step 1 personal branding: YOU

How to put lipstick on a pig

How to put lipstick on a pig?

Or why Personal Branding is not just about image and clothing…

I recently gave a webinar “Personal Branding: 5 steps to business and career success”. It was fun!

First I was so happy to see so many people subscribing to the webinar. It shows Personal Branding is hot, or at least people are curious to know what it is.

Second, I was happy because we received a lot of questions during and after the webinar. Again the proof that quite some people want to know more about Personal Branding.

One of the first questions asked during the webinar was: “What is Personal Branding?”

I decided to ask that question to the audience and one of the answers was: “Personal Branding is all about clothing, looks, image, right?”

That made me smile because indeed that is what a lot of people think Personal Branding is about.

And even though there are Personal Branding specialists who prefer focusing on that aspect, I, personally feel that Personal Branding is so much more.

First impressions…

It is so much more than the first impression you make when you enter the room.

It’s the second, and the third, and the fourth and so on….

And not only when you enter the room. Not only the physical aspects. Not only offline.

It’s also the impression you make online. Whom do you communicate with?

What does your website look like? What statements do you make?…

A pig with lipstick

But let us first focus on the physical aspect. OK, appearances matter. Have you got the look? I’ve always been an ugly duckling when I was younger.

So I know looks matter, trust me!

But really, I always say:

“you can put lipstick on a pig, but it still is a pig”.

So dressing up nicely, focusing on clothes and grooming alone won’t make you the next celebrity in town.

You have to start with the REAL YOU, the inner YOU!



I tend to compare it with a cupcake. The basics, the essence, the most important part of the cupcake is the cake. If the eggs are rotten, the cake won’t be eatable.

The real YOU

Translating that into Personal Branding terms: start with yourself. Who’s the real you? Here are some tips to uncover the real you:

  • Make your own SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • What’s your experience?
  • What are your Talents and Competencies?
  • What are your Values?
  • Tell me more about your passions
  • Think back to moments of success – what made them successful?
  • And how about down moments – what are the lessons learned there?

Take your time to think this over and discover the real YOU, your mastery, your expertise. Discover your cake.

The cherry on the cake

Only then you can start to think about the cherry on the cake.

Picture this: there is this special person who is near and dear to you. And he/she just loves cupcakes. You want to make a good impression and you decide to make that perfect cupcake. The cake better be good. But the topping, or shall I say the cherry, must be perfect, just the way that special person likes it. It’s that cherry that makes it the perfect cupcake for that person, for no one else.

Again returning to Personal Branding: once you know your mastery, think of your ideal client and his/her needs.

Now, what is your unique solution to that person’s needs?

And how will he/she know about it? Now we’re talking about the cherry on the cake.

Now we’re talking about packaging and Personal Branding.

Again, Personal Branding is so much more than image and clothing. It’s a process. And you have to have a goal and a plan. That is why I have created a 5 step program, conveniently called BRAND© to guide you through the different phases of the Personal Branding process. I help you build your YouBrand.


  • Keep on reading my blogs. This blog was about B, Become aware of the real YOU! In my BRAND© model. In the next 4 blogs I will deepen every step in more detail, the R, the A, the N and the D.
  • You can also see the replay of our webinar via this link
  • Or just drop me a mail 🙂

I’m also curious to know how you feel about Personal Branding. What’s your cherry on the cake? Tell me!

love to hear your thoughts, questions, worries, ideas… contact me +32.478.39.02.69 or leave a reply below

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