Curating your Personal Brand - the Professional's View

Regular readers of Substance & Style will know how much importance I place on style as branding. Remember that phrase ‘cognitive dissonance’ in Getting Personal With Branding – Do YOU Match your Brand?

Visual communication has become even more instantaneous in our increasingly attention deprived world. Yes, harsh as it sounds, you ARE being judged in milliseconds. And not just your clothes.

I had the opportunity recently to meet someone who most certainly knows how this works – from the red carpet to the music biz, fashion shoots to big ticket advertising, Lindsey Nolan uses style as a communications and branding tool. No, more than that. As a Hollywood entertainment stylist, creative director and costume designer, Lindsey really considers what every-last-detail might potentially communicate.

Here’s what she had to say about personal branding:

“Social media has had a huge impact on how your personal brand is communicated. Everyone is curating their content into collections of style, lifestyle, and beauty images - putting them together in one place. It’s no longer just fashion, but images of how people live as well as what they are wearing.”

Wait, what?! We need to consider lifestyle and beauty too? Absolutely. Because “it needs to be authentic, consistent and real,” says Lindsey.

Lindsey finds it attractive if someone keeps it to one element, almost making a personal art form, since this is what now sets you apart. To capture an audience on social media in 2017 you need to refine your specialty and make it striking; content needs to capture attention instantly. Says Lindsey, “If you like her content, you’ll like her.”

So how does this work in practice? How do you develop your personal brand?

Lindsey counsels that it takes time. And some soul searching and self-reflection. You need to know who you are, what you like, and what you are like. You need to define the keywords that are the essence of who you are. These become the message you communicate with your personal brand.

She cautions that it’s very easy to get diluted. That’s why those keywords are so critical, in every step of your process. They guide everything from your business card to getting dressed for a meeting. Every single marketing ‘item’ has a massive impact.

Lindsey likes to pull inspiration from various sources; art, interiors, architecture, design, and nature to be distilled into a refined idea. And yes, she uses a mood board when styling an advertising shoot, for example. She thinks about what she wants to convey, saves images, organizes them and then evaluates what fits and what doesn’t. A top tip from this professional: use a mood board app like Moodboard (iOS).

It dovetails nicely with something else that’s become more important recently. Mindfulness. You need to be mindful of what you do, what you eat, what you say. And yes, how you communicate your personal brand.

Thank you, Lindsey, for sharing your expertise and experience. You can get in touch with Lindsey and see some of her amazing and inspiring work on her website.