Personal branding means different things to different people. 
To some people in business that I’ve met it’s about being known for wearing a particular colour, always wearing yellow socks or dressing to match their logo. This is all well and good, it might help you be remembered and gets you known within your network. It will say something about you and affect how you are perceived. 
 
To marketers personal branding means something completely different; to a graphic designer it may be more about choosing one font and colour over another because of the psychology and what that particular sans serif says compared to that one.  
 
What we would all agree on is that personal branding is about keeping your message cohesive. 
 
To me, in my profession as a colour and image consultant it’s about looking the part – whatever the part means to you. 
 
I deliver a talk about it. My talk is called “If it looks like a duck…” 
It’s lunchtime, Wednesday 17 October, I’d been out to a networking coffee morning, Paul had been pottering at home on a day off. 
We’d eaten lunch and were chatting about this and that. It was an ordinary day. Paul was clearing up the lunch pots one minute and the next he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! It wasn’t one of those grand gesture pre-planned proposals, it was very spontaneous and from the heart. Of course, without hesitation, I said yes! Ten minutes later he’d left to do the school run and I was sitting at the kitchen table letting it sink in! 
 
We decided to tie the knot sooner rather than later and the date was set. Then we had lots of decisions to make…including the dreaded WHAT TO WEAR!!!???!!! 
 
I started to think about what I might like to wear to get married in and like any self-respecting bride set about creating a Pinterest board and looking for ideas. I pinned everything that I liked and began to see patterns forming. It was becoming obvious what I liked and there were themes emerging…so far so good. 
 
Then I had a rethink, I changed my mind and went off in a totally different direction. I got a picture in my head of EXACTLY what I wanted. This, of course, does not exist on ANY Pinterest boards, only in my head. I realise that this dress is going to have to be a bespoke creation and set about researching the typical cost with a seamstress. 
So here we are, it’s February and the media is just bonkers with Valentine’s Day stuff and all things romantic. Red roses, chocolate and prosecco, love hearts everywhere. Marks and Spencer’s even have a love sausage you can woo your beloved with on the 14th! 
There's so much stuff about love and romance in the air but my question to you is do you love YOURSELF enough? And how do you show it? How many of us do actually love ourselves (and I don’t mean in an arrogant, show off type of way) and take care to treat our ourselves accordingly? 
 
Do you take good care of yourself? Do you look after yourself as if you’re a precious thing to be loved and treasured? Nope? Thought not. I’m the first one to admit that I don't possibly treat myself as well as I could. Quite often us women feel guilty about spending time on ourselves. We look after our families and prioritise making sure they have what they need, and we slide down the list. 
 
More recently I have been making time for other things that I enjoy and giving myself a break. I realise that all work and no play is not good long term. I’ve started mosaic classes, picked up my knitting needles, joined the WI. All things that are ‘me time’. It's too easy for me to end up whiling away the hours working on social media. These hobbies might seem only little things but if we start thinking about the bigger picture and self esteem and self worth it's all linked to self care. Not selfish, important. 
What suited you then might not suit you now... 
You’ve had your colours done. 
 
You’ve sat in bright, natural daylight with a white cape, possibly a matching turban if you’re colouring your hair, no foundation or concealer to even out your skin tone, to hide the rosy cheeks or those fine red lines around your nose. 
 
She has looked into your eyes with a little light up magnifying glass to see the subtle nuances and flecks of colour in them. She’s asked you questions about how you tan, what colour your hair was when you were little. She’s even looked at your veins on the back of your wrist. 
 
You’ve had hundreds of pieces of coloured fabric draped across your chest as the consultant looks intently at what happens to your eyes and your skin each time she transfers one colour to the next. 
She decides whether you have warm or cool undertones to your skin. She assesses your levels of colour and tonal contrast and she will then declare which ‘season’ you fall into. And this is where many colour analysis consultations stop. You are presented with a pre-made swatch* and sent on your way. These are your colours to wear. They suit you and that’s that... 
Opinions are like a***holes – we’ve all got one. 
Do you have a friend who has something to say about anything and everything? And who likes to share it with anyone and everyone. 
 
They like the sound of their own voice. 
 
I get invited onto local TV and radio occasionally to give my opinions on topics, sometimes it’s stuff in the news, other times it’s local interest stuff, sometimes they ask me to talk about what I do and the reasons and benefits behind certain things such as the 21 Day Style Challenge, Glum to Glam workshops, the charity Swish clothes swaps that I organise etc. 
 
For some of the light-hearted topics it’s easy to provide an opinion and chat easily about stuff. Other times when it’s a bit heavier I’m aware that I might sit on the fence slightly, hedging my bets, being diplomatic one might say. The other guest I was on with last week asked me if I was one of those controversial type guests. I’m not. But I have been on several times with that type. 
 
I find myself being a bit cautious about being controversial and alienating people – you never know who might be watching. 
 
 
It's free, fun, empowering, confidence boosting and best of all beats the January blues, come and join in.  
 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me… 
Remember the ditty from school? 
 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What bollocks that is...on my Facebook feed recently an article came up from Twitter July 2017 with the hashtag #TheySaid. 
 
#TheySaid 
The article is basically women relaying stories about comments made by parents or other people during childhood or teenage years that stuck well into adult life. Quite often offhand, throw away comments from our nearest and dearest that weren’t necessarily said with malice but have an enormous impact for a very long time. 
 
These words have cut deep. 
 
There are scars. Some are still open wounds, twenty, thirty or forty years on...comments made about our bodies, our physical appearance, our weight, perceived inadequacies related to our appearance. 
 
I first met Sue in 2014, she was out of love with her wardrobe and was often stressed about what to wear. Not any more! Read about Sue's journey as she's defined and refined her personal style, colours and image over the past few years. Definitely a sucess story. Here she is answering questions posed by my Style Sisterhood Community (free FB Group)
1. What type of thing have you done with Lisa?  
(A) Colour analysis (in person) 
(B) 5 steps workshop (twice)  
3 x 21 day online style challenges 
 
2. What actually happens?  
(A) Lisa chatted to me about what I do, my social/leisure as well as work, why I felt I wanted my colours done, what I felt I might get out of the process, what wardrobe challenges I had or issues with clothes, how I felt about my clothes & whether I liked shopping for clothes, where I shopped etc. 
 
3. How did you feel before?  
(A) A bit nervous. I had met Lisa before through networking but I was really keen to know more about what she did & how she could help me. 
 
4. How did you feel during the process?  
(A) Relaxed & we had a few laughs too 
 
5. How did you feel afterwards?  
(A) Amazed & enlightened. Much more confident that the clothes we had edited for my wardrobe were suited to my colour palette. NB Further work in  
(B) helped me understand my Own Style & why some of these 'me colour' clothes still didn't feel right on me! This has been a gradual education process & I am still learning all the time. 
 
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