What is Personal Branding?
Most individuals have a ‘personal brand’ – whether it’s been consciously cultivated – or not. So what is it? Regardless of one’s age, position or chosen career, personal branding is important if you want to get known and move ahead. Think of yourself as the CEO of your own company – Me Inc. We have the job of being the head marketer for the company – ME. Personal branding is both an intentional and conscious effort to influence other people’s perception of us by positioning ourselves as an authority in our field.
This is done through being authentic, telling our ‘story’, being consistent, and looking every bit of the brand we have created. Authenticity is about knowing who we are and the value we can offer which makes us relatable to others.
Personal Stylists, Wardrobe Consultants and Personal Brand Consultants are just some of the people who can help you develop a personal brand that is authentic to you.
How to Develop a Personal Brand?
So how do you develop a Personal Brand? Is it about how you speak? How you dress? What social media platforms you post on? They are just part of it and, you need to guide and cultivate the brand yourself or have it defined by a branding expert such as a Personal Stylist, Image Consultant, Wardrobe Consultant, Personal Brand Strategist etc. When you are ready to build your brand, be true to ‘yourself’ and use what you already have to be authentically memorable.
This is how you build a personal brand story…
- Firstly, decide what you’re passionate about because your personal brand has to align with that.
- Create your profile on social networking platforms that reflect your passions and interests.
- Create a plan of action – the ‘what’s next…’
- Then be willing to tell your story!
Your story will tell people more about who you are, and what makes you tick. It’s about your PERSONALITY. Start with thinking about words that you think describe you. Are you serious or funny? Are you thoughtful or spontaneous? etc.
Your personal brand must reflect the real YOU. Not a made-up version of you. Incongruency will undermine your efforts and it’s always detected by others.
How to Create Your Personal brand?
Your brand must align with your values, goals, interests and what you are passionate about– because this energies you, gives you confidence and motivates you to devote time and energy to build your brand. Look to those qualities and strengths you have so that your brand message is powerful.
Your visual message is just as important as any other aspects of your personal brand message. Your hair, makeup, accessories and clothing style are essential brand elements. People judge you within seconds even before you have said a single word. To ‘walk-the-talk’ with confidence, employ the services of a Personal Brand Strategist or Image Consultant to fine-tune your look. Their services are invaluable because they ensure your visual message aligns with your overall brand message.
It must also be tailored to those whose attention you want to attract. These are the people &/or organizations to be associated with that will help support you in building your personal brand.
How much do I need to spend on a new wardrobe?
That famous statement “that depends!” on… what you already have, and whether those wardrobe items still work for you.
When assessing your wardrobe items, ask yourself…
- Is it appropriate for my Personal Brand message?
- Is it still current?
- Is it in good repair?
- Does it reflect my personality?
- Does it suit me physically? eg fit, colour, style, proportion-wise etc.
- Does it exude quality?
Wearing poor quality anything speaks volumes about what you will deliver to others. If it’s obvious you can’t be generous with yourself, others will be wary that your service delivery is likely to be lacking as well. So always buy the best quality you can afford.
If you have bought well, you may only need a few items to fill the gaps in your wardrobe. This might only cost a few hundred dollars.
However if your wardrobe items are not faring well – you might have to start afresh. This would need a suitable budget to get your wardrobe back in good working order and that could be upwards of $3000 or more – depending on what you need. Remember, your wardrobe real-estate needs to be filled with items you love, that supports your goals and aspirations and, looks amazing on you.
To save time and money, engage the services of a Wardrobe Management Consultant, who is also an Image Consultant who will take care of every aspect of your wardrobe.
How does the Style Consultation work?
Once you have selected a Personal Stylist you feel an affinity with, and have organized your Style session date, there are things that you may be required to do prior to the consultation. That could include completing a pre-session questionnaire that will assist the Stylist in knowing more about you, what your preferences are in relation to the styles you have bought and why you bought them. You may be asked what challenges you face when deciding on what to buy and where to shop etc.
Your actual consultation will take at least 2-3 hours starting with how you see yourself currently (self image), what image you would like to portray to others (extended image) and what you think they perceive about you (perceived image).
Once you have articulated your answers, these will drive the rest of your style session.
Discovering your ‘Style Signature’ encompasses the following areas:
- Your lifestyle and career job roles and clothing needs
- Your personality style
- Your physical attributes and what styles will work and what never will
- Your body-type and the fabrics that suit your type
- Your Wardrobe requirements for each of your lifestyle and career areas
You walk away with your personalised Style Guide that you can refer to time and time again as you proceed on your style journey.
Do you have a waitlist? How long do I have to wait for my first appointment?
Whether you are requiring a Style Consultation, Wardrobe Audit, personal Colour Analysis or, a personal Shopping Excursion – speak to your Personal Stylist/Image Consultant about the best time to book the chosen session you require.
Image Consultants will normally be able to book a session for you within 2-3 weeks. It’s not unusual to be offered a complimentary 15 minute discovery session by phone or Zoom meeting.
Our Stylists, Wardrobe Consultants and Personal Shoppers already offer this as it greatly assists them to quickly focus on your immediate needs in your initial consultation.
How many shopping appointments do I need?
This will depend on what you need to create a working wardrobe that is appropriate for your lifestyle and career roles.
It also depends on the state of your current wardrobe and your available budget.
If you have the means to purchase everything you need (and desire), then your personal shopping consultant will prioritise your wants and needs based on the time you have to shop, which may need more than one shopping excursion.
However, if your budget is limited, they will determine what the most important items are that you need straight away, They will also create a longer term plan that will fit within your budget and time.
The staggered approach to shopping with you can work well if you have a budgetary limit. Your Personal Shopping consultant will then just focus on the current season needs &/or on a specific occasion outfit.
What exactly is a style consultation?
To put this in simple terms, it’s basically an interview with your chosen Personal Style Consultant who will ask you why you felt a style consultation was what you needed and will want to know the challenges you have faced looking for clothes you like. She will want to know where you currently shop and the labels you tend to buy.
Your answers are vital as they help your style consultant give you essential information about the ideal styles that suit you, where to shop for those styles, while ensuring you have a most enjoyable experience.
Your personal stylist may suggest that a shopping excursion with her will demonstrate just where to shop and what to look for. She will purposely avoid the stores at which you have shopped at before and will avoid the labels that have failed you. She will have you try labels you probably will never have heard of before. However, a Style Consultation is the best first step to understanding your physical attributes and the styles that work with your body.
Can I just do my own ‘personal branding’ to save money?
If you know the steps to take to create your own personal brand, it’s possible to work on your brand development on your own. But your brand cover many elements including how you present visually. Are you adept at online marketing of your personal brand? Do you know how to present your story and have all aspects of your brand congruent with each other? Do you have a great track record for buying well and always looking good? If so, you will probably never seek the services of a Personal Brand Consultant, Stylist or Personal Shopper.
But if you, like many people are not sure about how to go about creating an authentic personal brand “You Inc.” then the concern is that you will continue to spin your wheels and not get anyway.
So the answer is “Yes – you can do your own Personal Branding” but that doesn’t guarantee that you save money or time.
Just try this visual exercise:remove all items in your wardrobe that you have either never or rarely worn. All those things that hand like orphans in the back of your wardrobe. Now add up the cost of all these items and ask yourself – is this a good strategy for saving money? When you pay for the services of a Personal Brand Consultant, you learn so much about yourself and what you need to do the build your brand including the way you dress to support your brand message.