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I'm Kelly - the founder of She Is Fierce! and your host on our blog featuring stories and wisdom from fierce women all over the world! 


#43: Summer School: Build Your Personal Brand, Part Two

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I am back with the fourth episode of our special Summer School series, inspired by our sister brand, Heirloom Leadership & Learning Co.

Last episode, we talked about the four foundational pieces of building a personal brand – and on today’s episode, we’re going to take the foundation you’ve built and turn it into a brand that actually gets results out in the world!

Remember – if you haven’t already, you can download a free companion Personal Branding Roadmap at

Your personal brand should not be something you have to ‘make up’ and try to live out – but it does take work to get it right.  Ultimately, we want a reflection of your authentic self in the world – and I want you to have the tools you need to share who you are, what you value and what is most amazing about you with anyone you meet!

This Heirloom Summer School episode is for both entrepreneurs and professionals – we’re keeping the focus on YOU and your personal brand… whether you’re a business leader (or woman on the rise) or you’re running your own company and trying to figure out why you’re not getting the respect your expertise or product deserves.

If you are a business owner, meet me here again next week when I’ll talk about how to use your personal brand to build a business brand, and what is different about branding a business – with some tips on how to make your business stand out from the crowd!


As a reminder, last week we covered the four foundations of building a powerful personal brand:


#1 – Outline Your Starting Point

#2 – Align Your Brand to Your Goals

#3 – Take an Inventory

#4 – Identify Your Brand Signature


Today, we’re going to be talking through the next four steps, which are a little more challenging (because they involve other people), but also much more rewarding – because you will start to see REAL results!


Today, we’re covering:


#5 – Craft Your Stories 

#6 – Put Yourself Out There

#7 – Expand Your Network & Horizons

#8 – Claim It!


So, let’s jump in!


#5 – Craft Your Stories 


Once you have clarified your brand values and your brand signature – remember, that is the thing you are amazing at that sets you apart (and you can have more than one, but I recommend highlighting only one at a time as it makes it easier for the person trying to understand the value you bring to identify what is special about you as a professional or your business.)

Now, you get to the actual work of putting your brand out there into the world.

Sharing your story is the most effective way to connect with other people…when done well. Crafting stories that share how you got where you are and where you’re going will help you through those awkward moments when you’re not sure how to express yourself. Frame your stories in a positive and authentic way that reflects your values.

One of the first things I recommend you do is consider HOW you will share your values and brand signature. 

On a website, you may be able to actually use those words or say, ‘I’m incredible at’ – and fill in the blanks with your brand signature.

But in real life interactions and correspondence, it would be really off-putting to walk around saying, ‘here’s what’s important to me and what I’m amazing at’ every time you make a new connection!

Instead, you can use the much-loved art of storytelling to express your values and illuminate your skills.

Who doesn’t love a powerful storyteller?

When you make a new connection, you are much more likely to spend time with them and remember them if they know how to tell a great story!

We all hate small talk – and sharing powerful stories is a great way to turn basic questions like, ‘so, what do you do’ into meaningful connections.

Let’s look at what this means to you!

First of all, you will want to set aside time to write down your stories after listening to this podcast… get paper or your computer (I prefer paper for this kind of exercise because you don’t try to edit yourself along the way).

I’d love for you to complete this exercise with a minimum of three and ideally at least five stories you can share that help others understand who you are (your values) and what you’re great at (your brand signature)… all packaged in a story about how you began doing what you do, why you do what you do, what you hope to achieve and why… or any number of other story trope that will give others the chance to get to know you in a memorable and meaningful way.


The easiest way to start doing this is to write your answers to the questions by sharing a story to answer these questions.

  • How did you start doing what you do?
  • Why do you focus on [fill in the blank with either your area of expertise or a cause or professional goal that is important to you to highlight as part of your brand story]
  • What is your next big (or big picture) goal – and who has impacted your goals and your mission?


Once you have stories about these things as a starting point, you can go deeper – sometimes a story we like is just fun or a little too much detail for a quality branding story – you want to keep your message clear and not busy up the story with too many details – so cut the pieces that don’t get to your point!

Working through this exercise and refining your stories will turn you into a master storyteller who can engage with people at any level. 

Remember, you can download the free Branding Roadmap that goes along with these Summer School episodes to get more detail on each of these steps at


#6 – Put Yourself Out There


Ooh! This is the one where most people stop working on their brand.

I have worked with countless people over the years who do a fantastic job on building a product or service, or who are amazing at their job and could be an absolute leader in their field.  

Many of these people WANT to step up as leaders and make their mark.  

They have the potential and everything they need to do so… but they stop trying on this step.

Because putting yourself out there in a real way can be hard – even for the true extroverts.

We are taught, especially as women, to do a great job, but not to ask for recognition.

Have you ever heard of tall poppy syndrome?  This is basically the idea that if one flower dares to grow above the rest, it must be cut down to maintain uniformity.

You may hear this and say, ugh, I do not agree with that… but actually putting yourself out there might challenge your internal biases and often exposes that all of us have internalized this message to different degrees.

So – what do you do?

I suggest starting with the easier stuff… put yourself out there in a way that feels less intimidating – but don’t stop there.

For example, if you’re not comfortable cold calling prospects or going to in-person networking events to find the connections you’d like to make, start by updating your LinkedIn profile to reflect your brand values, your brand signature and all of the amazing things about you that you want your prospective boss, colleague, client or investor to know.

Next, identify a few people you can connect with on LinkedIn.

Ok – that doesn’t seem too painful right?

But don’t stop there. Honestly, most people aren’t connecting on a deep level on social media.  You can use social media as a proverbial ‘store front’ for your gifts and talents, but it’s not going to get you where you want to go alone.

The next step of ‘putting yourself out there’ is to either ‘showing up’ or ‘reaching out’ – ideally both!


Where could you truly show up out there in a meaningful way that serves your goals?


  • Is that going to an industry event? 
  • Is it pitching yourself as a guest on a popular podcast or tv program? 
  • Or maybe it’s going to your boss and making your intention of stepping up as a leader clear – and making a specific ask such as, ‘I’d like to represent the company as the leader of a specific internal group so executives can see that I have the ability to lead at a higher level and get [fill in the blank here with the role you’re looking to move into].


Decide on your first bold move to share your personal brand with the world…maybe building a website, revising your social media profiles or asking someone to mentor you..

Focus on highlighting your brand in spaces that will serve your bigger vision.

All of these take a little gumption and probably some deep breaths or coaching calls from a friend or mentor.

Keep going.  If you show up to a networking event and it’s a dud – don’t give up. Do your research next time to find the one that is more likely to help you connect with those who can help you elevate your career or business to where you want it to be.

Ultimately, your network will expand and you’ll feel connected to and supported by others who can help you rise… and don’t forget, we have a whole Heirloom Course on intentionally Growing Your Network available within the She Is Fierce! Membership! 


#7 – Expand Your Network & Horizons


Good news! All that hard work you did in putting yourself out there is going to help make this step a whole lot easier! 

You have already given this some consideration in previous branding steps, but I want to encourage you to pause here and get hyper clear on who belongs in your next-level network.


  • Who is on a similar path to you? Who is already a leader in your space that you admire and want to learn from? 
  • Who is your absolute idol? 
  • What organizations or social groups are filled with ‘your people’ – who just don’t know they’re your people yet?


Write down your answers and use real names. Don’t be generic – I don’t want to hear that you should be in more industry organizations, I want to know the specific groups you’ll join, the leadership roles you will take on, the conferences you’ll attend and the connections you’ll reach out to personally to get to know better.

The more clear you are here, the more successful you’ll be.

Once you’ve put yourself out there a little, look to new circles and groups outside your niche. Diversify your tribe and step outside your comfort zone.

You really are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with…choose your people wisely!

You will build a strong and versatile squad of talented people who you can learn from and reach out to for support and resources to help you reach your goals!


#8 – Claim Your Big, Fierce, Audacious Dreams!


YES!! We’ve arrived at the best and most fun step – CELEBRATE!

This one is all about recognizing the hard work you’ve done to grow your personal brand and stepping into your goals with confidence!.

By this point, you’re feeling pretty great about your brand, your vision and your future… and it’s time to think about how you can level-up or maybe reach back out to someone else who needs a hand up and has similar goals or a similar passion to you!


Ok – so here’s the quick recap…


Last week, we covered:

#1 – Outline Your Starting Point

#2 – Align Your Brand to Your Goals

#3 – Take an Inventory

#4 – Identify Your Brand Signature


This week, we covered:

#5 – Craft Your Stories 

#6 – Put Yourself Out There

#7 – Expand Your Network & Horizons

#8 – Claim It!


If you haven’t done so already, go grab that completely free Personal Branding Roadmap at and use it as your guide… or check out our Membership at to access our full Heirloom course on Building a Powerful Personal Brand which walks you through each of these steps in even more detail and includes a video with me going deeper and a step-by-step fill in the blank workbook… plus, inside our membership you have access to dozens of other workshops, Heirloom courses, mentor replays and more!

I’ll be back here next week with more on how to use your personal brand to build your business – and tips on how to build a recognizable stand-out brand for your business!


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