Raj Girn: My guest today is Sandy Grigsby, a self-image branding expert and the founder of Briofive, a personal branding photography studio. Here’s a bit about her before we say hello. Sandy is a TEDx speaker, an author and a confidence catalyst. My kind of people.
For over 17 years, she has explored and cultivated extensive expertise in the relationship between digital media and confidence development to assist clients in unlocking their wow factor, no less through visual means. I’m really excited about this episode but, again, I need to tell you a little bit more about this fabulous lady.
Some of Sandy’s best-known clients include boxing champion Floyd Mayweather and comedic actor Martin Lawrence. Sandy’s work has also been featured in global publications like People magazine and the Los Angeles Times.
Here is our conversation:
Raj Girn: Please welcome. Now, without further ado, the fabulous Sandy Grigsby. Hello, my love.
Sandy Grigsby: Thank you so much for having me, Raj. I appreciate it.
Let’s just dive right in. I have got to ask you the most obvious question for people like you and me, but one that isn’t obvious because I get this from clients every single time I do discovery sessions. And here it is. Sandy, I’ve got to start by asking you to define what a self-image branding expert is so we can get everyone on the same page for our chat.
Absolutely. All right. So ultimately, most people focus on personal branding. So, it’s the strategy, the tools that you use, pretty much everything you say about yourself, the hyper-focus on that, how you get your brand out there, just do it. And I focus on how it actually looks when you’re doing it. So being a personal branding image expert, I hyper focus on your image and it’s because my background is in visual communications.
“Being a personal branding image expert, I hyper focus on your image and it’s because my background is in visual communications.” ~Sandy Grigsby
I started out as a graphic artist. I have a degree in it, and I became a photographer. I specialize in personal branding photography, but with my web design background and my photography background, I realized there’s a need in the marketplace for people to really be able to express themselves visually because people look at you and make a snap decision before they ever read anything or hear anything that you have to say.
So explain what you do. What’s the process?
It’s a pretty hefty process because the way I go about it is a little bit different. But what I do is I help you really get clear on how you want to define yourself. So, some people might say who you are. I feel like who you are is constantly evolving and changing.
So, in the now, how do you want to define yourself? How do you want people to see you? You can actually control that narrative. And then I show people how to create a look and a feel for that. So, for example, Raj gave me five words that describe you.
Oh, my gosh. Confident, peaceful, authoritative, fun, provocative.
Ooh, I love that. Okay, now that you know what those words are, how do you convey that in an image? That’s the question. So, we’re going to take those words and bring an alignment to your subconscious preferences, because believe it or not, we actually have something deep seated in the back of our minds that we love. And a lot of times we tend to ignore it.
We have learned habits and learned behaviors in the way that we choose clothing or esthetics or our tastes for environments and everything. So now what I do is I figure out what your words are, and then I tap into your subconscious mind of what you truly love. And then we create a look and feel that is true to you based on those words, which I go actually deeper into the words, but based on those words and what your subconscious loves.
So, then when you’re able to dress in that way and you’re able to be in that environment and live through those words and what you subconsciously love, your confidence skyrockets. You feel empowered because you know this is truly who I am. This is what defines me. You’re not copying someone else. You’re being authentically you. And it really works. It helps people find their confidence and really magnify their personal brands and get noticed.
Absolutely. I mean, I am the converted. You know that. So let me ask you this. Why is bringing in professionals vital to self-image branding? I got to ask you this question. And the reason is, is that so many people, especially when I have clients at the beginning of figuring out what the branding piece needs to look like, when we get to the photography piece, they’re like, “Oh, don’t worry about that. My friend or my family member will take pictures of me.” Everybody’s got technology nowadays. So, everyone thinks they’re an expert just because they’ve got the tools. So, can you explain why it’s important to be able to have someone like you in their back pocket to make sure that they get it right?
I like to say a professional is expensive, but an amateur is a fortune. You have to consider what is the time it’s going to take to get it right when you’re using a friend or a random photographer. And if you get it wrong, it costs you everything because that impression made by that image is going to be lasting.
When people look at an image within 30 milliseconds they make a decision on whether they’re going to follow you, learn more, hire you, talk about you, continue reading, anything. They make a decision that quickly. And if your copy isn’t perfect . . . Let’s say they see your image and they’re like, okay, I’ll read a little bit more, but then your copy isn’t great. They’re just going to move on to the next person. So, you have to have an alignment.
You have to make sure that the imagery catches your eye, makes you go, Huh? Let me learn more. And then the copy has to be good too. So, what I do is I help people really get into tune with how that image to come across and an amateur or a friend or random photographer who shoots pets and food, but now they’re just going to shoot your portraits because they can, isn’t going to get that because they’re not going to know the subtle nuances between an image. So, here’s an example.
If you have an image where your arms are crossed. And you have what’s called the serious face, so your lips are together. You’re trying to show that you’re confident, you know your stuff. That actually is something that tells people you don’t want to have to deal with them because when your arms are crossed, you’re crossing, which is protecting your front. It’s closing the barrier.
And your heart is covered. You’re protecting your heart. So you’re saying I’m not open to you. The straight face, even though to you it’s like, oh, but I’m serious and professional. No, now you’re saying I don’t really care. And most people who cross their arms tend to lean back a bit, which now says keep away.
Most amateurs, even a lot of personal branding photographers in general, just don’t know these things. Because I’ve studied the psychology of it. I really dive deep. I understand micro-expressions and why pictures resonate with people versus others.
So just that simple image, which is what most people do when they’re looking for a picture that’s going to make them look confident and professional, is now sending a message to your audience that you don’t want to have anything to do with them, and in some ways you’re maybe more superior to them. So, it’s something simple like that. And then there are other examples.
A lot of people have their pictures or headshots taken from a really high angle because they think it makes them look slimmer, it gives them a cleaner jawline, all of these reasons which in reality, when the camera angle is above your eyeline shooting down, it’s diminutive, so it makes you look smaller. So, if you’re in a leadership position, let’s say you own a company or you’re an executive or a CEO or you’re leading teams, you’re a manager, now you look weaker than the people you’re supposed to be leading. And people don’t get that.
They’re like, it’s such a beautiful shot. I look so amazing. My eyes look big. My chin looks great. Yeah, you look great. And you’re also telling everyone that you’re weak and meek. Subtle things like that, a lot of photographers just don’t really know about. And so, they’ll take pictures in the wrong way with the wrong lighting that’s sending the wrong message, even though the picture might look nice.
So how do we pick the right professional for this, Sandy? There’s so many. You know, everyone’s a branding expert today. And I’m saying this to you because everybody comes to me and says, “Oh, you’re a branding expert.” To me, there’s tons out there. So, what’s different? What differentiates you as a self-image branding expert to the everyday photographer?
Well, first of all, I have more experience than most photographers I know, given the fact that I started out as a commercial print model. When I was 18 years old, I was modeling in front of the camera for companies like T-Mobile, Apple Computer, Sony, PlayStation, Tempur-Pedic mattresses, you name it. I was a model for them doing commercials, doing print work, all kinds of stuff.
I experienced what the big players were doing for professional photography and the messages that they were sending. So, I learned that right out of the gate, just the instructions from those professional photographers that average people wouldn’t be able to access because they’re corporate branding photographers. So, I learned the techniques. I knew how to position my face, my body. I knew not to cover my heart, things like that. I learned all of those out the gate.
Then I worked as a graphic designer. First of all, I graduated with a degree in visual communications from university. I was magnum cum laude, so one of the tops of my class. I went immediately to work for one of the top photographers in Los Angeles, actually worked for quite a few. But straight out of college I went to work for one of the top and this photographer was working with huge celebrities and famous athletes.
For example, he worked with Carmen Electra, Shemar Moore. He worked with Carl Lewis and Mo Greene, Dave Van Noy, someone who’s in the vocal space, famous people. And he was shooting their portraits and I was designing their personal branding websites, which back then — this was like the early 2000 —personal branding wasn’t really a thing. It was something for celebrities and corporations.
Branding people? Like, what is that? And since I have that experience, I really understood what a great shot was. I learned how to retouch them, so they look totally natural. They didn’t look like they had Photoshop worked on them. And I learned how to create websites that were powerful. Going from that, I started working for other photographers doing the same thing. One of the photographers I worked for shot all the stuff for Body Glove, and he shot for Playboy and other huge companies.
I worked for these photographers building out their websites. And then when I broke free from that, I started my own company, and all of my clients were entrepreneurs. People who owned jewelry stores or chiropractic firms or, companies like that, and I had to brand them. I had hands on experience of building out their websites, learning what was working, what wasn’t working, because if you put the wrong image in, they won’t get the traffic. So, I learned that the hard way. I made mistakes back then, but over 20 plus years. I mean, I’ve been doing this for, my gosh, going on 25 years.
When you started when you were five, right?
I started when I was six years old. No, actually I’m proud to say I’m 44 years old. I take care of myself.
Thank you so much. I’ve been doing it for a very long time, and I just have the experience to know what works and what doesn’t work. And again, I study the psychology in it. When it comes to photography . . . Oh, and then I went from graphic design to being a photographer. And here’s what’s really interesting about that.
When I started, I was photographing my clients that were the entrepreneurs, and I did it because they were giving me really bad images. I was going, “God, my website design for you is really good and this picture sucks. Like, it’s grainy, it’s blurry. You look weird. It’s not you. It’s off brand.” All of these things. So, I started shaping them. But then what happened was I ended up partnering with a matchmaking company and it was one of the largest in the world, and they loved my photography.
So I started photographing all of their elite clients. I’m talking like people at Instagram corporate before it was bought by Facebook. People at Facebook, I photographed a bunch of their executives. I photographed multimillionaires. I have had billionaires through my portfolio. A bunch of people. And when I was doing that, I realized that a lot of these people, they were powerful, they were executives, they were big names, they were things that people would aspire to, right? They had zero confidence when it came to being in front of the camera.
And so I had to build up their confidence through my history of being a model, my history of knowing what would work on a website, knowing what would be great for profiles. And I had to guide them and teach them. And after doing that, I just got better and better because I started working with more and more people and the results were mind blowing. Like the match success rate with the matchmaking company went up 80 per cent because of the images that I was taking.
And the reason it went up wasn’t just that the images were great. It was that it matched the person because I was able to create . . . because the person would be dressing a certain way or wearing their hair a certain way or from having no confidence, I would change that and bring it out. And then they were able to duplicate that on a date. And that changed everything. So, I have a lot of babies that are credited to me, and marriages, and I get messages from them all the time and I’m super excited about it.
I love everything that you said here, and I want to kind of break some of this down. But before I do, I want to ask you something, Sandy. We live in a multi-platform, multi-touch point world today. We know this. It’s like we have to show up everywhere, whether we want to or not, especially if we are in business.
This is another reason why getting the pros involved to ensure that all images are platform specific optimized as well is uber essential. And also to ensure that you show up consistently as a world class brand. Because you can if you have the right tools, you have the right mentorship, you’ve got the right people doing all the tactical stuff as well as the mind work, which I want to get to in a minute as well.
So, it’s not just a matter of taking photos, but it’s the art of contextualization. You’ve already spoken about all of this, but I want to encapsulate it for anyone that is watching, listening and reading this, who are really looking at this for the first time and realizing the power of this. What are your thoughts on that — the difference between taking photos and the art of contextualization for the purpose of multi-platform image use for authentic branding?
Well, I think first you have to get very clear on the message that you want to send and who your target audience is. For example, when you’re planning out your photo session, what I recommend my clients do is create a mood board of shots that you want that will represent you and tell a story. And the cool part about that is it can be used across platforms.
For example, if you are someone who is on the computer a lot, you have a computer-based career, but you also work with people, so maybe you work one-on-one. Some of the images that you might want to have to represent you are shots of you actively in your environment, working on the computer and enjoying it, showing that you actually enjoy working because that’s what you do, right? And then possibly another option would be you one-on-one working with someone. And what’s really important about this is you want to, first of all, show your words. I had gotten to do that earlier.
So, for example, if you are a fun, playful person and you are really great at educating, you want to make sure that in your image with another person, you’re smiling, you’re doing hand gestures, you’re engaging. That shows playfulness and fun, and maybe you’re holding something and you’re demonstrating. So now to the subconscious viewer, as they’re looking at this image of you, they’re going, “Oh, wow, they work with other people. Oh, yeah, obviously she’s teaching something to them.” And you want the other person in the shot to be acknowledging it in a positive way because then it’s saying, whatever they’re teaching, these people love it.
So those are the kind of things that you want to look for when you’re having images taken. And then how do you use those? So that’s why I said it’s important to know your audience when you’re doing stuff on different platforms. You need to know exactly what is the purpose? Why are you on this platform? Who is your audience and are you appealing to that audience?
For example, if you’re on Instagram and you want to show that fun, playful personality, but also that you work with other people because you want people to hire you as a coach or hire you to do work with them. You want to make sure those images are on the same thing for like a LinkedIn, for example. But on TikTok it might be different. So, you might need to have other images showing that playfulness or actually videos for TikTok that are showing that playfulness and that engagement. But you might not have it be the same as it is on Instagram.
It’s just about being mindful, understanding what are the words, the feelings, the emotions and the definition of yourself that you want to convey? And then what images and videos will accurately represent that to someone watching it without you having to say a word because a lot of times people will look at something before they listen to something.
“It’s just about being mindful, understanding what are the words, the feelings, the emotions and the definition of yourself that you want to convey? And then what images and videos will accurately represent that to someone watching it without you having to say a word because a lot of times people will look at something before they listen to something.” ~Sandy Grigsby
Absolutely. It’s kind of like alluding to the fact that we can also make sure, something that words don’t do, to give people a wider scope of their perception of you. In words, there’s no there’s no room for that to be the case. This is a question that I feel you’ve answered, but I feel that I’d like you to encapsulate it as well. Can people brand themselves without imagery? I’m playing with you, girl.
I mean, yes, people have done it. That’s the truth. But the imagery just seals the deal for you. People are visual. Humans are visual. Did you know that it starts from birth? Babies are visual. When they’re born, they look for the eyes, the nose and the mouth of a parent. And then that first impression of their mother’s. They mimic that for everyone else. They actually judge beauty on other people based on how their parent looks. So, if babies are judgmental, just imagine what a 40-year-old person is, even if they think to themselves, “No, I shouldn’t judge,” it’s subconscious. You can’t help it you’re going to do it no matter what.
I always use this analogy. That’s why if you go to a bookstore or if you go on Amazon and you go to download a book, the covers are really beautiful because no matter what we say, we judge a book by its cover. If you are not using any sort of imagery to brand yourself, you are missing out. And think about those people who have social media profiles and their profile picture is a sunset or their cat or something else, some other object or business logo. And then you scroll down and it says their name and then you’re looking through their pictures to actually make a connection with them.
We want that human connection. But instead, you’re seeing their dinner. You’re seeing their dog, their boat, whatever it is. And you’re like, okay, this person doesn’t exist. You’re going through scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. And then the one picture you actually get, it’s with a group and they’re obscured and the lighting’s bad and they’ve got shadows on their face. And you don’t really know what they look like. That actually does more harm than good.
Absolutely. How can a person use imagery to create a personal brand that has something that a lot of people don’t actually understand what it means and that’s the wow factor? What is the wow?
So for people who are looking to create their personal brand, I believe the wow is the thing that truly defines you. So I want you to think of when you see someone walking down the street and they’re wearing the craziest outfit, okay? It’s not a bad outfit. It’s just crazy. Like, you know how some people wear all black and it’s got leather tassels and studs and all kinds of stuff. They might be wearing stiletto pumps and a mesh veil, and they’ve got crazy hair. And you stop and you go, “Wow.” Like, you might not wear it, but something about their look is so edgy and different, it makes you just stop and go, “Wow.” That is unique to them.
And we all have that. We all have that in our own subconscious style. So, if you can figure out what that is and you show up in that way. Maybe you wear fluorescent pink tops, maybe you wear patterned pants, whatever it is. But if you own that with confidence and you love it authentically, then you’re going to get that “Wow.” So, I just say, be yourself, but understand what that is. The issue is most people say, “I’m going to be myself,” but they don’t know what that is. You have to be able to distill that down into something that’s visible for other people to see.
“Be yourself, but understand what that is. The issue is most people say, ‘I’m going to be myself,’ but they don’t know what that is. You have to be able to distill that down into something that’s visible for other people to see.” ~Sandy Grigsby
Let me ask you a little bit more of a deep dive on that one. What work do you feel a person needs to do outside of the visual alignment piece that comes from a place of mindset and identity that you’ve talked about a little bit? But I want to dive a little deeper, so people understand some of the tacticals around it, like, how do I know myself?
How do I figure out how to know myself? Or albeit you’ve said this off the top, it’s what I believe in as well. That’s an ever-changing aspect of living life that can really assist in creating an authentic wow factor in and by itself. Because consistently changing is the human way of us showing and communicating who we are as well.
So the thing is, is that a lot of people get lost in this person’s doing that and this person’s doing that and they’re getting those likes and they’re getting a lot of love on social media. So, maybe this is the trend of the week and I should do what they’re doing. I know that a lot of that does work because of the algorithmic stuff. But the knowing yourself part of it, the wow factor, is a very important and vital piece for people to consistently stay in the noise of the world that we live in today. Your comment on that?
Well, in order to really know yourself, you have to face your fears. So that’s one of the first things I take all of my students in my programs. I take them through a lesson one day one understanding your fears. What are you afraid of? Because if you don’t understand what you’re afraid of, you don’t know those fears, those deep seeded fears, the things that are holding you back and preventing you from doing X, Y and Z, or actually causing you to copy and follow trends. If you don’t understand what that is, you’ll never know yourself. And you’re never going to be able to take the next step in the evolution of you. And really understanding what you’re afraid of or what the challenges are that are in front of you, that are causing you to hesitate or procrastinate or stop.
“If you don’t understand what you’re afraid of, you don’t know those fears, those deep seeded fears, the things that are holding you back and preventing you from doing X, Y and Z, or actually causing you to copy and follow trends. If you don’t understand what that is, you’ll never know yourself. And you’re never going to be able to take the next step in the evolution of you.” ~Sandy Grigsby
When you really understand what that is, you then can change your mindset on it and you can create new rules for how you perceive those fears and challenges. And one of the funny thing is when I get guys through my program and I say, “Okay, what are your fears?” Because I say to the ladies and they get it right away, they’re like, “Oh, I’m afraid of this and that and judgment.” Isn’t that right?
But the guys are like, “Oh!” Always pause. I think for a long time they’re like, “I don’t have any fears.” And then I go, “Okay, so what is it?” Then they go, “Well, I have the challenge.” I love how they say challenge of and then they’ll give me an example like not being one of the words that they say is. You know, like I can’t think of the word right now, but not being viable in the future. There’s a specific word that they always use.
Yes, that’s it. Thank you. You got it. Women don’t think like that. Women are like, “What are you talking about? Relevance?” Guys say it all the time? So, I’m not relevant and I’m like, “It’s a challenge, is it?” And they go, “Yes.” I go, “Hmm, so if you weren’t relevant, then the challenge would be . . . ” and I give them an example and then it causes them to pause. And I go, “So that means no one’s going to want to work with you. No one’s going to be at your funeral.” And I go, “So, why does that bother you?” “Well, because then no one will work with me.” And they start listening. I say, “Oh, so you’re afraid of not being relevant?” And all of a sudden they stop and they go, “Yes.” Aha! So that challenge is not a challenge. You’re afraid of it. And they go, “Yes.”
So, it always comes back down to a fear, right? So that’s why I like to start there. But some people prefer the word challenge. But once you know what your fear is, the thing that’s holding you back, we all have them. People have the fear of not being loved, the fear of not being liked, the fear of messing up, the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough. Like those are some of the most common ones that my clients and students go through.
When you really figure that out, then you can take the conscious decision. It’s about awareness, right, to change that and shift that. For example, regarding copying trends. A lot of times we fear being judged. So, we copy a trend because it’s popular, it’s trending. We won’t get judged if we do it.
Once you know that the fear is being judged, then trends don’t matter to you so much. Then you have to reset your mind. Why am I really afraid of being judged? Because maybe no one likes me. What happens if no one likes me? I won’t be loved. What happens if I’m not loved? And then you can just take it deeper and deeper and deeper and reset your thinking on that.
Absolutely. You spoke a little bit about your program, so let’s go there now. Let’s tell people watching, listening and reading this what are the programs that you offer and who are they for?
Well, they are for a very specific group, depending on what you’re doing. I offer two programs. One is called Confidence Jam, and it’s a do-it-yourself online program for people who just feel like they don’t have that confidence. They hesitate, they procrastinate, they doubt themselves. They just aren’t 100 per cent like, “yeah, I’m going to do this.” And it focuses on building up your confidence through understanding your fears, creating new rules, understanding what your dreams and desires are, creating rules around that, and then creating a look and feel for your personal brand. And all of this ties in.
I know you’re like, wait, why would I have to overcome this to that? But they all connect because if you’re not feeling super confident and you’re living in fear, you’re not going to dress in a way that’s true to you because you’re going to dress in either something that’s comfortable or a habit you’ve learned or something that you think is going to make other people like you. But it’s not going to be real.
And then once you overcome your fear and you have that confidence, now you’re dressing in a way that feels true to you and it resonates with you. And when you do that, your vibration increases and your confidence shows.
“Once you overcome your fear and you have that confidence, now you’re dressing in a way that feels true to you and it resonates with you. And when you do that, your vibration increases and your confidence shows.” ~Sandy Grigsby
Then I take them on a journey of now, how do you look great in front of the camera? What are the things you need to do? You know what you’re going to wear, you know what your branding colours are. That’s also a special thing that comes out of it. You get your branding colours. You know what your hair is going to look like because that’s part of it too. You know how to do your makeup.
So now what do you do in front of the camera? I teach people how to actually pose in front of the camera to look great. I go into some of the psychology, so they know what not to do versus what to do. This is good, this is bad. So, you can make an easy comparison. And then I go into how to actually find the right photographer for you.
I know we went over it briefly, but there’s so much more that goes into it is like how to find someone online. How to make sure that they’re not going to overcharge you. How to make sure that you’re getting what you need. Some photographers give you everything, and believe it or not, it’s so much. Some photographers will take a thousand photos and you’ll get that on a card and then you never can narrow down the pictures. Then those pictures sit there unused.
I teach you about how to find the right photographer that’s going to give you what you need for the right price for you. And then how to actually narrow down those images for what’s going to work for your audience. That’s really important. And then I teach how to crop the images, how to share them online, what to do with them. I actually go into some really cool branding stuff that a lot of people overlook, which is SEO.
If you do a Google search on me, Sandy Grigsby, you’re going to see I dominate my name. If you put in another Sandy Grigsby, there’s not another Sandy Grigsby that’s going to come up. If there are other pictures, there are photographs of my clients. But I dominate it. My website dominates it. My social media profiles dominate it. Articles I’ve been featured in. They just top it, and I’ve done that because doing web design, I really understand SEO.
So I teach you some simple SEO tips and tricks that can get you to dominate as well. So if you’re featured on a podcast, if you’re featured in an article, how do you send them the files so that it’s going to help you get ranked higher because you want your image to come up so people know it’s you? That’s the whole point of personal branding, right? You want to be the leader in that space. So we go into all of that and then we talk about confidence and presence.
How do you come across confident on camera and how do you own your presence in person so when people see you, they go, “Wow, you’re everything I had imagined. I really want to work with you. Oh, I’m so excited.” And that’s what we do with Confidence Jam. And the next one is called Reveal You, which includes Confidence Jam. You get access to the online course, but it also is group coaching. You get to be put in an amazing group where other people are going through the same things that you are.
And I am the one teaching the calls and I take you through the processes with everyone in the class and giving you even more information like how to get featured in publications, how to create a website. That one’s a big one. We actually go over your LinkedIn profile and help you fix to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
You actually have me helping you pick those photos, helping you pick the clothing, making sure that your mood board looks great. The DIY, you have to do it on your own. But the Reveal You I am there with you and doing it for you and you’re also in a community. And we also offer one more product, but it’s very limited.
We do one-on-one and the one-on-one is with me one-on-one. And it’s very intense. And I have mostly CEOs and executives and very high-profile people going through that program because it’s hardcore and intense. There are ones that don’t want to go through the community group coaching, but they do need help one-on-one. We usually get them ready for doing TEDx, speaking on stages, getting in the press, being on the news, things like that.
Do I have clients for you, girlfriend.
That’s a conversation offline. Definitely. So let me ask you this. Where can people go to go hang out with you and check out all of these programs and see which one is a fit for them?
Well, first of all, @sandyinfocus is my handle across the board. Except for on TikTok, because I signed up for TikTok years ago and I knew nothing about it and I did it through Instagram and they locked me out of that account. So now my TikTok is @sandyinfocus.com, which is also my website. So that’s easy sandyinfocus.com. You can go there.
But here’s something special for your audience. If you go to LinkedIn and you find me on LinkedIn @sandygrigsby. Don’t skip that second G. You connect with me and let me know that you’re interested in my online course, I will give you free access to my new LinkedIn Learning Online course, which is about online image and how to create an amazing online image.
Wow. You heard that right here, guys. Just make sure that you share that with everyone that you know really would appreciate and value something like that. I want to loop back, Sandy. As we get ready to close off, I want to ask you and I’m going to mention it again, the title and the theme of today’s episode is How to Brand Your Wow Factor With Authenticity. Is there anything you feel that we didn’t touch upon that you would like to share with everyone here?
Oh, there’s just so much I could go on for days. But I also know that ultimately when you’re branding yourself, I had mentioned those words. Those words are vital. And in my program I go deeper in the words because it’s not just the first words that you say. There are more categories. And then I have you pick the best words that represent you. But once you really understand your words, the next step is to understand the feeling that you want to evoke from your audience. That’s a big deal.
So, for example, if your word is confidence, but you want to evoke from your audience a sense of joy and and inspiration, then everything that you do moving forward in your brand should embody that. So you should show up confidently in your videos and your photos. You should speak with the intention of giving someone inspiration and joy. You should make choices in the content that you’re pushing or you’re promoting that gives that feeling. And that’s what’s going to truly give you the wow factor.
Because when people go to your website, they go to your social media and they go, “Wow, she motivates me, or she motivates me to do X, Y and Z.” That is the wow factor created and they’re going to talk about it to other people. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had go to my website sandyinfocus.com and go, “Gosh, I love your website. It’s inspired me to do my own” or “I can tell how you are. I want to work with you so bad just from your website.”
It’s because I put a lot of intention into creating that feeling that I want to evoke from other people and to make sure that my images represent me, my personality, which I can be totally quirky. If you watch some of my YouTube videos, you’ll see my personality come out. You watch my TikTok videos, I make funny faces. It’s absolutely apparent in my LinkedIn learning class. I had someone recently make fun of me because they were like, “Oh my gosh, those faces are so you Sandy.” But I don’t live in the fear that someone’s going to judge me because of how I am. Because I have rules for that.
I want people who are going to love my quirky personality to want to work with me, because, believe me, there are people that are going to hate my personality. “Oh, my God, she’s so annoying. Oh, my God those faces she makes. I don’t like the way she talks. I don’t like the way she looks.” There’s going to be a ton of stuff. I don’t care about those people because those people aren’t my clients anyways. They’re not going to want to work with me. They’re not going to listen to me. They’re not going to respect me. So why do I care what they think?
But the people that love my playful, quirky, confident personality, they’re going to love me and I’m going to love them and we’re going to work together beautifully. So show your wow by being you. I tell people if you’re kind of grouchy and you’re kind of uptight and one of those people, that’s fine. There’s people that love that. Think of attorneys. Not everyone wants a joyous, bubbly, happy attorney because they’re like, “We need you to focus and slay that person,” right? They want someone who’s a little bit more stodgy and grouchy because they think they’re going to destroy the enemy.
So really be how you actually are. Make it visible to other people. Emphasize it because you’re going to attract the right people who are looking for that and want that.
“Really be who you actually are. Make it visible to other people. Emphasize it because you’re going to attract the right people who are looking for that and want that.” ~Sandy Grigsby
Absolutely. Amen to that. And I have to ask you one other question. It just popped into my head and it is this. Sandy you know, there’ll always be people who are sitting on the fence right now. They know that they want this, that everything that they’re hearing or watching or reading of what you and I are talking about today is just really, you know, bells are going off for them, but they just can’t make that step. They’re sitting on the fence. How can you help them make the right decision?
Well, the first thing is, are you happy where you are? Are you content with what’s going on in your life? And what is that dream that you have that’s been sitting in your heart that you’re nowhere near? Once you come to the realization that something needs to change, that’s when you can take the action to make that change. So maybe I’m not the right person to work with you. Maybe I’m not stodgy enough. Who knows? Find someone who is.
But no matter what you do, stop being complacent in what’s comfortable in your life because you’re too afraid to step up and create change. It’s time to be different. It’s time to think differently. And it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. Believe me, it’s scary. When I got picked to do a TEDx talk, I was terrified. Terrified.
And when I had to get on stage for the rehearsal the day before the actual talk, I was so . . . I mean I teach this stuff, right? You’d think it would be easy, but for some reason, all the judgment hit me, and all I could think of was this is going to be on YouTube or on the Internet forever, and everyone’s going to judge me if I make a mistake. What if I trip and fall? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I go blank?
And it hit me in that moment and I froze and I got cottonmouth and I couldn’t see anything. And I started doing my whole talk that I had memorized, but all of a sudden it was gone from my brain and the actual team there go “Do you need to like go home and practice? Are you sure you’re going to be okay for tomorrow?” And I was thinking, “Oh my God, I’m going to get kicked off” and I was like, “I’m fine.”
The next day I came back. That same fear started to rise up in me. And as I stood and I walked onto the stage, I thought to myself, “Oh my God, oh my God, I’m going to bomb this.” And then it hit me. Why am I so afraid of this? Why am I afraid of the judgment? Because I do this every single day. Every day I talk to one of my clients and I teach them about branding and what would make their personal brand more impactful. It’s exactly what I’m doing right now.
So I got out of my endless obsession with myself because that’s ultimately what it was. I was obsessing over how other people would judge me, which wasn’t even a thing yet. Once I got over that, I said to myself, I just need to help one person in this audience. And my whole attitude switched. My fear evaporated. And I got on that stage and I gave that talk. And I believe you can see in the beginning I have a long pause because that’s what I’m processing.
If you watch my TEDex, it’s called Photographs of The Invisible. You’ll see this long pause and everyone goes, “Oh, that was such a great poignant pause.” I was like, “No, I was talking myself into not blacking out on stage and like helping one person.” When you watch that and then boom, isolate it because I came back to my intention and my intention is to help one person. So, if this helped you at all today, then make that choice to take action.
Because the choice you make today to change the way you shop in your personal brand will impact other people. So many other people you can’t even imagine, because even if they don’t buy from you, you have helped change their mindset to change something in their lives that they’re doing, which will then have a ripple effect, kind of like paying it forward.
Absolutely. Sandy, what a pleasure you are. I feel like you need to come back on and we need to tackle something else that’s fabulous that you do. And I feel that that’s going to happen. But before I let you go, I just want to thank you for coming on and bringing all your nuggets of wisdom and bite sizing it for people so that they can stomach it and they can process it.
And again, just one more time. Let people know where they need to go to go hang out with you. Because I got a feeling that a lot of people are going to want to do that.
@sandyinfocus is my handle. You can find all my links to all my social media at sandyinfocus.com and be sure to find me on LinkedIn so you can get access to my online course.
Thank you, my love.
Guys, the vital takeaway here is that when you do the work to ensure that you are showing up as the real you. This is what Sandy has been talking about throughout our time together. There’s no faking that, right? And if you solicit the aid of professionals, you’ll get it right the first time. The only competition that you will ever have to be aware of is with yourself. And trust me, because I’ve lived that.
Time and time again, you will save yourself from plummeting down a big rabbit hole of comparison culture that is rampant online, especially in the social media ecosystem. To stand out, you need to be different. To be different. And I’ll say it again. You need to be you. This is what Sandy’s been talking about.
And I really hope that this is something that you will take to heart, because at the end of the day, life is a transformative journey. You’re always evolving, right? You’re always changing, but staying in contact and in touch with yourself. That’s the magic. That’s the magic pill. And since your fans and your clients are on the same journey of living life, how can they ever get bored of communicating with you? They can’t.
I really hope that you’ve got some real value from today’s show and will share it with everyone you know who you feel needs to get today’s insights. I also hope that you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel and hit the notification button at The Open Chest Confidence Academy so that you’ll never miss an episode when it drops every Wednesday.
You can also download the ‘Transform Your Confidence Show’ on podcast platforms and give it a five star rating. Guys, if you feel that it’s valuable as a resource for you and to also empower the journey of confidence that you need to be on, that the people that you care about need to be on with actionable insights.
You can also read about it, guys, you know this. I say it every single time. Just go to my website at theopenchestconfidenceacademy.com/media/podcast and I’ll see you next week for another invaluable episode packed with insights and learnings just like this one with Sandy to help empower your work, your life, and definitely your spirit.
Take care of yourself, guys. And I can’t wait to see you next week.