How To Get Visible and Build Your Personal Brand
There's a strange thing that happens every time I speak to a new or prospective client about getting photos done for their website. A sudden flash of fear appears across their face, followed by that all-too-familiar sentence “I hate having my photo taken!” It's a sad truth that so many women genuinely do dread getting in front of a camera, but there's another truth that's even more important when you're running a business, particularly if you're a service-based entrepreneur; you need to be seen in order to connect with your ideal clients. [bctt tweet="You need to be seen in order to connect with your ideal clients." username="sophiecarefull"]
I truly believe that the best way to attract your dream customers, to gain their trust and convert them into advocates for your business, is to connect with them through building a personal brand. Of course, this can't be done through photography alone, your whole communication strategy should be set up to speak directly to the people that you most want to work with, but photos that reflect your authentic self are a key piece of this puzzle.
It's taken me a long time to start practising what I preach (let's just say my inner critic was in the driving seat for a good while, telling me to stay hidden!), but ever since I started putting myself out there as the face of my business and connecting with my community on a regular basis, I've noticed that more and more of my absolute dream customers are turning up at my door (or my little corner of the internet!).
Through lots of work on my imposter syndrome, reading tons of books about stepping up and being brave, and listening to all the podcasts out there about branding – combined with my passion for photography - posting photos of myself on my business profiles has now become almost second nature. It's even easier now that I've seen how powerful this can be. I know for sure that all of the brilliant women who have booked me as their personal brand photographer have done so only after getting to know me through my website and/or on social media. When we open up and share a little piece of ourselves, we create opportunities for genuine connection (that thing that we all crave!), and this is what will make people trust you and ultimately want to buy from you.
Here are a few things you can do if your inner critic is still telling you to hide behind your logo and not put your face out there on your business profiles:
If you're on Instagram, try posting a selfie in a Story – it goes away after 24 hours so you can just give it a go, see how it feels, and use that experience to be a little braver next time. This is great for practising with video too - if you're building up to doing a Facebook Live (excellent for building your personal brand!), go for a trial run on Stories first and you'll see that you can totally handle it!
Be honest – if you're feeling really scared about sharing your first photo of yourself, it's totally OK to say that! Authenticity is so important when it comes to connecting with your ideal clients, so just be yourself and talk about how you're feeling. I bet your audience will reward you for being so open, it shows that you're just like them!
Use it as a conversation starter – why not pose a question to your audience or share a useful tip with them alongside your photo? This takes the pressure off coming up with a personal caption and should rid you of those pesky fraudy feelings about putting your face out there! Think of it as a vehicle to fostering real conversations with your community.
Hire a professional photographer - I know that a big part of us not liking having our photos taken comes from hating so many photos of ourselves in the past, but were many (or any) of those taken by someone with years of experience, a deep understanding of light and posing, professional equipment and a skilled hand at editing? Maybe not! Working with someone who specialises in personal brand photography means you'll be in safe hands and that you're both working towards the same goal; to capture you as the very best version of yourself in order to attract your dream clients. It's also just a really fun day out of the office and a lovely confidence boost too!
Practice makes perfect – I did not enjoy my first experience of putting my face on my social media channels, but the more I do it, the better I get at just treating it like one more task on my to-do list and not getting stressed out by it. Try and commit to posting a picture of yourself once every ten Instagram posts this month and just see what happens!
As with anything, you can't expect to see huge results straight away, but it's the small actions that we repeat regularly that add up to success! So keep going, keep putting yourself out there as the expert that you are, and watch as your community becomes filled with more of the people that you dream of working with!
If you're ready to get visible and boost your personal brand with gorgeous photos, this is the page for you!