Branding: What makes you, YOU?
Updated: Mar 24, 2018
We’ve all heard the sayings, “First impressions last a lifetime!” “You only get one shot!” “Put your best foot forward!” Or, the most common of all, “You never know who’s watching you!” These sayings are all facts, as of today. In the world of modeling, your life is on display, especially on social media platforms.... Dun dun dunnnnn!!! Scary, right?
Truth is, if you don’t brand yourself, someone else will. And the outcome... may not be so favorable.
Branding yourself keeps you current in your field of modeling; it open doors of opportunity; and creates a lasting impression on potential and existing clients. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over the initial perception people have of you.
Here’s 5 branding tips and a little nugget that has proven it’s value in how I’ve branded myself as a professional model with gratitude to one of my favorite photographer, Leighton DaCosta, and my agents:
Define your brand and become an expert. Discover what category and genre(s) of modeling you are great at executing. Build a intriguing biography that highlights who you are as a model; what you’ve accomplished; how you’ve succeeded; where you’re heading with your modeling career path; and most importantly why you’ve chosen that career path and any future plans you’re seeking to develop. << Photo Credit: Dwight Smalls Photography
NOTE: Avoid establishing a modeling career in fields that's irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. In example, I have a huge passion for fashion modeling and a plethora amount of experience from fashion editorials to runway; however, I am NOT a fashion model. Despite having fashion model features and an enlongated appearance on the runway. However, I do fit the catergory and many genres of commercial modeling. Therefore, I would highlight my brand, accordingly, and use my fashion modeling experiences as reference.
Establish a presence. They‘re watching you.... Yes! As you are reading this blog, people are googling you which leads me to ask one question, “Are they finding your branded content?” In example, your website or online portfolio? This should be a one-stop resource hub that contain links to all of your branding social media platforms including your best methods of contact. Most importantly, claim your name before someone else does! While search engines will pick up on your social media pages, having your own domain will produce a more finite result.
Generate brand awareness through networking. Forming professional relationships with people within your audience can grow your brand long-term. That’s right! This means connecting with other professionals within similar fields in the fashion and commercial industry by using social networks and commenting on their posts and blogs. You can also apply the same method of generating brand awareness for in-person industry networking events by exchanging business cards or contact sheets then following-up with the people you networked with for future opportunities.
NOTE: Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. It is one of the most effective forms of promotion for Word of Mouth Marketing - your clients get a chance to see what you are all about which trickles down to them becoming satisfied and recommending you to others once you’ve had a chance to work together. ^^ Photo Credit: Nicole Piper Photography, Alexandra Ni Collection, Amy LaVe' Makeup.
Focus on the 3 Cs of branding.... Clarity, Consistency, and Constancy.
Be clear in who you are! No sugar-coating.
Be consistent with branding yourself throughout all of your social media platforms.
Be present! Remain visible to your audience as well as future clients.
>> Photo credit: Donnie Smith Photography
Get constructive feedback from those who have your best interest at heart! They ARE NOT your "Yes" men! They are the people who can easily introduce you to others; they know your attributes; and your strengths as a model.
Lastly, have you ever posted photos and details about your onset or behind the scene experiences on social media - highlighting just yourself? Did you know that a lot clients are objective of such postings especially those postings that contains photos? And many clients and agents aren't too fond of mentioning their brand names prior to executing the assignment.
So, here's the double win: Invisible Self-Promotion. By invisibly self-promoting, you are getting yourself on the radar while bragging about the client or agency; and passively letting your friends and followers know about whatever it is your want to promote. Here’s how to invisible self-promote, successfully:
Give a genuine compliment or shout out to the client(s) or agency associated to whatever it is your want to promote.
Don't directly mention whatever it is you are promoting; booked for; or the brand. The point is to highlight THEM - the client(s) or agency.
In example, "My booking agents at Professionally Pretty Model & Talent Agency are rock-stars! Within the past 3 months, I've received countless casting opportunities for both print and film."
If this blog has helped you in any way please leave a comment, in the comment section.