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5 Tips to Elevate Your Brand From a Brand Expert

Branding is more than the aesthetics. 

It plays a crucial role in building a profitable blog and business.

Brand expert Elva Li shares how nailing your branding helps in making money online and how you can elevate your brand.

Can you please share your story on how you built your branding business? 

Being an entrepreneur is a beautiful journey. But it is not always an easy one.  

You know that feeling of overwhelm, or being unclear on what’s next for your business, like what you currently do no longer ‘lights you up’ or that something is off… but you can’t put your finger on what it is?

You could be doing all the right things —creating opt-ins, ads, setting up funnels, doing webinars… and reading every personal development book under the sun.

Yet you feel stuck in yourself and in your business. And if you are anything like me, you’ve started to wonder, “What am I missing here?”

I felt this way in my own business. I worked so hard and had invested in so many things… But it wasn’t until I figured out one thing that was missing that everything changed.

Once I had that magical missing piece, my whole business transformed. But more importantly, I finally got the clarity, confidence and alignment with myself and my business.

I grew up being a “good girl” for my parents, playing the good “successful” daughter, studying at the top university and then living in the “successful” corporate world. But that life was never meant for me.

Every morning from my office window I would look up at the blue sky, wishing I could grow wings and fly.

Every morning I longed for something else: a different and more beautiful world. One where there was freedom, inside and out. 

Eventually in 2010 I packed my bags, left my hometown Shanghai, and moved to Australia by myself, hoping the world would be different. 

It wasn’t because I was the same. Every day in my office cubicle, I continued playing the “good girl”. I kept my head down and I worked hard. I played it safe, but deep down I still dreamt of something else.

My life was forever changed when I was introduced to the wonderful world of women entrepreneurs at a business networking event.

I saw glimpses of confident beautiful women who were running their own business, with a lifestyle to match.

It was like getting a blue Tiffany box from the Universe. I saw the beauty and luxury I was looking for — the beauty of doing the things I love, and the luxury of freedom. 

I thought to myself, “this time things will be different”. But it still wasn’t. Because even in this new role of being an entrepreneur, I still found myself trying to be a “good girl”.

I followed other people’s business strategies, worked hard and did all the things I was told I “should” do. I signed up all kinds of programs and coaching … I did turn my side hustle into a full-time business, but I was feeling like a fraud.

Everything looked perfect from the outside, but I was feeling stuck and out of alignment from the inside.

My business no longer ‘lit me up’; I felt I had outgrown it and meant for more… but had no idea what “more” looked like.

I felt like the freedom and the beautiful world I wanted were so close and yet I just couldn’t quite reach them.

I felt tired and exhausted… I decided to take a sabbatical and I went to Paris to study a summer course in fashion and luxury brand.

And on my way back from Paris to Melbourne, I stopped at Shanghai and visited my parents.

It was a lovely night when mum was showing me my pictures when I was a little girl… I saw the light in her eyes as she reflected on a little girl with a dream.

I said to myself:

What if there’s no “should”? What if I was to show them who I truly am? What if “standing out” just means “being myself”? 

What if I shine as ME? 

So what’s this magical thing that changes everything?

It doesn’t come in a magical wand. It isn’t the latest business strategy or tactic.

It actually comes from YOU.

It’s who you are.

It’s your soul-aligned personal brand. 

It starts within. It begins with ALIGNMENT.

Because it’s who YOU truly are that inspires other people to say yes to who THEY are.

It’s who you truly are that creates connection and trust with your audience.

It’s who YOU truly are that attracts your ideal clients and tribe. 

Only then, can you channel those unique qualities and characteristics into the key assets of your personal brand and all the ways you express them in the world in a stylish, elegant way — everything from the way you dress, to your online visuals to how you talk. 

Last but not least, it’s all about living on brand and showing up.

You want to create your personal brand in a way that you can fully model and own without feeling like a fraud, or feeling that you have to put on a mask that just isn’t you.  

elva li elevate your branding
Photo courtesy of Elva LI

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt when it comes to building a brand?

For me, the biggest lesson is to stop playing by everybody else’s rules but start to listen to my heart instead.

Over the years I have peeled back the layers of conditioning … The conditioning to be a good girl, proper, professional, successful, look a certain way, act a certain way, do my business in a certain way…Everything looks perfect from the outside, but I was feeling like a fraud from the inside.

The essence of my soul was locked up tight under layers and layers of who I think I should be.

I have evolved. Now I only create and give in the ways that are truly aligned for me. I do the work, charge the rates and receive in the ways that feel true for me.

And I am still evolving. As we always do.

There are still times when I feel business and brand no longer align with who you’ve become; like I know I am meant for more but have no idea what “more” looks like.

But I now I know how to bring myself back to alignment and step into my next level. Now I know that the only way to receive what I desire is to be truly who I am.

When I come back to my alignment, I find my power.

When I am living my brand and my desires, the beauty and freedom I was after now show up daily in my life.

Now I work with visionary female coaches and founders to elevate their brand and step into their next level through my unique approach to personal branding that integrates holistic brand strategy, creative direction, and mindset work to translate the soul of who they are onto the screen — so that they can increase their perceived value, expand their influence, and create more impact. 

Because of the clarity, confidence and alignment, I was able to do the work that truly lights me up, be open to receive abundance, help and empower other female entrepreneurs, and co-found the Impact the Future Giving Circle charity fund to give back.

I have been seen on ABC, CBS, and Ladyboss Asia. I am speaking on stages, styling for fashion shows, and developing my own sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand… 

Why is branding important for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs? 

I’d like to take you on a quick trip to Paris. Hope you brought your passport ?

You’ve been invited to the gala of the year. A night at The Louvre. Lights. Camera. Action. Journalists. Fans. Potential clients, galore.

The crème de la crème of your visionary tribe.

You’ve got one moment—one opportunity—to make an unforgettable impression.

What are you going to wear? A dress doesn’t suit you or quite fit anymore? Or a perfect-tailored haute couture that makes you feel confident and highlight your most attracting qualities?

As a blogger and creative entrepreneur building a business online, your online presence is your haute couture show; your personal branding is that haute couture attire.

You decide how you want to show up every time your ideal client land on your website, social media, etc.

When you channel your desires and essence into a high-end brand presence, showcase your unique talents by your stylish and luxe branding, website, social media visuals, it brings out your confidence, sets you apart from the crowd and carry you to where you want to go, whether it’s making 6 figure or beyond, or launching a high-end program filled with dream high-paying clients … etc.

How does good branding help with making money online? 

You have a big message. A gift. A talent.

A solution you want to share with the world.

But the thing is, it doesn’t really matter how good you are at what you do;  it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve spent mastering your craft; it doesn’t matter how many certificates or degrees you have; IF you never step into the spotlight in the right way and let the world see you for who you really are. 

Your gifts and talents or what you actually do for people only accounts for 20% of how they perceive you and why they choose to buy from you. 

And the other 80% of how your audience perceives you is based not on what you know, but on who you are and how you show up in the world.

Your energy. Your body language. Your physical appearance. Your tone of voice.

All those unconscious signals that reveal who you are and either draw your audience towards you, leave them flat and uninspired, or push them away. 

High-end clients are shopping for a premium 5 or 6 figure offer like yours.

But if you are not positioning yourself as a high-end brand, your brand is invisible to them.

A high-end branding system and a magnetic online image can make your perfect premium clients whoop: “This is the One!”

5 Tips to Elevate Your Brand

Your premium brand starts with your abundant mindset

Your high-end brand starts with having an abundance mindset towards money, wealth and luxury.

If you want to create a stylish and luxe outer world in your brand, you must begin to cultivate your inner world with abundance thoughts that are aligned with your brand.

Every thought in your mind is a creation. Your beliefs shape your brand, your business and your life.

I believe there’s a luxe brand in every one of you. Luxe is not about Dior or Chanel.

Luxe is a feeling of worthiness, knowing you are good enough and owning your quality to lead and inspire. 

Discover Your Brand Essence

An emotional connection to the customer distancing a premium brand from mass market brands.

Your high-end clients don’t buy what you do.

They buy why you do it.

Your vision, desired feelings and core values are the essence of your brand.

What is your vision?

What do you desire to feel?

What are your core values?

Your Brand Muse

A premium brand won’t try to market to everyone because it dilutes its message.

High-end brands are exclusive.

The clients of premium brands long to differentiate themselves and they want feel special, unique, accomplished, and even rewarded for their success.

WHO your target market is is much more important than the WHAT you are offering.

Think about your WHO before the what you will offer.

Your services are not for everybody.

Your Brand Visuals

If you’ve done this well, then all these attributes and expressions create a vivid set of associations in the hearts and minds of your audience.

It’s the gut feeling, the mental image, the first words that come to mind when your customers hear your name, see your logo, attend one of your events or watch one of your videos.

Live On Brand

Building your personal brand involves cultivating an authentic confident inner world as well as a beautiful and elegant outer world, because you cannot live on brand by doing one without the other.

You want to create your personal brand in a way that you can fully model and own, not just today but year after year because you are your brand.

AND you want to choose a set of attributes fully aligned with who you are, a set of attributes you can maintain without feeling like you have to put on an act that just isn’t you.

Ready find out your Femme Brand Archetype? Take Elva’s quiz now:

Follow Elva Li online:

Website: elvali.com

Instagram: @elvali_elegantelle

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4 Comments

  1. I am inspired by this story; it is less the branding tips and more the story of self-discovery and connection to one’s inner ME that invite me to dig deeper into myself and break past what other people have labeled me as to what IS inside. By doing that, alignment is achieved and, as stated here, it all starts with alignment.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad that you are inspired by Elva’s story, Jaya!! Thank you too 🙂

  2. Good post. These are valuable tips for branding. I shall bookmark this post as my forever guide. Thank you for sharing this valuable tips and information.