Forbes released an article about personal branding that called it the “modern-day scorecard.” Seems really important, right? But just what is personal branding, and who needs it?
Personal branding is the manner in which your personal persona is communicated as a whole. This includes your social media accounts, portrait shots, the manner in which you write your resumes and create your portfolios, and includes both the visual and written aspects of your communication.
Let’s take a look at an example in action. Sue has a travel blog and is trying to gain advertiser and influencer attention. She has goals of blogging full time so she can keep traveling the world with no ropes. She seems to be stuck, however. She’s not getting the traction she needs in views or responses. Her social media feed doesn’t show any growth either. She’s a really outgoing, artsy person who loves fashion, dogs, travel (duh), and baking. Perhaps you are inadvertently miscommunicating this information. Let’s deep dive further.
Let’s start with her blog. Does she have an effective logo that shows her personality through font, design, and color psychology? Does the rest of her blog design follow her branding? Does it bring positive emotions to the visitors who arrive there? Is her photo professionally shot, or is it a selfie or random snapshot? A nonprofessional photo (in technique, not style) can really hamper anyone’s goals of marketing yourself. You are communicating that you are not worth it; that you’re not a professional yourself. The text of her blogs should follow along with her branding, including her tone and personality. We really need to get to know her! Is she blankly narrating her travels, or can we convince her to fully emote her experiences, get personal, and detailed?
Let’s think of her Instagram account: what image does she have as her profile photo? Does it fully tell the story of who and what she is? What she stands for? How she wants the world to see her? What about her everyday photos you post? Are they well shot? Do they show a day in her life, including her style, attitude, goals, dreams, and joy? If there are photos of dogs, is she in them, showing how much fun she’s having with them? Is she in the photos of the historical buildings, or are we looking at a door? Are we learning more about her interests? What is she doing in the photos and what is she wearing (perhaps her brand’s colors?)?
The Takeaway: The more we can get to know her personally, the longer we’ll stay on her sites, and the more invested in her we’ll be.
This is always much easier said than done, so try to take a look at your online persona with fresh eyes. Beyond bloggers, personal branding is vital for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and influencers. Personal branding is becoming even bigger than that, as more and more employers are checking your online presence when you apply for those jobs. They can and they will let what they see influence them.
Melissa Dusette is Digital Project Ninja for Flint Avenue, as well as Owner of Golden Wolf Photography.
She specializes in Personal Branding Photography.
See more of her content at www.goldenwolfphotography.com
and Instagram/Facebook @goldenwolfphoto.