I’m Rita Fierro, Ph.D. the founder of Fierro Consulting, LLC. As part of the Independent consulting TIG, I’m sharing with you resources and lessons learned from my branding process. I coined the expression “authentic branding” to indicate a process that focuses on one’s inner strengths and desires instead of the external market.
When I first started my business, I avoided marketing as long as I could. Eventually, I realized that branding was not separate from other aspects of my life:
1) Branding is the continuous evolution of a process of self-reflection: who am I and what do I really want from my life?
2) Branding brought law of attraction to my work life once I got clear about who I wanted to be in my work: what resources and experiences do I want?
3) Be brave! Someone told me once: “It’s the most quirky aspects of you that are most useful to branding.” When I present myself as an intellectual artist, no one ever forgets it.
4) My best resources in branding were the bridges I created between seemingly opposite and irreconcilable aspects of my personality or interests.
5) Spend some time focusing on the umbrella that embodies EVERYTHING you do. Once you are clear on what motivates your life, it will help with your tagline.
6) Create personal vision and mission statements before business statements; it will help you identify the core principles you abide by in your life.
7) Stay open to signals from the field. If in a year, 90% of your work is in a certain area, you probably should expand in that direction.
8) Explore different frameworks at AEA; the field is so vast that I’m sure you’ll find an area that excites or motivates you!
9) Commit to your ongoing professional development. Learn new skills and frameworks every year (at different conferences or trainings) and do the things you love that bring you joy and excitement in your work!
Rad Resource: Most branding books are targeted to men. Instead, Make a Name for Yourself is written with women in mind.
Rad Resource: This Virtues ProjectTM list can help you identify your guiding principles and priorities.
Activity: Make an exhaustive list of the opposites among your personal passions (For instance: Academia and freelancing, artistic and academic writing, training and creating documentaries.) Include hobbies, profession, and historical passions.
Build a bridge between each pair by identifying a way these opposite can intersect (For instance: in the examples above: consulting for universities, writing two versions of the same research for different audiences, creating documentaries on how organizations changed after training). One of these bridges may be your brand!
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Promoting Your Consultancy Week with information on marketing and branding. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our colleagues who own evaluation businesses. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.