7 minutes with Mireia Martin
In my life there’s definitely a before and after meeting Mireia Martin, alma mater of Iconista. When, after my first year as an entrepreneur, I decided it was time to invest in branding, I got the chance to meet her through Nuria Soler, founder of Womanthon.
Since then, Mireia has guided me and coached me on the path to building my own brand. She’s the one who created my logo, my corporate colour, my website’s look & feel and, above all, the descriptor that defines me: People & Organisation Shaker. I feel very blessed for having found the person who is able to read me and understand me to create a universe of my own. In a way, that person becomes part of your family. And this is exactly how I feel about Mireia.
Born in Barcelona, professionally raised in London, and the greatest knowmad I know, Mireia Martin is based in Bali nowadays. And when we facetime, it’s as if she is still living in Barcelona’s Gracia neighbourhood.
1. How did you get started in the world of branding?
I must say, Emma, that I started my career in the best way. In my first year at college, I got the chance to join the world of advertisement agencies through one of those old job ads in La Vanguardia. I was hired as a receptionist at the Barcelona offices of Grey, one of the best international agencies. Working there and being so young really helped me to understand the routines of this industry.
This was the very beginning of an amazing, enriching journey through amazing creativity agencies such as Tiempo BBDO, DDB, Vinizius Yound & Rubicam, and brand consulting companies such as Elephants Can’t Jump and Added Value. As you said, I built my career in Barcelona and London.
Being in these leading companies allowed me to work with the biggest brands (Coca-Cola, Danone, Levi’s, Jack Daniel’s, to name a few) and apply what I learnt to what really moves me: to help people to shine focusing on what they are really passionate about.
2. How can we define personal brand and why do we need to have one (even if you are not an entrepreneur)?
Personal brand is our blueprint, how others will remember you. I love what Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO & Founder, says to define it: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”. We shouldn’t confuse it with Personal Branding, which is the way we manage our personal brand (the process, the methodology and the tool kit we use to build our personal brand).
Having a personal brand or working on your personal branding is a must if you want to offer a specific image to others. It helps in many different ways: to feel better with yourself, more aligned, more engaged, more authentic… In a way that others can notice it, so that it helps to get more awareness. Of course, it all means expanding your business horizons.
3. What are the main concepts to take into account to build your brand? What do we have to avoid?
In my experience, the most important step is working on the strategy and brand definition in detail, i.e., deciding how you want others to see you.
It all goes through a deep self-knowledge process, which is mostly based on coaching. Here is when I feel especially fulfilled, because I love helping people better know themselves and find out their true purpose, what they are really like, their strengths and weaknesses and also their uniqueness. It is fascinating to explore our potential clients, their attitudes and motivations, what can put them off and how we can bring value to their lives. In short, it’s also about being up to date about the main trends to help focus our brand in a coherent way according to what we want to achieve in the future.
What do we need to avoid? No doubt: we must put our ego aside and be able to find our authentic self, that’s the very key to a personal brand.
4. What are the steps to follow to build a personal brand?
At Iconista we start by the thinking or strategic part, since we strongly believe in thinking before acting. We lead an in-depth research on the person and his/her environment until we find his/her focus and his/her world.
From there, we create the whole visual identity: logo, colours, fonts… which will define this person from that moment on. We devise the right brand platforms which will be the personal brand’s communication channels, such as the web or social network profiles.
And then the hard work starts! We usually work in two blocks: communication (how do we explain the personal brand to his/her target) and commercialisation (how do we help our client to generate profitable, sustainable business).
5. What’s your opinion about the digital print debate and if it should be used for recruitment purposes?
I attended a panel to discuss this. We are the generation who lived the internet boom and the arrival of social networks. We all wanted to be there and be a part of it. But now it’s time to be aware of how risky it is, not being there, but using it in an unconscious way. Social networks have to be aligned with our storytelling and the image we want to project. More than a threat, it is a great opportunity to be more visible than ever.
6. Is there a specific network which is significantly relevant to expand our personal brand?
Sure, but digital is so quick that my answer may be outdated in few months.
If the brand’s focus is the corporate world, LinkedIn is king. Having an up to date, well-built profile, aligned with the image you want to project, together with generating value content is key to creating new opportunities.
In a more private or final consumer sphere, Instagram is a must today. It’s the network with the highest growth and where brands showcase the best version of themselves.
7. Could you give us an example of a well-built personal brand so that we could have a look?
Of course! Definitely, all the brands we build at Iconista could be a good example and I feel especially proud of your case, Emma.
There are big brands such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk … Which could be fantastic examples. I recently found Jay Shetty, who addresses a younger target and generates great value content, which connect with his target.
Many thanks for guiding us through the personal brand world, Mireia!