Entrepreneurs often struggle to post photos of themselves as part of their social media strategy. Why do you think that is? Today we will cover 9 essential Small Business Branding Tips.
There are usually 4 main reasons why entrepreneurs aren’t using photos of themselves when they post:
- They don’t have photos of themselves that they think are “good enough” to post
- They feel uncomfortable on camera
- They don’t want people to think they’re vain or
- They don’t think it affects the bottom line for their business
Sometimes it’s a combination of all four! As a personal brand photographer, it’s my job to address these concerns. I do that by introducing the concept of using personal photos as part of personal brand stories.
What is a Personal Brand Story?
Your story is who you are and why you do what you do.
A huge part of my process when working with personal brand photography clients is helping them identify very specifically what brand stories they want to tell.
It’s very much a collaboration because the better I can understand their business, the better I can translate those stories into high impact images that resonate with their audience.
Finding Your Brands Story
Since we each have many stories that make up who we are, I find it easiest to break stories
down into 6 main categories:
Karla, I thought it would be fun that as I go through the description of each category if you have an example story you would tell in that category, I’ll also share one of mine, as well as some other common examples. Could be a helpful way for viewers to brainstorm for their own businesses.
How Would You Describe Each Category?
Can you give an example of photos that would fit that category?
These types of images give your audience insight into HOW you run your business. This is a great opportunity to show yourself interacting with your clients or giving a behind-the-scenes look at your prep or setup.
For me, whenever I do a photo shoot, I ask my husband to come as a lighting assistant but also so he can get photos of me guiding/posing the client, and how I help them pick out the best photos from their gallery.
This is meant to highlight the personalized attention I give during my sessions. These images build trust and show off your expertise.
Family branding images often showcase WHY you went into business in the first place.
You may be running a family business or hustling on the side because you want to provide more for your spouse and children.
Images of how you spend time with loved ones often get the most engagement because people can easily identify with that. You can even share unique family traditions and be pleasantly surprised at what other people share in return.
Vanessa: Here is an example of how I used family and hobbies together in a photograph.
These images are opportunities to relate to your target audience. People relate to each other when they like the same things, like favorite movies, food, sports, or weekend activities. This is also a great way to teach your audience how to do something you already love doing.
On a recent personal brand shoot, I photographed my client preparing and drinking a cup of tea in her kitchen. She identified it as an important part of her morning routine because it helped her get into a calm, peaceful mindset so that she could have a productive day.
The images paired well with her blog where she talks about self-care and productivity in order to achieve your goals.
One hobby I consistently share on my IG stories is running photos. Whenever I travel to a new city or country, my husband and I make a point to find jogging routes as a way to explore the place on foot and then sharing what we see along the way.
Think of all the different ways you enjoy your free time, share why you love that particular thing/place/activity.
Vanessa: That one is pretty easy for me to pick up on. I personally love sewing and circus. I write articles on how to upcycle pieces into fashionable garments.
These images share WHO or WHAT inspires you. Sharing an image of an inspirational quote is of course very popular. What if instead you used that quote as a caption and paired it with an image that embodied that message?
It could be you spending time with a mentor or colleague who motivates you. It could be a place you visit to brainstorm or escape to when you need space. Or even a lucky charm with special meaning – we all have objects or trinkets that we keep because there’s a story behind it just waiting to be shared.
These images showcase how you IMPACT and SUPPORT the community. Is there a charity or special cause you contribute to? Often the causes we advocate for say a lot about our values and what’s important to us.
Images that showcase helpful collaborations you’ve done or networks you’ve partnered with have the potential to be shared to broader audiences. Remember to tag or link to those being featured in your photos in order to spread the awareness.
Vanessa: I recently collaborated on a fundraising event for Her Song. Here was a video we used across social media channels.
These images document important MILESTONES you’re experiencing. You could share an event you’re speaking or presenting at, or a celebration you’re hosting (ex: your 10th year in business).
You can share emotional milestones, like getting over your fearing of going live on camera. Or your happiness at completing a 30-day challenge.
You can also plan to have photos that align with certain holidays or national/global events. For example, you can share a sports-themed image during the World Cup or Super Bowl. Or share holiday-themed images during Halloween or Christmas.
Tag these images with relevant trending hashtags to make them more discoverable.
For Those Just Learning About Personal Brand Stories, How do You
Suggest They Start?
Start by brainstorming ideas for each category and you’ll quickly see if it’s easier to list ideas for certain categories more than others. Once you identify the 2-3 categories you have the most ideas for, this would be a great time to work with a personal brand photographer and social media strategist.
A photographer can plan a brand photoshoot around the brand stories you want to tell and capture images telling those stories. You’ll then have a library of quality images ready to use (which addresses reason #1 for why people don’t post pics of themselves!)
A social media strategist can then help you plan out when and where you can use those images on an on-going basis so you’re showing up consistently on social media.