The whole conversation about branding is nothing new. It’s something that’s been around for a long time.
Most of us will agree that a solid brand identity is something important for businesses to have, if they want to make a professional impression on their customers, employees, and basically anyone they come in contact with.
Do yourself a favor and every 2-4 years invest in some good quality photos. Sure it’s easy to take a selfie with your phone but the results are usually not that good.
But branding is not only for large businesses. If you’re working for yourself as many of us consultants, entrepreneurs, and coaches do, then there’s another part of the equation that you should be thinking about – welcome to personal branding.
In the last five years or so with the rise of social media and the ease of creating content and then sharing it personal branding has become more important than ever. Jayson Demers, founder and CEO of Seattle based content marketing and social media agency Audience Bloom, puts it like this “Just as so with a traditional brand, personal branding requires you to find a signature image, a unique voice, and a recognizable standard that your readers, fans, and customers can grow to recognize.”
Now there’s a lot we can talk about within branding and in future articles I’ll dive into that but for today I want to talk about what I believe are three very important areas of your personal brand. If you take care of all three of these, you’re off to a great start in the world of personal branding!
2 Crucial Components of a Successful Personal Consulting Brand
A Professional Website
Having a professional, easy to use, good looking website that represents you and your consulting brand is a must. A website is definitely one of the first things people look for when researching a consultant and their services and trying to decide if they want to work with them or not.
Here at Consulting Success we’re constantly surprised at how many consultants still do not have a good looking website to represent their brand. It’s so important to your business and brand but yet so many consultants we deal with either have something outdated from several years ago that or they don’t have a website at all.
This is one of the main reasons we recently created our Professional Websites for Consultants Service (update:we’ve winded down our website services to solely focused on coaching services) where we work with our clients to develop them a professionally designed website that works on mobile devices, tablets, and all computers.
If you already have a great website then you’re ahead of most of your competition, if not please do yourself a favor and invest in one today. There’s no excuse for not having one in this day and age, it’s expected!
Check out the screen shot of marketing consultant Brian Honigman’s website. Nice, professional, clean and gives you a great feeling about him and his services:
Good Quality Photos
Having good quality head shots and professional photos of yourself and the main members of your business team is another key to building a good personal consulting brand. We live in a society that really does judge a book by its cover and the main photo you use online is your cover. You may argue that this is not right but the fact of the matter is it’s just how humans work, we judge based on looks.
Do yourself a favor and every 2-4 years invest in some good quality photos. Sure it’s easy to take a selfie with your phone but the results are usually not that good. Spend a few hundred dollars and hire a professional or a photography student at a local media school to get a variety of photos of you and your team.
You want to go for a natural but professional look that you feel comfortable with and that you want to use to represent your personal brand online. Of course you don’t want the photo to be too relaxed or casual but you also don’t want to go super stiff, cold, and corporate. These days transparency is huge and I believe the more authentic you can be in your photos the better off you are.
Once you have these photos taken you should start using them everywhere. Use them on your website, on your LinkedIn and social media profiles, Skype, Gmail, and even in brochures or digital promotions that you run.
Freelance marketing consultant Luan Wise has a great looking website and one of the keys is her professional photography that she uses throughout her website.
So there you have it folks. Today we talked about two simple things you can do to really put your personal consulting brand on the map. Of course they do take some time, effort, planning and investment but honestly they will really set you apart from your competition and help you to grow your business and brand.
Oh, and as always I’d love for you to join the conversation below and leave your comments, insights, or questions for me and I’ll be sure to get back to you.