Throughout my three years in undergrad, one thing was consistently emphasized: brand. Being a business student, my professors primarily focused on the cultivation of students’ professional brand, however, I believe there is a thin line between someone’s personal and professional brand.
The way you interact in a professional setting has a lot to do with your personal life. For instance, how you were raised, a personal aspect, heavily influences how you act in a room full of professionals. But like a growing individual, a brand must grow with you.
Before I get into how I began to construct my brand, let’s talk more about what a brand is. Your personal/professional brand is how you want to market yourself to others. The key points you feel define your most desirable qualities best. As I mentioned before, your brand changes as you do. Your priorities and goals change, which may affect your brand. By having a defined brand, you show your peers that you know yourself well, because you have clearly examined your strengths and weaknesses in order to have created the portrayal of yourself.
In the fall of my final year of undergrad, I attended Business as Mission conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to the conference, my advisor and I spent hours trying to piece together my brand to print it on a business card. We took adjectives and definitions from personality tests, asked the opinions of friends and family, and researched the meaning behind colors and symbols to create a business card that described Cassidy DeWitt (my maiden name).
We decided on a deep blue and white marble, with modern simple details, and the words integrator, pioneer and developer. The blue marble represented depth and elegance, two characteristics we had previously written down. Not only do colors help deepen your brand, but you also need some key adjectives/descriptions. Integrator categorized me with the traditionalists, the dreamers, and the empaths; pioneer defined my organized, spontaneous side; and developer portrayed my support for and the potential I see in others.
As you can see, we were very thorough. Thanks to Andrew’s company personality test, Strengthsfinder, and the Myers-Briggs, we constructed my “first impression” when I met others at the conference.
Since then, I have altered my brand. Life took a different turn than I thought it would and I love it. But that business card no longer accurately represents who I am.
First of all, my last name is now Allen. Secondly, I switched from the deep blue to warmer tones like shades of orange, or neutral colors. Orange represents the intensity of red, combined with the happiness of yellow. It represents passion and creativity, and gives off a warm, inviting vibe. I want others to feel drawn to my photos and my website, and to find comfort in my words and visuals.
To accompany this brand, I also started asking friends and family what kinds of things described me. This helped me with coming up with ideas for visual content. I got feedback like coffee, journaling, Chicago, and plants. Those visuals can assist me in sharing a consistent theme within my brand.
Establishing a brand takes time. A lot of time, a lot of tweaks, and you never really finish creating your brand, you just alter it as you go. When we chose a deep blue for mine, our goal was to make connections to hopefully get me a job after graduation. I ended up sticking with the company I interned for, and because of that I get to work remotely.
Working remotely has taught me a lot about myself and what kind of person I am, and what kinds of goals I have. Which is why I altered colors. I have taken on a more creative role in the last six months, and I like the path creativity has put me on.
If you are interested in really distinguishing yourself with a brand, I would love to assist you. I can’t emphasize its importance enough. I’ll help you analyze your likes and dislikes, what frustrates you and what drives your work ethic. I can also photograph for you. Brand photography is really neat because I get to use one of my brand features to help someone else visualize their own. I like to think of it as storytelling through photos! Whether it be professional headshots, in-action shots, a product, or service, I would love to capture that for you. But more on that later…
If you have questions or other inquiries regarding brand, get in touch with me here!