Why you need a personal branding session instead of just a headshot

For many years, all you needed to promote yourself was a great resume.  Maybe you had a great headshot too.  Really innovative and creative people, would add a small square headshot image to their resume.  That was yesterday.  Today, it takes more, a lot more, to get noticed and make an impression.

Personal branding is quickly becoming the new standard. 

What is personal branding? 

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.  Your personal brand is how you promote yourself – it is your reputation. It tells a story – your story!   Its all about you - how you present yourself, who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace and the way you express those values. Its how you interact with others.  Your brand communicates your value to make you stand out, communicates your unique identity whether it is to potential employers or potential clients. In short, it is a personal online portfolio.   Tim Salau, community builder and founder of Mentors & Mentees, says “Your personal brand should follow you everywhere you go. It needs to be an authentic manifestation of who you are and amplify what you believe.” 

What are the benefits of creating and promoting your personal brand?

·         It will increase your reputation as a leader and an expert in your specific field or industry.

·         It can help you sell more in your business and increase opportunities in your career.

·         It will give you more credibility.

·         It will get you noticed. 

·         It allows people to get to know who you are and how you bring value.

·         It instills trust and credibility in your knowledge and your abilities.

·         It helps differentiate you from others in your field.

What do you need to know about building your personal brand?

·         Think about what makes you distinct?

·         Build your brand around your own area of expertise.  

·         Personal brand is for the long-term – it is a road map for where you want to go.

·         It should be consistent across all platforms to help you grow a following.

·         It does not happen overnight or without planning.

·         The strongest brands connect emotionally.

·         Be authentic, be genuine and be engaging with your audience.

·         The best personal brands are very specific. The more narrow and focused your brand is, the easier it is for people to remember who you are.

·         Keep your message and content consistent to one niche topic to become memorable.

·         Develop your brand through social media, networking, outreach, and blogging, and podcasts.

·         It is taking responsibility about how you present yourself. It’s how you carry yourself at home, in the office, in short, everywhere you go.

 Summing it Up

To promote your brand you need to tell a story that communicates your value to potential employers or clients. An engaging story that people can connect with.   Craft an elevator pitch – a 30 to 60 second story about who you are, that frames your attributes in the right light. Keep it brief by focusing on a few key points that you want to emphasize. Your personal brand should highlight your strengths, establish your reputation, build trust, and communicate your unique attributes that you bring to your industry.

And, don’t forget to get a great headshot, and make it a professional headshot.  LinkedIn users with a professional headshot receive 14 times more profile views than those without.  Just don’t stop there! Remember - It is no longer enough to have a stack of business cards with a logo on it.