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Is Poor Executive Branding holding you back?

Your professional brand exists whether you’ve been intentionally crafting it or haphazardly letting it unfold. The good news is, if you’re a passionate person making positive change in the world, others are probably saying something along those lines about you to help. But what about the people who don’t know you yet?

Have you ever heard about someone doing something interesting and then popped their name into google or LinkedIn to find out more about them? Find out what others are saying about getting headshots with Life and Portraits.

What pops up when people search you?

Calgary Photographer specializing in executive branding, executive portraiture

Sometimes it’s content others in the world have created about us, and sometimes we control the results. So if you have the opportunity to tell your own story, why not do it well? Align the results with your core values so it’s something you can be proud of, and build trust with your audiences. Let your professional brand help you achieve your purpose.

We’re not all the same

How do you feel about your passport photo? This question tends not to elicit pride and excitement, yet many people choose to use similar photos for their LinkedIn profile.

Expressionless by design, so no personality can sneak in.

Boring lighting that provides no mood (except boredom), and no ability to flatter with posing and angles. Passport photos all look essentially the same, that’s the point of them. That’s the opposite of what you want with your executive branding or professional branding.

Aligning Your Professional Brand

You have personality! You have goals, and I bet they don’t involve a mug shot, so please stop using a profile photo that feels like a mug shot to tell the world who you are. Great people need great headshots.

Executive Branding, Coaching
Looking for some great small business advice on LinkedIn? Staci Millard’s account is a fantastic resource

Personal branding is so much more than just a pretty picture though. A great picture is going to extend that teeny tiny attention span people have so they’ll actually read a bit about your values, your goals, your impact and then will want to engage with you. We all know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but if people didn’t do it the design industry wouldn’t exist. Intentional online branding is just as important as the clothing you would wear to an interview, it won’t get you the job but it will get you the audience to pitch to.

This is not about looking ‘a part’ you feel like an imposter in. It’s about aligning yourself with your goals, and narrating that to the public to make it easier for them to know who you are and what you stand for. Trust is built through each of these pieces being aligned, so if you’re doing great things, but your photo looks like you’re doing time let’s change that right now. If you have lofty goals, make your pathway to success easier by creating an executive brand that aligns with those goals.

David Brier wrote, brand intervention
Quote from David Brier’s book Brand Intervention

Reach isn’t the silver bullet, and neither is a photo. However, if led by strong values both can help you achieve great things.

Professional Portrait, Executive Headshot, executive brand, executive branding

Executive Branding on Linkedin

LinkedIn is the easiest to use, most basic and effective place to begin to build your professional brand online. Make sure you fill out the full profile, because leaving large gaps (or a blank profile picture) tells people you may be aimless with tasks. Include your education, and volunteering because tying your account to the institutions you’re proud to be associated with also makes connections with others who are!

Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social platform, so it’s not a place to spam – you will get some of that and you should immediately break your connections with those people. To avoid spam don’t connect with accounts that have no notable connection to you, and immediately disconnect from the accounts that do harass your inbox. Don’t be the reason someone else trusts to connect with a spamming account. If you’ve spammed me, you’ll notice we are no longer connected, and I’m not sorry about it.

Champion those who deserve it! If you can endorse skills for awesome people you’ve worked with, do it! Reciprocity is alive and well, so not only is it a nice thing to do, but it often comes back to you. It also lets LinkedIn know you may be someone to consult for expertise.

Not just for Executives

Despite the name executive branding isn’t just for executives, it’s for all leaders and people who want to make an impact.

Leaders at work
Whether you’re already a dean, proud of your school’s athletic teams and your daughter’s artwork, or just starting in your professional journey, ensuring your professional brand aligns with who you are in real life builds trust.
Professional Portraits don’t need to take place in a studio or office. If you’re more connected to a float plane then that’s where you should be.
professional branding, executive portrait
Let your images tell the story of who you are and the impact you make.
Don’t be afraid to disrupt the expectation

Quick tips for LinkedIn Photos

  • Let your personality shine
  • Don’t use a cell phone photo – professionalism matters here
  • Consider your purpose and audience – do you really want your family photo here?
  • Make your face big, that circle is tiny!
  • Don’t look like everyone else, disrupt the feed
  • Don’t forget about your background photo! This is a great opportunity to showcase you in your element.

Ready to be more strategic with your professional brand?

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