There’s never been a more important time to have a clearly defined personal brand.
As we adapt to new ways of living with Covid 19, we can expect businesses and consumers to be even more cautious before they part with their hard-earned cash.
Standing out from the crowd with a unique offer and communicating what you do, consistently and authentically will be a necessity to thrive and survive.
A key part of defining your personal brand is aligning your visual identity with your personal brand.
So why is it so important?
Your clients are buying you!
Your customers are buying from you, because they buy into you. They get what you stand for you and they trust you.
Your personal brand is a mix of
- What people have heard about you.
- Your online social presence and how you engage with your community.
- Website design and how you use images, fonts and colours.
- Your tone of voice.
Your job is to bring it all together and to be consistent with how you behave.
And your personal branding images can help you bring it all to life. Your clients get to see you, trust you and build a relationship with you.
The power of an image.
We’re hard wired to read an image in an instant. The colours, clothes and the incidentals all combine to build a picture.
It would probably take a couple of paragraphs to describe a photo, but our brain processes it all in a few seconds. Our job is to guide the viewer and present images that are consistent with our brand, so they don’t jar or confuse.
If we take the two pictures below, what do you see?
The neck scarf and large ring hint a unique sense of fashion and design. The bright red Che Guevara poster reveals a strong independent personality and the map wallpaper reinforces creativity or maybe a desire to travel or repurpose objects. The brushes in both pictures are held confidently, suggesting an experienced artist.
I might be off the mark, but it shows how important it is to take control of your images. Don’t add any old image to your website – be intentional with your branding photos and think about what they say about you.
Communicate authentically with real images.
There’s a role for stock photography, they’re a quick and cost-effective solution.
But stock images have one major weakness – they rarely feel authentic and most of us can spot one a mile off.
In fact poorly used stock photos do more harm than good. They can feel fake and there’s an immediate disconnect between what you’re saying in your copy and what you’re communicating with your visuals.
Not only that, you can’t control where else the images will be used, which could confuse or even worse damage your brand.
With bespoke personal branding photography you get to tell your story, the way you want.
Communicate with personality.
How would you describe your brand – playful and creative or maybe reliable and trusted?
Your brand personality and how you deliver your product or service is a key differentiator and allows you to stand out from the crowd.
So it goes without saying, your branding photos should align with your brand and your personality.
This is where personal branding photos differ from a traditional headshot. You can move away from the head and shoulders framing to a wider shot, with more opportunity for storytelling, branding and personality.
If you look back at your previous clients you’ll probably see a pattern. We tend to enjoy working with people who are similar to us and share the same values. So use your personal branding photography to reinforce these messages and attract more ideal clients.
Stand out from the crowd.
You’re uniquely placed to carve out your niche.
There’s probably lots of businesses that do what you do. But what makes you different?
What was your journey and how did you get here? Does this give you an unusual mix of skills that sets you apart in your industry?
What do you do when you’re taking time out? Is your work space or design process markedly different to your competition – how could you build this into your branding photos?
Show the whole you and what makes you and your business tick and you’ll definitely see your clients connect with this more open communication style.