Changing Perspectives :: Redefining my personal brand

kayla leverton :: changing personal brand online

Alright, I’ve gotta be honest. I’ve struggled a little bit with my sense of purpose/self since diving into this photography “thing”. I thought it’d be easy. I’m a social media fiend. I’ve got some pretty sound skills in marketing + communication. I love working with people. Building + promoting a photography business from the ground-up should be a piece of cake, right? Meh, not quite.

What I’ve realized is that, as a photographer, I don’t really have much to say. I’ve got a handful of sessions under my belt, and I feel good about what I’ve learned and the progress I’ve made. But I am by no means the best. And I felt weird promoting myself as if I were. That’s been tough for me to wrap my head around, because if I wasn’t going to promote myself through content that demonstrated my knowledge as an uber-talented photographer, how in the world was I going to promote myself and get this thing off the ground?

Photography is just one piece of my personal brand. I’m not giving it up – I’m still going to side-hustle the hell out of photography – but it’s not the whole story for me.

So I’ve been focused on answering this question: What else could I possibly have to say, what perspectives could I share, that people might, maybe, sort of be interested in reading? Maybe that should be the focus of this corner of the interwebs I’ve claimed as my own. Here’s what I came up with:

I am a passion-pursuer

I am an eternal hobby hunter. I love the thrill of learning new things and throwing myself at them until I’m at least halfway-decent at them. Right now, those passions are photography + blogging. For at least the time being, you can expect the majority of my “Passion Projects” posts to be related to those two things.

This designation feels more honest to me. I don’t want to claim to be something I’m not, and classifying photography as a “passion” rather than a “profession” feels more authentic. I’m all about more authentic.

I am a professional.

When I’m not doing this, I’m leading the marketing and communications squad for a regional engineering firm. In my position, I lead the completion of proposals, business development planning, social media and content strategy, public relations, and tradeshow planning. I focus a lot of my time on refining the processes we use as a firm to win work and influence clients.

In years, I’m a career newb. But in my brief beyond-college years, I’ve been exposed to more experiences than most professionals my age. I am the youngest member of our firm’s leadership team, and I’m the only female in that cohort too. That puts me in a unique situation – ok, let’s be real: it is constantly putting me into unique situations erry damn day. I’ve picked up some really relevant and impactful insight from my experiences so far. There are so many “I wish I would have knowns” that I’m anxious to share with anyone who will listen.

I am a person.

Hopefully this doesn’t come as a huge shock, but I actually do have a life away from this + my 9-5.

What else am I all about, you ask? Fiancé and I are all about family – I’m sure you’ll be introduced to the characters of that cast soon enough. He and I spend a hefty amount of time Netflix-bingeing, but we also do our fair share of active, outdoorsy things. We spoil our two-year-old golden retriever rotten. We take on a house project here and there. And we gameplan for the future. Ok, that’s mostly the fiancé. He is a planner, through and through…and through. God love him, though. Without his fanatical organizational skills, I’d be on another planet. Stay tuned – if he gives me the green light, maybe I’ll share some of his deepest and darkest financial planning how-tos. He’s a wizard!

There ya have it, folks. If reading this synopsis makes you feel like you’ve finally found an online content-dumping ground you can relate to, WOOHOO! I’d be honored if you’d tune in every now and then to pick up what I’m throwin’ down. If reading this mostly just makes you feel annoyed, then I’m sorry – this probably isn’t the place for you. Or, who knows, maybe I’ll get annoyed in a few months too and completely change my mind about this whole thing and scrap it all.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

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