There is a quaint little frozen yogurt shop in my neighborhood that my husband and I frequent in the summer months. They offer customers the ability to dispense their own yogurt flavors and quantity and then add toppings as they like. Maybe you have one of these shops near you?
When I first started going here, I took advantage of their offer to take small sample cups and then taste the flavors before I committed to filling a cup with one (or several) flavors of yogurt. I loved this idea because it allowed me to taste, sample, and choose with confidence. After time, I became familiar enough with their selection of yogurt flavors that I could bypass the sample cups and choose my desired flavor, relishing in the success of my choice and heading to add the toppings!
In personal branding, there is a misperception that we have to try one look, one brand, and one style and commit to it for the duration of our career. Quite the contrary! Some of the fun of having a strong and defined personal brand is that it gives you the framework to experiment and get creative. For instance:
- As you mature, your tastes might change, your style might have to adapt to a new career, geography, or body shape.
- Your narrative (elevator pitch) might reflect your passion for community today and then evolve into reflecting your success in building large-scale community initiatives later.
- Your network might be wide and deep at the outset of your career and more discrete and narrow as your value increases to more high net-worth clients.
- Online, you might freely share your every move with followers to build community and share your passion, but as you progress through your career, you learn that focused and targeted messaging within groups is more effective in building your personal brand.
That’s the best part of personal branding! When you have set the strategy and the framing, you get to adapt and flex as you desire to keep yourself relevant for your audiences and stay authentic to your maturing and confident personality.
Just like the yogurt sample cups, take small steps towards the commitment of changing your style, narrative, network, or online presence. Move slowly and intentionally towards the new and improved you and have fun with it. And be sure to leave plenty of room for the toppings!