Last week I received an email from a boutique owner with a very good question about personal branding. And because I (Kathleen here – hi!) secretly want to be a proper advice columnist I thought I’d share the original questions and my response here.
Rhiannon had some really great questions and this is an issue that is applicable not only to creative entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily want to be front and center when it comes to their brand – but also to larger organizations that aren’t necessarily led by a single personality.
That said, I believe it is always appropriate to have a personal brand. First let’s define what it means to have a personal brand. Here at Braid Creative we believe a personal brand is simply blending who you are into the work that you do.
This means your personal values will show up in your business mission. It means that you get to connect the dots between your expertise and your hobbies. It means that your personality is an asset to your bottom line – the thing that makes you “weird” can be the thing that sets you apart from your competitors and attracts your dream customer! And most importantly, it means that your work is creatively fulfilling on a personal level.
Here at Braid, we obviously appreciate good branding – from articulate messaging to a consistent look & feel. Brand “polish” happens when your typography, layout, and color themes are consistent across platforms – and one of the biggest opportunities you have in making an impactful first impression is cohesive brand photography.
Branded photography can help set the tone and make a good first impression – and it can reassure and build trust with your potential customers because you’re showing them what they can expect when they hire or buy from you.
I know, I know! Just the words “stock photography” conjure up images of very happy and very white middle-aged couples walking along the beach with a glass of wine in hand.
In this article we’re going to cover the basics of what you need to know when it comes to creating and utilizing your own brand photography. But trust, stock photography has come a long way and with a curatorial eye you can find beautiful and diverse imagery that sets the tone for your brand.
A couple of months ago we got an email from Brené Brown asking if we’d like to see her speak in UCLA the following week – she had extra tickets and it was an extra special event that was being filmed for Netflix! The stars were aligned and we didn’t have any meetings, so Tara and I (Kathleen here) booked a quick trip to LA and for the first time since working with Brené got to see her speak live – and y’all, she crushed it.
When we first took Brené through the Braid Method* (in 2013) we asked her: what’s the ONE thing you want to be known for? And she said “I want to start a national conversation about vulnerability.” Well, mission accomplished. Through her decades of research Brené redefined vulnerability as the kind uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure and leads you down a path of love, belonging, joy, and wholehearted living.
We point past each other with our words, arguing as though we are looking at the same facts and experiences.
She was about to go on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday for the first time and wanted her personal brand and website to authentically reflect who she was and her vision for where she was going next. To say we were excited to help Brené with her evolving brand is an understatement. These days we continue to work with her team on The Daring Way brand that certifies and trains helping professionals with her work.