Personal Branding: Step One

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|| NEW LOOK 2018 ||




We all know that personal branding has made a massive shift over the years with the introduction of sharing our stories online and the need to be at the forefront of our businesses. Customers want to read and research YOU, trusting us before they buy and building a relationship that is deeper than one conversation. I experienced this more and more over the years involved in social media leadership. Seeing the shift, I made subtle changes that presented myself as the expert, more than my umbrella “Liked Media.” You see, it was me that clients wanted to meet with. It was me who was the face of my advice, it was my experience, my knowledge and my ramblings that are read by hundreds of people. Sitting behind my logo squashed creativity so I couldn’t be 100% myself with potential clients. I opened a personal writing page and let these posts flow freely. The reach was through the roof here, engagement trumped the other pages and when I showed up in my groups as “Philippa” hey guess what? People liked that better! Last year, this got me thinking that it was time to brand myself, to let my story flow free.

Something I had seen many do whether it was done well…. or not, I observed and listened to feedback. I spoke to leaders in the field about their experiences with this and how best to go about stepping out and branding “Pip”.

A scary thought, right? Where to hide now? Sneak peek below >>>
















My first step was enlisting a photographer to update and capture my business in a setting that represented ME. Gone are the days of boring headshots people. Again, your viewers want to relate to you and your personality. It’s a flooded platform online and it takes the right artist to bring out your true personality. I called on Sarah Marshall from Sarah Marshall Photography to book in some time to work with this idea. This was my starting point and one that I believe is crucial to your personal branding story. Get the right photographer! What I loved about meeting with Sarah was that is was FUN! It’s like hanging out with a good friend PLUS feeling a million dollars all made up. I needed somewhere important to go after my hair and makeup had been done!



  • In the morning, Sarah had arranged for a the brilliant hair and makeup artist Monique from Lively Makeup to arrive at my house, wow how easy! We popped on some music, poured a hot coffee and I enjoyed sitting back for a while catching my breath from getting the kids off to school.
  • Sarah arrived with her gear and we chatted about what type of photos to go with, backdrops, locations and the many ideas that she brought to the table. She made me feel so relaxed and confident as we laughed through the morning.
  • Meeting a VIP client at The Apron Cafe at Whangarei Airport we staged a few meetings (where we actually caught up on some ideas while the photos were taken) – Solas Media Solutions, thank you!
  • Next up was the Onerahi waterfront for some Christmas styled / lifestyle photos. Wanting to capture the balance I try to teach clients about (online and offline overwhelm) it was a perfect local spot where I usually spend lots of my work and play time, finding inspiration.
  • Headshots and backdrops ended the day back at the house. Sarah knew exactly were to set up for the best lighting and ways to make me feel at ease as I followed her professional guidance on where to look and how to pose (usually very awkwardly!) but I got used to it fast. The playlist even blessed us with some Snoop Dog and we rapped our way through the last of the clicks.
  • Pack down and a discussion about what next and photo preferences and the morning was over. Who says you can’t mix work and play? What a fab time spent working with ideas that I could confidently launch into 2018.


She even designed a short clip for me, representing the juggle that is a working mother! Relate???



I have already leaked out a few photos online that I have had many comments on so far. I also now have images ready for print and media inquiries (this is so important in business!) and I can’t wait to really push this thing after the kids go back to school. There may also be a few more new ones that go forefront of my marketing shhhhhh watch this space! It’s empowering, freeing and exciting to be able to stand in your own name as your business. If you are thinking about this at all, then please step one…  take your photos seriously as these are the magazine pages to what you do and what you stand for.


If you would like to chat things over with an online business branding expert, then call Sarah today:



Hi, I’m Sarah.
I am a freelance photographer located in Whangarei, NZ.
Specializing in personal branding headshots & portraits, family documentary photography, and wedding photography.
Please see my work at
and email inquiries to



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