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A space for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their influence while staying true to their values.

welcome to the
Bright Voices in Business Podcast WITH CHLOE DECHOW

Get ready to build your business on your terms

Join your host Chloe Dechow as she interviews industry thought leaders, shares her expertise as a thought leadership strategist and consultant, and pushes you toward sharing your opinion on a global scale. 





You’ve probably heard the term “personal brand” everywhere lately. It’s become a buzzword in business, and for good reason. 

Beyond the buzzword, your personal brand can actually become your business’s superpower. That’s why in this episode I chatted with the brilliant Jessie Christensen about the magic of personal branding and thought leadership. From the importance of a consistent customer experience to the power of referrals, we covered it all. And let me tell you, it was inspiring! So, if you’re ready to infuse your personality into your brand and make a bigger impact, this episode is for you. 

During our conversation, we covered:

  • What personal branding means, and when to opt for creating a personal brand vs. a business brand.
  • Debunking common myths about having a personal brand – like needing to be an influencer.
  • Practical tips for developing a personal brand that reflects your authenticity and attracts your ideal audience. 
  • Opening up about our experiences of learning to leverage our unique strengths after toning them down in corporate. 
  • Celebrating great examples of women entrepreneurs who’ve woven their personal brand into the fabric of their businesses. 

Remember, personal branding is not just about being seen; it’s about being seen for who you truly are and the unique value you bring to the table.


FREE GUIDE: Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority

The Embody Your Brand Podcast episode with Chloe: Building Authority with Authenticity: Personal Branding & Thought Leadership

Jessie’s Brand Photo Shoot Instagram Post


West Haven Website: www.westhavencoaching.com

West Haven Instagram: @westhavencoaching

Chloe Dechow LinkedIn: @chloedechow


Website: www.jessie-christensen.com

The Embody Your Brand Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-embody-your-brand-podcast/id1694298746 

Instagram: @jessie__christensen


Jessie Christensen (00:00:00) – I feel like everyone’s like personal branding is the buzzword of 2024, but it’s true. We are more likely to buy from people that we trust, people that we connect with. You know, having a really strong personal brand gives us more referrals and helps build up an audience and an engaged community that rallies behind the work that we do and propels it forward no matter what it is that we do.

Chloe Dechow (00:00:27) – Hi, I’m Chloe Dechow and with more than a decade of experience working with thought leaders, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of conviction combined with purpose driven entrepreneurship. This podcast shows you how to authentically bring together leadership, equity, and marketing to build your authority so that you can grow your impact and scale your business. This is a space for elevating women’s voices and redefining what it means to be a thought leader. Together, we’ll unlock the potential of our bright voices and create a ripple effect of change that resonates far beyond the realms of business. This is the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Now let’s dive into today’s episode.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:13) – Welcome back to the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Today I’m joined with the lovely Jessie Christensen, and we’re going to be talking about personal branding and how it’s the same then and different than regular branding for your business as well as thought leadership. So Jessie is a brand strategist, creative director and a podcast host. I recently was on her podcast, Embody Your Brand, and let me just tell you, it is an excellent place to learn all about personal branding. Had a fantastic conversation and I’ll be sure to include that in the show notes. Jessie is on a mission to really help ambitious women articulate their brilliance, uplevel their business, and build a magnetic personal brand. Thanks so much for joining me, Jessie. I’m so excited to have you on my podcast now.

Jessie Christensen (00:02:04) – Thank you Chloe, it’s such an honor to be here, and I’m just so thrilled for the conversation we’re about to have.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:10) – Yes, I just want to give like a quick shout out to you in your recent pivot for yourself, because I have just been loving all the things you’re working on, especially this photoshoot that you recently did.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:23) – Like, I’m going to have to pick Jessie’s mind on, like how to get ready for a brand shoot and all those other fun things. So we’ll have to dive into that later.

Jessie Christensen (00:02:32) – Yeah, let’s do it. Thank you.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:35) – For the benefit of those listening, can you talk a little bit about what personal branding is? First and foremost, because there’s lots of different forms of branding. And some people might be like, okay, what in the world is a personal brand? So can you share a little bit about how you define personal branding in your space?

Jessie Christensen (00:02:55) – Yeah, absolutely. It’s such a great question. And it’s really in the name, it is building a brand around you and marketing your expertise rather than a product or a service. So when you have a personal brand, people think about you as the founder first and foremost, and then your expertise and what you can offer them and how you can help, does that make sense?

Chloe Dechow (00:03:21) – Yes, absolutely. And I think that’s where thought leadership and personal branding align really well because it’s around the person, not necessarily the business or a product.

Chloe Dechow (00:03:32) – Right. Like they’re an extension of those things in many ways, but it’s really centered around the person. So I’m curious if you feel that personal branding kind of like lives and breathes with that person and goes like to me it has almost like a longer shelf life, so to speak, because like the person might start like ten companies, right? They could be a serial entrepreneur, but they’re the constant among all these other different brands. So I’m kind of curious, like your take on how personal branding relates to the person or how long it exists compared to like, a company brand, right?

Jessie Christensen (00:04:08) – Don’t get me started, because I am such an advocate for all of the amazing benefits of having a personal brand. It gives you so much flexibility in pivoting and changing directions in targeting someone new. I mean, if you think about it, you as a human being naturally are going to grow and evolve and expand and have different interests and perhaps do different things throughout your career. I am a living testament to someone who’s had many shifts in what I do, but at the core of it all, like, that’s what makes us so valuable to the people that we serve.

Jessie Christensen (00:04:46) – And so when we build a personal brand, we’re really able to articulate what makes us unique and how our perspective, especially as a thought leader, is different and perhaps more valuable to the people that we serve. And so it definitely has a longer shelf life because it’s us, right? And at the same time, it’s just so much easier to connect and to build relationships human to human rather than business to business. It’s a dialogue that has been happening in the online space for quite some time now, and I’m so glad I feel like everyone’s like personal branding is the buzzword of 20. 24. But it’s true. We are more likely to buy from people that we trust, people that we connect with. You know, having a really strong personal brand gives us more referrals and help us build up an audience and an engaged community that rallies behind the work that we do and propels it forward no matter what it is that we do.

Chloe Dechow (00:05:47) – Yeah, it goes to that old saying of people buy from people, not from, you know, companies or products.

Chloe Dechow (00:05:54) – Really, at the end of the day, it’s all about relationship building. And so your personal brand is the outward expression of that relationship in a lot of ways.

Jessie Christensen (00:06:03) – Exactly. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:06:04) – Yeah. So you talked about personal branding being kind of the buzzword for 2024. I’m curious because once we start having maybe more visibility into a certain space, like personal branding, there can be some misconceptions or misunderstandings about what those buzzwords might mean. And so I’m curious for you. What kind of misconceptions are you uncovering as more people become aware of personal branding?

Jessie Christensen (00:06:34) – Yeah, that’s such a great question. I feel like a lot of times people can be hesitant about building their personal brand because they don’t want to be seen as an influencer, and I think there’s just a lot of negative connotation around that term in general. But at its core, that’s really what being a personal brand is to have influence, to shape perceptions, to grow a following, to get clients right. Like whatever our goal is, we have to have that influence piece.

Jessie Christensen (00:07:05) – And some people want that, like influencer title, other people don’t. And that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong there. But at the end of the day, that’s really what you’re doing when you’re building a personal brand. And it’s okay. I know for me, when I first started out, I was hesitant to share a lot about myself and my perspectives. And I think just in general, the world kind of likes to fit us in this box and tell us, like, what’s appropriate and what’s not. And oh, you know, stay in your lane and only speak up when you know it’s asked of you, rather than just openly sharing about yourself and your magic and what you bring to the world and to the table. And so there’s definitely this shift. And, you know, just being comfortable with who you are and being comfortable at its core of just being visible, having other people see you, having other people hear you. And so that whole influencer term has those, you know, misconceptions wrapped up in it when it comes to a personal brand.

Jessie Christensen (00:08:07) – Another one, and this is huge is people think that you can only have a personal brand if your business name is your name. So for example, let’s use you. You are West Haven coaching, right? But you Chloe Dechow are the founder and you’re still building a personal brand and creating those relationships with your clients and with your audience while still having a company name. And that’s okay. And a question I get asked by clients all the time is like, what should my business name be? Should it be this company name? Should it be my personal name? And my answer is whatever feels more aligned to you. Honestly, there is no right or wrong because it’s more so how you show up in your marketing and how you approach that relationship building and thought leadership. So yeah, those are just a couple that come up right off the top of my head. Oh, another one, another one. This is huge. Is that when building a personal brand you have to build up this like false persona or be this big personality that doesn’t really represent who you are just because there are so many people out there in the online space that feel like they’re like screaming and shouting and so in-your-face about it.

Jessie Christensen (00:09:17) – So a lot of times people think that that’s what it means to be a personal brand. You and I both love and preach authenticity, and authenticity really is everything. And so while yes, your your personality is a big part of your brand, a huge thing that we take into account when thinking about your communication style, when thinking about your presence and your visuals. Right? But you don’t have to create a fake personality or like a fake persona to think that you’re going to appeal to a wider audience because that goes so against what actually makes you magnetic and what actually draws your people in to you.

Chloe Dechow (00:09:55) – Yeah. So we kind of grow up in a society where conformity is kind of the status quo. You know, we tend to reward people for being similar versus being themselves sometimes. And so I’m curious because I’m sure you have you’re typically working with people who. Have spent years in corporate or have spent years like kind of falling into the culture or the expectations of other people and maybe have buried their magic a little bit under the surface.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:31) – And I’m curious, when you work with somebody, how do you kind of draw that magic back out of them?

Jessie Christensen (00:10:36) – Oh, you are hitting such a chord saying that, because that’s exactly what my experience was, not to go like too much into my background. But I think be helpful for the listeners to know is I had a stint in corporate in New York City working at startups and, you know, running creative teams there. And it’s almost one of those things where you don’t see it happening until it’s happened, where you go into the corporate world, you climb the corporate ladder, you like get this praise and validation, quote unquote, right? You get the raises, you you get the title that you want, but over time, you’re being taught to, you know, you’re not the leader, right? You’re a workhorse. And of course, you can work up to be an executive or a director and have more of that leadership aspect. But at the end of the day, you’re not building your own thing.

Jessie Christensen (00:11:28) – And so naturally you’re not taking into account you. And in fact, it’s you almost have to like, dim that down, depending on experiences that you might have with coworkers or with upper management or whatever have you, where you start to devalue yourself. And for me, before I left the corporate world, I was at a place where I was just feeling so devalued I guess is the right word. I knew I had so much inside of me to share, and if I could just have the platform and the space to say my opinions, to give my strategic insight, to do all of these things and feel like it was heard and valued, like that’s really what I craved. But that wasn’t the reality. So while I was so passionate about the mission of the company and the work that I was doing and what I was helping with, there was something on the inside of me that was just felt like there was something more, or like I had so much to bring. And so when I transitioned to starting this business and building my own personal brand and helping other people do that, I got so caught up in helping my clients and that mentality, right of like, okay, next task, next project.

Jessie Christensen (00:12:42) – Like focus on other things, not on yourself. I struggled so much with my own brand and articulating the powerful results that I can get people and my magic and what makes me unique because it’s something that I had not thought about in years. And so you referenced some of these, like, brand transformations that I’ve been putting out publicly myself, because I had to go through this whole, you know, like, mind blowing moment where I realized that I toned myself down a lot in the corporate world, and that’s not doing me any sort of good in marketing myself and helping my clients. And when I had that realization, like, you can’t unsee it. So my goal throughout that process was, how do I align myself, who I am, my drive, who I’m here to serve with, what I’m articulating on the outside, what I’m putting out there in my content, what my messaging is, what my visuals are. And so I’m so glad and like, so grateful that you gave me such a compliment on that brand photo shoot.

Jessie Christensen (00:13:43) – Because while that’s what people see on the surface level, so much personal development and work and strategy goes into actually bringing that to life.

Chloe Dechow (00:13:55) – I love that story. In the coaching world, they really prioritize kind of two ways of being human, really, and one is that we do a lot of doing in our work in our lives. Right. It’s the checklist. It’s the to do list. It’s the projects. It’s the I gotta run errands. I gotta drop my kid off at school. It’s a lot of doing, doing, doing. And we get really wrapped up in the achievements and the results and all these different things, which are certainly important because without doing, there isn’t forward motion. Right. And yet we also can very much lose sight of the being and the fact that we are human beings first and foremost. And so your story really reminds me of getting grounded in you as a human being first, and your inherent value and what you bring to the table that’s so special and unique to you versus anybody else out there.

Chloe Dechow (00:14:53) – And that can help inform the doing in a way that’s a lot more authentic and aligned for you. And so I think it is a really good reminder that personal branding, thought leadership, photoshoots, like all of those things, the authenticity part really stems from doing the inner work first and getting really clear on who you are and what motivates you. And. Unlearning all these things that we’ve learned in corporate and in our careers, because that’s what I mean in many ways. That’s how you survive or thrive in the workplace, right? And yet, in entrepreneurship, if anything, it’s pretty much unlearning everything you’ve ever, ever learned how to do anything and having to really reteach yourself a new way of doing that. And because entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. The best way to go about it, and the most sustainable way to go about it is really around doing what feels so incredibly good for you that you’re going to keep showing up.

Jessie Christensen (00:15:56) – Absolutely.

Chloe Dechow (00:15:58) – I love that personal story of yours.

Jessie Christensen (00:16:00) – Yeah, it’s just so funny because and I’m sure a lot of people in your audience can relate to this, but when I jumped into entrepreneurship and into this business, I was so concerned with doing things right.

Jessie Christensen (00:16:13) – Right. Because like in the corporate world, there is a right way to do things. We have SOPs, we have processes. We’ve got, you know, all of the all of the things. Right. And so I cared so deeply about the vision that I had for my business now, and my own personal brand and the impact that I could make. But I was so concerned about doing it right. And so I really, I think, was like searching for other people’s opinions and searching for, okay, like, what’s the right way to do this? What’s the framework for this? What’s this, what’s that? And I was getting really frustrated when I would invest in certain support or help and it wasn’t doing anything for me. And the turning point for me there was realizing it’s because I wasn’t infusing my own magic, my own personality and my own spin on it. And it’s so like you said, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, and it can be so easy to just be like, oh, like what’s what’s the one thing that’s going to fix my business? But I tell you what, like, ever since I really discovered how to articulate myself, the results that I get from my clients, the person that I am, and the powerful asset that I can be to other business owners.

Jessie Christensen (00:17:25) – Things shifted so much, not only on an energetic level, which is huge, right? Like, I felt so much more confident in promoting myself, in showing up to my audience in recording podcast episodes, you know? But at the same time, more inquiries are coming in. Like more people are being like, how can I pay you to work with you? And it’s just so funny how a lot of times we seek external solutions to something that we have the key to inside ourself, the whole thing that we need to do here to actually unlock it is like grab the key and like unlock the door and that solves our problems. But it is such a process to figure that out. And it can be so hard being, you know, so close to home and on the inside of it to really know how to communicate that to our audience. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:20) – And it’s scary. Like if we haven’t had to go there before or it’s been a really long time, it can be scary to do that.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:26) – I can’t remember who to attribute this quote to, but I remember once hearing that entrepreneurship is an inside job, and that’s really stuck with me. As you know, we have to, I don’t know, a single other form of professional development other than entrepreneurship. That will is like growth on steroids. I mean, you have to do so much work to make the business work. There’s really no other way around it. So I love that inner growth is a huge part of personal branding, because I do think, like you mentioned earlier in the misconceptions piece, is we can kind of think of personal branding is maybe like more of a shallow approach to marketing or public relations or whatever form of, you know, putting yourself out there. Even the term influencer like that personally makes me like a little crunchy. Yes.

Jessie Christensen (00:19:15) – Right.

Chloe Dechow (00:19:16) – But I also respect that other people, that’s what they want and what they want, and what I want don’t have to be the same thing. And yet, yes, you know, building your authority, growing your thought leadership, having a personal brand, having a business in general, like there is a level of influence that you need to have.

Chloe Dechow (00:19:34) – And we can also apply that to leadership positions in, you know, corporate roles or nonprofit roles or whatever, like influence is a huge part of being able to get people to rally around an idea or concept, shift people’s mindsets, like all those good things that help make a bigger impact in the world around us. So I love that about just kind of deconstructing some of those misconceptions. I’d love to get into a little bit more around how personal branding can really help somebody become more recognized in the space. So I know we’ve talked about kind of your secret sauce, your magic. Now, if somebody feels really good that they’ve uncovered some of those pieces of themselves that really are the magnetic force to bringing in the right clients, how can that help them be positioned as more of a thought leader in their industry?

Jessie Christensen (00:20:26) – That really is the foundation, Chloe, because you have to know what you want to be known for and how you want people to see you and the things that you want them to say about you.

Jessie Christensen (00:20:38) – You have to know that in order to inform your content and in order to inform what you’re putting out there. So that people understand it and also identify that. Take that on. A good example is, you know, just thinking about what you want other people to say about you, if they’re referring you to someone else, or if you know there’s an industry connection somewhere and your name comes up, like, what are the things that people are saying about you? And so when you have that clarity on who you are and what you’re really good at, like that informs what you want to be known for and how you want to be seen. And that is an exercise that I make sure all of my clients have words to and they can put down on paper, because it’s so easy to get caught up in their head and be very visionary. And it’s like, okay, how can we actually extract that and bring it into like a tangible field, right? And so from there, it’s all about articulating it.

Jessie Christensen (00:21:35) – It’s all about getting it out there. And brand building takes time, right? Building a reputation, becoming a thought leader. It’s based on consistency and it’s based on time. All the great people that you think about in your industry and all of the leaders didn’t just get there overnight. And so I think that’s such an important reminder that it’s all about just keep going at what you want to be known for and putting it out there, and that’s what you’re going to attract, and that’s what’s going to grow your audience and really build you up into the thought leader. And so when I think about articulation, it’s it’s really positioning yourself like, how do you want to be seen in your market. What what price point are you at? Are you more accessible or are you more luxury? Right. No, right or wrong. Just like, what do you want to be known for? Its positioning, your offers. What does it do for someone? How can you help them? What’s the transformation? That’s all a part of your brand.

Jessie Christensen (00:22:27) – And then on top of that, what is our messaging? What are we putting in our content? What is our visual presence? There’s so many people in the branding space that focus on just visuals alone, or just copywriting alone, or just business strategy alone, right? But really, when you have a personal brand, you need to have all of those pieces very thoughtfully written out, very aligned, and very clearly communicated. And if you’re struggling in any sort of part of your business, chances are it’s a communication issue. It’s an articulation issue.

Chloe Dechow (00:23:05) – So yeah, it sounds like consistency is key. And also it kind of reminds me of I remember when I first started my business, I was a little bit more, even though I knew the importance of niching, I was a little bit more broad. And when I pivoted myself because I had to do some inner work myself like you did, to really hone in on what I felt was my secret sauce that aligned really well with my background and with my interests.

Chloe Dechow (00:23:35) – I remember going to someone and saying, hey, like, this is what I’m doing now, and they go, oh, now I know, like people who I can refer to you. Yeah, right. Like now I know when somebody says, I need help with building my authority or I need help with that leadership that I know I can point them in your direction. Right. And so even just being, like, a lot more specific in how you’re serving and showing up for people, I think makes it easier for your network, even if they aren’t your ideal client themselves, to keep you in mind or come up with like people that they can connect you with because it’s super clear to them, you know, who who you’re the right fit for. And so I love that consistency. I totally thought leadership is a slow burn. Personal branding is a slow burn. I mean, let’s be real. Like most things, most things are a slow burn, especially when we’re talking about building trust with people.

Chloe Dechow (00:24:31) – So I think that’s a really great example of that. I’m curious if you have a couple of women entrepreneurs who are just like really cool, awesome examples that get you inspired, who do a really good job of their business is an extension of their personal brand.

Jessie Christensen (00:24:47) – Yeah, absolutely. And I would ask this question to the audience too. Right. Like think about your industry and the people that you admire, thought leaders that are out there. And I dare to say like 100% of the time, it’s because they have a personal brand. And so for me, I’m like knee deep in the online business world and the marketing world. And so the names that immediately come to mind are people like Jenna Kutcher, Amy Porterfield, Jasmine Starr, Lori Harter, all incredible women who have podcasts, who have platforms, who are thought leaders, who have a personal brand. But you’re right, it’s an extension of what they do and what they offer. So like, for example, Lori Harter just launched a new product based company called glossy, but she’s marketing it through her personal brand.

Jessie Christensen (00:25:38) – So when people think of Lori Harter, they think of her first. They think of business, they think of community building, all of these things that she’s really. Great at. And it’s because of that why she’s able to really sell this product that she’s building with so much success and so much excitement, because it’s an extension of her personal brand and her passion and something that she is just so lit up about. And I would say all of these women do that in one way or another. I’d be curious to hear from you, Chloe. Like who? Who comes to mind for you when you think of that?

Chloe Dechow (00:26:10) – Oh, that’s such a good question. I think I brought this up during our interview for your podcast, the Embody Your Brand podcast. And for me, I really love the example of Laura mody, who is the founder of Bobbi, which is a formula company. It’s almost like the Bobbi brand and her brand are like two separate brands, but yet they’re the same. And so I never think of them separately, which is, you know, that extension of personal branding.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:34) – But Laura is a phenomenal leader. She goes and she’ll testify in front of Congress. She did this during the huge formula shortage. That was a huge issue in the US during Covid. She’s created an entire social impact arm of her business to help women who have breast cancer be able to be supplied formula to feed their babies. All just this amazing work that she does, and she’ll go and talk about tough issues to the news media. And so I think she does a great job of the follow through of the Bobbi brand, I guess is the best way to like I can describe it like the Bobbi brand, the formula itself is the highest quality on the market as far as I’m aware of all organic, European inspired, sourced ingredients from the best possible places. Their branding as a brand is funny and different and like a little bit cheeky and yet like they coexist in like this most beautiful way. Like even when she goes to do an interview, she’s wearing the Bobbi Green like suit color. I mean, it’s so cool to see how the brand and her kind of support one another and level each other up as the business grows.

Jessie Christensen (00:27:47) – So,

Jessie Christensen (00:27:48) – The follow through is huge. Yeah, I love that you bring that up, because a lot of times where people fall short is they build their brand image and they’re like, okay, I have my foundation, but then they haven’t really thought through what happens after you sign on a client or you acquire customers or things like that, like your brand extends so far into the experience. It’s in your marketing, it’s in your customer service. It’s really delivering on what you’re marketing before people come to you. Right? And so I’m so glad that you brought that up, because it’s such an important piece that’s often overlooked.

Chloe Dechow (00:28:23) – Yeah. Speaking of foundations, I’m curious if you could share a little like obviously messaging is important, right? But what other forms of personal branding are really key so that not only are people kind of thinking about this from the get go, but they’re also infusing it into other areas of their business, like customer service. What would you recommend kind of being those key things people think about when they think about personal branding?

Jessie Christensen (00:28:47) – A huge one is referrals, because a lot of times I feel like in the online space, the chatter is acquiring new people, getting new leads, this, that.

Jessie Christensen (00:28:58) – But your best, hottest leads are people that you’re a currently working with or b have worked with because you’ve been able to just give them hopefully a stellar experience. And so when you think about your brand, like think about how you can leverage the people that are already in your ecosystem that have already paid you because they are way more likely to give you their money again. And it’s such an easy sale. So things like an intentional, thoughtful client gift or a thank you that you can send someone that really just shows that you’re grateful to help them out in whatever way, really being present in the support that you’re giving people. And I’m speaking more so to like client based, service based businesses and thought leaders here. But these are things that can also be applied if you have a product based business. But really being present and going above and beyond this is how I want to be associated. Right? But like going above and beyond, delivering so much value, like when it comes to your pricing, right? Like you can still be very high ticket and have people say it is so worth it.

Jessie Christensen (00:30:07) – I feel like I got such a deal right? And it’s just leaving people with an experience that makes them naturally want to be your biggest advocates and go and share about you. And I mean, it’s incredible when you’re able to deliver on that, because I and I’m not sharing this to brag, but like, I have a client who I’m still working with, who is already referred me to other people and on our work together isn’t even over. Like, that’s how powerful it can be when you think about really delivering on. Your brand promise to the people that you’re currently working with.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:48) – Yeah, I love that example, and I think that goes beyond personal branding too. For example, I know I think it’s a brand Chewy for those who don’t know or aren’t familiar, they’re a kind of a pet brand subscription. And you can get food and toys and all kinds of pet products delivered straight to your house. So very direct to consumer. And when they’ve had customers cancel the subscription or cancel business with them because they’ve had a loss of a pet, Chewy will actually send flowers and a card to the pet owners home to share condolences.

Chloe Dechow (00:31:25) – And, you know, I think that kind of level of customer service and care and holding space for their client, even though they’re a huge company like this, is we’re not talking like a small business where hand-holding and like being there for your clients tends to go hand in hand. I mean, but Chewy really goes out of their way to make sure every single one of their clients feels cared for. And yes, of course, like that client is going to go away for a little bit. But how much brand loyalty has that company created simply because they were there during a really tough time? And knowing that once there’s a new pet in the mix, they’ve created that brand loyalty. Or even if somebody doesn’t end up getting out of their pet, they have gone and created like somebody who is going to share about this beautiful, really thoughtful experience with their network, whether that’s on social or friends or whatever. And so I think those little touches can be huge in building that fan base like you mentioned, huge.

Jessie Christensen (00:32:27) – And not many people go that extra step. And it doesn’t have to be anything so crazy or groundbreaking. It’s just like the act of doing it is going to differentiate you tenfold in your industry and the whole, like everything that we’re talking about here, Chloe, is just when you have a really powerful magnetic brand, it does the selling for you, it does the marketing for you. And so many people jump over brand and go straight to content or social media or this or that, where they’re like jumping over the most important, powerful asset that you have in your business that is going to do the selling for you, that’s going to have you be seen and known in the way that you want and is really going to bring in those clients, those opportunities to be a thought leader. I mean, all of it. And it’s just sometimes if we’re kind of like finding ourselves going away too far ahead, take a moment to slow down, go back to our brand, and then just see how powerful your marketing efforts can be.

Jessie Christensen (00:33:33) – Once you have that clarity on what your brand is.

Chloe Dechow (00:33:37) – And I think I know the answer, but just just because it feels like the most natural follow up question, like for you, what is the power in that? And having that clarity, that clear brand for other people?

Jessie Christensen (00:33:50) – You have the words, you know what to say. I don’t know if anyone else has felt this before, but there were times where I would sit down to write an email to my audience and just stare at that link cursor and be like, what am I saying? Right? Like almost losing that voice in a way, going back to a lot of and I can identify this now, a lot of the things I experienced in the corporate world. Right. And now I have the words I’m like full to the brim of ideas and things to share, and it doesn’t feel like it’s pulling teeth. It’s something that’s so exciting, so aligned, and so like the ideas are endless. And that’s, I would say, like being able to actually like, have the words and articulate what your message is.

Jessie Christensen (00:34:34) – And on top of that, have people engage with it. Right. Not feel like I’m talking to a wall or just like spewing something out into the void and hoping that, you know, someone hears it, right? It’s like I’m building an engaged audience. I’m growing a community, and it’s as a founder who is very impact driven. That is one of the most fulfilling things that you could feel.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:59) – Yeah. So having those kind of clear messages, what I’m kind of hearing is it prevents you from presenting kind of this watered down version, and it prevents you from adopting other people’s ways of speaking.

Jessie Christensen (00:35:11) – Right? Like just or boring, right? Or just things that, I mean, we are so inundated with marketing and everything. I feel like I go, I open up Instagram and, you know, maybe it’s because I’m in this space, but everyone’s trying to sell me something, right? And so it can be so easy just to be like, oh, it’s the same old, same old, but what’s really going to stop the scroll? What’s really going to get your message out there? Right.

Jessie Christensen (00:35:36) – It is having that personal brand that is built around what makes you unique and really like that’s what.

Jessie Christensen (00:35:44) – You should be.

Jessie Christensen (00:35:45) – Highlighting in everything that you put out there.

Jessie Christensen (00:35:48) – Absolutely.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:49) – Can we talk a little bit about your brand shoot and how you prepared for that? So I’ll have to like link to the Instagram post in the show notes for this episode. But how did you prepare for that? Like once somebody feels like they have a very good sense of their message and maybe their brand colors and a few other pieces like that. Like, how did you prepare for that brand shoot?

Jessie Christensen (00:36:09) – This is something that I love. And it’s funny because ever since putting this out there, I. Later this week, I’m flying to California to help a client with their brand shoot because they were like, I just like, it’s so powerful being able to see what you’ve been able to do for your business. So it’s just been so much fun. This is something I did back in the corporate world to was like, help our direct photoshoots.

Jessie Christensen (00:36:31) – So I feel like I just really love stuff like that. But once I knew what I wanted to put out there for me, I’m like, oh, like, it kind of like itches at me and like, festers inside of me and I’m like, I just need it. I just need to get it out there. So the time for me having the clarity on that, to actually like having those photos out was less than a month. I went on Instagram and this is a tip for anyone. Like Instagram is the best search engine for things like photographers, marketing specialists because you know, it combines the visual with like the words and I love that. And so I was looking up Atlanta brand photographers and found one whose work really resonated with the type of vibe that I wanted to put out there. That is huge. A lot of times people think, well, I know a photographer, but, you know, just because you know someone like doesn’t mean that they’re going to be able to execute on your vision.

Jessie Christensen (00:37:25) – It’s really important to make sure you feel aligned with the work that they’re putting out there.

Jessie Christensen (00:37:29) – Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:30) – I mean, I think we sometimes forget that photographers are artists, right? And so each of them has their own style. You’re not going to go and see a Van Gogh somewhere, and then go somewhere to a sculptor and be like, okay, yeah, they’re the same thing. Like, you know, I think people can kind of forget that photographers have their own style. And so making sure that that style resonates with you. And it’s something that if you were to get more photos again, like their style will continue to evolve with you.

Jessie Christensen (00:37:59) – Yes, absolutely. So I found that person for me, and I was like, what is the quickest that you can like get this done and out there? And she’s like, we can do the shoot in two weeks. I’m like, perfect, let’s do it. And so without getting too in the weeds on this, but I created a shot list that detailed all of the different areas that I needed imagery for, like social media, my website, my podcast cover art, and laid that out there, as well as created a moodboard for the vibe of the shoot.

Jessie Christensen (00:38:30) – Just because I feel like you can’t overcommunicate to a photographer your vision and this I would say, goes for any sort of creative partner that you’re bringing on to your business, whether it’s for your brand, for your website, for your copywriting, for like, whatever it may be. And then, of course, like the biggest thing for me was like, okay, how do I articulate my brand and who I am? And this new era of me visually and in a creative way that also feels true to me, right? Because it’s like we want it to be eye-catching, we want it to stop the scroll. But at the same time, I don’t want to feel like it’s something that’s not representative of who I am or the work that I do, which is the hardest part, right? It’s like, how do we actually get that across and have it feel very authentic? And so once I actually consulted with a friend in the brand industry to help me figure that out for myself, and I think this is why the work that I do is so helpful to my clients, because sometimes you just need someone to be a mirror for you and almost give you the permission and the validation to move forward with your ideas, right? And move forward with where you want to go.

Jessie Christensen (00:39:40) – Once again, it’s just so easy to second guess ourselves sometimes. And so that session alone was really helpful for me to visualize what I wanted this to be. So from there, it’s just, you know, doing the shoot and then putting it out there and it’s so much fun. I tell you what, like having photos that I’m so excited to share makes me want to create content, makes me want to like, drive people to my website or, you know, actually promote myself more and be more visible because I feel so proud of it and so comfortable in that, too.

Chloe Dechow (00:40:11) – Yeah, and that says a lot, because I know as women, we tend to pick apart our images of ourselves, even when they’re done really well. Right. When we have a fantastic photographer. So I think that’s amazing to be able to say, like, this is me, and I feel so proud of what I’m putting out there. And I also kind of reminded me of the conversation we had on your podcast around, just like making sure that there isn’t a disconnect between what people see outwardly and then the experience they have when they start working with you.

Chloe Dechow (00:40:41) – Right. And so it sounds like you were really thoughtful in making sure that you were catching attention of the right people, but also doing it in a way that felt really good to you.

Jessie Christensen (00:40:52) – Absolutely.

Chloe Dechow (00:40:53) – Well they’re fantastic images and definitely inspired me. So I think you and your photographer and friend did a fantastic job. And the whole mirror piece is so true for pretty much any profession. Right. Like yeah it’s hard to do the thing for yourself even when you’re an expert in it. So hiring somebody or working with somebody who can kind of pull that out of you and get you out of your own head, I think can be really helpful. So that’s why coaches have coaches. That’s why messaging experts have other messaging experts. I mean, there’s absolutely no shame or it’s not a reflection. In fact, I think it’s about like therapists have therapists, right. Like I think you’re when you work with people who do what you do, it shows that you have a lot of respect for what you’re doing, and you understand the important role that other people play.

Jessie Christensen (00:41:40) – and it just shortens timelines. Honestly, it’s such a catalyst to actually, like, get you to where you want to go. And it’s, you know, every time I’ve invested in myself or my business, I’ve really been grateful for it because I find that it just gives me what I need to really like, go out and do it. So I agree. And collaboration I love collaboration, I love having other people’s thoughts and insights into like how I can improve something, or especially on the brand space because your brand is what other people are saying about you, right? So it’s like, is this coming across in the way that I want it to come across, like really tapping into other people? Not I want to be careful when I say this not to, like, just take their advice and run with it. Right. But once again, to be a sounding board and to like, make sure that you’re going in the direction that you want to go in. Right?

Chloe Dechow (00:42:30) – Yes. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:42:31) – And I love that kind of disclaimer, because the person who delivers the feedback also kind of matters, right? Like, are they actually your ideal client or are they somebody else in the space who has similar experience than you? Are they somebody who’s giving you some advice because they’ve grown their business? Like just kind of having that context be like, okay, like, yes, that’s helpful. And I could see how that would work for them or how they would take it that way. One of my favorite questions I learned from my own coach was like, what is the 2% of truth in this feedback? Because then you can say like, oh yes, I could see like that would be really helpful. But like, I can leave the other 98% of what they’ve said. Yeah. And I think that can be true for branding and messaging and all those other things too. So keeping in mind, are they your target audience or are they somebody outside of it that’s helpful or want to provide some support or learnings and then kind of keeping in mind like what actually do you want to take from this feedback and implement versus what are you just learning about? So I love that.

Chloe Dechow (00:43:29) – Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jessie, for coming on today. Where can people find you if they want to learn more about you and what you do? Yes.

Jessie Christensen (00:43:37) – Thank you so much, Chloe. It’s such an honor to be on your podcast and to have this time with you and your listeners. If you guys have been enjoying this conversation, then I think you would love my podcast. It’s The Embody Your Brand Podcast podcast. You can find it and listen to it on any platform of your choice. And then Instagram, I would say, is the other great place to connect with me. I’m there @jessie__christensen. I’m sure Chloe will link everything in the show notes for you, but send me a DM like I would love to hear from you. I would love to continue the conversation. Whether you have a question on brand building or, you know, want to shoot some ideas out there or just work with me, you can go to my Instagram and find all of those details, but I would love to connect with all of you.

Chloe Dechow (00:44:22) – Awesome! You should definitely reach out to Jessie and take her up on that offer. She’s got lots of really good insight to share. Thank you. Thank you Jessie for coming on. It’s always such a pleasure to connect with you and I’m looking forward to finding more ways to collaborate.

Jessie Christensen (00:44:37) – Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. Chloe.

Chloe Dechow (00:44:43) – Thank you for joining me today. If you enjoyed this episode, invite your entrepreneur friends to tune in. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram @WestHavenCoaching. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and continue the conversation with you there. And before you go, be sure to download my free guide, Five Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority, which will walk you through how to grow your thought leadership in a way that’s true to who you are and what you stand for. You can find the guide at www.westhavencoaching.com/steps or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks again for tuning in. Together we are changing the faces and voices of thought leadership.

Chloe Dechow (00:45:26) – Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and impact.

Infusing Your Magic into Your Personal Brand with Jessie Christensen

May 23, 2024

personal branding, thought leadership, authenticity, brand strategist, creative director, podcast host, Chloe Dechow, Bright Voices in Business podcast, marketing, expertise, thought leader, misconceptions, influencer, false persona, inner growth, influence, reputation, consistency, time, strengths, secret sauce, women entrepreneurs, examples, business ventures, customer experience, brand loyalty, advocacy, referrals, customer service, brand shoots, engagement, community


Business, Leadership, Marketing

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