It has been a long and wonderful journey. Today, I am thrilled to announce the birth of my personal brand. After more than eight years of “try and error”, I finally gave myself into the hands of professionals. The boutique design agency MUCHO from Barcelona and I have worked passionately to bring this personal brand to life. I am more than happy with the results.
But what is a personal brand and how did it happen? Maybe it is something for you too to consider in the future. So here is an overview of what MUCHO and I did over the last couple of months.
If you are interested in the topic of personal branding, Wikipedia, as usual, is a good spot to begin your research. In general, it is relevant for anyone who is an individual warrior on the dark battlefields of professional services. You must shine to be seen. Your personal brand is the light.
With MUCHO I followed a six-step process.
Step 1: Live training
A personal brand is not just any cool design or a fancy website. Everything about the brand is you. You are the brand. Therefore, my friends from MUCHO wanted to experience a training session with me. We organized a 4-hour session. After the session they knew me much better and the healthy craziness they were dealing with.
Step 2: Questionnaire
In order to understand my personality, my inner self, my values better, they sent me a questionnaire. One of the questions was: “If you were an event, which one would it be and why?” I answered: “The opera La Bohème by Puccini. Enormous musical beauty combined with brutal emotions. For me opera is the highest intellectual level – music, singing, acting – all at the same time.”
Step 3: Workshop
Now the work began. Following the first two steps we organized a two-hour workshop based on the Golden Circle leadership concept of Simon Sinek. We skipped the “What I do”. They knew that already from the live training session. Instead we focused on the “Why I do what I do” and the “How do I do it”. I had to put key values of mine like creativity, optimism or vulnerability where they belonged – why or how. Once I had everything distributed, they gave me stock photos that correlated with those expressions. The idea was to go beyond those abstract words and think in visuals. A great exercise by the way!
I was missing Luciano Pavarotti where it said passion. No problem; they printed my Luciano in a spilt second.
With the values and images done, they offered me also a number of symbols and fonts. I chose my favorites. Finally, they put everything at the wall and I had to explain why I chose those specific images, symbols and fonts. They took notes. Once we were done, we went for a well-deserved caña de cerveza.
Step 4: Brand design
That was the point when I could lean back. MUCHO had to let their creativity juices flow. It took them four weeks. Then we met for the big presentation.
The most important element of all is the FM-logo. I fell in love with it instantly.
The DNA of my trainings is positive and constructive feedback. I call it PLUS and PLUSPLUS. So what the MUCHO guys did was, they printed a big fat plus sign on a sheet of paper. Then, they cut it horizontally and vertically in the center and started to play with the four fragments. If you look at the FM-logo now, you will see that is is made of PLUS fragments.
I love a second aspect of this logo. The white space between the two “letters” represents the mountain without a peak, which, for me, is public speaking, rhetoric, charisma. Perfection does not exist, but we can always climb higher and higher.
In order to make the “M” more visible, titles are placed in a 45º angle. This gives it also a fresh touch:
Apart from the symbolism, MUCHO also created a personal color code for me. I will only use these colors from now on:
Step 5: Brand production
My new friends from MUCHO started to produce a number of templates for me: invoice, letter, Speech Structure Building method, or a promotional one pager. For all materials and the website I had to buy a font: GT Walsheim Pro. At first, I hesitated… 450€??? But – it is a font that fits me and my personality 100%. There are no accidents.
Step 6: The new website
The last step was to create a completely new web presence. MUCHO hooked me up with Fery Rohrer, a Swiss web creator who has lived in Barcelona since 1994. With Brooklyn Child we found a top-notch WordPress theme, but nevertheless Fery had to dive deep into CSS & Co.
On 15 September 2017, I finally launched the new web and my new personal brand. It has been a long and wonderful journey. And if I have learned once again one thing, it is: work with pros, work with experts.
Thank you MUCHO, thank you Fery, thank you all for being part of my next chapter.