A few weeks back I primped and preened for a new set of ‘personal brand’ photographs that I will be rolling out across multiple mediums over the coming year or so. I mean, I had a whole new set of black t-shirts I needed to show off, why not get some updated photos, right?
But seriously, now I have the images in my hot little hand (i.e. “in the cloud”), I can see an array of uses for them. This underscores the importance of:
(a) thinking things through and then writing a detailed brief from the outset,
(b) booking enough time for the photographer to get a range of shots,
(c) having a patient snapper, which fortunately I did, and …
(d) working with a professional who is on your wavelength and can provide valuable input – again, fortunately, I did!
Preparing a brief
For those not aware of Lewis, he’s a New York Times best-selling author, 2x All-American athlete, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and host of one of the top audio/video interview shows in the world – The School of Greatness – with over 300 million downloads. His journey from a ‘nobody’ to a well-known influential figure is pretty inspiring, and comes with lots of insights and lessons.
The 6 most important things in building a personal brand
I’ve heard Lewis interviewed numerous times, and usually it’s about his story, his podcast, his books, LinkedIn, and other aspects of personal development. On this occasion, however, Lewis dug into personal branding. One thing he said surprised me (as well as the host, Rory Vaden) – that photography is one of the top most important things in building a personal brand.
When you stop and think about it, it makes sense. But I wasn’t expecting it from a non-photographer without a vested interest in the medium.
“I’m really intentional about the photographs that I post and that are portrayed on my website and branding.” — @LewisHowes
I also liked his idea that photography captures a state of being that people remember. The rationale he provides for a photography-first approach is pretty compelling.
From the podcast’s show notes: “Lewis talks about the six things that are key to building a personal brand, and how they are all related to capturing an energy, state, or feeling which one’s audience then internalizes.
“He talks about the centrality of photography in his brand, letting us in on the intense preparation that goes into the images he uses. From extensive styling and wardrobing rehearsals to flights to exotic locations with a dedicated team, Lewis believes in being extremely intentional with photography. The state you are photographed in orchestrates the image that gets burned into people’s minds of you, structuring how they connect to your brand from then on.”
Okay, for my photos, I had no wardrobe rehearsals, and I didn’t fly to an exotic destination (although I did travel into the city, which felt pretty exotic after so long holed up at home!).
But I do now have a renewed respect for the photographic process, and the role that photos play in one’s brand-building journey.
QUESTION: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GOT YOUR ‘PERSONAL BRAND’ PHOTOS PROFESSIONALLY DONE?
Listen/watch the Lewis Howes interview here. In a hurry? Fast forward to 4 minutes in to hear Lewis give his take on the importance of photography in building a personal brand.