Elevate Your Brand through Personal Style with Kaarin Huffman

Can what you wear influence whether you land a client, get hired, negotiate a favorable contract or if an audience believes you are credible and trustworthy?

You bet.

Brand extends beyond just your logo or colors to what YOU project when you walk into a room, lead a meeting or take the stage.

Now, some of you may get a little huffy about “judging a book by its cover,” but please watch this amazing interview! You will learn that if you want to project a certain image, but more importantly, CONVEY YOUR UNIQUE TALENTS AND VIBE to the world, you must understand the “psychology of style.”

It helps to understand how our brains are hard-wired to make snap decisions  – even before we say a word.

Today I’m interviewing image consultant Kaarin Huffman. Kaarin has worked with many professionals and thought leaders to help them convey a consistent personal brand through how they dress. And she has studied the psychology of style and how it can impact everything from getting a good deal on a car to closing a sale.

You’ll want to take notes on the fascinating research Kaarin has to share. I learned so much!

“Image consulting is about intentionally expressing your personal values, strengths and brand through what you wear. It’s not about being something you’re not.” (TWEET THIS!)

If you want to elevate your brand from the moment you walk into the room, and land that client, get a good deal or make yourself memorable, please click below to watch the video interview!

YouTube video

Highlights include:

* Why “dressing to your brand” is not about being judged on your looks alone ([2:25])

* How to link your brand to your personal style ([6:28])

* Why you need to forget what you think it means to “dress professionally” ([10:14])

* The two things you’re being assessed on when you walk into a room ([14:57])

* The psychology of style: What “enclothed cognition” means to your performance and results. ([15:50])

*What to wear to establish credibility…or get a great deal on a car! ([16:56])

*Practical tips on how to dress to boost your brand ([21:56])

*The Red Sneaker effect and when you have to be careful with style! ([30:20])

“The psychology of style is not just for execs or those with money. These little subtle cues are available to everyone who seeks success” (Tweet This!)

Any gems you picked up that you will put into practice? What was the biggest surprise to you? Would love to know!

Learn more about Kaarin at her website and connect with her on LinkedIn. She’s also written some great articles there on using personal style and color to communicate your brand.

How to Combine Everything Under One Brand

07.12.16 One Brand (Blog)

I like things tidy…do you? While I’m considerably less organized as a Type A personality than I used to be prior to my brain injury, I’m still an organization freak. My biggest pet peeve is the jumble of wires behind our TV that is now our hub for cable, internet, phone, game consoles and more. The sight of it literally gives me a headache.

But my obsession with organization is a huge benefit for my clients. One of my superpowers is being able to connect dots that no one else can see to create a clear, crisp narrative.

My clients often have an enviable problem: they are interesting people with many passions and skills to offer the world. And they are full of ideas on how to do it. Which is all great. Until you confuse the heck out of your target audience.

First step to clarity? Understand that not everything you love has to be a part of what people pay you to do (TWEET THIS!)

If you have ever asked, “How do I combine everything I do under one brand?”, here are 5 steps to tie everything together:

  1. Take inventory: Write down every offering or skill you currently, or would like, to showcase to your market. Seeing things on paper is a big step to getting it out of your head and into some sort of system.
  2. Identify the common threads: Trust me, there will be some. How do I know? Because they are all stemming from one person or company with its own unique personality! If you are drawn to offering different types of things, there is something linking those all together for you, whether it be a theme, audience or product/service “type”: Do you see a pattern across all your offerings and interests about healthy living? Storytelling? Connecting women? Transformation? Solving complex tech problems? Fine design? What is it that runs through everything?
  3. Define your core audience: If many of your offerings can serve the same audience, great! But if they are all targeting completely different ones, you may have to pare down and get focused. It’s going to cost too much time and money to build your reputation among so many disparate audiences. Plus, people will get confused as to if you are right for them. Focus on the low hanging fruit.
  4. Determine a compelling “Brand Umbrella”: What is the overarching theme that ties everything together? When you find the right one, you will see that you can easily fit all your offerings and passions under that umbrella in a way that makes sense to people. Brands you know and love offer tons of products or services but usually under the same brand umbrella: Method is all about pure cleaning products that don’t harm the planet. Dove is about real beauty and healthy skin. Alexandra Franzen is about writing and self-expression. Hiro Boga is about building a soulful business.
  5. Purge: Anything that doesn’t fit. Maybe those are not your business’ core offerings but simply personal passions. Your brand umbrella can help you find your creative brand hook that can lead to a snazzy title, a unique company name, a signature touch or a unique visual device (juicy fruit that is irresistible to resist, perhaps?!).

For example,  I determined a while back that my brand umbrella was “irresistible storytelling.” I help clients tell compelling stories, I speak at companies and conferences, I write books…I even enjoy acting and voiceover work, which is all about storytelling and even wrote food and wine articles for websites and print – but these are not the core ways I make my money. So I shifted that from an “offering” category to a “passion” category – and now use that personal interest to add color and life to my work.

Personal passions that have nothing to do with how you make money can also be called your Swirl, as publicity expert Melissa Cassera says. This is what gives your work a unique voice and flavor. You can color how you do the work you do with these unique interests. My love for wine and past wine writing experience does not mean I have to go out an create an entire company or offering as a “wine writer.” But it makes my stuff a lot more interesting to read!

A wise coach once told me, ‘You can do everything you want to do. You just don’t have to do it all right now or even with this evolution of your business.” (TWEET THIS!)


Image credit via Flickr

7 Strategies To Nurture Your Budding Twitter Account

10.24.14 Grow-your-twitter-account (blog)

I’m a huge Twitter fan. I love the convenience and conciseness of it, plus I find it a personal challenge to get my point across in 140 characters or less. You might be on Twitter but are not sure how to get a handle on what can often seem like the Wild Wild West. Enjoy today’s guest post from Logan Strain as he serves up 7 juicy tips for nurturing your Twitter account with a little TLC.

With over a quarter billion active users, Twitter is one of the most powerful social networks you can use to build your company’s brand and drive traffic to your site. But with all the tweets and new accounts being created every day, how do you gain a foothold in this very noisy space? It can be intimidating starting with zero tweets and zero followers when other accounts in your niche might already have hundreds of thousands of followers.

No account becomes a valuable social media asset overnight. If you are taking the very first step towards establishing a presence on Twitter, here’s some advice to help you kick start your efforts.

1) Use Tweetdeck

Using the web or mobile client might be fine if you’re a casual tweeter, but pros like you need to use something more powerful like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. Tweetdeck is fantastic because it’s a tool created by Twitter to help power users get the most out of their social network. You can schedule tweets, keep track of multiple feeds simultaneously, and manage multiple accounts. You can log in on the web, or (if you’re a Chrome user), you can use the handy Chrome app.

2) Follow (A Lot)

You can’t get if you don’t give. So if you want a flood of followers and you don’t have a strong brand name yet? You better start following people. While you shouldn’t be completely indiscriminate, clicking “Follow” every single time it pops up on your screen, it’s a good idea to start off with a ton of followed accounts. Some of the most successful tweeters literally follow tens of thousands of accounts.

Find all the biggest brands, thought leaders, and other personalities in your space and follow them all. Then check out who those big names are following, then follow lots of them too. When someone follows you, favorites a tweet, or retweets you, reward them with a follow. When you are actively following people, tweeters take notice, and you start earning followers in return.

3) Retweet And Favorite (A Lot)

Retweeting (posting other people’s tweets on your own timeline) and favoriting (marking tweets as your personal faves), are also part of giving. Retweeting is an easy way to add content to your feed with just a single click, but it also acts a compliment. It says “This tweet is so good, I want to share it with my followers too.” That’s a good way to endear yourself to bigger Twitter accounts and their followers.

Favoriting isn’t as strong, since it doesn’t add the content to your feed, but it still gives a hat tip to the tweeter. Feel free to favorite as fast as your mouse can click (or finger can tap) since it increases the number of times people see your name but costs you nothing.

4) Schedule Tweets A Week In Advance

In order to save time and be consistent, setup about a week’s worth of tweets in advance. This not only saves you time by doing all of your tweeting at once, it ensures that you schedule tweets for maximum impact.

What should you tweet about? You can:

When you should tweet?

Some studies suggest that the best time to tweet is between 9AM and 3PM, since that’s when people are most likely to check their feeds. Once you really start to build your following, however, you can more easily find when your best tweeting time will be with the online tool Brand Mentions. This is another free service that can tell you when your feed sees the most activity. Armed with this knowledge, you can schedule your most valuable tweets during the periods that you see the most engagement.

5) Be Hashtag Smart

Of course, you can’t simply tweet to nobody when you’re starting out. Twitter is like joining a giant cocktail party, and adding hashtags is how you join the conversation. People set up special feeds and alerts for their favorite hashtags, and can see when anybody (whether it’s a budding Twitter account or one with a million followers) is making a contribution. So it’s essential to add relevant hashtags to every single tweet you make.

But how do you find relevant hashtags? There are two main ways: either by checking out what kind of hashtags similar twitter accounts are using, or by using some simple and free online tools. One of the best ones is the related hashtags tool from Hastigify.me. Simply enter any hashtag, and you can find ones closely associated with it.

For example, if you are building a Twitter account for a hair care product, you can just check the hashtag #haircare. From there, you’ll see that people who use that hashtag also use #naturalhair, #beauty, and #bbloggers (the hashtag that connects beauty bloggers.) Now you’ll have several more hashtags you can add to your posts, and more ways you can be discovered.

6) Private Message People Who Follow You

If someone follows you, they’re probably following a lot of people. So how do you make an impression? Besides consistently offering interesting content, you could also simply send a private message through Twitter to your new follower thanking them. Since so few accounts do this you’ll stick out a bit more when they see you pop up in their feed, which increases the chances that they’ll engage with your content.

7) Connect Your Twitter Account To Your Other Properties

No social media account is an island. Provide a link to your Twitter account on your blog, your email signature, and even your other social media accounts. You want to give people as many opportunities as possible to discover your account.

Tweet Smart

That might sound like a lot of work in order get your brand’s account up and running. But the truth is that you don’t have to be a Twitter addict in order to build up an account and start gaining attention and traffic from this massive social network. Just 10-20 minutes every working day is enough to take you to zero followers to someone who is part of the conversation. Like anything in life, all it takes is a little persistence.

About the Author: Logan Strain is a writer for Crimewire, father, and podcast addict. When he’s not browsing reddit, playing with his daughter, or binge-watching Netflix, he’s creating viral web content.