Natasha Koifman, ranks amongst North America’s most recognized PR moguls and has been named as one of Canada’s most powerful women. While her professional achievements firmly place her at the top of her field, it’s her personal style and the values that she embodies that have created a unique personal brand for her – a personal brand that has resulted in Lanterra Developments, Canada’s leading property developer, launching a building that is inspired by the lifestyle she represents. The 47 storey luxury condominium Natasha The Residences, came about as a direct result of the influence of her personal brand and Natasha Koifman shares her top tips on how to get started on your own personal branding journey.
Tip 1: Be clear about who you are what you stand for
Your personal brand is a reflection of your personal and professional identity, so the first step is to identify what you stand for and the values that you embody. What are you passionate about, what are your unique skills and most importantly, what sets you apart from everyone else in your field? For me, my purpose, values and passions have always guided the choices I make, including the causes I support, the clients we represent and even the way I dress. Purpose, Authenticity and Gratitude are the cornerstones of my personal and professional life, and you will see it reflected in everything that I do.
Tip 2: Use powerful imagery and visual storytelling that is authentic and on-brand
A picture is worth a thousand words and never has this been truer than in today’s times. Images are a compelling medium to evoke feelings and create emotional connections, and a perfect conduit when it comes to personal branding. Many people underestimate the importance of dedicated photography and my top advice would be to invest in professional photography, whereby you can successfully capture images that are authentic, on-brand and truly reflect who you are and what you stand for. Be clear about the vibe, energy and persona that you want the images to convey and also your “non-negotiables” when it comes to how your personal style is being reflected through the images. This doesn’t mean that your pictures need to be fully orchestrated, instead they can be taken “in the moment”, with conscious intent to capture the true essence of a person. For me, my personal style is urban, contemporary and underscores my entrepreneurial spirit, so you will see a lot of imagery that supports this lifestyle.
Moreover, when building a personal brand, it’s important to remember that the way you look is a defining factor. When I first started in the business, I dressed in an all-black uniform so as to blend into the environment, whereby my ideas were not overshadowed by what I was wearing, especially in a male dominated field. This is what led to my #NKAllBlackEverything brand. Now, I have a staple black wardrobe because it simplifies my life and black power dressing has become synonymous with my personal brand. It is also an example of a “non-negotiable” item for me – My black wardrobe and style aesthetic are inherent to who I am and so, cannot be compromised at any cost.
Tip 3: Grow your circle – network, network, network
The bigger your “tribe” the bigger your impact. It’s important to actively grow your network and be part of communities that are interested in achieving similar goals and looking for partners or a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s key to actively look for causes, programs and events that can offer you visibility – for example, local networking events, conferences, industry speaking events and so on. However, in an era of social media and influencer collabs, it helps to grow your digital footprint by co-creating interesting and engaging content with others who have a similar ethos and ascribe to similar values. I have always sought out brands and causes that align with my values and made it a point to support them on my social media – It’s my way of ensuring that I am vocal about the things that matter to me and am actively growing my circle of like-minded friends, partners and collaborators. The more you interact and connect with people, the more recognizable you and your brand will be, and ultimately, your community will act as your brand ambassadors and help expand your influence and digital footprint.
Tip 4: Focus on your “Superpower”
The first thing to ask yourself is: “What is your superpower?”. What do you bring to the table that no one else can? A unique “superpower” is the anchor for any personal branding journey, whereby you will be recognized as a trusted authority on your chosen subject matter. I’ve been in the communications industry for over 20 years and ascribe to the idea of “be interested, rather than trying so hard to be interesting” because our clients are central to everything that we do and our primary focus is putting them in the spotlight. Truly listening to what their needs are and understanding how the tools in our toolbox can help our clients achieve their goals and objectives.
Also, looking at global industry trends and ensuring that we are open to technological changes that are powering progress in our industry. When social media was first starting out, a lot of PR professionals thought it was a fad, but we saw the opportunity and now, a large portion of our new business comes through social media. Moreover, we’re the only PR agency in Canada to be verified on both Instagram and Twitter. A mistake that I frequently see people make is to rest on their laurels and not keep pushing boundaries. When it comes to personal branding, you’re only as good as your last social media post, feature article or public appearance – the need to stay relevant and current is a 24/7 undertaking and people who understand the value of having an “Always On” approach are the ones who are the most successful.