We make time to photograph our kids, schedule family sessions, and take lots of selfies, but if you have a small business, offer services, or do anything that requires an online presence, don’t forget to book a personal branding session for yourself, too. It’s hard for people to buy into what they can’t see—so let them see you!
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is a way to set yourself apart, define your brand and style, and promote yourself. It’s easy to get lost in the online shuffle, so personal branding helps you stake your claim within your industry and showcase your specialty.
Why is Personal Branding Important?
Branding is one way to help establish your authority and promote yourself as a qualified and capable expert in your field. The goal is to create images that authentically represent you and your brand in a way that makes you appear confident—and you should be because you rock at what you do!
Personal branding also helps you connect with your audience more intimately by revealing your personality and possibly even your work. When they see you doing your thing, they’ll be more inclined to reach out and view you as a trustworthy person. Putting a face to a brand always seems more transparent. Your potential clients know what—and who—they’re getting when they work with you. Even in our digital culture, it’s always nice to be able to put a face to a name.
If you primarily offer services, such as consulting, real estate services, or health and fitness coaching, you don’t have a physical product to promote, so you have to promote yourself! View personal branding as a way to market yourself.
What Kinds of Branding Photos Do You Need?
If you have your own business or work in the creative sphere, you’ll probably have more flexibility with your branding or headshot photos. On the other hand, if you work in the corporate world, you will probably need more formal or traditional headshots and branding photos (although there are still ways to personalize those and convey your personality, too). Your photo style should reflect your work and industry.
My goal is to capture a variety of photos that you can reuse and recycle for different purposes so you can get the most out of them.
Personal branding shots include:
- Formal headshots
- Playful headshots
- In the office (whatever that may look like for you)
- On the job/at work photos
- On-location portraits (such as The Waterway or Market Street)
If you have ideas in mind, I’d encourage you to create a “style board” with examples you like. Personal branding is completely unique to the individual—there’s no one-size-fits-all way to do it. So, I’ll pull ideas based on your preferences, work activities, website, and personal input. Personal branding sessions are very collaborative in nature.
What Should I Wear?
Choose outfits that complement your work, brand, and photo location. Think of what you typically wear when meeting or working with clients. You may possibly take it up a notch for photos. Bring out your best without looking out of place. For instance, a Pilates instructor probably wouldn’t wear a work suit for branding photos. But they would wear their most stylish or fashion-forward workout attire so they could look and feel their best.
I am always adding to my couture Women’s Client Closet if you’d like to check that out as well.
Feel free to bring along work-related props or materials as well, such as color swatches, books, fitness gear, laptop, planner, etc.—whatever you use on a daily basis that might look good in photos.
Which Locations Are Best for Personal Branding Photos?
Similarly, your location should also complement your industry and work. We could go to your office or studio, take photos at an outdoor location, or head somewhere with a trendy, uptown vibe. Consider your personality as well when selecting a location. For formal or studio-type portraits, The Oak Atelier offers shaded outdoor areas, a glasshouse, and three studio rooms inside (with props and backdrops available to rent as well).
How Can You Make the Most of Your Photos?
Once you have the photos, it’s time to live out the brand! I love this article by Forbes about the “10 Golden Rules of Personal Branding.” It’s important to follow through with what your selling. People can spot insincerity a mile away. While you probably wouldn’t do that intentionally, brand yourself in a way that is authentic and genuine—not as someone you aren’t. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to be your own brand. Go forth and own it!
Once you’ve got the branding squared away and the photos you need, promote yourself! You can use your photos on social media, email marketing, business cards, flyers—any kind of promotional material.
If you’re tempted to hide your photos away, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and share them. People do want to see your face and what you do on a daily basis. The human aspect goes a long way in branding, and that smile of yours just might be what convinces someone to hire you.
Personal Branding with Dazzling Diva Photography
Still unsure about your personal branding strategy? Get in touch with me to get started planning your branding session. I’d love to help you discover ways to convey your brand visually through personal branding portraits. Visit the Portfolio for more photo inspiration. And be sure to join me on Facebook for session ideas, blog releases, and mini session dates.