One year ago, along with my thesis partner, we created an undergraduate thesis proposal entitled, “A Proposed Corporate Identity and Branding for Sparrow’s Nest Newborn Photography.” Our goal was to create personal brand and logo for a professional photographer who wanted to pursue a career in Newborn Photography. Over and over we were asked by our fellow classmates, “why personal branding?” I would answer them, “why not?”
Personal branding is just as complex as creating a brand identity for any company. The same things and questions are involved such as, who are you? What do you want the people to think when they see your logo? What colors do you want? Personally, I think the tricky part is choosing what personality should be seen on the logo. During our thesis, I was mostly nervous about that part. Our client was a male with the ragged-artist look and somewhat laid back lifestyle. So how would you create a personal brand and logo that describes both him and his niche as a newborn photographer? I could discuss the details on a future post on how we dealt with that. But for now, let’s talk about why you should build your own personal brand identity.
It shows your client who or what you are. Your logo is your flag, flailing away on your ship. I can instantly imagine a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean when James Norrington spots a ship from a distance and peeks through his telescope to look at the flag and says, “pirates.” As a personal logo, your client should be able to identify you when they see it. But what is that you want them to see? Your personality? Your job description?
It is a uniform that shows us that you mean business. Color coordination is often overlooked by many brands–personal or company. It shows that you are well organized, and serious about your brand. It is an impressive display of who you are as a professional, and not just someone trying to survive the day. Your clients will know that about you when they see it.
It builds trust. First impressions with your client is just as important as with your date. When they get the impression that you are a professional at your work, then they know that you are someone they can trust their time and effort to. Trust has to be gained, so show them that you are worthy of it.
It gives reason not to haggle the price. No client would want to rob you of your price when they see that you mean serious business. A proper presentation of yourself would be a “haggle blocker” for clients who like to take out their haggle card and ask you to lower their price. If they still do and you simply say, “no”, they are sure to understand. “At least I tried”, I would imagine them say.
It identifies you from your competitors. “Aren’t you the one who worked with a husband/wife?” “no, I’m single and I work alone.” Or “didn’t you also do boudoir photography?” “no,that was the other guy. I just do weddings.” Jokes aside, this works both ways. You have to make yourself memorable to your clients. Be specific about what you do, and they will remember you for your services.
Collaterals are like an unconventional call card. A collateral such as a flyer, a sticker, a stationary, and paper bag that has your logo, your color scheme, graphic pattern, etc. is a way to make your clients remember you when they see it. Add in your personal contact and website to make it easier for them to remember you and look you up.
If I haven’t convinced you yet to consider creating a personal brand for yourself, I don’t know what will. But I’m sure you’re smart enough to understand the basic point of it all. Just remember that you are an entrepreneur who wants to be remembered and identified by your current and future clients. To be at the top of a client’s mind when your profession comes to topic is an indication that you have successfully branded yourself as a professional. Personal branding is about standing out from your competitors and telling your clients that you are here. So help yourself out and better your chances of getting clients to trust you and your expertise.