In today’s plugged-in society, there aren’t many days – if any – that aren’t spent online. And one of the most effective ways to ultimately boost your career is by nurturing your virtual presence with flawless personal branding.
Whether you’re an executive with a wealth of knowledge spanning decades or a fresh-faced entrepreneur just starting out, ignoring social media entirely will ultimately kill your career.
But those willing to embrace the virtual world will thrive with new opportunities – as long as they make the effort to stand out with strong personal branding.
“People on LinkedIn often have the same profile for 10 years, but we all know that in 10 years you could have grey hair and wrinkles, and have put on a few kilos,” Powerful Steps Founder Tory Archbold explains. “It’s not just about having one head shot and forgetting about it. You have to see yourself as a brand.”
For leading executives wanting to take their success to new heights, the public relations expert is sharing her personal branding wisdom.
What is personal branding?
No matter your professional status, personal branding allows you to differentiate yourself by elevating your overall online image. Through understanding your audience, highlighting your core abilities and establishing your voice, you will ultimately advance your career to great levels.
“A lot of director-level women who lead teams come to me and we clean up their profile and they vibrate at a much higher level,” the expert says. “My clients have invested in learning something about themselves, but also by stepping into their power zone, they walk away feeling really confident and they actually want to show their talents to the world.”
How do you update your brand?
One of the expert ways to add value to your brand is by completely overhauling your online presence – and it starts with the visuals.
By embracing an award-winning copywriter, professional photographer and renowned styling team, professionals can experience the Empowering You course, where Tory coaches leaders to fine tune their LinkedIn profiles, ultimately reaching new levels of their careers.
“It’s a campaign but for a personal brand,” Tory explains. “If you’re the voice of a brand or a spokesperson of your own business, how you look at the camera and what your energy looks like is going to be the difference between someone saying they want to connect with you or not.”
Amplifying skills and tapping into one’s power allows for each business leader to put their best foot forward, opening themselves up for inspiring business connections they’d once only dreamed of.
“When you meet a photographer for the first time, they’re brilliant at what they do but they haven’t got that understanding of what my brand needs and Tory’s attention and doggedness to get the right shot is really appreciated – and that’s unique,” Erica King, founder of Life Lessons with Erica King, says.
Six secrets to personal branding
- Invest in yourself
- Captivating copy
- Finding your brand
- Share the true you
- Harnessing opportunities
- Constantly update
“It’s not about looking for a new job,” Tory says. “What you’re doing is raising your vibration to connect with like-minded people. A lot of corporates will invest the funds themselves because they know for their career and positioning it will elevate them.”
The secret to personal branding photo-shoot success is choosing the right team to elevate your brand.
By embracing global experts including personal styling by Mars; hair and make-up by the world-renowned Michael Brown – whose clients include Gisele Bundchen, Miranda Kerr and Hailey Bieber; photography by Waded plus Tory’s keen eye for detail and honesty, executives can experience the dream team for creating powerful imagery first hand.
“When people Google your name, the number one thing that comes up is your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn bio has to show people what your superpower is. The first three sentences are on Google – what’s it going to say about you?”
Successful businesses are those with a clear purpose that put customers front and centre – much like the core of a personal branding shoot.
“Who are you? What do you stand for? What’s your intent? What’s your purpose? Most importantly, what do you deliver in a professional capacity? That needs to match what your image is and that’s what attracts people,” Tory shares.
One of the perfect times to rediscover who you are is after a long break, Rachel White, Director Asia–Pacific and Japan, Expert Services, Customer Outcomes, explains.
“I didn’t want to return to work with the old stresses and everything the pandemic brought,” Rachel says. “I wanted to shake it off and do something new and out of my comfort zone. I put my best foot forward and physically shook off 2020.
“It is great being surrounded by talented, vibrant and strong women. Towards the end of the session, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of support, from pretty much strangers, and that felt amazing to me. It was like being wrapped it a warm hug.”
“Understand the value of human connection. Don’t be afraid to look polished, but also don’t be afraid to be yourself – that’s what people need to do now. You need to be approachable.”
“Your energy shows through the page, so if your energy is not right and you feel nervous, it’s going to show,” Tory explains. “It’s important to make everyone feel like themselves and get the best out of them.”
Through showcasing your true self, it allows business leaders to truly shift gears and take their expertise to the next level.
“It’s important to start showing up in a bigger way this year,” Natalie Coulson, Amped Up Marketing & Communications founder, says. “It’s great to improve your digital identity.
“Connection is a core value of mine. There’s a huge benefit in connecting well with an audience and building a community. This is so important for all brands now.”
“People go through this transformational phase where they have more confidence and they begin to believe in themselves. As soon as you have the energy shift and people know you’re available and you’re open to opportunities, you naturally start attracting opportunities.”
And the world of new possibilities isn’t restricted to those at the top of their careers.
“It doesn’t matter who you are – if you’re in a corporate role or you own a business, we get in a group and we don’t really know what we don’t know,” Erica King says. “From that point of view, a personal branding shoot is really helpful.
“Plus, I don’t think we get smarter listening to ourselves.”
“People are updating social media all the time. You should be constantly updating LinkedIn content every 6–12 months – I recommend every six months,” Tory explains.
Personal branding isn’t something you just need to establish, you also need to nurture and continually build to ensure you keep jumping to your next career level.
Having coached hundreds of CEOs and C-suite leaders, Erica understands how important a fresh perspective is to business success.
Benefits of personal branding
Producing sharp, powerful images is fundamental to being visible in a virtual world.
Not just any photographer or expert team can capture the true magic and emotion of the talent in front of the camera.
“It takes a very skilled person to capture the energy of clients,” Tory explains. “It’s the difference between someone wanting to connect with you or someone else. The energy is a magnet for attraction, so you’ve got to get it right.”
And the results are attracting lengthy waitlists.
Those who have overhauled their personal brand through the Empowering You course have seen an increase of three times more opportunities opening up each week.
“When people start investing in themselves and their business, they’re no longer the wallflower – they actually become the butterfly,” Tory says. “They become more confident in the way they speak, the way they communicate and the way they position themselves.
“All of a sudden they want to share it with the world and the opportunities start flowing in because they’re more active on social media, they’re building connections and networking with different people.”
Changing gears in 2021
After the COVID-19 challenges that disrupted the economy for much of 2020, this year holds new hope for business leaders wanting to hit the refresh button.
The hunger for a fresh start and optimistic outlook is being felt by many business leaders, especially in Australia where the pandemic isn’t as prevalent as it is in the UK or the US.
“Investing in your image is the best investment in a professional capacity,” Tory, who has had to double the personal branding shoots to meet demands, explains. “Everyone’s stepping into their power.”
Feature image: Waded