The Internet and social media have given us all a tremendous opportunity ‚Äì to determine what our personal brand identity is and to communicate that to the world!
Why? Because as the old saying goes, “a picture tells a thousand words”. We are all visual creatures and we use what we see as a filter to make very quick assessments, and that includes the images we see on social media and the web.
Last week I mentioned to a friend I was looking for a makeup artist for a particular photography job I have coming up. One of my friends recommended a makeup artist that she knew ‚Ä¶ and what do you think I did?
Yep, you guessed it, I went straight to Google, searched the makeup artist’s name and within seconds I was looking at her on Facebook. Then I popped on over to her website. I wanted to see examples of her work, what she looked like and how she presented herself. Her online photos gave me a first impression about her and her work ‚Äì which happened to be fashionable, stylish and quality makeup work ‚Äì just what I was looking for!
Don’t underestimate the power of your first impression. A study made by Harvard University in 1993, actually demonstrated that it only takes two seconds to make a long-lasting and in-depth first impression. Another study by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in 2001, found that people assess another’s competence and trustworthiness in a quarter of a second ‚Äì based solely on how you look.
Some may find these findings scary, but I think they provide us all with a fabulous opportunity to take control of our own personal, visual brand and determine how we want to be perceived!
The web and social media have made us all so much more visible to the world. Each time we log onto LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and websites, people’s profile photos (as well as our own) are displayed for the world to see. LinkedIn even tells you how many people have looked at your profile each time you visit the site.
Let me point out that how you are perceived is not necessarily who you actually are. But that’s the thing with our personal brand image, it’s just that, an image! What does your profile and marketing photographs say about you?
Are you professional, fashionable, cutting-edge, modern, classic, conservative, a rebel, sporty, healthy, attractive, funny, cool, creative, a trend-setter, young, old, stylish, an expert, a party girl or guy, a mum, a dad, happy, angry, serious or fun?
The awesome thing is WE can decide what our personal brand is and how we want people to see us. And if you are not sure and need a little help with your personal branding, there are scores of branding experts that can work with you to develop your own unique brand and style. Then all you need to do is get some amazing photographs of yourself that show the world your ‘best visual self’ and make a great first impression!