Four Keys to Maintaining Your Personal Brand

Four Keys

“Maintenance is terribly important.” – Manlolo Blahnik

The Image Studios works with high-performing executives daily. They come to us with hopes of enhancing their impact by sharing their best true selves with the world. The proprietary personal branding process is transformative, inspiring and it works.

The personal branding process allows smart, accomplished women like Ellen Burton to 1. define their brand, 2. align their external presence with their value-based brand and 3. live a more fulfilling life by more frequently attracting the people, opportunities and resources that make their heart sing. A values-based personal brand is a short list of the core values that a woman (or man) brings to every occasion. For example: passionate, creative, discerning, connected, advocate.

At the close of every client’s personal brand enhancement program, we have an important conversation about brand maintenance. Periodically, in spite of the stylists and branding team’s best efforts to communicate why maintenance will be required, the client politely suggests, “I can maintain my brand on my own.”

Personal branding is an ongoing process. As you evolve, your career, physical attributes, and focus change as well. Unless you have the expertise to self-edit and update accordingly, you will very likely find yourself hitting a self-imposed glass ceiling.

Here are four keys to maintaining your personal brand:

1. Invest in a professional personal brand assessment. A written personal branding plan is an invaluable tool to share with the image and communication experts who will help you convey your brand.

2. Get feedback from experts about the ways you effectively and ineffectively communicate your brand. Do what you do well, and delegate the rest.

3. Take the advice you receive. When you hire the experts you need, you will not understand the recommendations they make: This is a simple and uncomfortable truth, particularly for bright, high-performers used to being in the driver’s seat. Embrace your expert’s recommendations. Dare to try something new and unexpected. Image, brand and communication experts want you to succeed, because their success is tied to your success.

4. Keep using your experts. DIY personal brand management can easily result in brand fade over time. It’s quite common for an intelligent woman to think she has mastered what her brand, communication and personal care experts delivered. The problem is, today’s message will not work for tomorrow’s audience. Image, brand and communication experts make it their business to know how your audience interprets what they see, hear and experience.

We all have image and brand blind spots, which is why experts specializing in everything from résumés to wardrobe are necessary to keep us on point. Over time, when it comes to objectively assessing our image, self-sufficiency can easily turn into self-deficiency. All we really ‘own’ are our values and character. Everything else is subject to interpretation. We see ourselves from the inside-out – while others see us from the outside-in.


About Kali Patrice

Kali Patrice is the founder of The Image Studios, a Chicago-based firm that specializes in branding and image communication. She blogs through “Successful Expression” to share fresh ways to share insights about image, personal branding and self-expression.