YOU ARE YOUR BRAND
I think I should start with a disclaimer...
So everything I'm going to share with you is literally unadulterated and wholly my own observations through lived experiences. And I'm sharing it all here and at the ELEVATE MASTERCLASS. No fluff here! I'm sharing the info that you just can't find out there. Because Elevate is not about supplying basic small business info to the masses.
Having a "personal brand" is a relatively new term. But it's something I've been doing for years - slowly curating my business to subtly emit the essence of who I am, my philosophy's & what I'm all about. Incorporating this properly is not only hard because you need to know yourself well, but also how you want others to perceive you. You are your brands number one ambassador. And the things and people you surround yourself add to your brand. Or shall we say ELEVATE- your brand ;)
WORK HARD UNTIL YOU NO LONGER NEED TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF..
It sounds time consuming doesn't it! Well if your doing it right- it shouldn't be. Because your personal brand shouldn't be reflecting someone your not or someone you wish to be. The best brands are personal, raw, and all about being the real you. Corporate stuffy bubbles are long gone, being uber professional and strict etiquette - gone. I love how now day's your prospective clients really want to know you before they book you. I find it's all about trust these days. So how does your prospective client develop trust without even meeting you? By getting to know you through social media, familiarizing themselves with your portfolio or featured works on industry blogs, and if you can connect with them on a personal level, through a story about your life - even better.
I'm such a sucker for this. Recently I've been all about skin care. And there's a specific luxury label I purchase. I'm talking $100 mascara. But I'm willing to pay that premium because I know where my money is going, who it's supporting and what their mission in business is. But I sought out those answers before I spent my moulah. So it's the same with any luxury service or product. People will pay a premium if they see value in what YOU do.
So how do I live my personal brand and how did I get there? Well it was kind of a mistake. I basically outlined what was important to me:
Clients to know me before we even sit down for a cappuccino and
My work to speak for itself.
And my list grew from those two points.
What fun things do I want my clients to know about me? Well...that's simple. The questions is who am I - now put that into one sentence. Kinda like your personal elevator pitch...
an internationally published fine art wedding planner & stylist, cappuccino sipper, fur baby lover, wedding industry influencer.
It's a tall order when you ask a like-minded professional to capture this "essence" of "my personal brand" through photography. But you can quite clearly see the results in the images within this blog post.
“It’s either cappuccinos with Hugo or Champagne on the balcony....with Hugo. That’s how I see her - and thus how we shot her. There’s just no two ways about it.”
— Laura, of Laura Kelly Photography
I have to give Laura a little bit of extra credit. I really was stumped on how to create this personal brand shoot. It's easy for me to do fabulous things for others and hit it on the nail. But when it comes to myself...I'm overly judgmental and overthink things almost to obsession. So when I got on the phone with Laura, it only took a three second pause on the phone and Laura replied "I'm thinking patio, sunset, you and your girls sipping champagne, just loving life." Her exact quote. I died! Because if you know me, I'm all about those balmy +30 degrees nights on the patio at 2am sipping champagne and listening to some awesome chill music. Throw in some tapas and I'm literally in heaven!
All we had to do was factor in Hugo (you all know who that monster is), tweak the location and obvi the time of day and we were good to go:) When I look at the result of this shoot I can't help but think how perfectly it represents me to my core. And I'm forever gratefull for Laura being able to capture my team in their best light.
So circling back. I have two messages:
First, dig deep and know yourself! You do you! ELEVATE YOURSELF first.
Secondly, Laura ELEVATED my business by truly understanding my own personal brand and representing that in her images.
Two principles we will be teaching in our masterclass. How to get to that next level and how to surround yourself with people who can help you reach that much further.
Hope to see you in class!