Want to know what I like best about being a photographer? I am behind the camera. I hate having my own photo taken!
I started my business a little over six years ago and I was a complete novice. I knew nothing about promoting my business. I started using traditional advertising methods. In fact I spent hundreds & hundreds of dollars on advertising. More than I want to think about. And you know what that got me? Nada. Out of all my print advertisements, I got one inquiry. No bookings - just one inquiry. Don't get me wrong - I'm sure print ad's work for many, it just didn't work for me.
What I did come to realize is that all of my business was coming as a result of my Facebook & Instagram pages. So I needed to learn how to best work these platforms. I also built a website and worked on it constantly to improve it and to build my SEO presence on Google. I began to consistently post on my social media pages every day. I posted my work, I posted some personal stuff and I posted some just-for-fun stuff. I started to get engagement and my following began to grow. And so did my business.
I noticed that other successful businesses that I followed were posting personal photos of themselves. I hesitatingly posted a photo of myself and was completely surprised to see so many Likes! Plus my reach on this photo was way higher and I could see on my Insights that a higher percentage of users were actually clicking on the photo. I would say that I was seeing about a 50-60% increase in my reach with my audience when I posted a personal photo. That's huge ya'll! I posted more awkward selfies with the same great result. I started to share more about myself and my business. My reward was high engagement and my followers were continuing to grow. Plus I was getting inquires AND bookings! I also posted more personal stories & photos on my Blog. My website was slowing moving it's way up on the Google search engine. Eventually I hired a colleague and asked her to take professional photos of me inside my studio. As much as I hate having my photos taken, she did a great job and I was very pleased with the outcome. I started using these professional photos with great results each and every time.
That my friend is Personal Branding. I was putting a face to my business. And at the same time I was building familiarity and trust with my followers.
Please do not confuse personal branding with logo branding. Logo branding is like Starbucks or Target - you see their logo and immediately recognize the business.
Personal branding is not a logo - it's an EXPERIENCE which causes potential clients to want to do business with you. It tells your clients who you are, tells the story behind your business and makes clients want to connect with you (and in turn do business with you!!)
Professional, gorgeous photos tell your clients you care about your image. Whether you’re a coach, online entrepreneur, influencer or speaker, beautiful, professional photography can really take your branding to the next level. What does it say about your business if all you have are some selfies? Probably not what you are hoping it will say.
Is a personal branding session right for you? How do you know if you need a personal branding session? You should consider a personal branding session:
1. If you own any kind of business.
2. If you are the face of your brand and it is important for people to connect with you.
3. If you wish to take your business to the next level by stepping up your visual branding.
4. If you want your ads to look fresh, polished and professional.
I hope this helps to define Personal Branding for you. It has totally changed my business and I believe it will do the same for yours!!
Stay tuned! Part 2 is tomorrow and I will describe a branding session for you. Let me know if you have any questions - I will happily answer them for you!!