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How leaders use personal Brand Archetypes as a professional growth tool

Finding and articulating your personal brand through a brand archetype is my preferred tactic to stretch your capabilities, liberate your hidden skills and ideas, and fast-track your career. Personal branding is a professional growth strategy.

Putting on a brand archetype is like putting on your superhero cape. You’re still you, but you stand taller, your ideas and strengths are amplified, you’re not afraid to go after what you want, and you make a big impact! 

At first, the superhero costume might feel uncomfortable and intimidating. People are going to notice you. They’ll expect you to jump, leap and dive and you’re not sure you’re fit enough yet. 

But the beauty of your superhero costume is that, being a little tight, it holds you up. It activates your powers. And because it’s impermeable (even a bullet can’t get through!), it buffers you against the outside world. Soon, you realise the only kryptonite in your world is your self-doubt. Eventually, you realise that whether the cape is on or off you’re still the same, strong, bold, brave, interesting person.

You’re not Superman or Batman. And I’m not the butler in the black suit healing wounds in the basement. So let’s step back to reality, and discover how we can really use brand archetypes to get you out of your comfort zone and transforming into a professional persona that is actually just future you, arriving early (see, there’s still a little magic here!).

1. Supercharge Your Brand Strategy with Archetypes

Your personal brand identity won’t stay static once you start showing up as your brand archetype. So treat your brand strategy (we call this the Brand Blueprint at The Storytelling Business) as a living document that evolves as you grow. 

  • Embrace your archetype’s vision: Use the visionary aspects of your archetype to set ambitious, aspirational goals. If you align with the Explorer archetype, don’t be afraid to set a strategy that involves pioneering new ideas or entering uncharted territories in your industry.
  • Challenge comfort zones: Develop a strategy that includes stepping outside your usual scope of work. For example, if you’re a Sage, challenge yourself to share your knowledge outside familiar industries.

2. Enhance Your Brand Direction with Archetypes

Defining the direction of your brand is crucial to ensuring it aligns with your long-term vision and growth. Using your brand archetype as a guiding star, you can set ambitious goals and make informed decisions that reflect your desired professional identity. This approach helps you stretch beyond your current capabilities and step confidently into your future self.

  • Set stretch goals: Set goals that push your boundaries. As a starting point, align your goals with the strengths and desires of your archetypes. They will become your strengths too, even if they feel like a big leap at the outset.
  • Decision-making framework: Use your archetype to guide tough decisions. When you’re not sure which direction to head in, ask what the most confident, well-balanced version of your archetype would do – then follow his/her lead.

3. Amplify Your Brand Tone of Voice with Archetypes

Your brand’s tone of voice is the audible personality of your professional identity. When you speak as your brand, you can connect deeply with your audience, build trust, and stand out in your field.

  • Authenticity and vulnerability: Use your archetype to inject your voice with the style of your archetypes, to make your tone truer to your purpose. If you’re a Lover, infuse your communication with passion and empathy, showcasing your full emotional range. As a Neighbour, speak in a relatable, down-to-earth way that makes your audience feel understood and valued.
  • Unique expression: Find what’s novel or unique about the way you speak ‘in role’ (e.g. on social media) as your archetype. If you’re a Rebel, adopt a tone that challenges the status quo and provokes thought, encouraging others to rethink conventional wisdom.

4. Innovate Your Brand Visual Identity with Archetypes

Your brand’s visual identity is a dynamic expression of who you aspire to be. It’s more than just logos and colours; it’s a visual representation of your brand’s essence. By infusing your archetype into your design, you can create visuals that push boundaries and make an authentic statement. 

  • Innovative design: Push the boundaries of standard design, and choose elements that reflect inner strengths you may have formerly hidden. An Outlaw could use unconventional, edgy visuals that break norms and attract attention – or refuse to use images at all!
  • Personal touch: As you would with a vision board, incorporate signs, signals and visuals into your visual brand identity that express future you in the role of your archetypes. If you’re a Ruler, use regal, authoritative visuals to signal your strong leadership qualities and subconsciously encourage yourself to feel you deserve them.

5. Elevate Your Product or Service Development with Archetypes

Your archetype provides a lens through which to view your audience and their needs, helping you design or reimagine products and services that resonate deeply and make a meaningful impact. 

  • Innovate beyond limits: You may be selling the same products or services as others, but it’s how you shape, deliver or reimagine them that sets you apart. If you’re an Explorer, seek inspiration from unexpected industries, or talk to different kinds of people to address unmet needs.
  • Empathy-driven design: Where does your archetype place the individual in relation to themselves? The community? The Neighbour sees people as equals, the Sage sees them as students, and the Ruler as subjects. How does your archetype define ‘greater good’? Every archetype will answer these questions through a different lense. Use that lense to design products or services that support, help, serve, educate, lead or elevate your target audience. 

6. Transform Your Brand Messaging with Archetypes

By carefully grounding your stories, angles, and heroes in the essence of your archetype, you create powerful brand messages that differentiate you and connect deeply with the audiences who matter.

  • Inspirational messaging: What advice would your archetype give to others in their boldest, most honest, or sensitive moments? Craft and disseminate these types of messages – the ones current you might make you anxious to express publicly, but that future you will own!
  • Courageous storytelling: Are you hiding behind the same old stories, or copying what others say? Instead, tell engaging stories that reveal your personal journey and growth. If you’re a Hero, don’t be afraid to share stories of overcoming adversity and achieving greatness.

7. Steer Your Brand Marketing with Archetypes

Brand marketing is the strategic promotion of your personal brand identity, values and stories across various platforms. It’s about creating campaigns and content that resonate deeply with you and your audience. 

  • Innovative campaigns: Let your brand archetypes inspire your marketing efforts, so you experience the power of witnessing your authentic messaging in the public domain. Choose your marketing platforms to align with your archetype. A Neighbour or Lover may gravitate to the personalised feel of Instagram, while a Sage might find their content lands better on the more professional LinkedIn. 
  • Emotional connection: How does your archetype aim to make people feel? Smart, challenged, nurtured? Don’t be afraid to embrace this emotional compass to set the tone of your marketing and communications. As the Provocateur, I still worry about offending some people with overtly political content on LinkedIn. But I know a real Provocateur must be bold enough to shake things up – so I press ‘enter’ despite my fear. It gets easier! 

8. Attract Dynamic Communities with Archetypes

Community building is about creating spaces where your audience feels connected, supported, and valued. It’s the embodiment of your brand’s values in a collective environment. 

  • Inclusive communities: Build inclusive communities that reflect your archetype’s values. If you’re a Neighbor/Everyman, create spaces where everyone feels welcome and valued.
  • Supportive tribes: Develop support networks that help others grow. As a Caregiver, focus on building communities that offer mutual support and encouragement.

9. Energise Your Brand Flair with Archetypes

Brand flair is the distinctive touch that makes your brand memorable and instantly recognisable. It’s the way you create a ‘signature style’.

  • Brand language: Are there catchphrases your friends and family know you for? If these align with your archetype, consider using them publicly to truly show up as ‘brand you’. If not, develop unique catch phrases that represent your archetype, making your brand instantly recognisable. If you’re a Magician, use symbols that evoke transformation and mystery, adding a layer of intrigue to your brand.
  • Personal touches: Develop unique symbols, use of colour or even outfits that represent your archetype. A Magician could use signs that evoke transformation and mystery, while a Jester may carry a prop with them or use the same funny emoji on social posts.

10. Unleash Big Ideas with Archetypes

Big ideas are the visionary concepts that are recognisably yours and inspire others. They form the foundation of your thought leadership or professional identity.

  • Purposeful impact: Focus on ideas that matter to you, especially those you’ve been uncertain or anxious about sharing widely. Use your brand archetype as the framework and voice through which you express these ideas. The archetype will give you a new level of confidence, plus a consistency that makes ideas and concepts recognisably ‘brand you’. 
  • Challenging the status quo: Study how others in your industry, field or team express their ideas, and consider what they’re saying. How would your archetype respond? Use this perspective to offer fresh, bold insights that challenge conventional thinking and provoke thought. I teach personal branding, but so do many other experts. As the Provocateur, my unique take on it is that it’s not a visibility tool for influencers to shake their ass on socials – it’s a serious professional growth tool for both entrepreneurs AND intrapreneurs.

Get ready to fly

By leveraging these personal brand archetype growth strategies, you can stretch your thinking, step out of your comfort zone, and become the professional you really aspire to be. Get ready to fly!

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