Personal Branding.....what is this?
Should I be doing this?!
Personal Branding: The practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.
It's scary, I know, putting yourself out there for the world to see. But think of it more like letting the world get to
know you. As a photographer, your business is not simply transactional, but relational. You can't rely on your photos to get you your next job. Potential clients want to know who you are, especially when you could be photographing one of their most important or even intimate moments.
Personal branding should not to be confused with your reputation, which is how you are perceived. Forbes describes your personal brand as representing "the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving.”
Entrepreneur magazine says there are "8 Reasons a Powerful Personal Brand Will Make You Successful."
1. Opportunity Finds You
This one is obvious – when you look good and are available, people will seek you out. Put your brand and yourself out there!
2. Online Networking Power
When you have a compelling personal story, and share it online, people find you interesting and will want to connect with you.
3. In-person Networking Power
You're more than a photographer. How and why you do what you do is powerful. When you're at an event or speaking with someone in-person, share these facets of your brand. It will make you more memorable. (I'll bet they'll even look you up online later.)
4. Build Your Business
"Customers, clients and vendors are more likely to do businesses with a company when the leader has a killer personal brand." If it's not personal, often there is no business.
5. Get Hired
Let's be honest, so many people use social media to identify photographers they want to work with. But it's not just the photos, it's the story, the point of view, the personalaspects of your brand that often get you hired in the end.
6. Make New Friends
When you're personal, you're vulnerable, and this is attractive to many because it makes you real. People want to be friends with people that are authentic and approachable. Share that side.
7. Serendipitous Success
Sometimes simply putting yourself, your real self, out there brings opportunities. You never know how aspects of your personal brand can resonate with different people. Down the road, someone could approach you for an opportunity because of it.
A good personal brand is all about your true voice – who you really are. And when you find it, your audience will react positively because you're speaking their language. And this will ultimately build your confidence. And a confident brand is a successful brand.