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How Your Personal Brand Supports Your Launch Efforts with Monique Bryan

What happens if we jump right into a launch without having clarity on our personal brand? Monique Bryan, a personal brand coach, spills the details on how our branding and launch intersects and what we can do immediately to strengthen ours.

In this episode, we talked about...

  • what exactly personal branding is
  • why your personal brand matters more than ever 
  • how you could be losing clients if you don't have a digital footprint
  • balancing authentic while still maintaining boundaries on what you share
  • borrowing energy from others to help you show up 

...and much, much more

Things mentioned in this episode

Get on the waitlist for The Launch Playbook Club here https://www.saravartanian.com/launch-playbook


Grab Monique Bryan's FREE Juicy Content Guide here: https://bit.ly/juicycontentguide

Work with Sara for launch copy: https://www.saravartanian.com/work-with-me 

Learn more about Monique Bryan

Monique runs a successful personal brand consultancy while being a brand herself. When you work with her, you’re getting a creative director for your brand. She will train you on how to clarify your messaging, build your unique brand personality and up-level your style profile so you can amplify your credibility in your industry and use your personal brand as a visual communication power tool.

Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing

Monique: Focusing on the why you're coming out here the who you want to reach, sometimes even know who you want to be like, like, if you don't know or you're struggling to conjure up that energy. Sometimes you need to borrow it from people. Sometimes you need to borrow the belief from other people, you know, and that's where coaches and things come in. But even people like you know, our online mentors, we call them that we follow online, like if you're having to, if you're struggling with how your energy is going to show up, then you need to go and borrow it from someone who and get yourself pumped up before you show up. But the most important thing is the showing up.

You're listening to the launch playbook podcast, the weekly podcast for service based business owners to discover the starts, stops and tools of transformation that go into launching their online offers. I'm your host, Sara Vartanian. And if you want to launch your ideas into the world faster, with more success and less burnout. Well, friend, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there.

In this week's episode of the launch playbook podcast I'm joined by Monique Bryan who runs successful personal brand consultancy with being a brand herself. When you work with Monique, you're getting a creative director for your brand. She'll train you on how to clarify your messaging that unique brand personality and uplevel your style profile so you can amplify your credibility and your industry and use your personal brand as a visual communication power tool. Monique's motto is our personal brand is all we have. So it better be juicy and delicious or don't bother. He won't eat. I'm so glad you're here.

Monique: Hey, Sarah, thanks so much for having me. I'm excited for this conversation. Me too.

Sara: We just had such a great discussion the other day all about launching and branding and how they intersect. So I really can't wait to dive back into the folks listening in here too.

Monique: I know we have such great conversations offline. I feel like we just need to walk around with a recorder because we're always like, just so many juicy nuggets.

Sara: Good. I know. Well, you know what we do record them too, don't we?

Monique: Actually

Sara: Usually you helping me with my whole all my coffee in my life. But we do have them recorded. There are some snippets in there are for sure. So before we dive into all things, personal branding, can you tell us a little bit about you and how you got started in the work you're doing?

Monique: Sure can? Well, I'm a former fashion designer, three times startup founder, serial entrepreneurs. So my background is in all things style and design. I worked for a national retailer for almost 10 years, you know, traveling and throughout Asia, facilitating relationships, helping build, you know, I was really in this in the space of product development. And I fell in love with that. And you do I did that like my whole life. Like since I was younger, I always wanted to be in the fashion space. And then I realized I wanted to build something of my own. And I went out on my own, I launched a jewelry company, but I sold internationally. And I liked it for a while I liked it for a while. And I realized, you know, that wasn't it either. I got into the startup world, I started meeting a lot of people in the tech industry, and learning what startup even meant and raising funds and things like that. And I joined another company, too, because I wasn't sure about what my dream was going to be. So I was like, Hey, I'm gonna hitch my wagon to somebody else's and see what happens. And it's funny when you do that, because your dream is just you know, a lot of the times we're just we're just running from what the inevitable is. So that didn't work out either. The business was great, but it wasn't right for me. And what was funny is I had after many different attempts at many different things I decided I'm like, maybe I'm not an entrepreneur, after all, I was like, you know, maybe I should just go get a regular job. And I always find it really funny because that's something that all entrepreneurs say when they're like tired, like the break for an entrepreneur is to go get a regular job, or as other people learning how to read their job being like, this is so hard, like, no, please give it stability. So I did, I went back and I went got a regular job and three months in, I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer. And that, like pushed me into my dream, I say because it was the best and the worst thing that could have happened to me. But when things like that happen, like when really traumatic things happen, where you may now look at you have a timeline on your life, possibly, you get real clear about things. I was like, oh, all these things I was avoiding or the dreams I wasn't pursuing. Like, I'm going to do it and I'm going to do it messy without having like figuring out like, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm like, I'm just gonna do it. And I launched my business from my sick bed that was back that was probably three and a half years ago now. And I've been running in the personal branding business development space ever since as a brand coach, I run online programs, I do brand photoshoots I have a podcast and I get to talk to amazing people like you all the time.

Sara: Wow, that is such a journey and I feel like I want to can really relate to I just recorded a few weeks ago and episode about like my 10 year journey into becoming a launch copywriter and with all like the ups and downs and and all the things that you're seeing that we do along the way as we try to figure out where we're really going towards and I'm probably sort of know right deep down where you want to end up. But it takes a while for us to really own it and get there.

Monique: Yeah, the owning it I think is such it's such a critical because it's like, once we own it, it's like, it's, it's like now it really matters. Like now we get it wrong, it really is gonna sting. And I think that's why we avoid it.

Sara: I think so to really jump from thing to thing until we well, we all really do that thing niggling on our gut, right? 

Monique: Every time at night. Yeah, the thing that makes me dream and keeps you up at night. And you're like, yeah, I'm gonna get to that thing. But first, I got to do this thing first, or I got to be really good at this, or I have to be certified in that. We're having to have this amount of clients to prove to everyone and myself that I'm worthy. When your gifts or your gifts, you know, you can get better at things. Definitely you can improve, you can become an expert, but the gifts that were given to you is like those aren't going anywhere.

Sara: Yeah, well, I did not have have not had breast cancer. I don't know if you know that my mother had breast cancer. And she was diagnosed with 47. And as soon as that happened, she went in with diagnosis for like, 10 years. She just passed away. But in all that time, there was something when that happened when I realized like life is so short that I knew even though I was teaching at the time, I remember thinking like, I don't want to do this forever. Like I want to go do my own thing. I'd love teaching, right. But I was like, I don't want to be ruled by the schedule. I want to have more free time because I know I suddenly start spending a lot of time with my mom. And like we actually like went on some trips and stuff whenever she was feeling good. And I wanted like the space for that. And realizing looking, like you said like how there's nothing like diagnosis that I mean, it wasn't my own. But like it's someone close to me that makes you reconsider? Yes. And like your priorities with that. So yeah, when when she she was given six months to live, this is six years, because six years actually this weekend when she passed away, but we moved our family of North for a year to Halliburton where my parents were living at the time. And so like we give a space away from our jobs. And that's like, what was really how I ended up starting my business full time. Wow, I never went back to teaching. But I do think I remember her and I were talking like before to pass and I was like, I don't think I'll ever gonna come back. Like, I want to just do my own thing because like, who knows what's gonna happen like, you just don't know. You don't gonna happen in life. So like, let's have the life that we want to have.

Monique:  100%. I'm so sorry about your mom. I didn't know that. None of conversations we've had I did not know that. And even though it wasn't you, yourself like the peep. I always say like I'm I rather it have been me than for me to have watched someone I love go through that because it is so there's such a helplessness feeling around that. And when you're in it, it's different. You're in it. But I I really don't know how I would have handled someone around me going through what I went through, like, I would have been a wreck. So it was what to take it on. Right for the people that we absolutely right. Especially if it's your mom, like, come on. I couldn't imagine my mom. Like I would just lose my mind. So the good thing is the only silver lining is that you had some time with her to like, go on some trips and cool stuff.

Sara: We and we had a good long 10 years. Oh, that's amazing. That's just yeah, we had a lot of time together like that. So but yeah.

Monique: really people hug your loved one now

Sara: Yes. As it as a point of that, too. I always like appreciate that. I think it's like almost every month right? You're like feeling on the first I see it. And yeah, I'm like it reminds me I'm telling you.

Monique: Good. I'm and that is like the thing, like I made it my mission when I was diagnosed because it was such a shock. Like, I didn't have anyone in my space who had breast cancer, we didn't talk about breast cancer, talk about checking ourselves. I was 30 I just turned 36 like it just wasn't a conversation to be high. And when I met someone else who was who was diagnosed at 26. And now she's made it her mission to really make sure early you know, people are checking women are checking themselves in early detection is the cure we have, like I took that on as well as like, even though if you look me up online, I'm going to talk a lot about your personal brand and who you are and going after your dreams. I'm also every the first of the month, I'm going to be like, I need you to go check yourself women because you are the most important asset in your business. And if you're not taking care of yourself, what are you doing?

Sara: Yeah, for sure. And I always really appreciate that you put it out there because I'm telling you, it makes me go check my health. Yes, it's working. It works. So tell us a little bit about what personal branding is just we can all get on the same page of what it means.

Monique: Well, your personal brand, I like to say is your promise. It's your promise to everyone that at every touch point, they're going to have a similar experience. So it's really like reputation management. But I think as business owners, we forget that just because we have a business and we may be the face behind our business that we're behind our business and our personal brand doesn't matter. And more and more as each year pass as each new new cycle come through. We know that the person behind the brand, consumers care about who the heck they're giving their money to. And they want to know that you share the same values. They want to know that you guys are aligned. They want to like you It builds up that trust factor and you Such, every industry is so crowded that how the one thing that can have you stand out amongst the rest is investing in your personal brand. So people can be like, yeah, I could give my money to that big company, or I could give it to this person, because I really like them. I like what they stand for. I like how they show up. I like how their values are aligned with my values.

Sara: I love that thank you for giving that clarity, because I think that's like something branding gets thrown around a lot. And there's not always a lot of clarity around what it means 100% helps.

Monique: And I think it's different in different industries for different people. But I really, and we all have a brand, whether we like it or not like whether we have a business or not, we have a personal brand. It's the thing that people are saying about you when you're not in the room, that is your personal brand. So it's really, you know, my I've made it my job and my mission to just make sure people are curating that conversation. Because it really sucks that our online presence is really like the one deciding factor for a lot of people nowadays, right? Unless somebody came referred to you, the one thing people are going to do is Google you and look you up. And it's the question is, what are they going to find? And you would hate for them to find information about you that wasn't true. And then make a decision about you based on what they see, that's just devastating, especially if you're a small business is like because you didn't take the time to take down old posts or old comments or your bio is not up to date, and people don't know who you help you get, you know, passed over for really great contracts and opportunities.

Sara: Right? And you're saying also to like if we or if we don't have anything out there at all, either?

Monique: Oh, forget it.

Sara: It's like you who aren't like you're saying who are we compared to this person, they're gonna go for the person they get to know, right? 

Monique: It's like, there's nothing out there. The trust factor goes just like down to zero with like, who we can't be out here giving our money to nobody's to like strangers or nobody with no digital footprint at all. It just does. We don't have any, it's not enough information for somebody to make a decision if there's nothing out there.

Sara: And so when we're talking about like, personal brand, how do we know how much to share? Because I feel like that comes up a lot in conversations with other business owners. It's like, well, do I have to tell them everything to show all my kids like, where do we deny there's doctor? Yeah, like, how do we figure that out? The last doctor's appointment? 

Monique: Yes, that is a that is a really great question. And what I like to say is don't put anything out there on social media that you wouldn't want on a billboard. And so it is about curating your visibility. So not being inauthentic. But not having not feeling obligated to share everything with the world. Because really, your online presence is about you. But it's not necessarily for you. Right? Like it's for the people you want to help the people you want to serve the people you want to bring into your circle, the people you want to align with, what are some of the things I always like to just take the take the stance of what's in it for me, if I was the onlooker, like, if I'm the audience, I'm the potential customer, what's in it for me. So share things that would relate back to what you say you do, or who you say you help. And people do want a snapshot into your personal life. But you get to decide how much of that personal life they actually see if you're comfortable sharing your kids you can and you don't have to if you're comfortable sharing partner, and the behind the scenes of that, and you going to dinner and going on trips and going on vacations, but you don't have to write like my husband, he doesn't even have a social media account. And he's like, do not put me on your social media without my permission, please, that she's just a private with my partner, right? It's just a private person. He's like, he didn't even know why I was taking pictures tons and all the time. He's like, nobody cares about us going to dinner. I'm like, you have no idea what people care about. People love the mundane. They love their like they love all that. So hiding, it was a showing it shows different facets to different sides to you make people want to see that you I share the same interest. I also say like don't share anything that you don't want to get into a Twitter war about where you're going to share something that's an open wound or you're sensitive about that if somebody made a comment, it's going to trigger you and you're going to get into a heated debate unless you want to heated debate. If you're a heated debate, type it out, go get it done. But if you're like, No, I don't want nobody come in and step into me about this subject, then don't do it. That's what I would say keep those things under wraps. But there are a lot of things that as much as people think I'm really extroverted, and I share a lot which I do this a lot. I don't share it. It's very, it's a curated experience you're seeing and I always like to keep in mind like, What did my audience want to know if I talk about freedom, and I talk about life, you know, building a lifestyle around the business that you want, and going and living your juicy delicious life. I want to show then me living my juicy delicious life, practicing what I preach so people can really understand. It's possible. This is what it looks like. This is what it could look like or this is what my version is what would your version be.

Sara: When I think of you when you're talking about this? It makes me think of a conversation we've had about your Starbucks experience. And because like when I think of you know, Monique, I think of like a juicy brand. I think of like some you know, great clothes. Colorful, loving, colorful. Exactly. And your Starbucks and I know like, we always talk about your really delicious looking foods you're eating. Yes. And I will continue and I am not a food blogger, but I will take pictures of all of the foods because restaurants like,

Monique: like come on, like what's more fun than looking at delicious food and like then looking at the restaurant and going there, like

Sara: luxury boxes, I've seen some of your desserts. But let's talk about Starbucks and how that relates to your brand. Because we had this conversation once we're doing some reading, right?

Monique: Yes, yes. And you know, Sarah had asked me like, why Starbucks? Like, what's the deal? It's like Starbucks does not pay me and they really need to give you a partnership deal already. I talked about them so much. But here's the thing I love about Starbucks, it's not even that their coffee is the best, the coffee is fine. But I know it's a chain. It's not the same as maybe going to you know, your local coffee person, which where I live, we don't have a ton of that anyway. So there's that. But the thing I love about Starbucks is I am getting a curated great experience every time I go, not sometimes not depending on who's behind the register. They've been trained in a way that they greet you that they're friendly. They I've had people comment, comment about my clothes, my nails, my sparkly mask, and I can ask for the most elaborate order and nobody blinks an eye. That's the type of experience I want. I don't want to ever feel like I'm an inconvenience because of what I want. So if I asked for, you know, a half decaf grond a coconut half sweet, double extra shot light on the whip latte anywhere else I go. They would literally be like, Oh my god, can you not? But they're, they're like, absolutely with a smile. They get it wrong. They will literally make me a brand new one. Without a blink of an eye. That is customer experience right there. That's brand. 

Sara: I love it! And that's so much like part of like your brand, right? Because uh you like you that's something you choose to share. Right that you drink it that you like that experience. Yeah, you like that? Like that? Kind of like luxury to that right?

Monique: And that's so much like part of like your brand, right? Because uh you like you that's something you choose to share. Right that you drink it that you like that experience. Yeah, you like that? Like that? Kind of like luxury to that right? 


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