St. Augustine Photographer | Exuding Your Brand
What is a brand? Most people think it's the logo and how pretty your website is. Yes, it is partially those things; but, it's also a lot more. It's your logo. It's your website. It's your customer service. It's your packaging. It's your client meetings. It's how you present yourself to your client. One of the most valuable things I learned at Imaging USA was to exude my brand.
I feel like I'm doing well in most of these categories. But the one area I am sorely lacking in is how I present myself. Since I work from home it is really easy to sit around in my pjs all day. While that is nice and relaxing, inevitably I have to leave the house to run errands. I almost always run into someone I know. Even if I don't run into someone I know, I always meet someone who COULD be a NEW client! When I'm dressed super casual it sends the wrong message. It says,
"I'm off from work," or
"I'm just hanging out," the worst one...
"I'm a "photographer.""
Ugg, the extra quotes. That is not a brand I want to exude. I'm not a "photographer" I'm a photographer and the way I dress showcases that. I am valued. I am a professional. This is my livelihood. If I don't work today, I don't eat tomorrow. So when I take meetings, when I go networking or meet with clients. I'm professional. That means my hair is done, my make up is done, and I've typically found my outfit on Pinterest. Guys, Pinterest. There is no need to shop for a new wardrobe. Honestly, I search for things like "blue pants outfit" "chambray shirt outfit" "winter work outfit." It. Is. Easy. There are no excuses.
Here is a snapshot of what I'm wearing today.
And guess what? I put it together myself! That's a huge feat for those of you who know my matching tendencies. (thank you years of private school pre matching outfits) What's not pictured are my black leggings and black boots. Well, cat slippers at the moment. ;) This outfit exudes my brand. I am polished, professional, and confident. I am a business owner who is working on her certification!! When people talk about me, they say, "Oh, Danielle is a photographer. Not a "photographer" she's a serious photographer."
It was embarrassing to me that when I started dressing professionally EVERYONE who knew me said some variation of "Why are you so dressed up? What's going on?" My goal is that when I wear yoga pants people ask "Are you ok? Are you coming down with a cold?" Since dressing professionally, my confidence has risen. People I don't know compliment my appearance. I am taken more seriously. Sure it takes me 30 more minutes to get ready in the morning, but that investment of time is WORTH it! If I can do it, you can too!
Exuding my brand goes beyond my clothing. My brand is "Danielle Brooks Photography" Who is Danielle? She is redeemed, she is valued, she is loved. She serves an incredible God. She rests in his promises. I live to showcase the beauty He has created. I enable women to see themselves the way God sees them. That's HUGE! It is not a responsibility I take lightly. I would love to talk with you all more about how I exude my brand. Let's grab a coffee sometime. In the interim, here are a few of my other outfits I've pulled together. Pardon the HORRIBLE quality. My phone camera is awful...