November 20, 2014

MBTI and Personal Branding

Once upon a time, only large companies with deep pockets could afford to effectively market their goods or services.  The internet has changed that and now there are ample opportunities for small companies or even individuals to show up on the economic radar screen.   There is enormous potential but it is by no means a ticket to Easy Street either.  Success depends on being clear about what it is that you do and what you are offering.   Entrepreneurship is hot as is the concept of personal branding.   In this fast paced world where another option is just a click away, can you articulate who you are so that someone will want to hire you or purchase your wares?

Prior to beginning my coaching practice in 2009, I had been a speech pathologist helping brain injured clients maximize cognitive skills that would lead to increased competence and life satisfaction.  It was essentially life coaching because the client set functional goals based on what he/she was trying to accomplish either in a home or work setting.  Positive feedback from clients and their families encouraged me to broaden my professional scope to include anyone wanting to maximize personal potential. After taking the required training from the Coaches Training Institute to become a coach, I opened my practice with the notion that I could coach anyone.

As it turns out, I was actually doing myself a disservice by trying to take on all branches of coaching.  Like a shrub in need of pruning, I had to trim back in some areas to find my shape.  My MBTI personality type, ENFP, was a useful tool in helping me understand why I felt the pull to expand and overextend rather than focus my energy into areas where I could be most effective.  The ENFP personality type seeks variety and new challenges but can be weak on follow-through or can lose interest when there is a lull in the action.  It was this knowledge of psychological type that helped me engage in successful personal branding exercises.

Recently, my practice and my website underwent an overhaul with an integral part of the process focusing on clearly defining myself so that I would attract the ideal client to my business.  It was helpful to work with a consultant so that I could take the process outside of myself and get some useful feedback.  As an ENFP. I didn’t want to narrow my possibilities but I did have to learn how to sprout new ideas in the context of an overall structure.  In addition, I read the book, The Business and Practice of Coaching by Lynn Grodzki and Wendy Allen that underscored the importance of identifying a niche in coaching and creating energy and excitement  around that area of expertise.

Currently my friend who is an INFJ personality type is encountering different challenges surrounding the personal branding of  her business and subsequent website release.  Certainly she wants an internet presence  but like many INFJ  types, she is also rather discerning  about the end product so she is reluctant to release anything unless it is carefully crafted to perfection.  The  INFJ  type often relies on his/her dominant intuition function to see another possible way to improve on project thus adding layers of complexity that can delay the final release of an end product. Just as I must remind myself that my ENFP personality type has a tendency to overextend and pursue anything new; the INFJ type may need to watch for perfectionism and sacrificing timeliness for the sake of getting it just right.

Entrepreneurship and small business ownership are more prevalent than ever in today’s economy.  The internet is a useful tool to market your goods and services.   However, this is a crowded playing field so how will you stand out among all the other possible players?   Personal branding is one way to define what you offer and the MBTI is a tool to identify strengths and be mindful of blind spots as you engage in that process.

Comments

  1. Ann,
    I learned your message the hard way, too! Best to have a target with which to take aim rather than spattering bullets over a wide path and hitting nothing. It is actually freeing to have a focus in my coaching practice as it allows me to really get to know my audience. I can also better serve them through continuing to educate myself in the areas in which they need the most support. I have you to thank for passing along the Lynn Grodzki and Wendy Allen reference. I’ve underlined many passages in that book!

  2. I quote from your post above:
    “Currently my friend who is an INFJ personality type is encountering different challenges surrounding the personal branding of her business and subsequent website release. Certainly she wants an internet presence but like many INFJ types, she is also rather discerning about the end product so she is reluctant to release anything unless it is carefully crafted to perfection. The INFJ type often relies on his/her dominant intuition function to see another possible way to improve on project thus adding layers of complexity that can delay the final release of an end product. Just as I must remind myself that my ENFP personality type has a tendency to overextend and pursue anything new; the INFJ type may need to watch for perfectionism and sacrificing timeliness for the sake of getting it just right.”
    … and now I gulp! I (an INFJ) despise the word “Branding” and everything that goes along with it! Ugh! …And now I sigh… :)

  3. The INFJ is among the most individualistic of all personality types. I am going to guess that the opposiion to branding has to do with this notion.Branding can be mistaken for labeling though. They should not be confused. Indeed a brand is a dynamic model so even the most individual of individuals can do it without feeling boxed in!

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