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  • Writer's pictureHeather Lloyd-Martin, ACC

Are Old Work Traumas Messing with Your Personal Branding? Try This...

Have you tried to brand yourself online, but it didn’t feel authentic – or successful?

Here’s how old, musty work traumas could be messing with your mind – and your personal branding.

Here’s the thing about having years of experience and knowing your stuff inside and out.

It also means you’ve experienced situations that caused you to question your brilliance and made you feel “less than.”

  • Maybe you were suddenly laid off from your job.

  • Maybe an old boss used to ignore every new idea you had (or worse, claimed it as their own.)

  • Maybe a client blamed you for things you couldn’t control and constantly complained about your pricing.

  • Or maybe, a friend or partner “gently” advised you that you’re not ready to start a business, get on stage, or go for massive, life-changing opportunities.

That’s not even counting the normal life and business ebbs and flows that knock us off our game and make us question our brilliance.

Like you, I’ve had my share of funky work situations.

I’ve had to calmly explain that, yes, with my 23+ years of experience, I charge more than someone just out of college.

I’ve had to push for comparable speaker compensation and exposure (typically compared to male counterparts with less experience.)

And I’ve been told multiple times, “We’re paying you, so we expect you to do X, Y, and Z extra things – otherwise, we’re canceling the agreement.

Most of the time, these funky situations roll off our backs. They’re annoying, but they don’t burrow into our souls.

But some situations – even if they don’t seem like a big deal at the moment – cause buggy, unhelpful programming in our brains.

Here’s the most painful part:

We don’t always realize the old work traumas that have made us feel “less than.”

And that’s an issue when we're diving into our personal branding.

Because if we don’t feel “good enough,” we won’t go for that life-changing speaking gig, write that eye-catching LinkedIn profile, or choose to only work in our Zone of Genius (those times when we’re working in the flow and doing brilliant things.)

We have too many other voices in our heads to hear our own voice screaming for attention.

How Slow Branding recognizes old, unhelpful work traumas.

The thing about personal branding is – you can come up with the most extraordinary value statement and have someone craft amazing conversion-oriented content for your site…

But it won’t work if you don’t believe it about yourself.

It’s just a bunch of B.S. words.

Sure, the website or LinkedIn profile may convert – but that same energy won’t carry through during a phone call or email exchange.

It’s because you’re still reacting to your old trauma script, and you haven’t internalized the awesomeness that is you.

Which is normal.

Because if you’re not unearthing the stuff that keeps you stuck and small, how can you showcase and believe in your brilliance?

It’s more than hiring a good copywriter. Doing the internal Slow Branding work means combing through your old programming, debugging your code, and finding what works for you.

It doesn’t mean you have to reopen old wounds – but it does mean focusing on your Zone of Genius and realizing when buggy programming pops up.

Because we all have buggy programming.

The thing is, that’s not something that you can do in a day – or a month. Digging in takes time, especially if those old gremlins sound like your voice.

But taking the time to recognize your old work traumas and feel your internal power again makes it worth it.

You’re moving slowly and recalibrating yourself to go fast.

I’ve done this work myself. By spending the time to recalibrate my programming, I realized that zany Heather is Heather working in her Zone of Genius.

This concept was in my face last week while recording my B2B SEO writing class for LinkedIn Learning. (I’m so excited – the course hopefully drops in March or April!)

Here’s a photo of my recording booth.

I have to admit: I was hard on myself during the entire course build-out process. My producer even told me so. My old, buggy programming reared its ugly head, and I found myself in “it’s not going to be good enough” mode.

Even if I knew what I was creating was really good.

But you know those times when you trust the process and decide to tell your inner programming to take a hike? That’s what I did – and I’m so glad I did.

The wonderful folks at LinkedIn consistently encouraged me to work in my Zone of Genius. Instead of encouraging me to be “corporate Heather,” the team told me to be my fun, zany self during my voiceover recordings. I worked in fun lines like, “You rock” and wacky slide photos, and they loved it.

My producer realized I would be good in front of the camera, so we changed strategy on the fly and filmed two professionally produced videos the second day I was there.

It wasn’t planned. We did it because we thought viewers would enjoy it.

Before all my Slow Branding internal work, I may have tried to be a little less… me. The final result would still have been good, but not as good as when I was zany Heather.

And let me tell you, feeling fully immersed in my Zone of Genius felt fucking fantastic – and I know that vibe carried through on video and in the recordings. I had fun.

So, if you feel like your branding isn’t entirely… you – it’s because it’s not. It may represent parts of you. But not the entire you.

You may have some traumas to clear – and a Zone of Genius to discover.

Once you’ve got that dialed in, your personal brand will feel more like you – and you’ll start seeing the results you want.

It’s going to feel AMAZING when you do.

Does Slow Branding resonate with you?

Is it time to pull yourself out of invisibility and authentically promote your brand? I'm launching a 4-month, 1:1 coaching program where you'd work directly with me.

If this sounds cool, I have just three spots available for the very first Slow Branding coaching program! Contact me and we can chat about fit and the next steps.

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