So you may have noticed photos of me ALL over my website. In fact, I know you did, because they’re everywhere. I don’t get the pleasure of meeting most of my clients in person, so I want to make sure to put my face everywhere so that you can get an idea of who I am when we’re interacting online or screensharing through Zoom. Keep reading to learn specifically why you should invest in a branding session!
Having this absurd number of photos of myself is no accident. This was a carefully planned day where I rented a light and airy studio loft, spent time making lists and walking around my house looking for objects I felt represented me, and did a little Amazon shopping to find a few statement pieces that would show a LOT of my personality.
And of course I brought this all together by hiring my best photographer friend (Abigail Gowin, CHECK HER OUT!) to take my photos! If you don’t currently have the budget to hire an excellent brand photographer, SAVE UP! I’m a photographer myself and I knew that I would get better results by asking someone else to see the pictures I couldn’t. It’s almost impossible to see yourself and all the photo opportunities alone, with a camera timer or remote trigger.
Why you should invest in a branding session!
Professionalism & Trust
Think of how a website that only uses stock photos makes you feel… It probably doesn’t make you feel anything. That’s the OPPOSITE of what you want potential leads on your website to feel. It’s so critical to build trust with your audience so that they will feel confident about making an investment in you. Low-quality, disparate, photos will sends your leads in search of someone else! A cohesive brand presence will draw people in and encourage them to take the first step to working with you.
A quick note for you photographers: If you haven’t met up with some local photographers to swap headshots, you HAVE to! If clients see that you don’t value photography yourself, why would they value you?
They have so many uses!
Although I’m mainly talking about how you can use these photos on your website, there are SO many other ways to use them. They can go along with what you post on social media, where getting personal is king.
When you create freebies and products, you can include photos of YOURSELF in it- once again creating that connection with your client that you are indeed a real person.
When I got these photos back, I felt A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I loved the look and the emotion captured, but honestly, I mostly loved the way I looked in the photos (can you tell that I can’t get enough of this white floral blazer?). That’s never been the case for me before! I’ve never felt confident in front of the camera or super thrilled with the results of self-timer photos. But with a professional photographer who knew how to pose me in the ways most flattering for my body type, and all of a sudden I feel confident plastering my face all over my website. You deserve to feel this same level of confidence, especially in your zone of genius.
So what do I do now?
Step 1 is to hire your photographer because chances are that they will be able to help you with the next several steps! You should look for someone you think you will connect with on a personal level because that will make you feel so much more comfortable! Also ask whether they provide images in their style only or if they vary it based on their clients’ brand. If the former, make sure you hire someone whose style is consistent with your brand! If you ARE a photographer, buddy up with another photographer in your area and swap RAWS.
For those of you in Indianapolis, I’d love to give you a special deal on a branding session. Check out my style here and message me for details!
Find a venue! For some of you, maybe you want to do an in-home session (especially if you’re an interior designer). For others, you may want to rent an industrial hotel room. Still others may find their ideal photo backdrop in a boho AirBNB. There’s no right or wrong answer here as long as the location represents you and is available for your use!
Start thinking about and brainstorming the items that you would want to bring to your shoot. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money! Generally, these are things you already have around the house because they are things you LOVE and that REPRESENT you! For me this included a book, some alcohol, a few coffee mugs, an assortment of pens, ALLLLLL of my apple technology, and more!
The other element of this step is to figure out what outfits you want to wear. In an ideal world, you’ll have at least a piece or two that complements your brand colors, but that’s not required. The most important thing is that it makes you feel GOOD and confident! Raid your closet and pull out those old standbys. And treat yo’self a little. Splurge on one or two pieces and make sure to get your nails done! These details add significantly to the level of polish exhibited by your photos!
You now know why you should invest in a branding session and the major elements you need to consider when setting it up! I challenge you to do this AT LEAST once per year. Honestly, doing one each quarter would be super ideal so that you have content for every season, but you have to walk before you run. One thing is guaranteed, if you do it right, you and your business will be ready to thrive!