Building A Brand
The main reason people don't intentionally build their brand is because they don't know how to do it. They think it will take too much time, money, or effort. The truth is that if you have a passion for something and are willing to put in the effort, you can build a brand with very little cash. Building a personal or business brand is essential if you want to make a statement, especially online. If you nurture it, a rand will produce continuous returns.
If you are just getting started, you already know how much information is available about building and growing a personal brand. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of contradictory information out there. This can lead to confusion and deter you from getting started at all. To help, we decided to bust some of the most common myths about personal branding.
Myth 1: Personal Branding Is Not as Important as People Make It Out to Be
Your personal brand is your online reputation. We are living in world that keeps a permanent record of our reputations, so why wouldn’t you create a reputation worth remembering? Being a good, honest person, in person, is no longer enough. It is not what will get you noticed or hired online, which is why building a personal brand is so important. By not creating a personal brand, you let others make their own assumptions about you.
A personal brand is how people perceive you when they hear your name. It can be your physical appearance, your personality, your skills or expertise and even how you see yourself (your values). Your personal brand is an impression that people have of you before they meet you face-to-face. Your personal brand includes:
- Who am I? (My unique identity)
- What do I stand for? (My values and beliefs)
- How do I want to be perceived by others? (What my future clients or employer wants me to look like)
On the other hand a business brand is all about what your company offers, who the target audience is and how you can help them solve their problems. It's not about you, but about what you can do for others, such as:
- What does your business stand for? (What makes you different from competitors)
- Why should customers choose you over others? (What makes your business worthy of attention or investment)
- Your business brand must reflect its culture, values, mission and vision.
Myth 2: My Services and/or Products Do the Talking
Unfortunately, products and services are a dime a dozen. If you don’t tell people why they should choose you, they will end up choosing someone else, someone they feel they can trust. Having a personal brand makes you more authentic and gives people more reasons to do business with you. Connections are still important in a predominantly online world and a personal brand gives others the opportunity to connect with the person behind the business. Images are an essential part of building a personal brand and are just one of the ways that people connect with you.
Building a brand is about more than just having a good product or service. It’s about communicating your value, connecting with people and making them feel safe in choosing you.
Myth 3: Branding Photography Costs a Fortune
Personal branding photography is an investment, but it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. You don’t need three new outfits and to hire out a fancy location to get the best results. Remember, people connect with authenticity, so choose a setting and look that fits in with who you are.
For example, if you’re a photographer who specializes in weddings or portraits then having your photo taken in front of a church or wedding venue creates instant recognition for your business. Or if you run an online business selling candles, why not take pictures of yourself surrounded by them?
If you have no idea where to start when it comes to building your brand, stick with teh basics:
- Choose a color scheme that reflects your personal or business personality
- Use props that reflect what you do (if you’re a photographer then use cameras)
- Find an appropriate background and setting for your session.
Myth 4: You Need to Be an Influencer or Executive to Have a strong Brand
You don’t need to want to be the center of attention to develop a personal or business brand. It is all about giving potential clients, business partners, and employers a better idea of who you are. Feel awkward in front of a camera? That’s perfectly fine. Your photographer will help you feel more comfortable and confident.
Branding is not just about making your business look good. It’s about creating a unique, identifiable image that will differentiate you from the competition. Branding helps you build credibility, trust and authority with current and potential clients. Building a personal brand does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. In fact, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience that will help you stand out from the crowd and connect with potential clients, employers or business partners.