meet Spirited photography
Personal Branding Photography is more than just a buzzword of the moment. Personal branding has been all around us in the marketing of artists, great political leaders, celebrities, activists and more for centuries. Oftentimes (e.g. in the case of London political leaders) strategised to make them stand out and appeal. Arguably in the case of artists, it’s less an intentional business strategy and more an extension of their artistic persona. And now as our world becomes more visual, personal branding is all around us as a way of expressing ourselves – to use another overused buzzword – authentically. Why? Because when you are true to self, you really connect to those who will be genuinely attracted to you and what you have to offer.
There is more to it than just marketing hype. Let’s delve into three reasons why personal branding photography can actively help make your business (London or elsewhere) more interesting and engaging:
1 – Your Clients’ Judgement Matters
It’s a proven fact that your clients make a subconscious decision about you within milliseconds of seeing your photo. So if your profile image is a friendly face, or a trustworthy yet powerful portrait (depending on what you want to convey), you have a far greater chance of securing your clients’ or your followers’ confidence. If that isn’t proof enough that your quick-fire headshot needs an upgrade, what is? Friendly photos have a much greater chance of you making a positive impact with your users.
2 – Users Trust Sites that Show Real People
Showing the person or people behind the brand is a great way to humanise your site or feed and make it more interesting. Again, studies have shown that putting a face to the brand creates greater trust and engagement. Profile pictures are an absolute must, but so are real people relating to your product or service, and the creators or people who work there foster that trust more than any generic stock photo (see point four). Even just your hands in an image adds that human element – the difference being it is recognisably you. Moreover, the more ‘people photos’ you show, the more interest you generate. More interest equals greater engagement with your brand. And who doesn’t want more engagement?
3 – Connect with your Clients
The real nitty gritty with a personal branding shoot is that it is just that. It’s personal. The personal resonates on a deeper level and creates a connection between you and your users’ own interests. Your audience will aspire to your values and commitment to change; your clients will relate when they see you have common interests. This is where a personal branding shoot really gets interesting and exciting, because it is all about you, your background, passion, skills and interests and what you makes you different. It’s your USP, your true self, and everyone has one. If discovering yours sparks fear, then fear not – I work with my clients to help them uncover their own brand story.
4 – Stock Photos Convey Mistrust
We all know that when you’re in a rush to publish and haven’t planned ahead, it soon becomes a headache finding the right photo to use. So you start searching stock images, find a nice picture of a journal, or something pretty that more or less illustrates your service. There’s no speedier solution than a great stock photo. And so you might even continue to use stock photos in your branding – because they’re stylish and on trend and close enough to what you need. Right?
Or have you just fallen victim to shiny Pinterest syndrome and followed suit? Here are two reasons not to consistently rely on stock images for your branding imagery.
The first is that stock photos provoke mistrust among your readers.
The second reason is the human element we talked about. When you feature in your own service and product images, you have the added advantage of creating that trust and likability.
Plan Personal Branding Photography for your London Brand Ahead of Time!
It doesn’t have to be difficult – planning your branding shoot ahead of time allows you to include upcoming events on your marketing calendar. Once the first one’s in the bag, regular shoots will ensure you’re always ahead of yourself.
And there are always in-the-background and confidence boosting tools for the camera shy. So instead of reaching for the stock photos, you should be reaching for your own image library – one that features you, your brand interests and your immediately likeable team!