Brand Boss Social - Brand vs Business Concept: Maryland Personal Brand Photographer

Branded Boss Social : Why Brand vs. Business Aspect

Branded Boss Social- Belle Imagery Portraits - Maryland Personal Branding Photographer

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your 2019 is off to a great start and your ready to get things done, achieve your goals and be a boss. Speaking of goals, this year I am focusing on helping more creatives, entrepreneurs, and brands elevate their visual branding and social content. I’ll be creating resources that not only inform, but use strategies to help you do two things; get comfortable with branding, change your mindset around visual branding, and successfully developing a cohesive brand identity.

So before we start. I’ve been trying this new thing that helps me prepare to receive information from another person’s point of view. Which allows me to get the most out of the information being shared.

  1. Set time aside to be un- interrupted while reading or listening.. (turn off notifications, close other tabs, and mute any distractions….)

  2. Close your eyes… No peeking!

  3. Try to quiet your thoughts and focus on this time right now...  

  4. Know say “I allow myself to be open to new knowledge and I am ready to receive.”

Try this out and let me know how this helps you. :-)


Let’s jump into today's topic: Are You Operating As a Brand or a Business? Grab a pin, notepad, your favorite beverage... (currently sipping on coffee from Starbucks), and let's get to it!


Branding vs. Business can be a tricky concept. Let’s break this down. What comes to mind when you hear the word “brand”? Most people shout out colors, text, and logos. However, that’s not the total concept of a brand. There is much more involved. Simply put branding is a form of an identity, a personality, or a style of a online presence. Where a business concept is more about commerce and development of what a person or company is selling/providing.

More and more business of all scales are beginning to focus on personal/lifestyle branding. This is due to the fact that people are investing more in people, not just the service or product. Although, we have to incorporate both concepts, at times as the driving forces of our businesses we don’t always fully understand branding. Yes we know about headshots, logos, and of course the need  for those oh so pretty IG visuals for our social sites. However, understanding how one concept impacts the other is important. Branding your business with both visuals and language, as well as designing a cohesive visual brand identity are essential in your overall branding period.

“This is the act of getting all eyes on you!”

Think of your brand identity (the mission/vision/foundation) as the storyteller (the language)/ the driving force of your business- what we want our audience to connect with. Call it the awareness factor.

Now think of your visuals as the storefront, and think of yourself as the business. You are the mover and shaker. However, no element can exist without the other. As a personal brand and lifestyle photographer, my main job is help creatives and brands fully discover their brand voice/language first. Then help them bring that out in creative visuals that match their brand language, assist in tell stories, and make connections.

Ahhhhh…..storytelling that thing. I know what your thinking, but trust me it is crucial and a big part of your business. SORRY NOT SORRY! The number one reason people shy away from storytelling in business is because it takes up a lot of time. True! But it does not have to. We will touch more on this in an upcoming blog. For now ease into the idea of using stories to make connections, building a community, and communicating your business value.

As a creative entrepreneur your selling a service or physical product, and your objective is to sell right? You use strong branded visuals and storytelling to articulate the value of the business/service/product vs. just asking for the sale.

“Constantly asking for the sale is a major put off. It shows a buyer that your main objective is money over impact.”  

Think like this. If someone were to approach you with a product that they asked you to buy it with no explanation, no reasoning, and it’s just buy it. You will move on. Why? You have no connection to the sell. You don’t know exactly how it will help you? How the sell will impact you or what it will do for you? Better yet neither does the seller.

“Knowing what it is that you are selling and who you are specifically selling/talking to is key to creating effective branding language.”

Are you seeing the point. Buying is based off of an emotion. Think of your last purchase. For me it was a planner (yes I’m that planning nerd). When you’re making a buying decision what are you thinking/asking yourself? This applies to what people are thinking about your business. Who/What is this business? What are they selling, and how will this serve/help me? These are what I call feeling questions. We have to invoke these feeling every time.

So what about brand images? Yes! Let’s focus on that.

Brand Boss Social Washington DC Brand Photographer

Creating branded visuals go hand in hand with bringing your stories full circle. Did you know that 70% of our content is consumed visually, and is what actually grabs the attention of our audience. So creating these major game changing tools is a must. Let’s face facts. Perception is everything and I’m going to get real. If your brand images are not professional then your fighting a major uphill battle. Seriously, selfie headshots don’t cut it. Dark product shots, or any image for that matter don’t cut it. They can work for you up to a point.

Tip: When starting a business or crafting you brand. Don’t let you visuals hold you back. JUST START! Learn tips and tricks to make the best of the tools and resources you have until you can level up. The key is that you will level up.

FACT: Your ideal client/customer and audience are judging you and your business prior to ever inquiring about your services/products. Most of their impressions are gained just by looking at your body or work and profile. Take a second and think about what your images are saying not only about you, but about your brand?


So this is where I want you to analyze your current thoughts.

Think about a few popular brands that use visuals and tell stories to connect with their audience. Jot down notes on how they are doing this and compare to your current visual branding. What did you discover?  File this away to continue to help you with your branding.


Branding is one of my favorite topics and I believe that we must incorporate ourselves, values, and knowledge into our businesses at every step. As we continue to work towards articulating our brand voices over the next months. (Yep! We have so much to talk about.) Know that establishing your identity, incorporating stunning images and creating stories, won’t be the only factors that build a strong cohesive brand. Your brand is an experience you want people to relive again and again. I’ll say that again. YOUR BRAND IS AN EXPERIENCE. You have to infuse an organic and a one-of-a-kind services only you can deliver. Hint: Which comes from knowing who you are. This is the way we can establish cohesive brand identities that will have longevity to propel our brands forward.

So are you operating as a brand or a business? Do you have personality, or are you just selling?

Take Away

How can you incorporate this knowledge in you branding?

EXERCISE: ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS to help you flesh out more ideas…

  1. What is the vision/mission of my brand? (The foundation)

  2. How do I want my brand to be perceived? (remember your brand is the personality)

  3. What is it that keeps people coming back and investing in my business?

  4. How can I incorporate storytelling in my brand and selling?

  5. What is my brand message and how can stay true to my message?

When it comes to defining your own brand, where are you challenged? Is it identifying your brand voice? Effectively creating and branding your visuals? Articulating your values? I want to help you gain the confidence and clarity to be successful in leveling up you brand. Make sure to follow and join the Branded Boss Social tribe over on our Instagram for more conversation and sharing. I truly hope this blog post helped and inspired you in some way.

Until next time socials….