How to Create a Visual Style that Skyrockets Your Personal Brand
(with a little help from Free People 😉 )
When we think “branding” we always think of the business side of things. For example, your logo, values, vision, mission, what you’re here to change and more. There’s an entire side of branding that rarely gets covered—and that’s how you represent your brand personally.
Your brand (specifically, your personal brand) is an expression of your personality. Your wardrobe and the inner workings of your closet can emphasize or hinder the person you’re looking to become (and the brand you’re looking to create!)
Honestly take a spin through your wardrobe & ask yourself: “does this represent who I am?” “Do I wear this?” and “Is this something that the ‘new me’ (the me in 6 months) would wear?” If it doesn’t—then let it go. If it’s something that the “new me” would wear confidently, then keep it!
We’re always seeking to be better and bigger people. We’re constantly changing, and transforming who we are now to become the version of ourselves that we’ve created in our minds (the version that owns that 4 million dollar condo in Rio, and a private jet… or the version that travels around the world as a digital nomad… or the corporate exec… or … you name it).
Express Who You Are
Part of being the new version of yourself is to only wear things that truly express who you are at your core. They allow you to feel an inner sense of freedom and make you feel uniquely you.
For my personal brand, I wanted to feel relaxed, expressive, whimsical and adventurous—while still making me feel like the successful entrepreneur that I am, and to continue to push life to its limits.
Align with Existing Brands that Stand for What You Want to Communicate
With a little help from Free People, I acquired a few key pieces that expressed the sense of relaxed wanderlust, courage, and grounded movement. Sticking to a brand you love, that already represents what you want to showcase, is a terrific way to start branding yourself visually and your photos.
There’s a reason why we feel certain things when we think of these brands. I wanted to feel free and adventurous, so it only made sense that I used some key pieces from Free People like the felt hat, white linen shirt and leather sandals (shown later in the post).
If you think about it, these brands have spent millions of dollars in advertising, marketing, and market research so they know how to market to the right audience. They’re tapped into what that audience desires, and the culture the audience embodies. Chances are, if you’re in love with the brand, your audience is too. Aligning yourself with a “look” from a brand with a similar vibe can help create the same brand feel and attract the right clients to your business.
Hire a Photographer that Understands Your Brand
I promptly brought in my friend Megan Snedden to grab some sweet shots of me in this new, branded outfit. Photographers can help bring out parts of your personality that you don’t even realize. And when they have an innate sense of your brand, they’ll find ways to highlight the look in the photos. Megan is a travel journalist among other talents and adventure and wanderlust are right up her alley. I was excited to see what photos we would create together.
Choose the Right Location
We ventured down Melrose Place in Los Angeles, looking to show that whimsical nature in an urban setting for my brand. We came across the “Made in LA” wall, and the Paul Smith Pink Wall—and across the street was a white wall with the simple sans-serif “HELLO.” This was perfect. I felt like this was the most on-brand for me with monochromatic tones and a fresh “hello.”
Think Through the Details
Remember to think through the details. I wanted to convey that “fresh attitude” and as a result—white became my biggest ally. Well, that and the contrast with a deep black. I kept my nails white, and added in all my whimsical gold-toned accessories. Additionally, this black-felt hat from Free People is a gold mine. I feel like I can wear it with anything to jazz up my outfit.
We went on an adventure (Megan and I love adventuring together, take a look at her site and see all the places she’s traveled!). We walked up Melrose and continued to explore and then came upon this little hotel. What a spot! I loved how they decorated the interior with rustic tones and a vintage flair. And so, of course we snapped some pics.
Take a Variety of Shots
Play. Try different poses, and ask your photographer if they have any recommendations. Most photographers understand some level of posing and what looks good and can help you get there. Remember to relax, shake everything out and try to project as much of your natural personality as you can. I guess what I’m saying is don’t get so freakishly uptight that all your smiles look like tight fake-grins lol.
Expression comes in many forms. We express ourselves online, and on paper through creating our personal brands. But the rubber meets the road when you can manifest your brand—personally. And of course great photos always anchor your personal brand into a reality for you to share with your audience.
Choose the photos that best represent you and your brand. Edit them, and then upload them to your various social media platforms or website.
(* This article was created in partnership with Free People.)