Nina Christian: Creating an elegant personal brand, the butterfly way

They key to attracting (and keeping) attention as a personal brand

Recently I witnessed a contrast in nature that so perfectly articulated why we are repelled by some brands and attracted to others. 

It was a warm sunny day and I was out for my morning walk. I am blessed to live by a beautiful stream with preserved native wetlands, teeming with wildlife. I also retreat there during breaks, and to book-end my work day before I shift my focus to parenting. 

It’s home to native birds, exotic birds, water birds, fish, a wide variety of insects, large blue-tongue lizards and yes, even snakes (although thankfully we don’t see them very often). 

nina christian

On this particular day, I was walking as usual when a couple of flies came buzzing around my face. I wanted to enjoy the scenery, to breathe the fresh air and just relax, and these annoying flies were bugging me so badly. It was like they were intent on annoying me.

No matter how hard I swished and swatted my hands around, sighed and snorted – they were relentless. Persistently targeting my nose and my mouth. And I wanted nothing more than to shoo them away. 

Finally, they found something more interesting and probably went over to annoy them – thankfully. So, greatly relieved, I could resume my walk. 

I was gazing over the shrubs and bushes at the cool blue water on the right side of the dirt path, as I typically do when some movement on the left side of the path suddenly caught my eye. 

It was a beautiful, fluttering butterfly.

I stopped in my tracks to watch. It landed on a shrub and rested for a moment. 

I was mesmerised.

Then it spread its colourful wings, and danced in the air before descending on another bush. Its beauty was compelling and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I even stopped my walk to get closer and just admire it. 

In stark contrast to the flies that were intent on annoying me just minutes earlier.

Both insects.

Both unexpected.

Totally different experience.

And it reminded me about marketing, and how people and businesses build their brands, and especially personal brands. 

Many businesses (and people!) market themselves like flies – being annoying and shoving themselves into people’s faces (feeds, inbox) with no differentiation, creativity or uniqueness. 

Maybe even getting a clever “bot” to write their content. Or using persistent, thoughtless techniques to get right in people’s faces in order to get noticed. Like bothersome pests. And this makes us want to run a million miles.

Then other people create things that are beautiful – because they are beautiful – and these things attract, and even mesmerise people.

It might not be quite as much as they’d like to – but when they do show up they attract attention.

For the right reasons.

Their content is unique.


A thing of beauty.

Stopping people in their tracks. 

Drawing a person’s gaze away from their regular day-to-day business as they stop for a moment and admire, and absorb.

Not just because of the aesthetics, but also the movement, the experience, the thoughtfulness, and the underlying message.

They become a highlight.

Something that makes people’s day better.

Just like this butterfly did on my walk.

A thing of beauty. 

I believe the world needs more butterflies, especially right now, as we are “done” with being bombarded by cookie-cutter “same-same” messages and marketing approaches.

There are a heck of a lot of people who could benefit from a bit of “butterfly inspiration” right now.

Many of whom are caterpillars in the chrysalis, waiting to emerge. Or in some cases butterflies – too shy to fly – and share their beauty with an audience.

Tapping into the essence of what makes you unique and beautiful, and turning that into compelling marketing content that enriches people’s lives and gets attention because it’s attractive and authentic.

It draws the right people into your world – and builds connection, respect and admiration, particularly among those who are ready to benefit from what it is that you do.

In a world overflowing with information and choices, and the proverbial flies buzzing in people’s faces, elegance in personal branding involves more than just creating a visually pleasing presence. It’s about distilling your uniqueness, curating your ideas, and unleashing your creativity while delivering your message and value proposition in a graceful and impactful manner.

True elegance arises from the strategic fusion of brand clarity, visual coherence, and impactful messaging. In a world where potential clients research extensively before reaching out to do business with you, the elegance of your brand expression and the cohesion of your message contribute to an exponentially higher connection factor.

It’s the type of “marketing” people enjoy engaging with – because it’s beautiful, memorable and pleasurable to observe, in some way making the day or experience better than before they saw you.

So that’s my word of encouragement today.

Be less fly. 

Be more butterfly.

See Also: Nina Christian: Three marketing trends reshaping 2024’s business landscape

Nina Christian is a Marketing Futurist, & Global Marketing Mentor who helps people do their marketing in a more human way. 

She is a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM), Life Member and Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute & AMI State Chair (Vic) and for 20 years was director of marketing agency Braveda (Winner, Best Marketing Agency, Australian Marketing Excellence Awards).

Several years ago Nina saw the world of marketing shifting – this time as people became their own brands.  With this, she created a new business as a thought leader, combining her expertise in brand building with personal positioning, resulting in a breakthrough praxis known as Marketing Me® which she delivers globally to business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs.

She is the author of the book Marketing Me: Take Charge of Your Personal Brand and Make Your Mark on the World which helps professionals who want to market themselves authentically, but don’t understand what makes them truly unique and significant or have the confidence to express their value in a way that feels good.

Being a hands-on mum of five children, Nina has developed a knack for simplifying complexity. As a result, her systems and processes are practical, accessible and impactful.

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