As a photographer who specializes in Branding Photography, I often get asked nervous questions about how to let loose and be yourself. I get it! I feel you on SO MANY levels! I am totally awkward in front on the camera, but just fine behind it. I am here to help you get over that nervousness and camera shyness and rock your next branding session. To make the most out of your session, you need to map it out. When you have a plan on how to use your images, it will go much smoother. By plan, I don’t mean planning to loose ten pounds either. I urge you not to wait until you lose ten pounds, your hair grows three inches, your business has grown x% or whatever other excuse you might be tell yourself to avoid booking a photo session and investing in YOU. To be frank, these are just a few of the many excuses we tell ourselves out of fear of portraits or guilt for spending money on ourselves. There is NO better time than NOW to wow your Ideal Clients. Below, you can find four steps to create the kind of plan I am talking about.
#1- THE IDEA COMES FIRST:
We have to start at the bottom and work our way up. I will assume, if you are here, that you want images that can be used on social media. When we design your session we will first go over who your ideal client is. Then, I will then come up with 5-8 social media & blog ideas for us to build portraits around. Essentially, we come up with an idea first and then take a photographs that will go with that idea later. As an example, I recently did portraits for a local CPA and her employees. Here is one of the social media post ideas we came up with-
“Tax season is busy, but we are never too busy for you. We will always greet you with a smile.”
For that post, we decided on a simple portrait of the CPA, smiling right at her audience. You see, when we know who we are seeking to reach and what we intend to say to them, it is easier for us to create a posing template & much less stressful on you to finalize details like attire, location and props. When we do this, it makes your ideal client feel like you are speaking to them directly. Honestly, that is what Branding Photography is all about.
#2- BE YOURSELF, BECAUSE YOU ARE YOUR BRAND:
I see far too many people on social media trying to imitate others in their branding. Stop it. Just stop. The best thing about your brand is YOU. I say that because, you are the unique puzzle piece that makes your brand different. For example, no one will have life experiences exactly like yours and no one will have the exact same business. It is important to stop focusing on how you are different and start running with the uniqueness of yourself and your brand. Before you our initial meeting, where we design our idea, ask yourself theses four questions & jot down the answer:
Allow me to answer for myself- I offer a unique Branding Photography service, because I mold my sessions around the photographs intended purpose versus choosing generically. My services include blog ideas & social media post, as well as a totally free Brand Strategy Zoom Meeting to ensure each session is unique and awesome. I offer a brand building experience, not just a portrait session, and no one else in my area currently does that. My brand is unique because I offer authenticity and a specialized service to each client based on their own ideal client avatar. I serve the amazing creative entrepreneurs, mommy bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, social media influencers & other , (outside of my niche) of Baltimore and beyond. I have spent years learning, building, cultivating & creating my own brand. I have worked with some of the top photography Business Coaches to create an experience my clients are sure to love. Additionally, I have currently built both my Lifestyle Photography Brand and Branding Services to be Top Ranked and 5-star Reviewed Google Businesses.
See how much better & more appealing your business sounds when you put into the right frame? Using the answers to those four simple questions, I can create social media content that tells my ideal clients why they should choose me over someone else, what I can offer them & most importantly, I know who I want to reach with that message.
#3- SPEAK PROPERLY:
Let’s be real here, the internet has changed everything about business. Consumers have hundreds, if not thousands, of choices now. To keep it simple, let’s just say, it is HARD to stand out in the crowd. Nonetheless, you have to find a way to do just that and in my opinion, the best way to stand out is to speak to your audience properly. Bring conversation into the equation. First, just be yourself. Next, be personable, by sharing the parts of your life with your clients that relate to your business. Third, and perhaps, most important, use the right language.
Always talk in a language that your audience will understand.
As an experienced entrepreneur, it is easy to throw around the jargon of your trade, but remember, your client may not always know those words. Speak in a language and tone sympathetic to the client, not yourself. As a golden rule, avoid too many industry specific phrases and words. Instead, use simpler terms & show your audience how you relate to them & that you understand their fears, hesitations & concerns.
In terms of your Branding Portraits, be relatable by showing them what you do, how you do it & why you do it. Also, you can also show them selective parts of your life (i.e. family, kids, dogs, kids). Clients LOVE to see that you are like them. They also love a glimpse of some “Behind the Scenes” action.
#4- ACCEPT YOUR IMPERFECTIONS:
This one is hard. I had to do ALOT of thought work to accomplish this myself & understand that no one expects you to be perfect. Actually, many studies suggest that clients find if hard to trust a brand that seems “too perfect”, as they consider perfection unrealistic. Trust is a huge part of selling your brand because it makes up one corner of the “Know, Like & Trust” triangle.
To elaborate on that tricky little triangle…
-Clients need to know who you are.
-They need like what you do & what you can offer them.
-Additionally, the need to trust you &/or your company before they commit to a purchase.
Therefore, you absolutely have to stop trying to be perfect & get real, because real is relatable. You don’t need to look like your idea of “perfect” in your Branding Portraits. Let’s take it back to the beginning to bring this thing full circle- you don’t need to lose 20lbs before our shoot, your hair doesn’t haven’t to be perfect and your office doesn’t have to be totally pristine or decorated by an interior designer. Although, everything should definitely look well groomed/tidy and professional, don’t strive for perfection. You don’t have to look like you popped right out of a magazine. Simply stated, for both your branding photography & social media content, you need to look real & real professional, that’s all.
If you put all four of these tips into action, you can create a great plan for using your Personal Branding Photography Session to wow you ideal clients on social media. Your ideal clients will know who you are, know what you can offer them & know that they can trust you. They will feel like you understand them. Likewise, they will understand you. Ready to wow those clients? Click here to learn all about my Branding Session now, contact me & book your own session. I will see you there. =D
Wednesday, March 24th, 2021