There’s a bit of confusion on branding, namely what is the difference between business and personal branding and how much time/energy that you should invest in either type. Let me provide some clarity and also guidance on when to focus on each.

During my initial consultation with my clients, my goal is to tease out what is the primary reason for the photos as well as the desired outcome that the client has for the shoot. A personal branding shoot is VERY different from a business branding shoot which sets the mood of the styling and creative direction.

Here are the fundamental differences:

Personal Branding

  • Credentials: building your portfolio of licenses, certifications and education
  • Career track: building your hands on expertise in your industry
  • Professional advancement: moving upward on the career path to higher levels of positions or shifting your career to focused sectors
  • Life purpose storytelling: defining your life’s key goal – what brings you happiness that aligns what you do and who you are

Business Branding

  • Foundation/Creation: establishing your business structure, creating seamless systems, identifying core values etc
  • Market connectivity: understanding your client avatar, your industry trends and how to engage prospects
  • Storytelling for leads: building the narrative of your business in digital media and marketing plans for sales results
  • Client transformation: impacting the lives of clients and providing a solution

Let me give you an example from a recent client shoot of the difference between the two types of branding:

My client, let’s call her Sonia, operates a skin care line and is in need of visuals, however, at this time, she is changing the labeling and creating a new blend of skin oils and creams. She also is celebrating her 40-something birthday and has never done a birthday-themed shoot. She reaches out to me to schedule a shoot. After assessing her needs and discussing her life journey, I recommended a personal branding shoot with an opportunity to sneak in a few birthday shots. The reason why I went this route is because her professional/personal background is in the medical profession which catapulted her business brand and she does volunteer work internationally. She has never had any headshots done for her philanthropy work..Viola! Now we have a clear focus on what her shoot’s outcome will be and she has images for her personal brand – her business brand shoot will occur when she’s ready to roll out the new collection.

To note, both types of branding both require rebranding with time and growth! My client’s business brand is expanding and requires more time and attention to be ready for the business brand shoot this Fall.

The last question initially posed is when should you dedicate time and attention to both types of branding. It depends on the individual. If you are like Sonia and have a professional career as well as an established business then you should be focusing on both simultaneously. If your business is your only brand then deep dive into all facets of your business to level up with a coach, set financial goals and get those images for digital content/marketing. And if your career is your brand then do an annual assessment of your path, get a mentor, set personal goals and get those pro images (speaking engagements, company websites etc).

Can you think of any other differences between these brand types? Share in the comments. In the meantime, let’s book a virtual consultation for your brand shoot today.