My Personal Brand Journey is Definitely Atypical. It Has Been Built from a Place of Service and to Have an Even Bigger Impact, I am Undergoing a Business Transition.
Business transitions, like building a personal brand, can be challenging but like I always say, they don’t have to be. One of the key components of building a successful personal brand and business is to be authentic, true to your values, and open to change. Through the years, that is exactly what I’ve done. I’ve followed callings and opened many doors of opportunity to land where I am today.
My Personal Brand Began with a Major Business Transition from Pharmacist to Photographer
Eleven years ago I left my medical career and put my doctorate of pharmacy hat on a shelf will all of my medical references. Life was crazy busy with my husband traveling, me traveling and meeting deadlines as a freelance medical writer and consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, and our boys growing up and playing travel sports. Not to mention, our nanny for our then-toddler daughter, the only support we had, became ill and could no longer work for us.
I have always had a love for photography, had taken many classes, and was passionate about it. In addition, it was my therapy, my escape when I was anxious or just needed time to myself. My husband recognized this and suggested I become a photographer. At the time I thought he was crazy. However, I embraced the idea and within six weeks of starting a photography blog, I had my first paying client.
The job was for website and branding photography and I immediately fell in love. Instead of embracing the role of branding photographer, I took every job that came my way, family portraits, headshots, branding, senior portraits, product, and first communion portraits.
Listen to Episode 48 with Lori Rosolowsky, my first photography client.
During the First Few Years in Business, My Personal Brand Did Not Really Exist
When I started my business I wanted to invest as little as possible. I tried to do everything myself. The problem was that I did not have a clue about what I needed to do or how to do it. I could take beautiful images, but running a successful photography business meant building a personal brand and doing a lot more than creating a basic website and relying on word of mouth to get clients.
It wasn’t until I created a personal brand that I started to see true success.
When My Personal Brand Took Root I Went Through Another Business Transition
Once I created a personal brand and became the face of my business, my business transformed into a success. I paid for the help I needed to create a professional website and invested time and energy into being present. The content I began to create resonated with my ideal audience. The key was that I finally invested in myself and my business and focused on what I loved. This allowed me to truly connect with those I wanted to work with, entrepreneurs. I became solely a headshot and personal branding photographer and loved working with driven individuals who were ready to take the next steps to build a brand and have an impact.
As I worked with women who were starting businesses, I realized that the majority were not building a solid foundation for long-term success. They didn’t know about personal branding. And they were not communicating what makes them unique and differentiates them from others in their space. In fact, most people I worked with thought a brand was a logo. And none of them had a strategy for their photographs or knew how to use them for SEO on their website.
Helping my photography clients and teaching them these things during our shoots opened my eyes to another opportunity.
So I went through another business transition.
Becoming a Certified Brand Strategist and Business Coach was My Next Business Transition
After recognizing the need and opportunity for brand strategy and business coaching, I went back to the classroom. I studied under Marty Neumeier and became a certified brand specialist and a certified brand strategist. I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could to help my clients in the most effective ways possible.
Now, by combining everything I learned from Marty, reading book after book, and from my corporate experience, I am making a bigger impact by helping women become entrepreneurs and build successful businesses. Each business I help build and achieve success will help create a ripple effect of good in the world.
The foundation of my coaching business is my success equation: Mindset + Strategy + Action = Results. Many times my clients don’t realize that mindset is holding them back from success. Thoughts create results.
Likewise, many of them don’t have a strategy in place to reach their goals. Without a strategy, a goal is just a dream. In addition, one must take intentional action and have accountability for that action in order to reach their goals. When working with my clients, we focus on all three areas to build a solid foundation for long-term brand and business success.
I have finally found the perfect marriage of my values, visions, and passions and am making a bigger impact than I ever could have imagined.
In addition to transitioning my business from photography to coaching, I am adding another line of business to my personal brand.
This Part of My Business Transition is Becoming a Published Author
My first book, “You, Me, and Anxiety” will publish in the first quarter of 2022.
If you listen to The Second Phase Podcast, (The Robyn Graham Show as of January 2022) subscribe to my email list, or follow me on Instagram, you know that anxiety has been part of my life journey. “You, Me, and Anxiety” is part memoir part self-help. My mission is to help teen girls navigate life with anxiety to find a meaningful, purposeful, and joyful life. The book will publish with a second book for parents to help them navigate life with a teen who is struggling to find their way amidst the chaos of anxiety. In addition, the two books will publish in a journal to use as the teens and/or parents navigate their world with anxiety.
My life has come full circle, well almost. I started as a child with anxiety, achieved many goals and dreams despite that anxiety, used all of my God-given talents, and followed his callings to lead me to where I am today, serving others. Serving others is one of my passions and if I can help people navigate life with anxiety and find joy and success, I will have the impact I so desire to have.
This book encompasses my passion, values, and visions. It has been a dream in the making for years and I am so grateful it is coming to fruition. Please subscribe to my email list to stay up to date on all of the publication details.
As My Business Transitions, I Say Goodbye to Photography
After eleven years as a professional photographer, I am retiring that hat. It will sit on the shelf with my antique cameras where I will always look at it with pleasant memories and think of the many clients I have had the joy to meet, help, and impact, and who have done the same for me. My heart feels a little bit heavy, as it always does when I say goodbye to someone or something that I love. But this time, I feel more excited for the transition and opportunities that will arise for me to serve even more people, and in an even bigger way.