Do I really need a personal brand?
Good question, but the answer is simple, everyone has one already. A personal brand is simply what you are know as in your community. Social Media has created a platform that you can use to improve and grow your brand or destroy it. We have seen may examples of how social media can make or break a personal brand. But most people are simply not taking control or taking advantage of their personal branding. I am not talking about becoming a Kardashian or being instagram famous. We are talking about real world branding for real world professionals.
Social media is a waste of time.
Many people have a aversion to social media. They say, “I prefer face to face conversations and social media is a waste of time”. If your using social media wrong it is definitely a waste of time, or worse. But just think about how most people use the internet now. Not just aimlessly flipping through photos on a social feed. But people use the internet to find out more about you. For example, if your a lawyer and someone is considering hiring you, before they pick up the phone to call you, what do the do? They google you! What will they find? Nothing at all, a 20 year old photo on some unmanaged random website. Hopefully they find a well done professional LinkedIn page. Your recent headshot photo on your companies website or your listing on Pittsburgh Professionals On The Move.
If you use social media right you build confidence in the person searching for you. As a corporate and business photgrapher in Pittsburgh, I have learned the importance of effective executive portraits and headshots. This is just as important for Linkedin profiles.
Good corporate portraits involve more than simply nice pictures. They must send the right message about your company. They really are a form of advertising.
We have heard “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Nothing could be truer in this case. Some say, “you can’t tell a book from it’s cover”, however people do judge us by what they see first. In this case it could be our portrait. We could have the best education and a great bio, but if our picture looks silly, frivilous, bored, etc. it will have a negative effect. All things being the same, the customer will possibly go to someone else. When people find you on Linkedin the first thing they will look at is your Linkedin photo. In this competitive environment, it can make all the difference.
Word of mouth
It is true word of mouth can still work. But this takes years of hard work and diligent effort to develop a well know name in a large market like Pittsburgh. What do you do when you need a service? Ask a friend or do you go to Google? For me, I do both. But I always check a companies reviews and Google to find more about the Doctor or Lawer before I hire them. Your clients are doing the same. So it’s very important for people to know you, particularly when they need what you have to offer. Social media and reviews are digital word of mouth, don’t forget that. Real recommendations by real people. So you need to be able to be found on Social Media.
If you are an attorney, you want to be the first one people think of when they need an attorney.
I don’t own a company
Most don’t own their own business. That doesn’t mean building a brand is not for you. I don’t think I could sate it better than this article so check it out. 5 Reasons Why Personal Branding is Important – Even When You Don’t Own a Business
1. Your headshot photo is vital.
Even if you hate social media every professional needs to have a LinkedIn profile. It is growing more and more important every day for making career connections. Some people think it’s only for job seekers, but that’s not the case. This is where we can help. Every personal brand needs a good professional headshot photo for their profile. It is your digital business card. But is yours outdated? or even worse a cell phone photo taken by a family member? LinkedIn tells us that users who have photos are seven times more likely to be contacted with professional opportunities.
2. What is your photo saying?
A old photo or poorly taken cell phone photo gives a bad fist impression.
Remember your not trying to “….get the star power that gets the paparazzi to track your every move, but you will have something even more valuable: strong relationships with customers and coworkers that ensure you’ll have lasting success in the years ahead.” Quote from a article by Lucas Miller