Interview with Personal Branding expert – Diya Asrani

  • Tell us about your background

Hey I’m a Bangalore based Personal Branding Coach, Creative Entrepreneur, and Founder of Design Your Presence™, born in Chennai and brought up in this lovely city. I did my schooling at Vidya Niketan School and then did my Foundations in Art & Design along with a Diploma in Textile Design at Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology. I decided to switch careers and moved into Image Consulting by doing a course in Soft Skills, Image management & styling at Image Consulting Business Institute in 2012. That’s where I started seeing the entrepreneurship, coaching and training industries differently. Been in the business ever since, helping entrepreneurs and knowledge givers build their reputation as trusted experts in the industry through a strategy that I have created towards building one’s personal brand.


  • Why did you decide to study image consulting and tell us about your college time

To begin with, college days were actually interesting in many ways as I got to develop my creative thinking skills. As much as I disliked Textile Designing, I can give credit to those years in Art School as I learnt and developed many skills that support me till today in my journey as an entrepreneur. Whether it is building ideas, speaking confidently in front of a crowd, presentation skills and overall positioning myself as a brand, it has done me good!

One of the reasons that got me to switch from textile design to image consulting is my passion for styling and making people look and feel good about themselves. Though I had the fear of public speaking and was quite low on confidence, I managed to face hundreds of thousands of people from various industries through various speaking assignments that allowed me to confidently express myself better. This way of creating an impact got me more excited to take up Image Consulting as a career (though it was relatively new that time) and that also allowed me to interact with more people. Here’s where I also started seeing entrepreneurship, coaching and training as industries worth exploring!

There was no looking back, right from being an Image Consultant, I started building my positioning as a Personal Branding coach because I saw the need for helping many creative entrepreneurs and knowledge givers to build their reputation as trusted experts in their respective industries.


  • Tell us about your journey after you completed your education

Wow! Well, the journey has been nothing short of amazing. Met some really cool people, worked with some of the biggest brands, and also interacted with folks from different industries! The ride has been extremely fruitful and I can say I’m learning every single day 🙂

My work experience started while I was doing my course at ICBI (Image Consulting Business Institute). After finishing the course, I became a faculty at the institute and now I’m one of the senior faculties at the institute. I have trained employees, students, entrepreneurs, and knowledge givers from various industries. To name a few companies – Zee Group, Capgemini, Century Real Estate, Nautica, Myntra, Go-MMT, Indian School Of Business, Indian Leadership Academy, and many more.

In between all this, I have worked with Myntra and Arvind Brands as a Styling Manager and Lead Stylist for their retail brands like Sephora, Arrow, Elle, Aeropostale, Break bounce, Tommy Hilfiger, GANT, GAP, The Children’s Place, U.S Polo, and Ed Hardy.  I have worked with celebrities like Sushmita Sen and Rina Dhaka during my stint at Myntra and later on worked with Milind Soman for Cult.fit’s ad campaigns.

2017 was the table-turning year for me because I jumped into building my own brand presence completely! Resorted to getting myself coached and mentored by some of the finest experts in the industry. I currently coach, train and mentor upcoming entrepreneurs and knowledge givers in building their presence as trusted experts, through my own courses, coaching programs, masterclasses, and masterminds.

When it comes to my online presence, I have my own podcast, Design Your Presence™ Podcast and I also interact with my followers mainly on Instagram, Youtube, and my FB private group.

Diya_Asrani

Excited to share that I have been awarded for my contribution in the Image & Transformation Industries by Indian Leadership Academy, won an award as the Best Chapter as a President under Image management Professionals Association, been featured in many articles and now recently been recognized as one of the Top 10 Branding Coaches to follow in 2020!

I am also writing my book on Personal Branding which is going to be launched in December 2020.

Quite a ride? Most definitely.


  • Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and how you executed this idea

From the time I did my course in Image Consulting in 2011/2012, I have always wanted to build my OWN brand and positioning because I felt that I can create many things my way. I had this dream of being my own boss and I didn’t mind working hard to build the brand presence that I have today. But the “stable income” and “follow the leader” mindset set in when I got into Myntra in 2014 and then Arvind in 2015.

In 2017, after 3 years into my full-time job stint, I was given the pink slip and that’s when it hit me that I had kept my own brand on the backburner while also focussing on somebody else’s mission (the company I was working for), when I had a bigger and better mission to go ahead with –which is, impacting people and helping them become reputed personal brands.

So that got me to dive deep into Entrepreneurship, thus allowing me to build my own personal brand as a Personal Branding Coach and later, the Founder and CEO of Design Your Presence™.

More about me here – https://www.diyaasrani.com/mystory


  • What were the key challenges you faced during your journey as an entrepreneur and how you overcame those

When you are passionate about something and you want to make a difference, be ready to face challenges and failures that would actually teach you and season you with more experience thus helping you build a robust foundation for anything you plan to build as a business.

One of the key challenges faced was that I had started out with poor marketing skills. I had zero experience in that but my eagerness to convert this fear of marketing into a strength that makes me want to explore more, helped me fall in love with it!

Another challenge was my lack of awareness of taxation and accounting. When I started out, I had no clue about how to manage my accounts, bills, and fees. I took help from my husband and also started reading many books and attending a lot of webinars which covered the same.

One more challenge that I would like to highlight is the mindset change from an “employee mindset” to a “business owner mindset”. When I started out, it was one of the hardest things to crack especially when I had to tell myself that I am working for myself and not for anyone else. But what got me to accept this quickly were the results that I saw when I started building my own brand!


  • Why personal branding is important for everyone

That’s a great question! Personal Branding is important for everyone because it is what helps position yourself uniquely in your industry. It helps people understand what you really stand for and also, it is your unique way of standing out by sharing your story and helping others through your own unique way of approaching a skill or passion that you are great at. It is more important than having a company brand because it is the first thing that people relate to and thus helps you build your reputation in the industry.

Research says that the no.1 risk concern for many people around the world is reputation damage, which can tarnish the potential of a business to grow and gain profits. Considering that, it is very important to manage and build your personal brand so that people connect with you better and trust you 100%.


  • What inspires you in life and keeps you going

I’m inspired by the freedom to create, learn, and enrich people’s lives. What actually helps me keep at it is my eagerness to manage my health, the excitement to create and ideate, and also the tremendous support I get from my family and well-wishers.


  •  What is your idea of success or your mantra in life

 My idea of success would be this – “The only way to make it big in what you love doing is to take the leap and do whatever it takes! I had to jump.”


  • Other than work, what are your other areas of interests

Hobbies & Passion – Dancing, Art, Yoga, Reading, Listening to good music, Traveling the world

Future plans would be to expand Design Your Presence™ into a movement that helps upcoming entrepreneurs and knowledge givers express themselves as reputed experts in the industry by elevating their Reputation through tried and tested personal branding strategies


  • Tell us more about your book

The book that I’m authoring, Design Your PERSONAL BRAND Presence, focusses on Personal Branding as a concept that every entrepreneur/professional, knowledge giver or even student should apply if they want to position themselves as trusted experts in their industry. This is entirely based on my own story and how I did it, my experiences and interactions with various other experts as well to get a worldwide yet realistic view of this concept. More than it just being a concept, it is necessary for each one of us to manage and build our personal brands to a whole new level. Since it is the deciding factor for people to connect and relate to us, it needs to be crafted based on how one wants to be seen and understood in his or her industry.

I believe that everyone has a passion or skill that they can share with the world not just to “show” but to also enrich people’s lives by helping them become better at that particular skill or passion. But to reach out and connect with people, there has to be a strong bridge of trust, creativity, and authenticity and that’s your personal brand presence.

  • What are the two most important tips you would advise our readers (students and professionals/entrepreneurs) from your experience to become successful
  1. Don’t let your fears conquer you. The biggest mistake we make is believing that we can’t do something that we have never done before. Remember, there is always a first time for everything. Just go do it, will you?
  2. If you want to impact lives doing what you love, be ready to explore and make the journey a memorable one. Success is not only when you achieve your goal, but it is also the road you take towards that big goal.

  • Your favorite quote and book

I have many favorite quotes and books!

Favorite book – Tribes by Seth Godin

Favorite quote – “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey

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You can connect and follow Diya below:

Social media handles –

Website – www.diyaasrani.com

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/diya_asrani/

Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/c/DiyaAsrani

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/DiyaAsraniPersonalBranding/

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/4zGxc3AlTb5gAvxSVfkmlm?si=mn8ntncDRhuF9nSqHSCp_g

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/diya-asrani/

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