5 Personal Brand Investments That Have Paid Off
Republished with permission from Do Well Dress Well an Evio Community Partner
Building a personal brand is just like building anything else – you need the right tools in order to put it together. But, how do you know exactly what tools to invest your time and money in? Personal branding is exactly that…it’s personal which means that’s there’s not necessarily a one size fits all solution. Our brands are unique to us as individuals but there are a few things that are invaluable investments, no matter who you are, what industry you’re in and what your brand stands for.
High Quality Images
Your photos are the first thing that people see when they browse your social profiles – are they making a great first impression? Personally, I found a big difference in the way my brand was perceived by others when I made a concerted effort to up the quality of my photos. As we know, your profile photo is the first thing that people look at on your social accounts. Having a clear, high-quality photo is the best thing you can do to make a great impression right off the bat. Not only are they useful for social but you always want to have high-quality photos handy for any events or speaking engagements that may want to display your photo. The first time I invested in a personal brand photoshoot, I felt like my brand was immediately elevated and it enhanced my overall professionalism. After a few years, I decided to invest in my own DSLR camera (Canon with 50mm lens) so that I could create my own photos whenever I need to.
I truly believe in the power of professional development. It’s something I’ve always valued and I enjoy keeping my knowledge and skills up to date by reading books and magazines. I tried e-Books for a while but nothing beats the feeling of turning physical pages.
Here are a few of my monthly magazine must-reads:
Harvard Business Review
Aside from regularly reading, I do prioritize attending conferences. I try to attend a conference every other month or so just to keep my mind fresh with new ideas and perspectives. I also love to take courses on topics that intrigue me. In the summer of 2017, I did a part-time User Experience Design course at Brainstation which has positively transformed the way I create content for the Do Well Dress Well platform! It can be difficult to find time to continue your education when you’re juggling a full-time workload and other responsibilities, but it’s all about finding a method that works for you!
Wardrobe and hair
It may sound superficial but these elements have come to define my brand in a unique way. My affinity for colours, patterns and bright accessories has not only allowed people to remember me but consistently reinforce the values I believe in: kindness, generosity and colour. I’ve spent a lot of time crafting a style that’s comfortable yet classy and allows my personality to shine through. My style and hair has become an awesome icebreaker for me, giving people a reason to initiate a conversation. Although I sometimes invest in key pieces, I don’t purchase luxury brands (but I will buy a Chanel bag one day!). Instead I shop at your average retail stores which allows me to afford to buy new items more frequently and keep my wardrobe fresh.
The key to a strong personal brand is consistency and Buffer has helped me remain consistent while also saving me SO much time. By adding all of my social accounts (both personal and business), I’m able to schedule my content ahead of time which allows me to maintain an active presence. Yes, I still manually go on each account and engage in real-time but having things planned and scheduled has been an absolute life-saver.
Investing into other people, whether it’s through time, money or both. I will always make time for virtual or in-person coffee chats and I love to support new ideas and ventures that are aligned with my values. This has allowed me to build meaningful connections with a wide, diverse network of people which occasionally provides me with unique opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise. I typically have at least one coffee chat once a week, either with someone new or an existing connection. In July 2018, I had 17 coffee chats alone – it sounds like a crazy number but if you get creative, it’s possible to make time in your schedule.
What things have helped to enhance your personal brand?