Updated: Oct 2
Your image. Your personal brand. Your story.
The first time I heard the phrase, ‘personal branding’, I was less than impressed. I had just finished reading ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ - a book set in a dark version of the future, where fertile women are branded with ear clips and poked with cattle prods – and I was particularly sensitive to the concept of human branding in general.
Today, I am a huge fan of this term.
Why, you may ask?
Because, jumping off my storytelling chair for a moment – please bear with me, I’m an author as well as a photographer – I now realise just how important personal branding is. In fact, I actively embrace the term.
I just prefer to add a tagline to it:
Personal branding: taking control of your story
In this new world we are living in, it’s vital that we take control of our personal image and our story online: who we are, what we do and what we can offer.
Think of it as the book cover for your story – with you as the one and only designer.
What is a personal brand?
You may not be aware that you already have a personal brand. Well, trust me, you do. If you don’t believe me, try googling yourself and see what pops up. And then, ask yourself if the profile image you selected for Linked In, Facebook and other social media reflects you in the best light possible?
Or perhaps a better question might be: how would a potential employer judge you from what they see on their screens?
Would you be happy with what they saw?
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but believe me, they do – I’ve changed my books covers twice already. And it’s exactly the same with your online profile photographs.
Personal branding and professional headshot photography is about taking control of your story, your narrative – the images that will attract people to you, rather than passing you over: the kind of people who will appreciate what you have to say.
My personal brand
This is my brand. It’s taken me a while to work it out, but I can honestly say that I’m finally happy with these images and what I believe they say about me.
Like many people I wear more than one professional hat. Image one is Naomi Lloyd, the photographer. Image two is Naomi E Lloyd, the sci-fi/fantasy author.
In the first image, my occupation is obvious. The camera is an easy prop! In the second image my branding is more subtle. I am wearing the bespoke neckpiece I had designed for my book series (Tandro) and yes, this is the same neckpiece that appears on my book covers. Subtle, but hopefully it is reflective of the image I want to portray: a metaphysical, other-worldly theme.
If I google my name, I am happy with my images on social media and other photographs that are connected to both my photography and my author businesses. To me, they illustrate that my career is spent chasing the light – both through my stories and with my camera.
When I look at these images together, I feel two important things:
focused on balancing two creative and complimentary professions; and, confident about who I am and what my skills and creative passions provide.
This is my story. But what is yours?
A professional headshot: A narrative
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
I’m sure you have heard this quote before. It’s one that always makes me smile.
On my writing days I aim to follow Stephen King and write 2,000 words a day. And on my photography days, I may not take as many photographs as the words I write, but the ones I do are all focused on telling a person’s individual story - and in the most attractive light.
Taking control of your online story
As already mentioned, your personal brand is already online so now is the time to take control of it. Don’t let the guys at Silicon Valley tell your story for you, because if you post the bleary-eyed photo of you from that night you can barely remember, that’s exactly what they (or their algorithms) will do. That version of you had fun but he’s not your every-day brand. At least, I doubt he is anyway.
There’s never been a better time to take control of your online personal brand and tell your story.
Visit Professional Headshots to book a photo session with Naomi
for your LinkedIn and other business profiles.
Samples photos can be seen on this page.
Naomi is a professional portrait photographer who creates portrait photos and headshots that look both professional and eye-catching. With over fifteen years of experience and consistent five-star reviews, you can book a stress-free photo shoot with Naomi knowing that you will receive professional head shots that will enhance your online profile.