February 28, 2022

Who actually needs Personal Branding?

Personal Branding, Informational


Here's the kicker though.

Most people just don't realize it!

Meet Joe!

Joe is a Sales Professional, and sells idk packing peanuts or something like that. Joe has a HUGE customer base, and rarely takes in new business. His customer base is so loyal that he can tell you exactly when to expect a purchase order, and they even recommend him new customers.

HOWEVER, most referrals don't really call Joe or choose to do business with him. This doesn't really bother Joe because his current customer base is so loyal that he feels like he has an income stream on loop, and can pretty much just work with them his whole career.

Wait..PAUSE! Joe's referrals don't stick?

What is so wrong with Joe? Well, nothing! Joe is actually a great Account Manager and that's why he has so loyal customers. The thing here is that Joe's customers know that, but that's really it. The people being referred to Joe don't really know Joe, they just know someone who does like him and does business with him.

Well, isn't that usually enough? Sometimes it can be, but more often than not people want to know who they're doing business with and do their own homework on them. So they go check Joe out on LinkedIn and see a guy with sunglasses and a hat in the thumbnail. Immediately they go, hrrm who is this guy, and can I trust him?!

Enter Joe the Brand

One day Joe decides, you know what I'd like for some of these referrals to eventually convert to a customer. So he calls one that was referred to him but declined to do business with him, and asks why he didn't earn their business. The answer makes Joe take a step back! The customer's response was, "Well XYZ Company likes you, but when I looked you up I didn't really see a real reason to do business with you. Packing Peanuts are so easy to find, and I found a few other people that had a great company and business model and instantly captured my attention with their Website materials and LinkedIn information."

Joe now had some work to do! He realized that he had a problem where he was really good at his job, and a very trust worthy person, but NO ONE KNEW.

Personal Branding Matters, and for EVERYONE!

Branding isn't a logo, or label that you wear on a shirt. Well, it can be, but that's really getting ahead if the story here. Branding is like your thumbprint! It's unique to you, and really only you can ever have YOUR branding as a person. For instance, even if some of my family don't know I have a Studio in Boston, they're asking me to bring a camera on family events because they know I'm a sucker and I can't say no. Also, that I'm a photographer (professional label aside). This is because I'm such a photo nerd that I always have a camera with me.

How I turned that into a business was that I suddenly just started asking for money when I was done taking pictures. People already knew I took photos, and I had them somewhere they could see so that they knew what I did. Then just like that, I had a brand, identity, signature, whatever you want to call it. People associated me with a picture, and gave me money.

Ok, moment of Truth!

I am Joe!

That's right, I sold Packing Peanuts! Ok not really, but I did realize I had a branding problem that was standing in my way of becoming the professional I always wanted to be. I took photos of friends and family members, but outside of them, no one knew who I was. Let's be honest that's most likely why you're reading this! You found me somewhere on the interwebs and was like who is this guy and is he a Russian Bot? Long story short, I don't speak Russia or...bot.

The Tide then Turn-eth

Look MOM I'm a BRAND!

The minute I found what my "fingerprint" was, I had a brand that spread like wild fire. Rather than having a whole bunch of work of every side of photography, I had something that someone resonated with, and I could consistently deliver. My brand is inviting people to be themselves and in the process highlight what's unique about them in their branding. If your LinkedIn photo is the first thing someone sees and their first thought is nice sunglasses, I seriously hope that's what you're selling!

Oh yeah, that guy/girl/person!

Customers coming in the door usually are referred from another customer. I like word of mouth marketing, call me old school! HOWEVER!!! When someone comes and looks at my site, I want them to be like OH YEAH, THAT Guy. I've seen these on LinkedIn or Company XYZ's directory. That is what I offer to my patrons, a look that is memorable (in a good way) and is authentic. I don't care who you are, or what you do for work. Your market is saturated, and you always have to stand out. That is the difference between just having something on your LinkedIn, and having a Brand.

Standing out!


YES, the cover photo at the top IS me!

YES, I took that on my phone coming out of South Station.

YES, It was my LinkedIn Profile Picture for a WHILE!

NO, I'm not proud! I'm humbled that I now know better.