What is a Brand?
Let’s define the word “brand”. In the traditional sense, the first definition is the name given to a product or service from a specific source. For instance, “Coca-Cola” or “Fedex”. But technically these are brand names, the brand is really the perception of the goods or services.
An article written by Jerry McLaughlin for Forbes describes this mind shift nicely. “Your brand is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your brand offering – both factual (e.g. it comes in a blue box), and emotional (e.g. it’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It is fixed. But your brand exists only in someones mind.”
Not only tangible products or services have a brand these days. Every person has a brand. Whether you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, an employee, or a student, you are creating your brand everyday. What you post online, how you make people feel, how you dress for a meeting, how you hold your self , all mesh together to give people a perception of you. Ultimately, that is your brand.
“If you’re not branding yourself, you’d better believe, someone else is.”Anonymous
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is how you introduce yourself to the world. Let’s go over some statistics.
- Careerbuilder says “More than half of employers won’t hire potential candidates without some sort of online presence.”
- Over half of consumers have chosen to do business with a person or company because of their strong, positive online presence.
- 91% of consumers want brands they follow to be authentic in their social media
Know, Like, Trust
The know, like, trust factor is HUGE to consumers or employers looking at your brand. And, according to the above stats, so is authenticity. People want to feel like they know you, get a feeling that they like you, and need to feel like they can trust you before they will buy from you, contract your services, or hire you.
“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. “Maya Angelou
Show Them Who You Are
People want to see YOU. They want to see who you are, what you do, and how you do it. People want to know what your authentic thoughts are, they want to know why you do what you do. They want to KNOW you, your brand, and your business. This is why you need personal branding. And this will look different for everyone, depending on where you are taking your brand.
Where do I start?
A professional headshot for your business, social media, website, or resume is essential. Check out our Headshot Guide for great tips about getting ready for your headshots.
If you have a product, service, or small business. I would highly recommend a photography branding session. You can do this once a year or multiple times a year depending on what your needs are. Personal branding sessions would include your headshots, images that convey what you and your business is all about, any products you have, or images showing the services you provide being performed. Any personal branding session is custom tailored specifically for you and your brand. The images and video you receive can be used anywhere and can be resized to fit on any platform. For more information you can contact me here. You can also check out videos I have created here.
The images below are from a salon branding session for a hair and make up artist, just to give you an idea.
Bringing it all together
Ultimately, your brand is you, then it is what, where, when and how. It is your marketing, your logo, your fonts, your colors, your social media, your values, your voice, your thoughts, your product or service and more all melded into the perception and feeling you want people to have when they think about your business. So show them who and what you are and the incredible things you can bring them.