Take a look around you. Everything you see is branded.
The remote control to the television, the camera, the phone, the treadmill, the refrigerator… everything. Even the gum wrapper when you throw it away, and the juice bottle when you recycle it.
In fact, if I were to ask you to think of a celebrity, I’m pretty sure you could tell me what their brand is. Tom Cruise’s brand is exciting, unpredictable, wild, and A-list. Denzel Washington’s brand is serious, action-oriented, compelling, and heavy on artistic flair. This is true for everyone who has a public-facing persona.
The question for you then, is what is MY personal brand? What do people think about me when they think of me in life or in business? Whatever the answer to that question is, that is your brand.
Branding is incredibly important. In fact, it’s the first step anyone should take in business. Before the marketing, advertising, PR, campaigns, sales, or products, you need to know who you are as a brand.
Today I want to talk about some of the most important things you should have in place when it comes to a personal brand.
Why Personal Branding Matters
Your brand is whatever people think about you. So the first think you need to think about is, “how do I portray myself to the public?” Are my pictures high quality, or did I take them with my cell phone? Does my website look like it was built on Wix and like a 10 year old could have built it?
If any of these types of things are true, you need to evaluate whether or not that’s the right approach for your target demographic. Because you see, the truth is, maybe if you’re serving a certain lower end demographic that’s not a problem. But if you’re serving high end clients or would like to, then you’re going to need to seriously re-evaluate your branding.
Photography is a great place to start with your branding because, well, it’s you! Having super high quality, professional-looking portraits will fast track your personal branding success immensely.
Some things to think about are:
What am I communicating with the photo?
What am I sub-communicating with my environment in the photo?
Am I dressed or is my appearance such that it will resonate with my target audience?
This last point is important because if you’re going after high ticket clients for example, then if you’re a man you don’t want to be wearing a tank top. If you’re a woman, you don’t want to be wearing yoga pants!
If you’re a yoga teacher though and you’re just looking to brand your yoga class, then the yoga pants are perfect. So always think about who you’re going to be speaking to with your images before taking your photos.
A lot of the same principles apply with video that apply with photos, such as dress, attire, appearance, environment, etc. Except with video there are a few more considerations.
First, is the quality of your audio. If you’re going to be speaking in the video, (non-speaking video is called b-roll), then you’re going to want to think about audio quality. If you’re filming outsite, is there a lot of wind? If so, you’ll need to have a solution to battle any wind noise.
You also need to think about the quality of the microphone you’re using, because the audio quality is only as good as the microphone you use.
A couple of other things to think about here are the editing of the video, for instance, and the color grading. I won’t get into too much detail about this now, but suffice it to say that a finished video is only as good as the editing that goes into it.