“How to build your personal brand?” must be one of the most searched phrases on Google. Branding is all about transparency and knowing who you are tied into; knowing what exactly it is your brand says about you. I learned this a while ago when I started to brand my photography business. I noticed people were intrigued by who I was and if they felt attached to me they were more than likely going to book me as their photographer. We live in a world where although social media and technology exist more than ever, people still want relationship. They want to know that the person on the other end cares enough about who they are and their story. When I realized building my character and working on my image impacted my brand I started to tap into the wealth of personal branding. You see, your customer usually can’t relate to your service or product unless they understand the story behind it in some way. Personal branding is about telling stories through your brand, getting involved in community and being real and transparent with your audience.
Once you’re able to get real with your customers and potential clients they will follow you on any journey or story your brand will tell. Saying “Thank You” and acknowledging your audience, and getting them locked in can go a long way. This is how you build trust with your brand.
Once you’ve established trust you can now begin to create your niche. Identify your target market and find a way to relate your brand to your client. Answer the questions, “Why should they go with you?”, “What can you offer them that others can’t?”, “What makes your brand unique and different from the rest?”
I spent 12 years as a professional full-time photographer. I took clients with me who became friends and journeyed with me into my purpose. Now as a motivational speaker and life coach I still get to shoot on the side, but I discovered the love I have for people. My brand helped me draw closer to my audience and see what their needs were.
Is your brand speaking to the needs of your potential clients? Are you able to communicate the value you will add to their lives? Personal branding is getting deep with your clients and audience- finding out what they like, what makes them laugh, what makes them sad and what dreams and aspirations they have. All these factors play into building a powerful personal brand.
Once you’ve answered these questions you want to stay relevant or all your work and progress can be in vain. Here are some ways to keep your brand relevant:
1. Networking is a great way to stay relevant and connected to the right people in the right places
2. Keeping your message consistent
3. Market and use trending social media
4. Keep asking how your brand serves your clients.
By Belinda Barrocks
Belinda “Kamshuka” Barrocks is an award-winning photographer, entrepreneur and community leader and is the winner of 2014 Black Canadian Best Photographer Award. She has appeared in several media interviews and various articles, positively influencing and challenging youth with their dreams and passions. Belinda Barrocks is known for bringing her photography and message to Dubai, the Island of Bahrain, the Bahamas, South Africa and Uganda. She has had success with her gallery shows for charities such as Sick Kids Canada and hosting branding and image workshops in the city of Toronto.