One of the most honest self-discovery-dives I’ve ever done was defining my brand. At the start, I was afraid it’d be phony or schmaltzy, and it certainly could have been, but instead, it was raw, realistic, and all about service.
Coaches and healers, really anyone with holistic and mystical leanings usually recoil at the word brand. I had the same response to the concept and assumed I didn’t need something so superficial. I had fallen prey to a common misconception of associating a brand as just a logo and a cutesy tagline.
I hope to unravel a couple of misconceptions that plague authentic solopreneurs attempting to market their service to folks they can help by sharing this ah-ha moment I had.
What is a brand?
I will admit, I love metaphors and symbols! I love using both sides of my brain; logical and artistic. Maybe that’s why I enjoy creating brands as an experience of storytelling, feeling, and imagery as a means to convey truth.
I wanted to write an article about what a brand really is so I looked up the official definition and it said; a trade name or identifying mark (hence the reason we all think it’s just a logo). Then I read in the Mirriam Webster version a brand is defined as a burning piece of wood or a sword.
My internal well-honed symbol-reader went, ding-ding-ding!
My imagination jumped right into the symbology of the Tarot (because that’s how I roll). This led me to an analogy that described what I want to convey. Because sometimes we just need a good metaphor.
What do your brand and the Tarot have in common?
The Tarot, in a nutshell, is a deck of cards adorned with recognizable symbols which represent the journey of life and our inner-awakening. Because of its ancient history and enduring widespread recognition (and controversy), the images signify a universal symbology we all recognize somewhere deep in our collective subconscious.
So when I found that definition, I recognized the suits; Swords and Wands from the Tarot deck. I had an a-ha moment when I connected that because of what those suits represent to me and how they may help to explain the purpose of an authentic brand.
Please indulge me and I’ll walk you through why this struck me as a great opportunity to clarify why I believe defining your brand goes deeper than getting a logo.
The suits and their perceived meanings
After reading many, many interpretations, here’s my amalgamation of meaning for these two suits (and I’ll save Pentacles and Cups for another time).
This symbol belongs to the element of air like a cleansing wind. With discipline and structure, It brings the strength of knowledge, communication, clarity, and truth. It cuts through misunderstanding and confusion.
Belonging to the element of fire, a wand (also known as staff or firebrand) represents a deep spiritual desire and inspiration. It’s enthusiasm for a cause to rally around and fruitful work. Think of it as a light in the dark and perpetual energy to fuel it.
Here are the top 3 values I learned about branding from the Tarot
In essence, these suits are about personal truth, passion, and clarity. If done authentically and intentionally, your brand does too. Every healer and coach I’ve met who is dedicated to bringing their gifts to the world can embrace these valuable qualities in both their marketing and delivery.
#1 Personal truth
Personal truth is essential for the integrity of your message. If a solopreneur brings this into what they do and how they convey it, then the right people show up to receive it!
By facing my fears of not pleasing everyone, the branding process brought my beliefs from an internal quiet thought out to the light and into print.
Passion keeps you going! Stoke the fire in the belly then concentrate it into a beam of light. People look twice at a message with the energy of passion behind it and over time get infected with optimism.
This wasn’t about adding more exclamation points!!! I learned the brand journey begins within. Tapping into my passion as a personal motivator has a natural side effect of attractive enthusiasm and joy.
Clarity is a struggle for many solopreneurs because there’s some letting-go involved. We are a very creative, helpful, multi-gifted bunch of folks with a lot to offer. Our challenge is to make accessible choices of what to offer and how to describe it simply and consistently.
I learned so much about people in this process of finding clarity. I kept circling back to ask myself, how would people best hear what I’m trying to say? Because ultimately more clarity I have, the more I can transmit it.
A Bridge to Understanding
Of course, my brand is not the total of me. It’s a frame for what I’d like to convey about my purpose and personality. Rev.Micheal Beckwith put it beautifully; to think of personality as a lampshade, and my Spirit is the lightbulb. It’s a creative way to identify and play with how I walk in the world.
Going on a brand discovery journey helped me to express what I’m about. Then it took me to the next step of the journey to see myself through the eyes of others and discover a way it could be made clear for them. Using a double-sided magnifying glass I learned how to create a bridge between the two.
A branding journey is you at work, on purpose. I find it’s an opportunity to fashion a creative representation of intention, emotion, tone, and practicality. It’s not permanently binding because you are ever-changing and discovery inevitably keeps on happening. What remains the same is the essence of your desire to serve as you.
So yes, I believe if you are a healer or coach it’s worth it to go on a brand discovery. If you carve out your personal truth, live your passion, and strive for clarity, you will create that bridge to understanding and have a wayfare of communication and connection like never before.