By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO & Co-Founder, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University
Branding starts with you, your personality, your talent, your approach to design, your choice of ideal client and how you market to them.
What happens for many owner-branded businesses is a disconnect between their authentic self and their less-than-authentic brand.Â Are you trying to project an image that isnâ€™t really you?Â Â If so, your clients and prospects will know it.
You may know the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.Â It was a huge bestseller. In it, Gladwell points out that many people make a decision about us and our brand within the blink of an eye.Â That is what they will tell others about you, as well. You have one chanceâ€”one brief momentâ€”to make that impression.
We may think we are in control of our image. Yet, many of us donâ€™t realize that everyone around us intuitively is trying to read below the surface to detect who we really are.Â Your inner game must match your outer game or brand, because that is what your prospects and clients really see.
When you are working to develop your brand, be sure you are thinking about who you really are as a person, anÂ interior designer, and a businessperson.
While weâ€™re talking about the inner game, if you arenâ€™t confident, your prospects and clients read that.Â If youâ€™re struggling with this, it is important to dig deep.Â It isnâ€™t a one-time job to work through the reasons you arenâ€™t confident.
Do you feel uncomfortable because you donâ€™t have a design degree?Â Do you feel under-qualified because you donâ€™t have your NCIDQ or other credentials?Â Do you feel awkward with people who make more money than you do?
Our confidence and insecurities are at the root of our brand being authentic and believable or not.
It is common to put on a mask and believe that everyone sees what we want them to see and nothing more, but they see much more.
How does this affect us?Â It determines whether people know, like and trust us, and then decide if they want to do business with us.
Please take some time to think about this and evaluate you as your brand anchor.Â Being honest with ourselves is often one of our greatest fears. Are you being true to yourself, honestly?
Working on your brand? Check out 3 Ways Interior Designers Fail at Personal Branding.