I am sorry to disappoint you, but your best brand is not for an audience of one

I have challenged my creative juices in a 100-day art challenge for the past eight-plus days—thanks to my dear Instagram friend Renata, who is very talented, as you can see here—I am forever grateful to you!
If you follow artists on Instagram, these challenges occasionally pop up on your feed. These are inspiring, but if you are anything like me, participating in one never crossed my mind. So, when I was asked to join one, I inhaled deeply from the nostrils to my belly: this had nothing to do with me. I am no artist.
Truth be told, art has been one of my creative outlets since I can remember being alive on this beautiful Earth. But lately, I’ve been more of a hoarder of art tools and courses. There have been a few wishy-washy projects once in a blue moon.
And, of course, the morning meditative painting—a sweet deal for someone who runs from meditation like it is a poltergeist. Yet, lately, there’s been an arms race between that and this when it comes to meditation.
To my surprise, I have drawn, painted, printed, learned, or mixed all for eighty-plus days. It has been liberating to be in this creative flow, helping to bring sense to my emotions! I am making art that resonates with my soul, in whatever form, regardless of whether it fits my brand or others will love it. I have been happier-ish lately, giggling like a hot little jelly fairy.
This could become very personal quickly, so let’s get to the point. The art challenge got me thinking about why we do things in specific ways in personal branding.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

― Maya Angelou

As you well know, we are in the influencer/creator/personal branding era. But you know what’s terrible about it? It is the idea of creating always and only with a specific audience in mind.
I will not tell you this is the worst advice on the internet, but it is more complex. It means that as a solopreneur you must be a Chief Everything Officer, always wearing way too many hats all the time. You need to get into your audience’s minds, guessing what they think, want, and fear.
Then, you must follow them like a creepy stalker, which is exhausting, to say the least. Otherwise, you get crickets on the doorstep instead of dream clients.
But you are here to do business differently, the human-to-human kind, aspiring for freedom on your terms. You aim to keep things simple; you come as you are, with your talents, to serve others.
Plus, you are not” big corporate” with money and time to spend on everything under the sun and more. And there are so many hats you can wear when working alone. So, the same “big company rules” don’t apply to you—we’ve been wrong!
Your audience is different from what you think. It’s not everyone, an avatar, or even a close-knit community – your best audience is an audience of none. I found the concept in an article by Joe Wehbe a while ago, and it only now resonates in the personal branding context.
Here’s why…
Everyone has a creative side, but we rarely accept, nurture, and express it.
You know that creative self-expression is a statement of our uniqueness and truth. But it is vulnerable AF, and sharing it just like that is dangerous. Fear of criticism and shame become entangled with creativity.  Then, your art does not even take every baby bird’s tiny, imperfect first step to fly.
Also, when we create with only others in mind, we adapt our creativity to what makes others feel like butterflies in a wildflower field. Being loved is a natural human currency, so we often forget what we want and our true gifts. Then, we bend more in the name of money and productivity.
An audience of none solves many things in your creative personal branding.
When we create for an audience of none, we step into our power, putting forward our authenticity.
It’s just you and your creative self-expression—a Star Wars-worthy act of bravery! Facing a room without an audience helps you overcome your fears of rejection and inadequacy, as we alone are our harshest gremlins.
You reconnect with your unfiltered voice and unique style when you create for no audience. They have always been there, waiting to be remembered. And it turns out that voice is everything regarding your personal brand! While your personality is the essence, your voice becomes its representation in the outer world.
Your brand voice magnifies your unique elements, style, experiences, and perspectives. No one else has these in your context, order, and time.
Hence, your brand voice becomes one of your greatest competitive assets—the most creative way to “sell” your unique value. 
Your clients will hire you or buy your products because what and how you express yourself reminds them of their own. It will be difficult for clients to feel attracted to or connected to you if you hide and do not communicate with your unique, remarkable voice.
So, an audience of none is the only one to honor each time you create, regardless of whether your outer audience grows by one, a thousand, or worldwide. This is when you shine through, free from external pressure.
When you share it this way, you never compromise your authenticity, and your audience is there because they love what you do, simply and beautifully. Trust that what you create will resonate with someone. I know it will.
To enter this place of pure self-expression, think about what you would do if you didn’t have to please anyone.
What colors would you use on a canvas? Would you sing with the birds? Would you dance with the wind?

 

Much love,
XO.