Personal Branding – Let Your Headshot Speak For Itself.
How essential is it to establish a personal brand? In today’s world, it’s imperative. Living in the digital age, you can never underestimate the importance of your social media presence, and in the corporate world, you present this with your business headshot. Your Facebook profile, Linkedin photo, or picture on the company website will oftentimes be the first impression shared with a potential client. We all know how important first impressions are, so let’s get it right!
We know that creating a personal brand can seem intimidating at first, but don’t let that put you off. As Pittsburgh business photographer I am here to help walk you through each and every step of capturing the perfect headshot! Today we’ll talk about the different photo elements that come together to ensure you leave your clients with the right impression.
Scout Your Location. The first important step is to choose your location and background – helping to set the mood for your photo. It’s important to pick an appropriate scene that represents your profession. Location can be onsite – your place of business – or you may choose to go for a studio session. Studio setup and lighting (often with a white background) tend to give off a more conservative vibe commonly appreciated by CEO’s and top businessmen. A less serious, but just as professional, approach is to shoot at your workplace with a soft – slightly blurred out – background. More relaxed business’ may even spring for a slightly colorful or environmental backdrop.
Who Are You? Now it’s time to think about wardrobe. First, you need to decide what look you’re going for. How do you want to represent yourself and your business? You’ve heard, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” – apply that here! How would you dress for your dream client? You may go for a suit and tie, jeans and a nice top, or somewhere in between. Next, grab a solid or non-distracting color for your top. Professional stripes (sometimes found on jackets or blazers) can work too, as long you maintain a neutral background. For women, we recommend going for vertical stripes, as they offer a more slimming look to the camera. Ladies, feel free to glam yourself up a bit, but keep it natural! We do recommend a makeup artist, https://www.jenworley.com/2019/01/22/skin-and-makeup/. We want your true personality to come out with these photos.
Find Your Pose. You’ve made it to the shoot – Woo! As your photographer, I am here to help make you feel comfortable and find poses that work for you. If you’re nervous, don’t feel silly about practicing in a mirror before you go. Some things to think about…
- Relax and breathe.
- Keep your back straight.
- Avoid “straight to camera” body position.
- Practice chin awareness.
- Communicate with your eyes.
- Relax your hands and arms.
- Practice hand placement.
- Try standing up.
- Take one sitting down – with a slight tilt to the head, leaning forward, and a gentle but captivating smile.
Say Cheese! (Or Don’t.) Almost done! You’re at the shoot, picked a profession-appropriate wardrobe, and feel comfortable with your pose. Finish it off with your facial expressions. The great thing about expressions? They only take a second to change. Try them all!
Take Control of Your Brand.
Did you know you already have a branded product? YOU (or your career). Personal branding is the process of marketing yourself. You do so with every product you release, every business partnership, every social media post, and every look you present.
Goal: Build The Brand You Want! The brand you build should be composed of your business value, your services, who you are and what you do. The process of self-branding is simply promoting these ideas through marketing platforms.
1. Find Your Niche. Do it well. First, you need to know exactly what you’re promoting. Everything you do adds to your brand – make sure you’re in control of the information your customers are seeing. This isn’t a step to skip. Brainstorm and write down these answers for yourself – be specific.
- What do you, or your business, bring to the table?
- What specific services do you provide?
- How do you provide these? (Explain your process, your timeframes, your pricing)
- What’s in it for the customer?
- How are you different than your competitors?
2. Define Your Target Audience. We can’t impress on you enough, the importance of finding and marketing to the right target audience. Take Instagram for example. Some people just want those million followers, but what you actually want is ENGAGEMENT in your followers.
Try this – Think what services you provide, why someone would need them, and then narrow down to the who.
3. Present Yourself. In today’s world, a simple product isn’t enough. We want to know what we’re buying, who we’re buying, why we’re buying. You are the face of the brand, so get yourself ready to promote. As a Pittsburgh business photographer I can help you grab the perfect headshot to use on any digital platform – whether that be a business website, LinkedIn account, or social media post. Our photographers are here to help you build and promote your business in any way we can.
4. Show. Don’t Tell. Now that you’ve determined your value as a brand, and you know who you’re targeting, it’s time to start promoting. This can be done in various ways depending on your business, and we’ve given you some ideas below. But the idea is to set yourself up with any sort of portfolio that works for you.
Grow a following
- Instagram. We live in not only a digital age, but a visual one. Create content, use good captions and hashtags, and engage with your followers! Be consistent and frequent!
- LinkedIn. Is becoming on of the most important social platform for professionals. It is not a place to just parl your work history anymore.
- Twitter. Particularly in business, this is a great way to release a quick message, or to promote your other platforms. Update it with alerts of any new products, articles, promotions, or anything customers should be aware of.
- Facebook. Similar to Instagram, create content that will encourage reader engagement.
Set yourself up to be ready for potential clients
- Create a Website. Outline who you are, your services, and your pricing, and even a blog to keep it interesting. (Keep it fun. Add some photos!)
- Set up your Facebook page. This can be more personal than a website. Update frequently and engage with your followers.
- Finish your LinkedIn account with a full resume, description, testimonials, and the perfect headshot.
Kickoff engagement with your posts and captions. Ask your viewers to answer a question, to follow another platform, or to share an opinion. Don’t add these to every post – readers shouldn’t feel like there’s work to do every time they come across something of yours. Keep it light & easy!
5. Maintain Trust. Trust will be incredibly important to build when talking to new or current clients. You’ve told them who you are, and what you can do. Why should they believe you? Make sure to work in prior experience, testimonials, and relevant education wherever you can to help build your credibility.
Jen Barker Worley Photography
555 Grant Street, Suite 337 Offices at the William Penn Pittsburgh, PA 15219