Hi there. Today, I wanna talk about the importance of having a high quality of yourself associated with your brand. Now, back in the day in the dark ages of the Internet common wisdom had at that you did not put your real photograph or your real name out on the web because people would fly across the country to murder you. So that just wasn't done. We've come full circle now in that we know that if we are building a brand and you're trying to build authenticity that we do want our real names out there and we do want our photos out there. Using screen names and avatars have been associated with anonymity and anonymity on the web does not always breed the best kind of behavior. So now, it's in fact encouraged to have a good quality photo of yourself out there. Another reason I encourage it is because humans are visual creatures and they are more likely to respond to your brand if they see a photo of a person. Study after study, particularly associated with social media has shown that people are more likely to engage somehow with a post like for instance on Facebook liking it, sharing it, if there is a photo involved. Another reason you wanna have a good quality photo of yourself out there is because it gives you an opportunity to further your brand. Now, we have only to look to history to see a grand master of personal branding and that was Queen Elizabeth I. Now full disclosure, I am a Queen Elizabeth I fan girl. So much to like about her. Some not so good stuff too, but as far as branding goes she was an absolute genius and I'm gonna provide a link to one of her portraits. And she definitely used portraiture to further her brand. The one I'm gonna link to is the Ditchley Portrait and you will see all kinds of symbols. There was the sun on her right and the moon on her left or maybe it was vice versa and she's standing on a map of the world and she has a pelican brooch. And the folklore at the time held that the pelican actually pecked its own breast to draw forth blood and it used that blood to nurture its young. Right, brilliant! What a great symbol for a monarch, so totally brilliant I'll link to that. Now, I'm certainly not suggesting that you have a portrait painted of yourself or go to all the trouble to have all these symbols associated with you. If you want to, it can be a fun exercise, but it's not necessary. But I'm just saying that you need to think about it and be intentional in what you're wearing, how you're standing, what you're doing in the photo? If you want to convey that you are a very serious, cool professional, you wanna think about having very good posture. You wanna think about a certain stance. You wanna be in at least business casual. If you are more interested in projecting approachability, perhaps you don't have to be dressed so formally or standing so formally. And believe me, I realized that being photographed is difficult for many, many people, I am one of them. In fact, I know hundreds of people and probably two of them enjoy being photographed. So if you are someone who really hates to be photographed you have all my sympathy and you're not alone but it really, really is necessary. Because again, everything we're doing in this class is meant to further your brand. So if it wasn't gonna help your brand, I would not suggest that you do it. So just think about that, consider it. Now, the other thing is that just as you don't have to have a portrait painted of yourself oh, wouldn't that be nice? You don't even have to go to a professional photographer if you can afford the expense or for whatever other reason. The quality of cell phone cameras is very good these days. And it is possible to get a nice looking shot of yourself just with a cell phone camera. But a few tips, just be sure that the lighting is good. Lighting is so important. You wanna make sure that your face isn't in shadow and you want to be sure there's nothing covering your face, good lighting. But the lighting shouldn't be so bright that you're like Nosferatu like shrinking back from the sun. That's probably not what you wanna promote as your brand either. Also posture, my posture is very bad. I tend to slump and be all casual. But my ballet teacher used to say, imagine that there's a rod going from the top of your head down your spine and shoulders back. This is how our posture should be. So what I find and the reason I wanna give you these tips is it's sort of like if you have a script, if you're kind of shy and you're meeting new people, if you have a script in your head of what you're gonna say, stick out your hand, hello my name is blah, blah, blah and I do this. I think that's helpful in the same way that I like to have a script when I'm gonna have a photo taken. I know shoulders back, rod through back, smile, although that looks crazy so don't do that kind of smile. But again, good lighting, good posture, be intentional with your clothing. What's in the background, where you are, what kind of setting? Just whatever is gonna promote your brand and further your values as a brand. That's another opportunity to promote that. Go to the forums. Find me on social media. I would love to he your experience with being photographed. If you're someone who hates it or if you're someone who loves it. Please by all means, share that with is. And maybe you can give us some tips for how it can be a more enjoyable process. So I hope this was helpful.