How to build your personal brand

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly connected; yet disconnected at the same time. While it has never been easier to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, we lose something when we stay behind the veil of technology – deeper relationships. 

We forget that relationships underpin every business transaction. The deeper the relationship, the more profound and profitable it becomes.

Your customers crave connection – real connection – from the businesses they buy from. They don’t want to interact with a faceless business, hear from general autoresponders or enquire only through a web form. They want a real relationship, a real person – they want you.

Whether you are B2B or B2C, online or offline, product or service based, personal branding has never been more important. But where do you start, particularly if you’ve been hiding behind your brand for some time?

Start by being authentic

So often in business, we play a role. While this can help us to keep boundaries between our personal and professional lives, these same boundaries can also stop us from being who we are and building deeper relationships with our clients and contacts. 

While you should keep a level of mystery about you, make sure you aren’t hiding the real you. It is alright to show vulnerability and humanity at times; it will often make you more relatable and accessible to your customers and followers.

Brand yourself

Day in and day out we market our products and services but what about ourselves? You are unique. No one else has the same knowledge, opinions and experience as you do. No one will see the world through your same perspective. 

Own it and use it to your advantage. Talk about what makes you different and what value you personally bring to the table. Share your opinion and experience. Answer media callouts where you (not just your brand) could give input. 

If you struggle to talk about yourself, or you are humble to a fault, have an opinion-based blog or a tip segment in your newsletter that is credited to you, not just your brand. Also, use your biography, LinkedIn profile and testimonials to do the selling for you. 

Give yourself a voice inside and outside your brand to showcase your personal experience and expertise. 

Be seen and heard

To build your personal brand, you need to be seen and heard (sorry introverts there is no way around this one!). 

While this does involve building your online presence and demonstrating thought leadership through blogs, articles, media interviews and social media, all of which you can do from your office, you also need to get out into the world. Spread your message through networking, speaking and building relationships with others.

Start seeing yourself as a product you need to market. Pinpoint your unique selling points and the problems you solve and launch yourself out into the marketplace. You’ll find it helps your business marketing too.


Why you need to update your headshot

With business becoming more global and much of our networking and marketing done online, it can be hard to build a personal relationship with our customers – particularly when we will never meet many of them. But one way to get around this is through an up to date headshot.

As simple as it sounds having a photo on your social media profiles, or even on your email and business card, allows your customer to see and connect with you even though you aren’t in front of them.

With personal branding on my mind lately, I knew it was time to (finally) update my headshot – it was just one of those tasks that kept creeping down my to-do list – perhaps you can relate?  

Well in case you too have been putting it off, I thought I would share my experience with you to show it isn’t too scary or time-consuming (like some of you think it is); in fact, it can be pretty fun! So here goes…

After deciding it was time to get a new headshot for my LinkedIn profile I had a chance meeting with Elysia from Brisbane Headshots. She was funny, friendly and disarming (everything an introvert like me wants in a photographer), so I booked in to get my headshots done.

Elysia took me in via the Powder Room a gorgeous hair and makeup salon right next door who specialise in professional hair and makeup for headshots and weddings. My stylist Barbara was warm and friendly and took the time to chat about the look she would create to make sure I was comfortable. While she worked her magic, I sat back and sipped tea.

Then it came time to meet Paul, the lead photographer. We had a quick chat about outfit choices and the type of photos I was after (a natural headshot). He was softly spoken, but a true professional, and he quickly put me at ease. He even took the time to show me the photos to make sure I was happy and had the whole shoot wrapped up in less than half an hour. Later that afternoon I received my proofs and in less than a week I had my final photos! 

So if you are putting off your headshots, I highly recommend getting them done. Your customers want a greater connection with the people behind the brands they do business with…but more on that in the next blog!


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