According to Wikipedia, Personal Branding is defined as "The practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging."
So what exactly does that mean? It's actually quite simple...it's essentially management of your public image - the way you appear to the world. We don't really "create" our brands - we already have them.
Don't believe me? Google your name - what comes up? Facebook photos? Your phone number? A news article you've been mentioned in? A Linked In account? All of this public information (and believe me, in today's web-based world there is a lot of it) provides others with an idea of who you are and what you are about.
Why Your Personal Brand Matters
Simple. If someone wants to learn about you, chances are they are going to type your name into a search engine and start gathering information. Your public image is very important and your personal brand can make or break you in the business world. A personal brand can > affect whether or not you get accepted into your desired college > help you get that dream job (or not) > set forth a positive (or negative) perception of who you are > show how much you care (or don't care) for your customers > make a positive (or not so positive) first impression > determine whether or not people choose you or someone else > define your credibility
According to Forbes.com, "Whether you’re on the job hunt, a student, or gainfully employed, you must think, act, and plan like a business leader. With the surge of social media, you have not only the ability, but you now have the need to manage your own reputation, both online and in real life."
There are so many great articles out there that can help you define and develop your Personal Brand. I highly recommend starting with THIS ONE by Forbes.com on how to get started.
How To Manage Your Personal Brand
Whether you are a lawyer, pipe layer, teacher, construction worker or college grad looking for your first job it is extremely important to manage your Brand. How do you do that?
Here are a few simple tips:
Be Authentic In order to maintain a strong Personal Brand it needs to be accurate and true. Don't try to be someone you are not - I promise it won't work. Embrace who you are and make that work for you.
Be Clear Once you have defined your Personal Brand, scream it from the rooftops clearly and concisely. You might even want to come up with a short
Be Consistent Whether online of off, present yourself in ways that are consistent with how you wish to be seen. Make sure your online and offline lives and images are in sync.
Be in Control Resist the urge to post those ridiculous images from your crazy night out on the town. Spend the time to publish that industry related article on Linked in.
There is a lot more to managing and building your Personal Brand, but I will leave the details of that up to experts like Forbes, but what I can tell you from my area of expertise is that...
Your Online Physical Image Matters
There is no denying it - we are a visual society. We make many assumptions and judgements (whether we want to or not) based on packaging. Why do you think companies spend so much time, effort and money on how to present and display their products? People are no different, perhaps for people this is even more important because it can mean the difference of getting that job, date, client, or being passed over without a second thought.
In a world of selfies and endless casual snapshots, you can make yourself stand out from the crowd with a professional portrait. Whether you go for a more casual, outdoor full body image or a more traditional headshot your image needs to line up with your brand. You can read an article I wrote and published on LinkedIn regarding the WHY behind this HERE.
Do You Need A Headshot?
Let me help you define your online image with a professional headshot. All headshot sessions include a phone consultation where we can discuss wardrobe and background setting that support your brand. During your session I will coach you through expressions and poses that accurately portray that brand. I charge a package flat rate for corporate headshots. Each session includes the consultation, photo session, wardrobe changes, immediate image review and a set number of hi-resolution digital jpegs and web-resolution digital copies for both personal and business use.
Contact Me for more information!