What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding, refers to the way in which you present yourself to others, the outward-facing image you project to the world that reflects your personality, skills, and experience; everything that is uniquely you. It shows your human side and helps increase your visibility in a way that instills trust and increases awareness and familiarity.
Think about product branding. If you are going to purchase a product, you will most likely gravitate toward brands that are familiar, that you recognize and trust. You recognize the logo, the colors, the marketing messages. The same holds true with personal branding. With so many options out there, people are looking for someone they recognize and can trust.
Why is Personal Branding Important?
Let’s face it. We are bombarded with information during our every waking moment. As a result, we have short attention spans. To survive in this digital world, we have learned to skip, scan, and retrieve only the information we want and need.
Personal branding helps us stand out from the crowd. Everyone these days is a content creator in some shape or form, which makes for stiff competition. Without a personal brand to help you stand out amid the sea of influencers and marketers, it will be impossible to stand out.
Audiences are looking for businesses that are authentic and reliable. Have you seen a TikTok video on weight loss or skincare lately? Every influencer is selling the magic solution to something. People are left craving authenticity and personal connections.
What if I Am Not Climbing a Corporate Ladder?
Whether you are an entrepreneur, a gig worker, a creative, or a job seeker, your personal brand is going to determine how people see you. It is more than your reputation, which is influenced by other people. Your personal brand is created by you with purpose and intentionality.
I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled: “What is the Point of a Personal Brand?” (Link at the end.) To paraphrase, a young man with an advanced business degree and great credentials asked his supervisor why senior managers turned him down for a promotion, despite his work performance and reputation. His supervisor’s answer? “Because nobody knows you.” Ouch…
How Personal Branding Can Make a Difference
Personal branding helps you stand out in the crowd. Using myself as an example as a pro photographer trying to get noticed, I know that there is no shortage of great photographers out there competing for clients. My personal branding strategy is to be the photographer that they remember. It starts with having a clear vision of who I am and knowing want I stand for. I don’t simply take pretty pictures. I create memories that my clients revisit every time they look at their photos. They remember what the feeling were as I was posing them. Working with me is an experience. That is part of my personal brand.
It can give you a competitive advantage. People will remember who you are. If you present yourself with clarity and consistency, your personal brand will set you apart from the crowd.
You will be recognized across platforms (website, blog, social media, communication) by creating a unified theme that includes your brand colors, photos, typography, and unique “look and feel”.
Tell Your Story
What do you want the world to know about you? Only you can determine that. How can you put it all out there in a way that is distinctively you? Be consistent in your color choices and visual elements. Use the same colors and graphic styles in everything you publish online. Have really great photos that are a representation of who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.
Stay tuned for my blog on Personal Branding Photography. You knew that was coming, right?
One more thing, keep your sense of humor!
Link to the HBR article: https://hbr.org/2022/02/whats-the-point-of-a-personal-brand