The Need for Personal Branding4 years ago Saptarshi Roy Chaudhury
The last two days of August while entire Hyderabad was abuzz with the excitement of AugustFest, I had to travel to Kolkata for some personal emergency and also to attend to a professional commitment. Kolkata, my first home town ( with more than 7 years in Hyderabad, I like to call it my second home), has always been a city that has been the center for art and culture and this time it was photography. While I have no knowledge about photography, I was invited to “Social Media in Photography” to talk about “Personal Branding for Photographers in Social Media”. While most sessions were about technicalities and nuances of photography and saw participation from some of the well known names in the profession like Hari Menon, Soumya Shankar Ghosal, Neelutpal Das, Sayantan Mitra – the personal branding session also had its fair share of audience.
It was indeed an enjoyable event and I am sure while we are busy doing so many start up events here in Hyderabad, the amazing photographer’s community in the city can also think of and benefit from such events.
Now why am I talking about all this in a startup focused blog? Because the need for personal branding is not restricted to photographers or any other profession in particular; it is applicable for everyone. Today we are living in a world where smartphones are ubiquitous and we spend more time on the Internet than with our spouse. As you build your startup you will meet new people everyday– you meet your cofounders, you meet your employees, you meet investors, advisors – how do you know how good they are OR how do they know how good you are? Well, definitely, your product and your ideas add a lot of value and could be a key draw to bring in the stakeholders but trust me a lot more rides on meeting the right people. Your personal branding initiatives can help you project your true self, help take your identity to the prospective stake holders in a way you want them to perceive. The presentation embedded below details a lot more on the benefits of personal branding and also discusses some of the ways you can use social media to do it. While the presentation is oriented towards photographers, the underlying generic principles can be applied by anyone.
Before I finish this let me just share this inspiring story that I narrated during the event, the story of Ladan and Laleh. Ladan and Laleh were two identical twins conjoined in their head, born in Iran. Though they were conjoined in their head, they had very different interests. Ladan wanted to becomes a lawyer while Laleh wanted to become a journalist. Laleh liked computer games, while Ladan was more interested in computer programming, Ladan was talkative while Laleh was more introvert. At the age of 29 they decided to go for an operation to separate them selves. When they decided to get the surgery done, they were counseled by the doctors and everyone else to not do it because there is every possibility that it would turn fatal. To which they replied; “We would rather die as individuals than live without an identity”.
So my friends, go ahead and create your identity, your personal branding can make you stand out from the rest.