You may have read my blog on Professional Identity here.
I have now developed a course which builds upon over 10 years of experience in market research and branding, 5 of those running my own research business as a sole trader in addition to my therapy work and my task of setting up and branding a new charity. I will be drawing upon my experiences with small family businesses to large multinationals in order to ask you the right questions about your brand and what it stands for. The brand that is YOU.
Who is the course for?
This course is for YOU if:
- You already work for yourself but do not have a ‘brand’ as such, and feel that the lack of a brand is negatively affecting your business
- You want to work for yourself but have no clue where to start in terms of creating a professional identity
- You still have another job, but you’d like to dedicate yourself 100% to self employment – and you need to be sure about your ‘brand’ in order to do this!
- You want to create a website for your business, but you’ve no idea how to design it
- You want your business to feel like YOU, but currently, it just feels like work!
- You’ve spent money on marketing courses and joined social media ‘entrepreneur groups’ – but you’re still lost in terms of your brand identity (needed BEFORE you start your marketing!)
There are hundreds of courses available nowadays to help you market your business and apparently make millions through social media marketing and the creation of online courses. There are also many many Facebook, LinkedIn and other groups to join in order to promote your business, learn from webinars, meet up and share with like-minded people. However, I have seen many such groups and courses brush over the huge subject of both brand and professional identity – for example, by encouraging members to ask other people in the group what they think of your logo or your video and taking it from there, or assuming that all professions and professionals must use the same marketing methods, channels and ‘sales speak.’
So how is this course different?
This course is NOT a marketing course. It is a course in finding your professional identity, that being, the unique brand that is YOU. It is a course focused on uncovering professional authenticity, in order for you to be able to create a brand that really and truly represents who you are and what you are about IN REAL LIFE! It is about blurring the lines between work and personal life, lessening the compartmentalising, so that you can really live what you preach and can bring to life the brand you already are. It is also about helping you to understand how you are (or will be) different to others in your profession – and in this way, encouraging you to be more confident in what you do.
During the course, I will be asking you questions about your professional identity, which will be tied in to the experiences in your life which have led you to where you are now. The course, despite being professionally focused, is also therapeutic, in that it will help you to tackle your inner blocks – those voices from the past which may be barricading you in, creating internal walls and fences in your brain,and holding you back from being your true self in your working life.
I will also teach you a little about qualitative market research and encourage you to go out and find the right sample of people with whom to test your ideas, after we finish the course. If you wish to go further with this, I will show you how you can run your own online qualitative research project in order to fully understand your target market, ensuring that you test your new products, services, marketing ideas and logo with the type of target that who will actually be using them. If you’d like to ONLY do this, or would like me to run it FOR you instead, contact me here for a quote.
How will the course be run?
The course will consist of 6 x 1 hour sessions and 1 x 2 hour kickoff session. In-between each session there will be homework tasks and I will be available on email to answer any questions you may have about those tasks. We will book each subsequent session after the homework task is completed.
Although each course is tailored to your specific needs (which are determined in our pre-kickoff Professional Identity Questionnaire) each course also follows a set structure designed to firstly help you go within to understand who you are personally and professionally and where you want to go with your career, and then bring this understanding out and turn it into your unique brand positioning. I will be using archetypes, pictures, objects, maps and dialogical exploration to help us on the path of uncovering and understanding your unique brand. I will also use my own intuition to point out any symbolic or psychological elements I notice which may be impacting on the expression of your professional identity.
In terms of physical execution of branding ideas, I will be exploring with you various colours, lettering styles, materials, graphics, objects, websites, phrases and other brand executions towards the end of the course, in order to determine how to best bring your brand to life, once you are sure you have an idea that is authentically you.
What about afterwards?
After this course, you should:
- Have a very clear picture of a) what your brand identity currently is and b) what it will be (one that authentically represents you as a professional)
- Have dealt with any psychological blocks that were in the way of getting in touch with your professional identity, or be in the process of doing so
- Feel inspired to write your 5 year business plan from a new perspective, one that feels more authentically YOU
- Feel confident and clear when answering questions about your experiences, your knowledge and most importantly, your products and services
- Be able to brief designers and creatives who have the capabilities to bring your brand to life through graphics, illustrations, articles and brand positionings which resonate for you
- Be able to continuously and consciously deal with any sense of shame that you have about putting the ‘real you’ out there for the world to see
- If relevant: Have the layout for your website designed with a list of people who can work with you on this (as well as respective prices)
I will also offer you, at an extra cost, the possibility of some coaching on setting up your very own qualitative research platform, which is the method of research now used by thousands of enterprises around the world, particularly big business. These research platforms can be used to explore in a closed and monitored environment, issues such as:
- What your target sample wants and needs
- How they are likely to react to a variety of logos and positionings
- How they see YOU and what they feel YOU represent for them as a brand
- You can also explore more general topics such as what is happening in your field of interest, who are the people to watch and how can you best compete?
The most important thing is not what 10 people on Facebook (or 10 friends/family members) think of your new logo, your promotional video, or your magazine article, it is how authentically each symbolic brand act represents YOU and what you are all about personally and professionally. It is this sense of solidity about your brand (a communication about your Self) that will help you to achieve happiness and your own brand of success at work.
How do I book?
As an introductory offer, the course will cost only €400 in total for the summer months of June, July and August. This includes the 8 hours of face to face or skype meetings, the reviewing all homework tasks and the setting and reviewing of the questionnaire which will determine the exact direction of our sessions. It also includes our various email interactions and provision of all necessary materials.
This is NOT an online course and there will be NO videos of me talking for you to sit through for hours on end! It is about exploring together what you want and need and what is currently holding you back, and then putting a plan into place to help you get to an appropriate, resonant and relevant expression of your brand identity. Hopefully, this will help to make your marketing more seamless and your working life much more enjoyable in the long term!
You can book onto the course by clicking below. All courses must be paid fully in advance to ensure both yours and my commitment to establishing a strong brand and secure professional identity.
As soon as you are booked onto the course, you will receive the initial questionnaire to fill in prior to our 2 hour kick-off session which will take place either in Galway, Abbeyknockmoy or via Skype. Please be as thorough as possible with the initial questionnaire – do not be afraid to write too much! The questions are designed to get you thinking straight away and to prepare you for our first session, as well as to give me all the necessary background I will need to start helping you in the most efficient way possible.