Personal Branding in the real world

The mail pile was rather larger this morning, probably because I forgot to check it this weekend. And right at the top was a shiny matte Anthropolgie catalog.

Like them or hate ’em, Anthropologie produces a catalog of beautifully styled photographs and I enjoy looking through them before I toss them in the recycling bin. But this month’s catalog? Nope. It’s staying put in my office.

personal branding in the real world

It’s a beautiful homage to personal branding in the real world. The cover of the magazine showcases Marie-Agnès Gillot, a prima ballerina, as a woman of character. As you flip through the catalog, they include her own words on life and what it means to work hard with discipline to achieve what she has in this world.

And then I kept flipping pages, landing on Jacquelyn Jablonski, an autism activist and runway model.

personal branding photography of kathryn minshew

And soon, I saw a quote from Kathryn Minshew: “I have always had this sense of urgency to accomplish things, to instill change. I am driven by the desire to move things forward.” The quote is set over a photograph of Kathryn in a blazer, looking off camera. It’s gritty, still but containing motion just beyond the surface.

And while you don’t have to dig through a wardrobe of only Anthropologie to do this, it’s exactly what you– the coaches, speakers, and consultants of the world–need to do. As I flipped through this catalog, I stopped looking at the quality of the photographs, the styling. And I started dreaming a little bit. What would it feel like to meet these women? What would working with them accomplish? How can I move my life another step in that direction?

This is personal branding, folks. This is what I offer you. It’s a way to connect with clients through words, through pictures that evoke the feeling you offer your own clients.

branding portraits for ballerina

And to take it up a level, Anthropologie has just successfully latched their brand to the followers of these women! They’ve chosen women of character to exemplify what it means to wear the clothing they sell. In essence, they’re saying that being successful in both life and business is what it means to purchase from them. That’s just pure branding gold.

You can see more of what I’m talking about over on their blog if you don’t receive the catalog. But you should, if only to look at the pretty pictures.

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