Stylin’ Your Image

SF Leadership Stylist founder Joui Turandot joined us at Balanced Breakfast San Francisco where she advised on the immense importance of aligning your artistic image to your personal brand. The following will start you on a journey to clarify your image.

Question: How do you differentiate yourself from the artists out there?

AnswerYOUR IMAGE aka The Personal Brand of YOU.

Personal Brand can be defined as a consistent message with 3 purposes:

  1. To display an individual’s artistic value and self advantage.
  2. To distinguish the individual artist from other artists.
  3. To establish and hold an advantage position within market competition.

The personal brand of You consists of your personal values, your artistic vision and a charismatic image that polarizes your audience.

Common Limiting Beliefs You May Have About Your Image

1. You think focusing on your image is too egotistical.
“People should like me for me!” | “It should be about my music!”

2. You worry that your image will be too much, turn people off or offend people.

3. You worry that you will be a poser, trying too hard.

4. You don’t see image as too important. It’s just there to get the job done- normal, clean, and simple, But under-explored. A neutral image overlooks the power of tapping into visual communication as a form of self expression.

5. You don’t know how to go deep within, ask the right questions, craft your authentic image.

The good news is…

You are a performer. Your job is to entertain, so give your audience something to remember. Most people play it too safe with their image. Remember the quote: “Well behaved women [or men] rarely make history” (Laurel Thatcher Ulrich). Let your image help you achieve your mission.

4 Simple Steps to Start

Your image is not just “the look”, but the process of self discovery it takes to get there.
Creating an authentic, powerful identity requires deep inquiry.
As they say, Know Thyself.
This is not taught in school. It’s a personal journey.

1. Find your Archetypes

Write down 3 people you really admire that you’d want to be for a day.

  • One should be from childhood
  • It’s even better if it’s someone you like that you don’t want people to know about.

Write down as many words you can think of to describe each person that you choose.

  • Also ask yourself: Anything about their image you didn’t like (their level of fame, what they’ve done, what they’ve said, how they look)?

Look through the words you chose to describe them. Write down any common themes you notice. Can you apply any of the qualities to yourself?

2. Find your POWER WORDS

You can do this exercise alone or with another. Have someone (or yourself) say each descriptive word you wrote down. Close your eyes as you hear each word, and notice which word resonates the most. If you feel it resonate, mark “Yes” next to the word. Otherwise, mark “No”. If it’s a maybe, it’s a “No” for now. Repeat the process until you’ve narrowed down to 5 “Yes” words. These are your POWER WORDS and the words that will form the foundation of your image.

Some words of advice: Don’t think, FEEL. Respond spontaneously. The right words should make you feel excited and give you a surge of energy!


Archetype 1: Jackie Chan

  • Wise, Mastery, Powerful, Fun, Comfortable with himself, Grounded, Graceful

Archetype 2: Sherri DuPree

  • Great singer, Joyful, Charming, Quirky, Cute, Down to Earth

Archetype 3: Taylor Swift

  • Stands up for herself, Doesn’t respond to personal life drama, Professional, Empowered, Hipster, Country

Discovered Themes: Confident, Practiced, Unoffensive, Childlike

5 Resonant Power Words: Wise, Joyful, Cute, Professional, Empowered

3. Build your Character

Along with finding your power words, you can start to identify the elements that make up your unique personality. Think as if you are creating a character of yourself in a movie. How would you describe yourself?

In this exercise, identify as much as you can about yourself in the following three categories:

  1. What’s unique about you?
  2. What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
  3. What’s flawed about you? (We often want to cover our flaws, but putting them out there is true confidence. Revealing your flaws can free you from them.)

This process can help you recognize what you consider to be “you”. You will realize where you may hold negative beliefs about yourself. You have to power to decide and replace these beliefs with more empowering ones!

4. Experiment!

In other words, try it out! Apply and test what you’ve done above in real life. Keep what works, and adjust what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! And make your number one rule of experimenting to have fun!


Credit: Joui’s Powerpoint Slides.

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