Personal Branding: How often should you rebrand? 

Hopefully if you’re reading this post, you already know how important photography can be to your personal brand. (Check out my previous post on why you need personal branding photography here)  But, should you update your brand’s photography and, if so, how often?

The first reason for updating your branding photography is to showcase your growth as a professional.  As you become more successful in your career, you want to be sure the quality of your images reflects these new achievements. Many personal branding clients approach me because their business is about to expand and they recognize the importance that personal branding photography can have in showcasing a more prestigious level of business.  

One client who is a great example of rebranding for professional growth is Jill.  Jill is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who uses Pilates as part of her patient treatment. When she and I first started working together in 2012 her needs were simple; she needed a headshot for her employer’s website.  So, we created an image that showcased her interest in fitness with an approachable personality. Since that time, Jill and I have rebranded her visual presence twice.  The second photo session was a few years later as she was ready to launch her own business. This time she wanted to create an image that aligned with her new website and branding colors, blue and orange.  Most recently, Jill and I worked together to create the look of a driven and confident business owner.  In just five years, she opened her own permanent studio and hired multiple employees to serve her growing client base. Every step of the way she was conscious of how her online visual presence influenced her business and she is now a story of success.

Aside from consistent vertical business growth, there are several other reasons to update your personal branding photography.  You are the face of your brand and the last thing you want is for people to not recognize you.  Having a picture that doesn’t represent you may make your potential client have concerns about trusting you to be forthright.  In order for you to avoid clients from questioning your honesty, I’ve developed a checklist of reasons to update your personal branding photography:

  • Hairstyle Change (did you color or cut your hair?)
  • Facial Hair Addition (did “no shave November” become a permanent look?)
  • Started Wearing Glasses (or maybe you’re no longer wearing them thanks to the wonders of Lasik)
  • Weight Fluctuation of +/- 10 pounds
  • Visibly Aged (happens to the best of us about every 3 to 5 years)
  • Fashion Trends (hopefully your professional fashion icon has changed since Melanie Griffith in Working Girl)

Huffington Post contributor, Melinda Emerson, has a great way of making sure her visual branding is always up to date: “Every fall, I have the tradition of having a photo shoot to update my visual brand.”So, when is the last time you had a new portrait taken for your business?