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Topic: Advocacy - September 07 2023
Finding Your Brand Voice

Cultivating a brand that portrays your unique voice gives the world a chance to connect with you in meaningful ways, to create opportunities for yourself, and to advocate for the things that are most meaningful to you. As a professional athlete, here are the things I think about on my journey to build a strong brand voice that is seen by the world.

Phylicia George

VIS League™

Topic: Advocacy

September 07 2023

When someone asks me what I do, I tell them- “I’ve spent my lifetime mastering the art of flying, spending just a fraction of a second on the ground before I take off again. Running is defined as never having both feet on the ground at the same time and I was born to run.” I always thought that was more fun than saying I’m a 3 x Olympian, dual sport athlete in athletics and bobsleigh. I love taking the opportunity to name myself names that resonate with me and I’m excited to help you tell your story, your own way.

How am I more than an athlete?

The beauty of building your own brand is you can use your imagination and creativity to tell whatever story you want. 

I’ve always thought about my brand as a way to highlight all the cool things about me apart from my athletic performances. The culture of sport can sometimes feel like the only things that matter are wins and rankings. Unfortunately, that leaves many sitting on the sidelines thinking they have to wait for a certain achievement before speaking out or letting themselves be seen. 

I say, you couldn’t be more wrong. 

Our experiences in sport and in this world are valuable, with or without wins, and we have the unique opportunity to tell the world about it. I have other identities beyond being an athlete that I am equally proud of. I’ve learned to create other columns for myself that highlight those intangible things that add to my personality. 

For example, I’ve always been proud of my resilience. Resilience doesn’t mean that you win, it means you get up and try again after you’ve lost. That’s a skill and something to be proud of. Whenever I’m creating content, resilience is a major theme I try to highlight because it is one of my values. 

Sport can be used as a vehicle for self-expression and an opportunity to share your personality. Take the time to understand what’s important to you and what you value. Values are often the things that make you feel excited, bring you joy, or make you feel proud. Do your teammates love you because you always bring the energy? Are you stable and reliable? Don’t be afraid to be different and to stand out, these are often the things that make you interesting. 

When thinking about my brand voice I often ask myself: What do I want to be known for outside of sport? How can I let my personality shine? When people hear my name, what do I want them to think of? It’s important to take the time to ask ourselves these questions so that when we have the opportunity to share we are clear on the message we want to broadcast to the world. 

“"Our experiences in sport and in this world are valuable, with or without wins, and we have the unique opportunity to tell the world about it."”

Phylicia George

Creating Content and Community 

Social media is a great tool to use to tell your story. It is a space to broadcast a clear and constant voice, and can be helpful to create meaningful connections. I use it as a way to share my message and to showcase my other talents. One of the most important things for me while creating content is staying authentic and true to the values I outlined for my brand. In a sea of voices, it’s important to stand tall and make the choice to follow your own. 

I focus on creating quality content that is in alignment with my brand, rather than simply looking for quantity in my metrics. I build community through consistency. I think of community on social media as an opportunity to share my gifts with other people and to enjoy other people’s gifts. I make a commitment to show up for the people who are a part of my community.

Working with Brands

Throughout most of my career I’ve followed the mantra: Build it and they will come. 

I believe that if you are consistent and diligent, your hard work will pay off. Broadcast your authentic voice consistently to the world and you’ll be surprised who shows up. 

Working with brands creates great opportunities to collaborate and get your name more well-known. When deciding what brands to work with I always look to my values. I make it a point to work with brands that I believe align with the ideals I believe in. I also understand that the potential benefits aren’t always monetary, so I look at a wide array of things that could be helpful to me. I look for opportunities that could potentially help me develop new skills or refine my current skills. I love to work with brands that are doing work in areas that I am curious about or enjoy. 

When presented with opportunities I’ll often ask myself: Do they have a platform I could utilize? Do I believe in the work they are doing? Do I enjoy interacting with the people there? Are they willing to give me creative freedom?

Throughout my career I enjoyed building my brand voice because I saw it as an opportunity to have courage, to try new things, and to explore myself. I’ve always loved the quote “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep”. So I hope as you embark on your own journey to building your brand voice, you courageously let yourself make mistakes so you can find a voice that feels authentic and true to you.

Take Action

Check out my VIS Sessions on the Sessions Page or request a 1-1 to discuss "how to build your brand VOICE."