Have you ever thought about what you want to be known for?
In this debut episode, I share some important questions that I feel are the foundation of any branding exercise. Questions to help you figure out what you want to be known for.
Introducing Soulful Branding Live with Lulu
In 2017, I launched the Soulful Branding Challenge – an online course designed to help people find their voice, find their tribe and deliver to them the special magic that only they can.
Since then, Soulful Branding has become a kind of philosophy for me. I see the principles from the course in play, in so many aspects of business and life. This series of Lives will explore some of those aspects.
So what exactly does Soulful Branding mean to me?
For many years, I was stuck in this world of “should”. This is how things SHOULD be done; this is how I SHOULD present myself.
When I started working for myself, subscribing to these external expectations meant that I was attracting work that wasn’t completely aligned with who I was. As a result, my true gifts couldn’t shine.
So, not only was I not able to bring the special magic that only I can bring, to the table. I also started to lose joy for what I was doing.
It all changed when…
… I realised that I just needed to do me. To be true to myself. To PRESENT myself in a way that reflected who I really am and what makes me unique.
Ultimately, branding is how we express ourselves or our businesses to the world. Brand names, logos, brandbooks, elevator pitches etc. – those are all just tools.
When I decided to be true to myself, it was easier to articulate what I wanted to be known for. To myself and others.
As a result, some exciting things started to happen: I attracted my dream clients; I started connecting and growing relationships with a like-minded audience; I felt confident in my pricing; I received opportunities to speak and lead workshops at London venues I absolutely loved like, the Southbank Centre and the V&A Museum; and I started to establish myself as a go-to person in my niche.
I HAD a niche!
Why it’s key to identify a niche
Being discriminating about who you want to work with or create products for, actually creates more opportunity, not less.
By figuring out, and then expressing, what you want to be known for, you carve out a niche and make it easier for your target audience to find you.
These are some of the things I delve deeper into in my Soulful Branding course but, I wanted to bring some of these conversations to a wider audience.
I ummed and ahhhed about where to host these lives – I know some of you can relate to this: having different pages or social accounts – and even multiple businesses – where sometimes its tricky to figure out the best way to organise what you’re putting out there. I know you multi-passionate people are feeling me.
It’s tough when, at the end of the day, it’s you behind all those things. You with the same values, the same outlook on life and the same personality.
In fact, I ended up calling my business, Lulu Kitololo Studio, after realising that this was the simplest way to create an umbrella for my different professional pursuits. At the end of the day, it’s my way of thinking; my creativity; my aesthetic – that is at the core of them all. So this name made life much simpler!
After some deliberation, I realised it made the most sense to host these live sessions in the Afri-love Women group. This community has been so nurturing for me and from day one, exceeded all of my expectations from when I started it. It has indeed been a safe space and I’ve been able to practice this scary thing called vulnerability.
Thanks to all of the Afri-love Women members for continuing to hold this kind of space for me and for each other!
Each week, I’ll be sharing a video of the live, and relevant episode notes, right here on the Afri-love blog. To enable others to watch and hopefully benefit from the discussions too.
So, on to the big question of this episode. Something that I want you to reflect on, to sit with, to explore and indeed, to come back to time and time again.
The big question(s)
What’s your vibe? (I have to give credit to Nadia Ahmed for putting this terminology so strongly in my mind from her assertion: “be your own vibe!”).
What do you want to be known for? You, the person. You, the professional. You, the business (if you have one).
When you think of these different aspects of yourself, how do you want to feel? When others think of these entities or, hear their names, what thoughts and feelings do you want to inspire?
What do you need to do, to get in touch with or reconnect with who you truly are? What’s important to you, what inspires you, what makes you happy, what makes you angry, what drives you, what has shaped you, what are your gifts, what do you want?
Or – and I borrow this from a great book I’m reading, by a woman called Shannah Kennedy – The Life Plan – “who are you when you’re at your best?” I’ll share how I answered that, with her prompts:
I’m at an event. I’m organising/sharing/ teaching/socialising. With lots of like-minded people (mostly women). And I feel vibrant, happy and full. I feel valued, worthy, loved and heard.
We can use this same frame in thinking about our business or professional brand. Think of these questions as a yardstick that you can use to review whether your actions and pursuits are in alignment with your vision for yourself and your brand. You can also come back to them as you and your brand evolves, as you go through the different seasons of life!
More Soulful Branding Live with Lulu
Every week, I’ll be going live to talk about business and life, with a Soulful Branding twist. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know! I don’t have all the answers but, I do have plenty of questions and, in my experience, conversations are an amazing way for all of us to learn!
The following are just some of the topics I have lined up.
- The most important things I’ve learned from starting a product business
- The most important steps in a rebranding/branding exercise
- Content creation for events
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So tell me, what do you want to be known for?
Feel free to share in the comments below.