When you think of branding, what comes to mind? Big international companies like Starbucks, Apple, Nikon, or Visa? Of course! What about other big names like: Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Jennifer Garner? They also have strong branding — strong personal branding, that is.
And it’s not just for corporations and the rich and famous. I’m a firm believer that almost everyone should have their own personal brand, which is why I am sharing some personal branding ideas with you!
When you see a Kate Spade product, you know it’s Kate Spade before you even see the logo, don’t you? Have you ever wondered why? Is it the colors, the shape of the product, the whimsical style?
Similarly, when you see a Chanel advertisement, you immediately think of high fashion, French luxury, and sophistication.
Let’s not forget Vogue. It evokes a certain emotion just by flipping through the pages!
All three of these companies have something in common (other than fashion). They each have strong branding, which is why they are so iconic — all distinct, separate brands, yet all immediately recognizable.
It’s not just fashion companies that you recognize. The same is true for companies in other industries too, like the ones I mentioned earlier…sectors like technology, photography or video, finance, restaurants/hospitality, etc.
When you start thinking about it, you come up with a ton of brands that you would recognize anywhere in the world!
Every company has its own unique branding, and the companies that are doing it right have consistent, memorable, and recognizable brands.
Guess what — it’s not just companies that have brands. People have brands too. Only with a slight difference.
Personal branding is the story of you — what you stand for, what you offer, your why, and what makes you different from others in the same industry.
A personal brand is the sum part of how you are known in the world, including:
You might say it’s the way people think about you or would describe you to someone else. It’s the emotions they have about working with you — how much they feel they know you, like you, trust you.
It’s the way people talk about you behind your back — yikes…but true! You want them to speak highly of you and recommend you to others; therefore, having a positive public image and consistent brand message is important.
Even if you work for a company, you might still need a personal brand.
Those working in sales definitely do.
Your personal brand creates a unique experience. And if you’re in sales, you know people have an option when working with you. They choose you because they like you — they like your message/your vibe, if you will.
Think: Real estate, car dealerships, and multi-level marketing companies like Mary Kay, Young Living, Rodan & Fields, BeautyCounter or Tupperware — old school, I know, but still very relevant.
Tupperware continues to make LOTS of money. It ranked #14 out of the top 100 MLM companies, based on its 2021 revenue [source]. Its reputation (built on exceptional branding) speaks for itself.
Whether you have your own business or are a sales rep for a company, you are the face of your brand.
Celebrities have their own personal brands too, sometimes more than one. Think about those who have multiple revenue streams — Oprah, Rihanna, Martha Stewart, Kim Kardashian, Rachael Ray, etc.
They, themselves, have their own voice, message, and visual brand as celebrities. And their businesses do too.
Take Jennifer Garner, for example. She’s the girl next door — you trust her, you like her, and you want to hang out, especially while she’s creating the Pretend Cooking Show on her phone, right?
She has created that brand for herself, with the help of social media.
Social media has really leveled the playing field when it comes to marketing. A personal brand can have just as much impact as the big name companies. You don’t have to go viral and reach the world — you just have to reach your tribe, your sphere of influence, the circle of people you want to do business with!
Social media gives you the opportunity to show up regularly for your clients, even on days you don’t see them. It’s working even when you’re not! Isn’t that a beautiful thing?
It also has the power to build new relationships with future clients, fans, and friends.
You need to develop a personal brand because it will greatly enhance your business. Here’s how…
One of the main reasons you need personal branding for your business is to build relationships with people. You need to create the like, the know, and the trust, just like Jennifer Garner does.
Having a personal brand builds trust. And people do business with people they like, know, and trust. Your personal brand gives potential clients a reason to know you better, like you more, and trust you fullyl.
A well-executed personal brand delivers consistent messaging and compelling imagery that tells the story of what you do, why you do it, and how you do it differently. It shows the potential client why they should choose you over your competitor.
A personal brand helps people know who you are and what you stand for because you are the reason they buy your product or service.
A personal brand allows you to be quickly recognizable. If you are a photographer, people should immediately know a photo is yours before they ever see your name or read your caption on social media.
Having a personal brand helps maintain your identity and style. If you are working in a saturated market, the temptation to mimic others’ work is strong. And the overflow of inspiration can confuse you and your brand message.
Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing can be great for fresh ideas, but be careful you don’t get swayed too heavily and lose your uniqueness.
You don’t want to copy exactly what someone else is doing.
Having a strong personal brand helps you make decisions when you are wanting to try something new. When you’ve taken the time to develop your personal brand, you know what you stand for and you’re excited to tell the world.
You can show up consistently for your clients because you have thoughtful, informative, entertaining, or valuable things to communicate.
People do business with people they like, know and trust, right? What better way to start building rapport than with a headshot?
I, for one, feel more comfortable meeting up with someone to do business with them when I already know what they look like. The sense of familiarity is comforting.
When you have great branding, people will know you before they even meet you. And that starts with your brand photography. You are the face of your business, after all, so, show it!
The first time people see your photo (and every time after), they’re learning something about you and about your business. If you’re still using a dated photograph of yourself on social media, on your website, or in your email signature, it’s time for an update. In fact, it could be costing you business.
Learn more about the influence that brand photography has in business marketing here.
Also, if you are a photographer, I highly suggest that you start offering brand photography as one of your services. Read my blog post: Business Ideas for Photographers: How To Grow Your Business by Including Brand Photography and you’ll see why!
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