• Golden Wolf Photography

The 3 Tiers of Personal Branding: Which One is Right for You (or Client)?

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

3 tiers of personal branding
the 3 tiers of personal branding

I wanted to get a bit granular today and discuss more details about personal branding in general. If you're a small business or entrepreneur, this will apply directly you. If you're a personal brand photographer, you're in luck- this will apply to both your business and your clients'!

There are multiple ways to think about someone's personal brand. How deep you want your brand identity to go depends on a number of factors, including goals, audience, and resources.

Let's take a look: 1. What I Do for a Living. This personal brand is the least detailed, although it can be perfectly appropriate and effective for folks with a slight need to set themselves apart in their industry. In this personal brand style, you focus your brand identity on what you do for a living. It's basically your brand inside of your employer's. Think about how you fit in to your employer's brand and tell the world what makes you different from your coworkers. (This is also a good way to call attention to your supervisors for a promotion!) 2. Who I Am. This tier of personal branding is arguably the most common because it fits as a happy medium and helps distinguish a person within their industry as a whole. In this style, you not only fit in your place within a workplace as you do with style 1, but you also take into consideration the many parts of your life. Think about your personal and business networks, your competitors, your hobbies, your heroes, and your industry as a whole. Take those pieces of you and make sure they're reflected in your personal brand. In social media, for example, you can work in a series of content surrounding your hobby or passion. You could show yourself at a business convention for your industry. You could showcase (and tag!) your heroes or business colleagues for the awesome work that they do. Tell the world why this stuff is meaningful to you and how it all makes you who you are. Remember, people love genuine. When you show the world who you really are, you cultivate trust in a brand and people buy more.

This is also a great starting goal for a personal brand, as it'll make a great impression on the world and your customers, but is also a great place to build in elements of style 3 when you're ready.

3. Authentic to a T. Think of all the facets of you at a very personal, internal level. In this style of personal brand, you have to crack yourself open and be vulnerable to the world. In addition to all the elements above, showcase fears, aspirations, values, history, and challenges.

This can be a difficult one for some folks, which is why I recommend baby-stepping into this as you're comfortable sharing. It will get easier with time as you realize that your audience truly appreciates knowing who you are.

Why is this level of detail valuable to them?

It all comes down to that audience trust, which becomes extra solidified in this style. However, when you add in these very personal internal aspects of you, you become way more effective at connecting emotionally with your audience, and that's the ultimate goal!

Take a moment to think about the level of yourself that you share with the world, and decide if it's helping you with your goals, or if you should delve a little deeper.

What are some facets of personal branding that challenge you? Leave a comment below!

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