If you’ve worked with me before, you know I like to ask my clients the words and phrases that best represent their personal brand. (My personal brand words are “Authentic,” “Beautiful,” and “Playful.”) As a photographer and personal branding specialist, it’s my job to capture your unique essence: what makes you amazing, what makes you you.

Recently I had the privilege of conducting personal branding sessions for two amazing Richmond non-profit CEOs: Christy S. Coleman of the American Civil War Museum and Beth Merchent of The Daily Planet Health Services.

These women…rocked! We had such a great time together. I know I’m biased, but their photos look amazing!

Christy Coleman
Chief Executive Officer
American Civil War Museum

Beth Merchent
Chief Executive Officer
The Daily Planet Health Services

I’m sharing this with you today because we can learn a lot from Christy and Beth. I am a student of greatness. And as a female entrepreneur, when I have the chance to be around great people, I soak it in. I wanted to share five insights that I observed in my conversations and engagement with these amazing CEOs. They take their personal brand seriously.

1. Set high standards for yourself.
You are your own best advocate. Expect more from yourself. Set a high standard of excellence. Both women radiate excellence: in how they walk into a room, in their appearances, in the standards they set for their work and organizations. They make sure their personal brand is consistent.

2. Don’t assume everyone has your high standards.
Both Christy and Beth are filmed and photographed often by the media for their public facing roles leading their non-profit organizations. But they don’t have control over the photos that are taken. That means that their public image is in the hands of others. Christy and Beth wanted to maintain a high standard for themselves, including their personal branding expressions.

3. You are worth investing in yourself.
We all have obligations: mortgages, kids’ tuitions, the electric bill. It’s easy to put off investing in yourself. There’s always something else that takes priority. But both Christy and Beth took the time and financial investment in their personal branding sessions because they knew that their image and reputation matter. All highly successful people invest in themselves. As Stephen Covey says, exceptional people always “sharpen the saw.” When you invest in yourself, you make a wise investment. Christy and Beth have a library now of images they can use for speaking events, media queries, and other opportunities. These images are consistent with their personal brand.

4. Your personal brand propels your organization’s mission forward.
Christy and Beth represent leading non-profit organizations. While I know both work hard behind the scenes to ensure their organizations are stellar, they are often the faces we recognize when we think of the American Civil War Museum and The Daily Planet Health Services. By investing in their personal brands, Christy and Beth are able to further their respective organizations and causes.

5. Give voice to what matters.
Remember at the top of this post when I mentioned that I ask my clients the words that represent them? For Christy and Beth, they work every day to share a voice for a pivotal time in our nation’s history and for those who need accessible, comprehensive and integrated quality health services. Whether we serve as CEOs for non-profit organizations, or we volunteer, or we march for a righteous cause, all of are compelled to give voice to what matters.

Whether you are a CEO of a leading not-for-profit organization or the CEO of your household, you are a difference maker. What you do matters. You matter. And you are worth it. Christy and Beth reminded me of this during my sessions with them. And I wanted to share this with you.

It’s Your Time,


Every month I publish new insights to help my friends and clients stand out in business and life.
Let me know where to send my very best!
- Kim

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Kim Brundage Photography
(804) 859-6603 | kim@kimbrundage.com

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