Once the foray of corporate executives and CEOs, personal branding is now a de facto requirement for anyone seeking to establish themselves and their careers.
It is as valid for me, a photographer competing with every other image creator in Los Angeles, as it is for you, whether you’re in the arts, business or technology.
At its foundation, your personal brand represents what you bring to the social table. Not only your qualifications but how you present yourself (authentically) to the rest of the world. Your value system, your tastes, what you do outside of the office, what you do for leisure, how you interact with others and what you are specifically good at, everything you convey speaks about personal brand.
As an entrepreneur, Richard Branson comes to mind as the epitome of successful personal branding. His way of being in the world, how he presents himself, what he stands for and believes in, all reflect the core philosophy of the Virgin brand in its many iterations.
When you think of Branson, you get a feeling of youthful adventurism, calculated but innovative risk taking, a certain down-to-earth glamour and a tenacious yet joyful worth ethic. He is the Virgin brand, and everything he does on a personal (yet highly public) level mirrors that ethos. We like Virgin because we really like the devil-may-care man behind Virgin, and wish to be part of his of cool trendsetter tribe. It is because we emotionally embrace his particular leadership qualities and style that we embrace and trust his brand.
The career and employment marketplace has changed. Not only are we socially visible to potential employers, we are media visible, which means that your online behavior and presentation are part of what make you desirable. You must be aware of how you present yourself. From your resume, to your blog, to your Instagram posts to your LinkedIn profile photo, everything speaks about your attributes or lack thereof.
So taking control of your “image” means you are willing to cultivate your reputation and create a statement about who you are. Are you someone people would want to do business with or work with? This is especially valid for us solo-entrepreneurs and freelancers. We must showcase ourselves as positive experts in our field, and to clearly express the value of what we offer to our contacts by maintaining a solid brand that is transmutable across industries.
As such, content marketing in the form of choice imagery, blogging, reposts, tweets, speeches and resumes, all lead potential employers and clients to build a relationship with you. Content is the foundation of personal branding, and imagery of one's self is an important aspect of that content. Whether you’re a Richard Branson in the making, or an entry-level candidate, having a strong personal brand will likely be a key differentiator in your professional success.
For more information on how I can help you create a portfolio of images for your personal branding content needs, please contact me at nicolette@NJPphotography.com
Image curtesy of https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbranson/