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Robyn Graham Photography, LLC
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Brandographer: Visual Story Teller. Brand Strategist. Confidence Builder.
Brandographer: Visual Story Teller. Brand Strategist. Confidence Builder.

90 followers
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There’s a New Buzz-Word on the Scene: Personal Branding.

There is a new buzz-word on the scene, can you guess what it is?

What’s the Buzz Word

If you said personal branding you are right. You read about it on Instagram and Twitter you might even be following the hashtag, #personalbranding, you read about it in Forbes articles, you see it discussed on LinkedIn, but you really don’t know what it is. You are not alone.

I Gave My Spiel and was Asked What it Means

I recently spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners on the importance of visual content for personal branding. After going through my spiel and telling the audience that personal branding is a digital footprint, an on-line reputation, an introduction of your brand to the world, and a way to grow an emotional connection with your audience, and more, one of the women raised her hand and asked, “what exactly is a personal brand?”.

I thought, wow, did I do a poor job of explaining that or what? Or, maybe she wasn’t paying attention as that happens to the best of us. But, the reality is, it is a complicated concept if you are not familiar with it. I gave the audience a lot of information on how to create a personal brand, but, but if she wasn’t familiar with the concept, deliberately differentiating her brand didn’t make a lot of sense.

So let’s delve into what a personal brand is?

First Impressions

A personal brand is something that is unique to you. It identifies you on both a personal and business level. Your personal brand is often the first introduction of you to your ideal audience. It is the first impression you are leaving your audience with when they visit your website or social media platforms. If you are in a service industry, or the brain behind a product, you are your brand.


Your personal brand is your on-line identification. It is what people see when they Google you, or when your business comes up in a Google search result. Your personal brand is the way people view who you are and what you do.

Deliberate Differentiation

The way you build your personal brand is through deliberate differentiation. Deliberate differentiation is the process of coming out from behind your business and becoming the face of your brand. Your ideal clients will not purchase a product or service from you until they get to know you. Your goal when developing a personal brand is to differentiation yourself from all others in your space.

Attributes of a Personal Brand

What are the adjectives that describe you as your brand? Compassionate, creative, fun, imaginative, caring, kind, beautiful, innovative, youthful, approachable, expressive, inspirational, forward-thinking. These are just a few examples, but the words will help you define your brand and help you identify your brand colors, textures, patterns, typography, and the type of images that you want to use to communicate your personal brand. These factors will become the identity of your brand and how people recognize you.

Your personal brand should be authentic, consistent and cohesive. Let’s break these down.

Authenticity

Authenticity is about being yourself and representing the real you, not someone you admire or want to be. Putting yourself out into the world on your website and social media platforms will open a door for people to get to know, and love, the real you. The “you” that is behind the brilliance of your business. Everything about you represents your brand.; your authentic style, your authentic communication skills, your authentic social life, your authentic business life. Being your authentic self will help you pass the know, like and trust test. If you are representing yourself as someone you wish to be, you will not grow the trust of your audience because they will never truly know who you are.

Consistency

Consistent content is important for your ideal client to understand what you do and how you do it. Consistently representing your product or service in a way that is recognizable across all platforms is key to gaining the trust of your audience. You want to use visual content and text that your ideal client can recognize and know without a doubt that it is your content. Your tone, energy, color pallet and mood should be consistent on all platforms. Your verbal and visual content should reflect who you are and what you do in a way that your client can trust that you follow through, care about quality, and mean what you say.





Cohesive

Your personal brand should be represented in a cohesive manner across all platforms. Your typography, your colors, and your imagery should all flow from one platform to another. An easy example of cohesiveness is using the same headshot for a profile picture on all platforms. When you do this, even if the profile picture is millimeters in size, your audience will recognize the color and shape and know it is you. Think about your website and social media platforms flowing into each other in a way that moves from one to the other with ease. The more recognizable you are, the less your client has to work to figure out who you are and what you do and the more likely they will trust you and buy from you.

Visual Content

Visual content is important for being recognizable. When you are your brand, you need to have unique photographic content of yourself. Pictures can be of you working, of you doing what you do as your brand, of you spending time with your family and friends, of you interacting with clients and the behind the scenes of your business. The visual content should be consistent and cohesive, the lighter and brighter the better. Color images and images with faces will have more engagement than dark images.

Remember, that you can say more with a photograph, faster, than you can with text. Take advantage of visual content as a quick and easy way to get your message across and grow the emotional connection with your ideal audience. Stock photos can be very useful, but images specific to you and your brand are key to engagement. Professional and unique images representing you, will help you pass the know like and trust test with flying colors and your business will soar to new heights.

How can I help you with your personal branding needs? Let's collaborate: http://robyngrahamphotography.com/contact/
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Have you ever wondered how often you should post to social media platforms to grow your audience and engagement? Here is an article that will give you some guidance.
Happy posting!

Article on Frequency of Posting to Social Media Platforms

#socialmedia
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The Brand Equation

Remember those days in algebra and calculus when you had to memorize those awful equations to be able to solve a problem? Math was not my strong suit and I did not enjoy it. However, I learned it, and I’ve used it time and time again in business and in life.

The following equation has become the root of my brandography. It defines the key components and foundation of developing a brand, building a brand strategy and telling a visual story.

Vision + Values + Passion = Brand (V+V+P=B)

There are many factors that go into building a brand but your vision, your dreams, your values, the things that matter most to you as a person, along with your passion, define where your focus should be.

Once those critical components have been identified, you can begin building your brand, defining your scope, identifying your audience and ideal clients, and grow and blossom as your brand. You can take this a step further and use the equation to define your niche.

Your brand is who you are. What your business is. How you represent yourself on-line. Focus on the value you have to offer. If you are yourself and represent your brand authentically, your ideal clients will find you. Dress and act the part. If you are a jeans and boots kind of girl, like I am, wear the jeans and boots when appropriate. There are times when you'll have a client that you have to dress well to impress, meaning, you probably shouldn't wear jeans to a corporate client or business offices that are more formal, you don't want to offend them. But, for the most part, don’t just do what you think you need to do to get attention. Be your authentic self so that you attract the perfect clients, and not the clients that result in headaches. Trust me, you don't want them.

Your brand strategy and visual story should represent who you are. Don’t try to sell this, show it through pictures and catchy captions that reflect you, and grab the attention of your target audience. Focus on finding your voice using the equation. Your niche, or specialty, will be much more powerful and those top-tier clients that you have been dreaming of will flow your way in a steady stream.

Let's collaborate and show your ideal clients what your brand is all about!

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The video of my interview at the Bucks Happening Bash has been published. Please check it out and if you would like to learn more about brandography, don’t hesitate to contact me!
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Cheryl Anton recently interviewed me for the on-line magazine, Park Bench. I hope you enjoy the article and learning a little more about me. I sure had fun answering all of Cheryl's questions and getting to know her!
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Are you Multi-passionate? Me too!

This can be a real struggle. It is difficult for those of us who are multi-passionate to make decisions and it’s really hard to prioritize, especially when we are passionate about making others happy. Can I get a show of hands out there from those who feel my pain?

Recently I made a decision to follow my heart and focus on the niche of personal branding and visual story telling for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small business owners. For years I have been doing it all. Fortunately, for me, and for my clients, I was able to do it all well, not perfectly, and it was a lot to shift gears all the time, but I was able to do it effectively. However, with that said, my heart wasn’t into everything I was doing. Someone would call and because I thought I couldn’t turn away business, I would take the project, no matter what it was. Then, I would regret it, especially if the client was challenging.

Part of my problem is that I am passionate about almost everything. Everything I want to do, that is. In order to save myself from a plethora of items on my to do list that don’t thrill me and overwhelm me, I decided I needed to narrow my focus and do what I truly am best at and an expert at; brandography. Once I made this decision and began the process, my focus has been spot on. I am able to make decisions because the decisions are for something I love and am passionate about. It is so much easier to make decisions when I know the decisions are going to make a difference and have a positive impact on me, and my clients.

Why am I writing about this? Because I want to encourage you, and anyone who like me, is multi-passionate and is having trouble making decisions and prioritizing to identify your niche and narrow your focus. Narrowing my focus has helped me be able to prioritize the things I want to do most, and the things I love. Removing those things that didn’t inspire me is helping me be able to add other things I am passionate about but that I have been putting off, back on to my to do list. And as they begin to get accomplished, my confidence grows, I am more inspired, and even more motivated to create and be more of who I dream of being.
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Photo Bomb Your Business

Have you ever been photo bombed? You set up the perfect picture of your family or friends with the beautiful city scape behind them, you push the shutter button and boom, someone walks right behind the shortest person so that it looks as if he has two heads, one growing on top of the other. You only had one chance to get the shot and it was ruined because someone was not watching where he was going. Frustrating, right?

Well, I am not actually writing about that type of photo bombing today, but one that is equally as frustrating. Today, I want to ask you if your business social media sites have been photo bombed.

What do I mean by that, you ask?

Stop reading and quickly go to your favorite social media site, the one you use most often. Take a look at the pictures you’ve been posting and ask your self the following questions:

• Are the pictures well lit?
• Do the pictures tell the story of your brand?
• Are you well posed?
• Do the pictures look like the same pictures on similar brand’s social media pages?
• Do the pictures make you look like the unique, amazing brand that you are?
• Do the pictures make an emotional connection with your audience?
• Do the pictures make you feel warm and welcome?
• Do you look approachable?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, we need to get to work. Your social media sites and website are the gateway into your brand. You have 3 seconds to catch the attention of your audience to keep them on your page. If you are spending your time using stock photos that a similar brand is using, if you are sharing poorly lit pictures, if you are not making an emotional connection with your audience, you are losing opportunities to grow your business and make money.

You want to stand out, but you want to stand out in a positive, attention grabbing way. Be sure, even if you are using a smart phone and taking selfies, that you are well lit. If the light is behind you, use the flash or turn yourself at an angle that lends light to accent you. Don’t try to mimic other people. Think about who your ideal client is and what they will want to see. Think about what they want to know about you and your brand. Capture moments, even if on a smart phone, that will demonstrate that you know your audience and want to engage them.

Your goal is to emotionally engage your ideal clients, that audience that is going to hire you and then refer you to their friends and family. To be successful with this, you need astounding pictures of you that represent your brand as the unique and amazing entity that it is.

If you have tried this route without success and the smart phone or your good camera that you haven’t mastered how to use aren’t doing the trick for you, contact me and we’ll collaborate to get you noticed!
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I am still coming down from the high of the 2018 Bucks Happening Bash that was held last night. This is my interview from last year. I can’t wait to see the interview from last night!

Many thanks to all who helped me get to the red carpet again this year! It is such an honor and my heart is filled with gratitude for al of the love and support I receive from my family, friends, clients and the community.
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