happen, it’d be a different thing. I was like, okay, like, I need to just bite the bullet and actually record something. And I’m hoping that a few of the different themes that were coming up this week get to be included in this episode, because I’m just noticing some things right now. I’m noticing it in my own life in business. And I you know, I always love like, if I’m if I’m in the moment, if I’m learning as I go, you know, I’m like, I’m always happy to be very transparent about that and allow you to learn from all my messiness my experience, but also I am working. I mean, I’m working with so many different clients at the moment with a whole bunch of different backgrounds and things. And they’re yet even though they’ve got very different backgrounds, levels of experience, you know, totally different niches, and yet, they’re all having the same kinds of challenges. That essentially they’re they’re coming to me for help with. They don’t necessarily know that that’s the thing that they’re having a problem with. They come often for other reasons. And then we uncover the real problem. So anyways, we’re gonna dive into all of these things, but I just felt like this was a very timely episode. 

So, I mean, I guess something else that I wanted to talk about as well. And this is all going to, this is all gonna kind of come out. Like I think everything that I’m gonna be sharing today, these five different signs, a lot of them are all connected to this one mega problem. Which is, too many of us like, I don’t want to say all of us, because I don’t want to generalize, but the majority of us are trying to build brands and businesses based on what we think our brand and business is supposed to look like. Supposed to… not even supposed to feel like we don’t even care about feeling like, how can I look the part? How can I have a successful business and brand that like these other people have? And we’re all just like this, these expectations that we’re trying to live up to for ourselves, we think other people expect it of us. So we just get caught in this like rat race of building something that’s not even our own. And it does a lot of damage. Obviously, I’m never going to share any sort of like details like nitty gritty details of anyone that I work with. But I will say that I have observed people hurting deeply, because they were trying to build something that they thought they were supposed to build. And when they realized it was the wrong thing. It’s a big process that you have to go to to like, start unraveling all of these ideas and almost like this identity that you’d built for yourself of what you thought you had to be like The business owner you were supposed to be. And then when you’re left with like, you peel that back, you’re like, what am I left with? Who am I? What am I doing? With my business? What am I doing with my life? Like, it brings up a lot of questions. And this is I think, what a lot of people do not realize, and it’s, it’s taken me a long time to realize this. Like, as a personal brand, I mean, it Look, it’s the same, if you’re like a business owner, you don’t associate as a personal brand, there is still a huge amount of your identity tied up in your business. But especially as a personal brand, this is intense stuff that we’re doing, okay, like your identity is out there on the line. So you know, your poor little fragile ego who wants to stay safe and stay, you know, kind of hidden, where it’s safe, like, you’re having to basically say, hey, like, we’re just gonna put ourselves out there, and we’re gonna share all this stuff. And we’re gonna put our heart on the line, and we’re going to risk being, like, rejected and judged and like, do you see how intense that is? And then, you know, you up the ante when you know, you’re trying to launch something, you do something new, you’re pivoting like, these are some really big, heavy moments that we go through. And I mean, also, like day to day, it’s not just moments, like it’s a constant thing. I have been particularly quiet lately, I’ve not been showing up much on social media. Because of how much I’m going through behind the scenes, I kind of teased that in the last episode that I’m going through a lot of my own big identity shifts right now. And it can’t not affect my brand and my business. And so during these times, I’ve realized that I need to create a level of safety for myself. And I don’t want to be sharing every single moment as it happens in real time. Like, it’s, it’s not healthy for me, even if it’s helpful for you. I’m like, that’s okay. Like, well, I get to choose how much I share some of it, I’ll come back, and I’ll be able to tell you later on once I’m out of it. You know, but I have realized now that you have my energy is very precious. And I also have a responsibility to the clients who have you know, invested in working with me. So I kind of go right, I need to look after myself, I needed to look after my clients, Do I have anything left to give right now? Sometimes I have something sometimes I don’t. And I’ve made that okay for myself. And that was really important. 

And so that is, I guess, the perfect segway into the first point that I’m going to talk about today, is this idea of safety, and actually feeling good in what you’re doing and the way you’re showing up. 

So the first sign that your personal branding strategy needs an update, is it stressing you out? If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, triggered, anxious, like just icky in some way inside? That’s wrong. You shouldn’t, I don’t want that for you. And it’s completely unnecessary. But like I said, Because of these examples that we’re seeing, because of the feed that is full of these happy, successful, rich, abundant people who all just look perfect on Instagram, you know, we think that if we are not living our lives and businesses that way that we’re already failing. So we set these ridiculous standards for ourselves and how we’re going to show up. And often it is very, it’s not us like it is it’s completely out of alignment. I mean, a lot of the time, it doesn’t even align with our goals and what we need in order to hit the goals that we have set for ourselves. Like we’re literally just creating a strategy around what someone else is doing. And we don’t even think well, do I need this many followers? Like, do I need to be sharing this much content? Do I need to be on this platform? And so you know, the theme that kept coming up, is people come to me just being like, Oh my gosh, I’m just like, I’m so

tired. I’m overwhelmed. I’m just not posting I’m like, I suck and blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, Whoa, okay, like, let’s just take a breather here. What do we actually need to achieve? Like, what is what is it that’s stressing you out about all of this, because it’s not a general stress, like it usually is coming from a very specific place. And then once we start removing those things, and then replacing it with things that feel good, sometimes that means replacing it with nothing, because we go cool, you don’t need to do any of this. There’s this like weight that gets lifted off their shoulders of just like oh my goodness, thank you. Like, essentially, I just I gave them the permission but like, I didn’t need to give anyone permission, you get to give yourself this permission. But often we don’t because we have these standards for ourselves. So half, not half of my work. The first piece of the work that I do with anyone is often just going Okay, can we just be realistic and can we just like set some nice goals that feel good? And can we decide how you want to show up based on your personality, your values, your strengths, the way you communicate? To the things that you enjoy. Because when we start from that place, like you’re already going to show up in a way, that’s so much more magnetic. Like, honestly, you can have perfect photos, perfect caption, follow all the scripts do all the things and it not work at all. If it’s not connected to you, if it’s like, if you’re showing up stressed feeling like you have to do this because someone’s forcing you to do it, it’s not going to have the same result. Okay, so that is sign number one. 

And sign number two, we’re going to go straight into because it’s it’s related, it’s like same, same, but different. Because you may notice one is more than the other. So number one was it’s stressing you out. Number two, it feels inauthentic. So maybe you’re not super stressed. Like maybe it’s not actually triggering you. But there’s this little niggling feeling like, is this actually me? Like, are these my words? Or are you like, do you feel like you’re just saying someone else’s script, you know, are the posts, just the post that you thought, well, this is what I’m supposed to post, like, everyone does these things, these caption templates tell me to share this thing, I’m gonna share it, I was told that this is how I need to script a video. So that’s how I’m going to do it. Or like I’m always trying to be on I’m always trying to have like this certain personality and be really outgoing. But I’m, I’m an introvert and I want to, like I want to be more quiet, you know. So if any of it feels inauthentic, it that also needs to shift. Because, actually I’m plowing through these, it’s going to lead to the point number three, but like being inauthentic is going to mean that you don’t get the results that you want. Like it either means you’re you’re not going to get the the audience that you need, or you’re going to attract the wrong kinds of people, or you’re just going to eventually burn out because you just feel like, you know, like you’ll lose inspiration and just be like, why am I even doing this, this just feels lame. You know, I don’t feel connected to my purpose. Like it’s just like shallow. You know, we need you showing up as you the clients that you were destined to serve, or that you know, the customers that are destined to buy something from you, they actually are going to want to know the real you. And that doesn’t mean sharing every gross little, gross sorry I don’t mean that you’re gross. I’m just thinking about some of my own grosser moments lately, when I’ve been all snotty and crying and having those moments because yes, I’ve had an interesting few weeks with some highs and lows. But I guess what I’m getting at is like, it’s not that you have to share everything. But the stuff that you are sharing needs to be authentic. Like, there’s a reason that word is completely overused and becoming annoying. Authenticity is everything. Like if you’re not you, then like already your brand is wrong. Like it’s not a personal brand, like the whole point of a personal brand is that you show up as yourself. So I think you’re getting this one. 

But let’s like lead in to sign number three, because this, you know, again, like some of these could be like symptoms, some of these could be causes, but let’s just have a look at what’s going on number three, you’re attracting the wrong clients. So yay, this means you’re getting clients, which, you know, like, that’s not easy. You know, not everyone’s doing that. But if you keep just seeming to attract people that just drain you, that annoy you, don’t seem to see your value are haggling on price, you know, comparing you with everybody else are demanding, like I could go on. And the reason I can go on is because oh, I have attracted those in the past. I mean, more when I didn’t even have a personal brand like, which is I mean, obviously that’s a whole nother thing. Like, if you don’t have a personal branding strategy, then obviously it needs an update. But I think most of us have been there we’ve we’ve learned this one the hard way. But if you have just like going why why why? Like why am I attracting the wrong clients, like are good people just not going to see my value? No, you’re just attracting the wrong ones. So don’t try and change what you’re doing to make them happy. You know, don’t be like, okay, well, what if I just like changed my offering, or I offered them a different kind of support. Or maybe if I outsource part of this nope, screw that sorry. You don’t need the wrong clients in your general vicinity. I want them gone for you. I want them gone. For me. This is important. So if you’re if you’re attracting the wrong clients, or even followers, like even if beyond like before they even decide to work with you if it feels like your followers just don’t get you or they say weird things when you ask questions or replying to your stories and you’re like, Why did you say that? It can happen. We need to update your strategy. 

Okay, so number four, you’re not attracting any clients. This is probably the most obvious one. But you know, it’s still it has to be said there is always a reason why you’re not attracting clients. And you know, this is still, this comes, there’s always two parts to this, like I mentioned this last week, I’m always going to bang on about this, that it is like self belief and strategy, like those two things need to co exist in order for you to attract clients, the strategy is probably going to help you actually find the right places like know where they’re hanging out, you know, utilize things like search engine optimization, so that you get enough traffic like enough numbers and eyes on your content. But the self belief part that is that magnetism that’s going to make them stick around. So that’s why we need both. 

And then the final one, which may feel like, No, I’m saying it anyway, okay, because it may feel like Oh, really, like that’s not a huge deal. No, but it is. Your audience is unengaged. So we tend to blame the algorithm for all of our problems. When we have an unengaged audience, like people just aren’t responding, they’re not doing anything like the Instagrams not showing my posts or LinkedIn algorithm has changed, like there’s always a reason. But the fact is, the algorithm does not affect your engagement. Yes, these days, there are way more people on social media than there used to be. So we don’t get to share lazy content, like you share lazy content, nothing happens. Because, you know, the algorithm quickly detects that this is not high quality content. And when they’re having to decide whose content to show your, you know, your follower, like, let’s say your follower is following 1000 people, a lot of people follow 1000 people, I’ve seen so many people that follow way more than 1000 people, well, instragram is not going to show all of that content. To them, it’s too much. So they look for all these clues, all these signs that your content is the best content. And the best content is going to get shown, according to them. Obviously, it’s imperfect. There are lots of other factors. But essentially what this means like, I want you to see it as a good thing. The algorithm is never going to allow you to get complacent, and to rest on your laurels. Okay, I’m having to go through this too. I found my sweet spot on Instagram, like things are going well, I was cruising along people like Oh, I love your feed. It’s so pretty. And then I just realized that it felt flat, that I wasn’t getting the engagement that I used to get. And I started to really look around and go, Hmm, interesting. Instagram really has changed, like the way people consume content there has changed. And I mean, I’m saying Instagram, but this applies for every, I’m not talking about Facebook, don’t even talk to me about the Facebook algorithm. Like I don’t bother with Facebook, maybe groups and you know, ads and things like that. Facebook pages, the whole different thing. But right now, like Instagram is definitely a thing. LinkedIn is still a thing. And they have changed. Of course, they’re going to change like the we expect different things from content these days than we used to. And so, you know, and I’m glad I had this wake up call. Shout out to Manu from Your Social Team, because I did a little workshop with her and was like, Ah, thank you like it just gave me it was like a little slap in the face that I needed. But she was talking just about how you know, an all photo feed rarely works anymore. It does for some people. But it completely depends on your niche and your audience and how yes, so many people doing really well are putting a lot more effort into their posts. And they utilize a lot of text. They’re using GIF’s, they’re using carousels, dynamic elements, like there’s more video, all those things. And I needed that because like I knew it, and yet I didn’t know it. Like I saw it, I was experiencing it. And yet I wasn’t doing anything about it. I was staying really safe with my own Instagram feed, because it was easier that way. But you know what’s not easy? Getting so stale, that you stop attracting new people, you stop making meaningful relationships, you stop growing your business that’s not that’s not comfortable. It’s stressful. So I decided, yeah, I need to snap out of it. I need to make some changes, I still have a really long way to go. 

And in some ways, it’s like it does feel like it’s back to the drawing board at least for the the way I approach the format of my posts. But the fact is like the actual content, I’m going to be sharing like the topics. They’re not changing because my audience hasn’t changed in a long time as in the people I want to reach and what they care about, but I need to package it differently. And that’s okay. It takes work, but it’s okay. I’ve like made a commitment to that because I want that to be part of my strategy because I think there’s a really good ROI that can come from me being on Instagram but that is a decision you have to make for yourself. But anyway, long story short, if your audience is unengaged, also if it’s just not growing I know this is kind of connected to not attracting any clients but like if you feel like you have stagnated on social media or on any of your platforms, even if it’s like email like your open rates are dropping, we need to make some changes. Don’t just go oh, you know, people are just busy right now. Oh, it’s because of COVID. No, no, no. Yeah, like there are absolutely seasonal changes, like we we need to use empathy. And we need to make sure that our, we are kind of dynamic in the way we approach our marketing, we can’t be tone deaf and just, you know, stay the same all year round. But the fact is, there are people are getting huge open rates right now. And I can speak to that I have, I’m quite proud of my open rates on my emails. And you know, and then there are other times when mine have dropped, and I was like, Hmm, interesting. What do I need to do differently? 

And so this, I guess, is like, this is the beauty of all of this. We don’t need to get emotional about any of these things. Okay. We are, we should choose data over drama. And I’m going to shout out Haley Burkhead, who’s one of my coaches, because she introduced me to this, I’m not sure it’s necessarily hers. But I’m just saying that’s where I heard it. And that really stuck with me data, or data. If you’re not ozzy over drama .This is the key to everything, because instead of freaking out and beating ourselves up, and you know, going back to step one, which is you know, it’s stressing you out, no, we don’t want that. There is no need to be hard on yourself. Let’s just ask why. Why is this going on? Why is why is this happening? Okay, well, look, let’s look for the clues, what changes can we make, and then it just becomes this fun experiment. And we get to then try something else, and then make tweaks and we try it again. This is why literally an entire pillar of my framework these days, like with the pillar called repeat, it’s not just about doing the same thing over and over again. And you know, hoping for a different result. It’s literally learning how to read all of that data. So that you can make those data driven decisions about what you do next, and how to optimize and keep revisiting the basics before you continue on. Because I don’t want you like one of the reasons we often get stressed out. And we’re feeling horrible about our marketing is because we are pouring so much time and energy and resources into it. And it’s not getting us a return on investment. So of course you’re stressed out, of course, you’re tired. So that’s why it’s important, like learn now, learn to read these things. Now, whether you’re at the very beginning of your journey, or if you’ve been doing this a really long time. If you don’t yet know how to find those answers, like of really understanding why am I not, you know, any of these things? Why does it feel inauthentic? Or why am I attracting the wrong clients? Why is my audience less engaged, now? if you can’t find those answers, that is where you need to focus now. Because once you know how to do that, you start to become your own compass, you can kind of coach yourself through these things. And that’s really important. I mean, full disclosure, I’m someone who’s always going to have a coach, because sometimes you just need someone who’s not in your head, someone who’s not emotionally involved, because that can really cloud our judgment. But that said, I’m not reliant like my coach, when I have a coach like I speak to them every once in a while, what do I do in between those sessions, I have to look after myself. So yeah, just like a shout out to coaches, including I know, that’s weird. I’m a coach, too. But that’s what I’m here for. But I’m like, I’m not here to hold your hand every single day of the week and go, it’s okay. Don’t be upset that you’re post didn’t do well, like we can talk about that on a session. But if that is where you get stuck, we’ve got problems, you’re not going to get past that point of just like staying in emotional mode, and you know, not being able to see the forest for the trees. 

Anyways, hope this is all making sense. So where did where does this leave us? marketing, branding, building your business? No, it’s not easy. But if it is feeling stressful, if it is making you feel gross, if you feel like you’re compromising on your own values, and your integrity, none of these things actually should be happening or need to happen. You can build a business and a brand and also market yourself actively in a way that feels really good for you. And it will probably change. Like as you know, you’ve heard me talk about like, what I’m doing 12 months ago is different to what I’m doing today is going to be different to what I’m doing in 12 months, maybe even 12 weeks from now. Because I’m constantly checking in with myself going do I feel like I can do this right now? Do I have the bandwidth? You know, and knowing when I can create that safety for myself is so important. But then also knowing where the line is to draw that would mean I’m actually like dropping the ball. Because if we disappear for too long and we stopped doing anything, well, there’s really good chance the leads are gonna dry up. So, you know, what is that balance for you right now? And you know, how can you know where it needs to be if it needs to change in the future. 

So that’s all for me today. I really hope it was helpful. And if it was, please let me know. As I said, like I would love it if you’d send me a DM on Instagram or tag me by sharing this episode, my handle is @iamkatelizabeth Kat with a K. And if you have been enjoying this and you’re finding it helpful, you know how you could repay the favor, you could leave me a review over on Apple podcasts. And a written one, not just the five star the written one is the one that just Apple seems to love. Because it really helps get the word out about this podcast. Plus, it just makes me really happy makes my heart sing. So I’m going to leave it at that because there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I need to tell you. But I’m like not quite ready to tell you. So let’s just let’s just wrap it up. Let’s quit while we’re ahead and just go let all of this sink into your brain juice. But if you need anything from me, if you need any assistance, everything you need to know about me basically can be found at personal branding project.co. Seen Heard Paid Academy is open for enrollment right now, at a special, let’s just say pre launch price.

I’m not going to give away any more than that, except that there are some exciting plans on the horizon. So yeah, that’s all and DM me as well. If you have any questions if you’ve been thinking that you would like to know more about us potentially working together, you’re just not sure what that would or should look like. I’m an open book come and send me a DM or drop me an email and I’d love to hear from you. But thank you for listening and I can’t wait to chat with you next week. Bye for now.

ABOUT KAT

Kat is a copywriter, brand & messaging strategist personal branding coach and the founder of The Personal Branding Project whose mission is to help you go from best-kept secret to in-demand brand.

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