What’s the main purpose of Personal Branding Photography?
I’d argue that it’s to help your target clients get to know, like and trust you so that they feel safe and confident in doing business with you. To get there we need your content to resonate with this target audience, enter: authenticity
Being yourself means you’ll always be consistent
The purpose of hiring a professional personal branding photographer is to show you as the best version of you. It’s about authenticity. We’ve all met people who seem nothing like their online presence, be that physical appearance or discrepancies with their online ‘voice’ vs their in-person one, or even cross-platform different personalities. It’s disconcerting. We don’t want to do that to our customers. We want to help them get to know us and to do that we must keep true to our business voice, whatever that may be for us personally.
There’s a growing trend to suggest that being ‘authentic’ means sitting in/outside a coffee shop on a branding shoot. That’s great, IF that’s actually how you work. Most of us don’t, so why is that being touted as personal branding for everyone? It’s confusing things I think as the very definition of authenticity is “not false or copied; genuine; real”.
Defining who we are
Most of us sit in varying points on a vast array of different spectrums – formal vs informal, casual vs smart, polished vs relaxed and those are just 3 visually obvious ones. With so many different points none of us are going to come out quite the same. We also all use different language, different turns of phrase and have different histories and skillsets. With so much opportunity to reflect the nuances of our own uniqueness it seems counter productive to try to homogenise everyone or be someone we’re not. I can’t think of anything more damaging to a brand than being unpredictable. That makes “knowing” and “trusting” almost impossible.
How much to share on social media?
Sharing as much of ourselves as feels appropriate is well-trodden advice for small business owners and whilst many interpret this as documenting every aspect of their life on social media, I don’t think that needs to be the case. If it doesn’t feel like you, I’d suggest it probably won’t come across in a way that’ll be beneficial so it might not be a great idea.
Show up in a way that is authentic to you
My way of connecting is to show up on video and in blogs sharing different aspects of what I do for my clients, content, tips and other relevant information. I’m pretty chilled, I’m all about being professional, I’m (fairly!) calm and judging by my testimonials pretty great at what I do.
Consistency breeds trust
My online persona is exactly the same as I am in real life. No surprises. I can be (read: usually am) a bit goofy for sure, but I’ll always be professional. That’s my brand. It’s also perfect for my clients as I’m chosen by those wanting high quality, an amazing service and a guaranteed product. That is not to say this is how all photographers should be, far from it, variety is the spice of life! I do what is right for me, my brand and my clients and that’s what we think about in yours.
How can you deliver your messaging in a way that’s perfect for you, your brand and your clients? It’s not about right and wrong, it’s about finding the right fit.
Finding the confidence to be yourself
A great personal branding photographer will give you the confidence to do you. That’s why your clients love you and you want more of those, so we talk directly to them with your images. If we bring a copywriter or web designer on board they work to the same brief, so every aspect of your branding is consistently you allowing your followers feel safe in their opinion of you. You want them to feel confident that they know what they’re going to get with you. It’s about building trust. The concept is really that simple. The execution takes more knowledge and skill, but the idea doesn’t.
Speak directly to your target clients
Personal branding allows your target clients to understand your brand. Get to know you. So they can begin to like you (or not!) and trust you. The trust will come from being consistent and cohesive. Sharing great content will help, but only if you are cohesively you as you share it. Don’t send mixed messages with your brand, keep it real, bring it to life and watch your target clients start to engage. It’s powerful stuff. IF it’s done well and part of it being done well is knowing who you are and who you’re for. The rest is down to me.
If you’d like to arrange a call to see how I can help you, drop me a line or better yet, pick up the phone so we can have a chat.