I feel bad about my brand.

My personal marketing strategy is a disgrace.

I should have known it would come to this.  For some time I’ve sensed that the world as imagined by literature majors was steadily giving way to the world as constructed by advertising majors.  We can’t help ourselves:  the minute that Instagram app installs on our phones, we’re all our own Don Drapers.

Of course, the personal brand divas set a very high bar.

Brand Diva One LabelledStill, there’s no shortage of advice out there for someone like me, coming late to the self-marketing party.  A quick Google tour taught me a few powerful basics.

First, I need to re-conceive my entire life as one complete, integrated brand. Nothing is tangential to my core mission, that of promoting myself.  And no aspect of my personal brand should be left to chance. I can’t even tell you what brand chaos I’ve brought on myself by not articulating a comprehensive mission statement. Here are two that, really, just say it all:

Diva Mission StatementSecond, if I’m going to embrace the personal brand of (1) being a woman who works at all aspects of my life while also (2) living beautifully in an effortless way, then I need to rethink my clothes.  Not just for the big outings, when I already know to take that shower and pull something nice from the back of the closet, there behind the neglected Pilates ball.  Nope.  My personal brand must be tireless.  As one guru explains, “It’s the way you leave your house every morning, unaware of who might cross your path that you want to pitch, impress or partner with.”  No more assuming I’m actually invisible when racing from carline to grocery.  Or that others think I’m just deep-conditioning my hair.  Time to straighten up.

20090918shiffpost1And, by the way, don’t believe your own front door protects you from brand failure either, warns entrepreneur.com: “Forget PJs, Dress Your Brand Even at Your Home Office.”  By “PJs,” they presumably also mean to ban jeans and the same T-shirt/sweater combo that cling conveniently together when you slough them off at bedtime. Just because they’re still lying next to your toothbrush the next morning doesn’t mean they can be worn again and again beautifully, no matter how effortless that might seem.  Beware.  Learn from my mistakes.

Finally, I’ve come to accept that my husband and sons carry their own responsibility for advancing my personal marketing strategy.  For too long I’ve let the stragglers and slackers in that group tarnish my brand at will.  No more. I’m imposing some overdue brand discipline.  It’s time for a little team work.

Divas with kids labelledIt’s for their own good, and for mine.

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I’ve got a lot to catch up on.