With Mel Martin
We all have a brand.
Your brand could be curated through a series of intentionally planned choices. Or, it could also be formed organically without realising you were creating a brand. Either way, you have recognisable, dominant elements about you and your personality that add up to result in your personal brand.
Jeff Bezos famously said, “your brand is what others say about you when you’re not in the room”.
Imagine walking down the street with sticky notes all over you, categorising your choices and values. Instead of walking down the street with a sticky note on your forehead that says “I am environmentally conscious”, you walk down the street with a plant-milk coffee in a reusable cup in your hand.
When you are the face of your business, your brand tells people who you are and if you would align with their brand.
This is why building a personal branding strategy is so important.
To align with the launch of her memoir, More Than One Thing Can Be True, Caroline worked with photographer Mel Martin on a photoshoot to develop her personal and professional brand.
As someone that wears multiple hats, it was important for the photoshoot to take into account all the aspects of Caroline’s brand; entrepreneur, author, model, artist, mother, wife and friend.
To further unpack how a personal brand is developed, we asked Caroline a few questions about her experience with personal branding.
In a few words, what is your brand?
I’ve spent the last 5 years defining the Organise.Curate.Design. brand and establishing it to stand on its own feet as a business. I am mindful that a large part of the business is me, so our clients and community see myself and Organise.Curate.Design. being one in the same. But Organise.Curate.Design. is more than just me and the name is the true essence of the brand. We organise both mental and physical spaces, we curate to find an aesthetic that is perfect for you and together with you we design your new life.
How did you develop your personal brand? Was it always there or did you decide that this is what your personal branding strategy was going to look like?
My personal brand is much more complex. Over the past few years I’ve worked to capture my personal brand, my message and purpose. As there are many different projects and passions that I enjoy, the most important part of my personal brand was integrity and how I made people feel. This has evolved over time and though it may have always been there, over the past few months, as I prepared to launch my memoir, there was a real sense of coming home when it came to claiming my voice and my personal brand.
As an entrepreneur, you know the importance of a business having a clear brand. Why is it important for you to have a personal branding strategy?
It is important to me to have a strategy for everything I do. Every moment of my life is spent intentionally so personal branding was no different for me. My branding strategy has enabled me to represent myself and my projects as authentically as possible whilst sending clear messaging to my community.
Why do you think visual branding is important?
Words do not always capture the essence of a message. Personal branding should be holistic and the right visuals can make you stop in your tracks, take your breath away or can stay in your memory for years to come. That is when you know you’ve mastered your visual messaging.
What advice would you give a young entrepreneur or someone starting out looking to start working on their personal brand?
How do you want to make people feel? They might not remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel. Keep those emotions front of mind as you develop your brand and your personal branding strategy, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it will be once you add the emotional elements to your visual messaging.
Branding is a visual form of communication so we thought it would be important to speak to the woman behind the camera.
Mel Martin works with a range of clients, building their personal and professional brands. She works collaboratively with them to develop inspiration, colour pallets and aesthetics. Her mission is to empower entrepreneurs and business leaders to stand out and be seen by providing personal branding strategies, guidance and beautiful photos they’re proud to share.
Here is what Mel had to say about building a personal brand;
My brand is Melissa Martin Photography. My mission is to empower entrepreneurs and business leaders to stand out and be seen by providing personal branding strategy, guidance and beautiful photos they’re proud to share.
How did a neutral colour pallet assist in the visual messaging of Caroline’s brand?
It was so wonderful working with Caroline and to be given the opportunity to reimagine her visual personal brand. I chose a neutral colour palette because I wanted to create a look and feel that was raw, natural and stripped back. After familiarising myself with Caroline’s brand up until now, I felt it was time to show a different side of her. This concept was inspired by the theme and title of her memoir, More Than One Thing Can Be True. I felt that the concept supported this theme really well.
What emotions did you want people to take away from this shoot? Why?
I wanted people to connect with Caroline in a new way. The emotions and ideas I attempted to convey throughout her shoot were raw beauty, resilience, vulnerability and joy.
How did you support Caroline to develop a personal branding strategy?
After Caroline engaged me I sent her my Personal Branding Questionnaire that detailed for me the path Caroline has been on, where she is today and most importantly where she wants to go. From this, I got creative and put together a mood board filled with my ideas, vision and concepts that I felt would really support Carolines personal brand into the future. It was then during her 1:1 Strategy Session with me that I shared my mood board with her, sought feedback and then refined the details of how we were going to make it all happen.
Were there any outcomes from this branding shoot that you were not expecting?
I knew it was going to be great from the beginning. Caroline is such a great communicator who from the start was very open to my ideas. This allowed me to then play and honour my vision for her shoot and photos. This energy continued through the shoot day which meant that I was able to capture some absolutely beautiful photos of Caroline that were completely unplanned! It was very satisfying from an artistic and creative point of view.
You can learn more about Mel Martin by visiting her website. To see the results of this shoot and watch Caroline’s brand develop, head to carolinebrunne.com or follow her on Instagram @caroline_brunne.