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Branding Expert

Sway Factor™ Speaker, Consultant, Author & Coach

I remember the precise moment I coined the phrase Sway Factor™. My business was brand new and beginning to take off, and I knew that I needed to give my expertise – my unique view of the world if you will – a name. I was sitting on a bar stool with my friend Michael, a fellow marketer. We arrived early for a networking event and started brainstorming names on the backs of cocktail napkins. I immediately fell in love with the word sway and I still love its simple elegance and broad meaning. It was what came next that was giving me trouble. I was hell-bent on finding a word that indicated it was something that could be measured, something that influenced, and factor fit the bill.

The truth is, I’ve been unknowingly raising my Sway Factor since my first job out of school. I was as a secretary in the marketing department of a power tool manufacturer. I knew I wanted out as soon as I got in, so I began networking at American Marketing Association meetings (I would later serve on the board.) I didn’t have business cards because they weren’t “in my pay grade” but I convinced my boss I need them. I had just one request: instead of secretary I asked him to print “marketing assistant” and I’ve been building my brand ever since.

I took a class on networking because I didn’t have a clue. I attended workshops on self-empowerment and leadership. Devoured books to build confidence, even listened to them too. (Before Audible we called these “books on tape.” Yes, cassettes, thank you.) I found mentors, went back to school, all the while aggressively pursuing a career in marketing.

I spent 20 years as a B2B corporate marketer, winning awards for my work in branding, messaging, and generating leads for complex products & services, mostly in high-tech. But my career was nothing if not volatile, so I adapted everything I knew about marketing to promote myself. Years later, the total sum of my personal growth and professional life would become Sway Factor.

I’d love to say I’ve never once looked back but in truth, there have many moments of doubt along the way. I will always shoot straight with you, always share my authentic self, my vulnerable self. Because my goal is to be the living proof that inspires you to change the way you tell your story to yourself, and to others.

All I can do is lead by example and show you the way.

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“I had the great pleasure of securing Sima Dahl as a speaker on two occasions at Orbitz, first at our Customer Advisory Board meeting and more recently at the Orbitz Women's Leadership Group meeting in November. Sima is very dynamic and always an engaging speaker but her impact on the Women's Leadership Group was especially helpful in terms of increasing visibility across the organization. She is a superb marketer and I highly recommend her work!” 

— Jan Lofgren, former VP of Account Management & Deployment, Orbitz

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