There is no denying that for small business owners and entrepreneurs connecting with potential clients is no easy task. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, they’re all saturated with cat videos, cliché inspirational quotes and millions of poorly lit iPhone photos. How can you break through all that clutter?
Getting and staying relevant online takes commitment and creative content. Fortunately, putting a plan in place and investing in small business and personal branding photography can help you build and sustain a loyal following that will save you time and money and help you increase revenue.
First Things First
So what is personal branding photography? To be honest, it can be different for different people. If you’re a young professional beginning your career and networking on LinkedIn it might be a professional headshot and a collection of portraits to showcase your personality on your portfolio website and social media.
However, it’s primarily a blend between portraiture, small business photography and product photography. Just like the brand platform for any large corporation small business owners and individuals need to create and sustain their brand. This includes who you are, what you stand for and how you promote yourself through online imagery and messaging.
For sales professionals, small business owners and entrepreneurs it’s a constant struggle to create quality content to feed your brand. We constantly hunt and peck to find images to build our websites and fill our social media feeds. This time-consuming process kills productivity and leads to a mish mash of imagery with no cohesive branding strategy.
That’s where a library of professionally shot photographs at your ready will save you time and lead to a brand that will connect with your clients over the long run.
Get Your House In Order
If you’re in need of more than just a collection of portraits it’s beneficial to have your marketing and branding house in order before you invest in personal branding photography. Nothing needs to be set in stone but here are a couple things to consider before you schedule your first photo shoot. Logo and color palette – Do you have a logo? What are your brand colors? Having these two basic marketing elements solidified will help you plan your personal branding photography. You’ll want your photos to match the messaging and nuance that your logo portrays.
More important however is your color palette. If your brand colors are reds and softer tones you don’t want to be photographed in a bright blue room. It also affects your wardrobe and accessories. From the scarf or tie you wear to the throw pillows in the background, you want the colors in your photos to match those of your brand. This includes the products you may be selling. Are the labels yellow and blue? Then you’ll want to match the scene with a complimentary color palette.
Define your target audience.
For personal branding photography defining your target audience isn’t as important as your marketing basics above, but it’s still very helpful. So how do you define your target audience? Here are the six key features:
- Education Background
- Purchasing Power
- Social Class
- Consumption Habits
Understanding your ideal client is critical to your success in so many ways but it will also help you with your small business photography. If you’re a physical therapist who primarily services athletes then you’ll probably want high energy photographs working with physically fit clients/models. Also, you might want to include their parents if they are the one’s paying the bills! Your personal branding photographer can help you visualize the types of photographs that will help you connect with your target audience.
What do you want to be known for?
Determining who you are, what parts of your personality you want to highlight and what you want to be known for in the long term is very important. Spending some time thinking about this will help you visualize what you want your personal branding images to look like and the mood and emotions they generate in your target audience.
Furthermore, taking a few minutes to contemplate a five year plan will also help you strategize where you are and how your personal brand and small business photography can help you get to where you want to go.
Business Is Personal
It’s also good to remember that for many of us business is personal. For many service and sales positions it’s in your best interest to connect personally with your clients and colleagues. If people like you they will be more inclined to support your business and your financial success. So, think about how you want to personalize your business photography. Do you want to include your significant other? How about your kids? Sharing photos of you and your family enjoying activities outside of work helps people connect with you on another level.
Location, Location, Location
Are you familiar with the old business saying, “What are the three most important things in business?” and the answer being, “Location, Location, Location.” I’m showing my age as it refers to the old retail, bricks and mortar style of business. However, it still holds true in that your new location and your store front, at least for most of us, is now our website and our social media feeds. If your “storefront” is filled with selfies and stock photos seen across the internet how interested do you think your patrons will find you? How long will they spend on your website, or your Instagram posts to peruse your products and services? Most people spend 15 seconds or less on your website so investing in eye-catching images will only help you retain customers and boost sales.
Getting The Images You Need
When you’re ready to invest in your “storefront” and your personal branding and small business photography there are several things to think about.
First, what images do you need most? Is it a hero image for your home page? Does that image need a lot of negative space for text overlay? Do you need images of yourself with a few of your items on product pages? Do these need to be vertical or horizontal images?
Second, what’s your primary social media feed and what photo aspect ratio do you normally use? If you always post square images then that will affect how your photographer captures your photos so that when they’re cropped they will look perfect in your feed.
Keep It Fresh
Did you know that the average brand posts to Instagram 1.5 times per day? Also, some businesses post up to 30 times per day! No matter your social media strategy it’s clear you need a lot of quality content to make your social media efforts effective and worthwhile. You also need to keep your content current and up to date. Reusing old photos will leave your followers bored and unengaged. So, regularly working with a personal branding photographer to keep your library fresh will help you stay relevant online and keep your business flourishing.
These are just a few of things to consider and your personal branding photographer should help you work through the details.
Now’s The Time
Learn more about my personal branding photography services and how I can help you grow your business.Get Started