A picture is worth more than a thousand words and evokes feelings, thoughts and perceptions of the person viewing your photo. Potential clients often determine whether they are going to work with you or not based upon your professional brand-marketing photos. In my ten years of experience as a Leading International Award Winning Photographer photographing thousands of entrepreneurs, I have become renowned for capturing the Brand essence in every single entrepreneur I have ever focused on. Throughout the years I have accumulated knowledge, tips and truths about how to best show up the essence of a person in their professional personal branding – marketing portraits. One question you may be asking before investing in a personal branding shoot session could be:
Will a potential client choose to work with me based on my personal brand photos?
My answer would be that a personal brand image plays a huge role in whether a client connects with you and your business message immediately. We are living in an online world in which it takes seconds to make an impact with potential clients. A powerful image portrays who we are and sends a direct message to your ideal client. Portraits taken with a poor background such as a bluish romantic soft-focus effect, in the backyard with brick walls as the backdrop, shadows in the shot or a champagne glass in hand does not send a professional business message. In my opinion, even semi-professional or professional images that are taken without visually linking your business message miss the mark in attracting your ideal client. Let’s face it, attracting the ideal client is vital to succeeding in business. It is vital to make an impact immediately with your high quality client through understanding what it is that attracts clients to your image, vibe and personality. An image should ‘turn a client on’ in the way that they visually connect with the depth of your business personal brand and personality. Missing the mark in terms of getting the right personal branding image can easily happen if you are not ‘coached’ by the right personal branding photographer who specialises in making your investment work. So let’s look at what the right image should do… Now I’d like to share with you some tips and strategies to achieve this What are the tips and strategies to get new photos to refresh or up-level your brand?
- First up, get right up with your brand message! Who are you? So that everything resonates with you from what you wear, colour, jewellery and the poses you use in your photos. All of this needs to clearly resonate with the dynamic messages your images communicate in regards to poses. Saying that again, having the right photographer who coaches you through this to capture you with the right light, right message, with flare, and with confidence. The photographer should be your sensitive brand cheerleader.
- Make sure you talk to and have an in-depth coaching call with your photographer about your personal brand. During this call, you should ensure that the photographer is not going to be ‘photographing you at the zoo when you’re a seasoned entrepreneur.’ This example is extreme but I’d like to emphasise that you really need images to speak about you as an elite entrepreneur.
- Write ten statements about who you are, your brand message, your business message and your ideal client. Discuss these with your photographer, TEST your photographer about the minute details about who you are. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on images that are not capturing the heart and soul of your brand. I say this because I do many many ‘repair jobs’ and unfortunately see what women and men go through daily with cheap branding portraits.
What kinds of photos should entrepreneurs be taking and sharing to attract high-end clients?
- I personally believe that less distraction is best. Outdoor shoots are fabulous and I love capturing them alongside studio shoots. For example, a photoshoot in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge could look like a tourist as opposed to a magnificent personal banding portrait in front of The Sydney Harbour Bridge. If personal branding portraits are not creatively created by the RIGHT seasoned photographer who coaches you on having the right facial expressions and much more then please don’t waste your time. Remember: Anyone can do Branding Headshots these can be stock standard and ho-hum. It’s remarkable personal branding images to tap into. Be sure to have the strength of your personal brand captured, otherwise your weaknesses with show up in blue-toned, romantic soft filtered portraits that are not business savvy crisp.
- Have insightful driven photos and the depth of your business personality captured within your personal branding portraits. There is a business smile and cheesy smile. Expressions need to be captured correctly to resonate directly to your client’s heart and mind.
- Types of photos that can be taken include full-body, close-ups for insight, fun, joyful shots or insightful, speaker, author shots, close-ups or 3/4 and full length. Props should be subtle for example I did a shoot with a green apple and the way I visualised my female Entrepreneur holding it, the angle of her body needed to capture this message “Come join me on this health journey because the results will be life-changing, I’m your Wellness Coach!”. This example of the apple and how I coached her worked a treat.!
What is the #1 best action or strategy for entrepreneurs to showcase the right on-brand photos?
Before you showcase any brand photos for yourself – Ask yourself:
- Do the photos resonate with you? Are they much than boring stock standard branding head-shots?
- How do your personal branding portraits make you feel – different, excited, jump for joy, confident, do you feel your images are exactly 100% representing your business brand message statement.
- Are the images clear? Do the images have the right exposure and no shadows or bluish tones? Are they crisp, vibrant to capture the imagination of your high quality client?
- Do the images have the energy that speaks 24/7 while you sleep? Are the images dated? Are the images reflecting the modern era? Are the images really dynamic and not just an everyday headshot?
So this brings me to the #1 action: Listen to your gut, get the right feedback from a photographer that will give time and honest feedback about what you’re about to put online and not beat around the bush by offering standard portraits any photographer can do.
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