Left-brain / right-brain & your brand


Personal Brand Architect left brain and right brain
“Do I really have to use pictures of myself all over my website and social media?” That’s got to be one of the most common questions I get from my clients and today I wanted to talk about why the answer is ‘YES!’ and the psychology behind it. 
Of course you already know that the purpose of your brand is to help you speak to your audience and build a connection with the people who will turn into your dream clients, but why, really, is it so important for you to be visible as the face of your brand if you want to sell your offers?
You guessed it: it all comes down to psychology, and more specifically to how your right brain and left brain process information.

The left side of the brain

Let’s start with the left side of the brain. This is the side that likes facts and figures, where we plan and organize; it’s the logical side that is very much rooted in the here and now. 
Most of us will have a side of the brain that dominates how we function. People who have a so-called left-brain dominance are usually great with numbers, letters, and words, and tend to be analytical and practical. 

The right side of the brain

The right side of the brain is more creative. It’s where we store pictures, develop our dreams, and create connections. This side is very good at understanding how things fit together, and it’s where we build emotional connections to what we see, hear, feel, taste, and touch.
People who have a so-called right-brain dominance are creative thinkers and doers, who likely have a strong visual aesthetic.

Why it’s important for your brand

OK, so what does all of this have to do with your brand and you being the face of it? 
Well, first and foremost your audience is made up of people with both a right-brain or left brain dominance, so your brand needs to be able to communicate with both. But regardless of which side of our brain is dominant, each and every one of us still uses both sides to process information. And because you are selling a service, something that your clients cannot see or touch, you need to provide information to both sides of their brain if you want them to be able to understand what you’re offering to sell them. 
Personal Brand Architect Karina Schwarzenböck sitting on a pink bench
personal brand architect setting the mood
personal brand architect setting the mood

Here’s my favourite example:

Let’s say I was trying to sell you an iPad. I would provide your left brain with all the facts:
  • how long the battery will last
  • how much memory it has
  • how good the display is
  • what features it has
  • how much it’s going to cost.
But I probably wouldn’t have to show you the actual iPad for you to understand what I was trying to sell you. That’s because your right brain already has an image on file of what an iPad looks like. And while you might want to touch and feel the iPad before you actually paid for it, that physical interaction would likely not change anything in this scenario (that’s also why so many of us don’t think twice about shopping online).
On top of that, I probably wouldn’t have to tell you anything about Apple as a company, because your right brain already has an emotional connection to the apple brand and you’ve seen Steve Job’s face a million times, even though he’s been gone for a while now. 
Now what about if it wasn’t an iPad but rather my new coaching programme I wanted to sell you?
Again, I’d provide your left brain with all the facts:
  • how long the programme lasts
  • what topics we’ll cover
  • how much it’s going to cost 
  • what features I offer (worksheets, access to recordings, e-mail support, etc.)
I even promise your left brain what the outcome will be (because I know it likes to be able to plan around practical information like that).
But what about your right brain?
Without a picture of who I am, what I do, and what my brand is all about, your right brain won’t be able to process the facts I provided for your left brain – they will literally mean nothing to you.
And while I’m fully confident in my abilities and what I offer, I do realize that I’m not Steve Jobs. That means there aren’t that many places where you could learn about me, my business and build a connection to my brand – unless I put myself out there. Heck, you might not even know what brand coaching is and why the results could really help you!

So let me ask you this:
Without knowing who I am, what I do, or having built an emotional connection to my brand (that know-like-trust factor), how willing would you be to say yes to my offer?
That’s why it’s so important to show up and put a face to your brand, ESPECIALLY when you’re selling a service that cannot be seen or felt. After all, your brand’s job is to put a picture to our words, to build an emotional connection, and to help our clients understand what our offer is about and whether we are right for them. The only way to make sure your audience can understand what it is you are actually selling, is to provide both their left and right brains with the information they need to build a connection to you and be able to process your offer. 

Is fear of showing up imperfectly keeping you invisible?⁠

Now, I know that most entrepreneurs didn’t start their business because they really wanted to be the face of their brand, but now that you understand why it’s absolutely essential, here are a few tips to help you should you be finding it difficult to show up confidently and consistently:⁠
it's not about changing who you are
  1. Your audience wants to know you – imperfections and all. They care about feeling on the same page as you and you showing them that you can help them – not about a bad hair day or a typo you didn’t catch.⁠ Building a connection is not about changing who or how you are, it’s about showing up as you are so your audience knows if you’re the right fit for them.
  2. ⁠Practice makes you confident. The more you show up, the easier it will get and the better you will become at it. ⁠
  3. Doing the groundwork to define and understand your brand will make it infinitely easier for you to show up in a way that benefits your audience most and helps you grow your business. ⁠This means getting crystal clear about who your brand is for and why, what your values are, and what you want to be known for.

Want to read more about the left & right brain?

To round things off, here are a few links for you should you want to read more about this fascinating topic!
  1. A great article about why the best ideas are fuelled by a combination of analysis and empathy. (Brands of the future will employ such left brain, right brain thinking):
  2. A cool info-graphic about recognizing right-brain vs.left-brain marketing tactics:
  3. How the human brain works – an explanation of the  right-brain and left-brain:
Karina the Personal Brand Architect with her dog