She bounced into the room, instantly infusing it with good vibes. A mega-watt smile sparkled back from her face as she grasped each hand, met each eye and returned every laugh.

She was full of dazzle and I was mesmerized. I wanted to be in her orbit. It’s been years and I still remember how she made me feel.

Why are we attracted to certain people and not others? Why do some people drain a room and others, like the gal above, light it up?

It’s called charisma. 

My client Robin Sol Lieberman defines charisma as “the currency of connection.” It’s that “thing” that helps us to connect with anyone, anywhere. Charisma is a language beyond words. It’s the “essence” of a person. It’s what makes people want to yearn to be around you. Charisma is an oozing of awareness, respect, quality and service to others.

“Charisma: It’s that “thing” that helps us to connect with anyone, anywhere. Charisma is a language beyond words.”

Is it possible for a brand to be charismatic? Heck, yeah! Charisma always needs a vehicle for expression. It can be through a person, a business or a brand. As a designer, I’ve charisma play a crucial role in how brands show up in the world.


Let’s start off by defining what the heck a “brand” actually is. Learn more about branding and Getting to the Soul of Your Business here.

A brand is defined by individuals. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization. 

A brand is not created in an afternoon. It’s a challenging an ongoing process. In my work as a designer, I’ve seen two paths people go down as they create their brand:

  1. You know who you are, what you offer, what your message is and who it’s for.
  2. You know you want to be of service. You have huge gifts and talents to offer the world. But… you are still figuring out how you can help, what you can offer and who you’re doing it for.

Many of my clients are on the second path. They are creatives full of passion and curiosity. Designing their visual identity becomes an uber-adventure as I lend a hand in the “figuring-out-all-the-things” process.

Robin Sol Lieberman, founder of TrueCharisma, knows all about the winding path of figuring out who you are.

Good intentions ran amok as several designers and agencies dipped their fingers in her brand. It became a decade of puzzle of pieces that didn’t quite fit with each other. This eventually led to Robin taking a time-out from the branding process and letting things unfold naturally.

Taking the time to get crystal clear on her mission and messaging allowed her to reach audiences all over the world.

Robin and I have been designing and re-designing her brand over the last several years. We’ve created five covers for her book The Charisma Code, along with numerous graphics, web pages, business cards, logos and flyers. We built upon what was already in place, picking and choosing and refining what stays and what goes.



Any brand can be charismatic. Even yours.

Brand charisma happens when people fall in love with your brand. When they find out something awesome, quirky, captivating or cool about your business, it sticks. You become the only choice.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Robin offers these three tips for developing brand charisma:

Know your value (CONFIDENCE)

Understand who you are and what you want to do before you design your brand. Recognize your skills and talents. What makes you different? (And not just different for the sake of being different.)

Do you zig when others zag? Unravel big problems so others can thrive? Rally people to crusade for a better world?

Figuring this out takes mind muscle. Time spent scribbling frantically in a notebook. Probably a few ugly tears. (Sorry about the hard truths, friend.) This is the groundwork. This is the work that matters.

See the value in others (CONNECTION)

Charismatic brands deeply understand what their clients need and use those insights to connect in a way that feels good. They listen hard so people feel heard.

Charismatic brands are empathetic. They make you feel like they “get you.” Meet people. Call people. Ask questions. Share meaningful knowledge with your crowd.

People are tribal. They want to belong. Give them something to believe in.

Show your value (MAGNETISM)

When you land on the homepage of a charismatic brand’s website, you feel it. You get more than information. You get an experience.

Once confidence and connection have been defined, it’s time to express your brand through visuals. This is where the rubber meets the road. A visual identity (print and digital design, web design, logo design, photography, illustration, etc.) gives your brand traction. It allows you to show the world your stuff.

The Currency of Connection, Robin Sol’s Charisma Coin.


•   •   •

When you think of charisma, you might think it’s about making your brand seem super awesome to other people. Charisma is not about trumpeting your good qualities. Instead, it’s about making other people feel good. That woman who bewitched everyone in the room that day understood what it’s all about…

People love to be loved.

•   •   •

Ready to wrap your heart and mind around the creation of your brand? Check out my new 35-day course, The Art of Creation. Together, we’ll do a deep dive into your story, your mission, your future vision, how you serve, whom you serve and why you serve.  At the end of the five weeks you’ll have a solid foundation for doing good work in the world.

If you’re ready to build a soulful, consciously-created business and you need a little “oomph,” The Art of Creation is a great place to start.

“I knew what I wanted to create, but The Art Of Creation made me understand my passion so much better. Now, my inspiration is no longer a vision, it’s a work in progress. I still have the Art of Creation by my side to direct and motivate me as I establish my business.”

~Cheryl Brooks, Founder of Mr. Hip’s Reading Tips