Just like that, from the very first line, I will tell you a simple truth about unique personal branding.
Your product or service is NOT your personal brand.
YOU are your personal brand.
Your service is part of it, but your personal branding starts with YOU. A person, professional, hustler, entrepreneur, mom, dad, daughter, son – all that makes you, YOU, is your personal brand. Your online courses, coaching services, presentations, sales narratives, designs, paintings would not exist without you. You envisioned your career, business, and service, and then step by step, you created it. Every piece of content you’ve written or inspired someone to create for you is the result of your creative impulse.
Every unique personal branding starts with a person and their story, who shows up and makes a statement, shares their expertise, helps others to grow, and expresses their creative view of life.
Why do I write about unique personal branding?
I learned the hard way about the difficulties caused by the absence of a personal brand. And the only way to overcome it was to start building one. It’s a work in progress that never ends; it’s an adventurous voyage and an exciting, creative exploration.
That is one of the reasons I am passionate about helping other creatives, solo entrepreneurs, and small business owners build their personal brands.
I am a photographer, and I’ve been taking photos for over fifteen years. Staying behind the camera was always comfortable, especially for an introvert like I used to be. It was easy to show the world’s beauty with my photos and add aesthetic flow to framing the image, but it was difficult to show myself. Demonstrating the results of my work – photos of clients – and escaping showing who did it and how I did that became an unconscious habit. So the photos on my web and social media accounts were about the visual outcome of my creative work. That is the only way for me, as a photographer, to demonstrate my technical and artistic photography skills – upload photos from a family, wedding, boudoir, or underwater photoshoot that I did for someone else. And that’s what I did with great pleasure, and I still enjoy taking photos and helping other people be seen and express their personalities in front of the camera.
At some point, I realized it was time for me and my business to grow, evolve and move to the next stage. And after doing profound research, I concluded that I need to expand my business and include other services to share my expertise, knowledge, and passion for aesthetics, creativity, personal style, art, solo travel, and how it can help to change one’s life. That brave step required having a personal brand, which I didn’t have due to years of hiding behind the camera, neglecting to leave my comfort zone, and a lack of self-confidence on a personal level.
Working on establishing my personal brand gave me in-depth experience and an understanding of the multi-faceted process behind it. Technical side do-this-to-get-that-result is only one facet, and another is framing it nicely and delivering it in an aesthetically pleasing environment.
a car where the engine, drivetrain, and all the mechanical components are unseen because good-looking exterior designs cover them. The color of the car, the smell of the leather, the seats that make you feel cozy, the screen that shows you a map and entertains your vision, the air conditioner that warms up or cools down inside when you need it, and other details that creates pleasant sensations, provokes a feeling of desire to own that car. It’s less the mechanical but more the visual aspect of the vehicle that resonates with the most powerful of human senses – vision. Still, a car needs the mechanics (interior) and the visuals (exterior) to work and be desired. One aspect is the addition of the other, and one cannot exist without the other. Both are equally important. Imagine if you would choose a car by looking at the mechanical components. Would that be an aesthetically pleasant experience? Would you enjoy sitting on a steel seat and observing a motor working while driving?
Writing, speaking, talking to clients, marketing, promoting, evaluating prices, calculating taxes, and generating new ideas is the technical side of the business. Personal branding also includes aesthetics that are conveyed in visuals: images, clothing, decoration and interior design, furnishing, personalized photos, colors, fonts, and textures. Consistent and aesthetically pleasant visuals speak to your audience using sensorial language and evoke feelings that resonate with your potential clients and followers.
What constitutes unique personal branding?
Personal branding is based on personality, values, beliefs, experiences, expertise, preferences, style, and aspirations. All that will be reflected in the way you show up in your business. Expertise will add refinement; cultural background – base and direction; preferences and beliefs – character; aspirations – the vision for the future of your brand.
How do you transmit them to your clients? Through the visuals: photos and videos are styled and directed in accordance with your brand’s vision, where ambiance, furnishing, background, and props add flavor and depth to the perception of your personal brand.
The imagery you use forms your brand’s visual environment, generating visual sensations that are transformed into perceptions about your personal brand and services. What you show in photos, how you are dressed, the background and furnishing, the diversity of photos, the color scheme of your brand visuals and web, fonts, all those details form a big picture, where you shine on.
Unique personal branding includes:
- Showing up consistently
- Values transmitted through your services
- Personal style (clothing, daily outfits, makeup, hairstyle)
- Online presence (social media, website, podcast, YouTube, etc.)
- Sharing your expertise (whether you are a beginner or a PRO)
- Your story
- Visually consistent imagery
- Aesthetics that adds sensory experiences
People do business with people, and in our modern, noisy world hyper-saturated with products and services, the unique personal brand helps to stand out. It becomes a beacon, shining your brand’s values and attracting those looking for it. But, if it’s turned off and doesn’t shine, it becomes invisible at night; nobody can see it.
How would anyone hear you if you don’t stand up and speak?
How would anyone see you if you don’t show yourself in photos or videos?
In every voyage, there is always a beginning, a first step that is fueled by my genuine desire and sometimes interfered with by fear. However, if you stay curious and keep your goal as a pole star, the fear will eventually lose its power, and you will have a fantastic experience.
Leaving a comfort zone is uncomfortable at the beginning but gratifying later. Likewise, working on personal branding feels hectic initially but gratifying later.
Benefits of building your unique personal brand:
- it goes where you go
- It’s your investment in yourself
- It helps you to grow and evolve
Do you feel stuck in your business?
Do you want more exposure?
Are you ready to elevate your business?
Do you want to raise your self-confidence?
Then building a personal brand is the second step after you answered YES.