It’s been super exciting to see the Personal Branding trend really take off. Gone are the days of boring, traditional, totally “meh” head shots (good riddance) and here to grow is the new style of really infusing a healthy dose of your own personality and daily grind into your visual marketing. And that, my friends, is Personal Branding.
In today’s fast-paced-I-want-it-now kinda world, you have but a moment, a blink of an eye really, to catch a potential client’s interest and even that interest can be quite fickle. You gonna leave that to a tightly-cropped, arms-crossed-why-so-serious head shot? I think not.
Remember this when starting your venture into branding: People only care about what they are going to get from you. The trick to successful branding is how you deliver THAT information. This is the kind of moment when you have to consider your branding from your clients’ perspectives.
They say that “Personal Branding is what people say about your after you leave the room.” So, you must then consider: what do you want them saying about you?
So how do you know what you need? Well, your first step is finding someone to help you sort that out. I photographed this lovely, sassy brunette you see a few months ago when I helped her launch her own brand. We talked about what she wanted to convey, what her hobbies and inspirations were and I came up with Oprah. Yep–Oprah. I saw her in a light and flower-drenched room that spilled out comfort, family, friends and home to anyone who saw it. And then she realized she wanted to take it to a higher level and include her assistant. So, we came up with some new concepts, put wardrobe and locations together and here we have it (this is the first time they’re seeing a peek of these photos. Woot!)
So, what can I do as a photographer to help you with your branding? Let’s explore…
Do I still offer head shots? Yes. But they are my style and my style is artful, personable and real. Know how you’ll know if your clientele will respond well to your visual marketing? If you also kinda want to put them in your home (although…I doubt Raemie and Shannon want photos of the two of them together in their homes…but you get the point). If you love your photos so much you believe they could be in your home as part of your decor, that’s how you know your branding photos are personable and real for your clients as well. That’s my type of head shot style.
Do I offer different levels of service? You betcha. We talk. We brainstorm. We figure it out together. And based on what you tell me, I’m going to be able to put together a level of service that’s right for you. I offer everything from simple head shots, to more personalized sessions that include hair and makeup, collaboration on direction and mood, to full on, whole sha-bang, design, direct, coordinate, shop and pull it all together and re-emerge to your knew world in your new kickass “Hear me ROAR” persona (which is what you see in this post). And this can include all facets of your life. Kids, dating profiles, business, pleasures…etc. There is no limit here.
Will I help you figure out what you need? Yes. The real question is, will you listen. Almost every single person I photograph thinks they only need one or two photographs of themselves.
Them: “I really only need one photograph for my website. That’s it. I really don’t want to pay for a big shoot that I simply do not need.”
Me: “OK. So you only need one photograph for your website? Do you only market through your website?”
Them: “Well…no. I also market through Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.”
Me: “OK. Which of those platforms bring you the most success for your business? Which brings you the most business?”
Me: “Gotcha. And do you do a newsletter or any other marketing?”
Them: “Yes…I do a monthly newsletter, quarterly brochures and e-brochures, holiday newsletters and ads via social media like Facebook.”
Them: “I see what you’re saying.”
OR I get this: “Right, I know. I need a lot more than I thought I did but I just don’t have the money right now. I don’t want to spend a lot right now.”
Me: “OK–can you tell me how much you spent on your website, blog, marketing materials and miscellaneous items for marketing?”
Them: “Probably around $10,000 or so.”
Me: “And how’s that working for you without having really good visual marketing of yourself? And what do you consider would be “spending too much” on damn good kickass photography that will give you at least 2 to 3 years of use, and reuse, and reuse and reuse?”
Them: “I see what you’re saying”
Or, they just stick to their guns, come in for “one” photograph and end up spending way more than one of my packages because they loved so many of their photographs because they “had no idea this is what they would look like”. Yeah. I know.
Listen, yes…it is only in my best interest to sell you more. The more money I make, the more margaritas I get to drink poolside at some hum-dinger of a resort while counting seagulls and calling out to that adorable pool boy to bring me another drink. This is true. But what is not in my best interest is to have you walk away feeling like I influenced you to do something you don’t want or need. Because what are you going to say to the next person you talk to that is thinking of re-branding and needs photography? Exactly. So, you can either trust me and partner up with my brain and go for the ride and allow me to help you, or mistrust me, think you know better and wind up spending more than if you had listened to me in the first place. Feelin’ me here??
Do you help with locations, wardrobe and session design? Yeppers. If that’s the package you pick, I am allllll yours. Like I said, you can go from just showing up and snapping a few off, to making me your new Personal Branding, Life Branding, Dating Branding, Professional Branding BFF. We can even get matching bracelets, on me.
Regardless of where you are in your business persona, considering a re-brand or getting another brain in there to offer up some new ideas just may not be a bad idea. When you’re ready for your first step into the world of branding yourself in a personal way, I’ll be right here waiting for you.
Concept design, creative direction, wardrobe & photography: Moi, of course
Shannon’s hair and makeup styling: At Home BeautyAt Home Beauty
Locations: Brennan Builders at Timber Ridge
Black & pink floral dress on Raemie: Ellen Tracy
Matching black sandal heels on Raemie: Pour la Victoire
Tan dress with pink florals on Shannon: Taylor Dresses
Matching nude shoes on Shannon: Sam Edelman
Blue dress on Shannon: Maggy London
White dress on Raemie: Adrianna Papell
Matching nude shoes on Raemie: Jimmy Choo
Black and white jumper on Raemie: Adrianna Papell
Black and white dress on Shannon: Felicity & Coco
Matching black heels on Shannon: Sam Edelman
White dress on Shannon: Cushnie et Ochs
Matching metallic gold shoes on Shannon: Giuseppe Zanotti
Blush dress on Raemie: Kate Spade
Matching brown cage heels on Raemie: Jimmy Choo
Blush briefcase bag in front of desk: Tory Burch