Beginners Guide on Using Photos to Build Your Personal Brand

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Put simply personal branding is the idea of creating a brand around yourself as opposed to branding a business. Influencers to successful million dollar business owners utilise their personal brand and connection to position themselves and build confidence with their audience which in turn turns into more leads or sales.

Personal branding is more than marketing your services it’s about constantly showing up and connecting with your audience to build faith, connection and position yourself as an expert in your filed.

A simple example to consider – if you are looking online to hire a personal trainer, would you consider someone who doesn’t appear to know what they are doing? Doesn’t present as you would expect them to and doesn’t talk or share content about health and fitness? Most likely the answer is no. It’s easy to see how putting yourself out there with quality on brand content can make the world of difference and add value to your marketing efforts.

Coming up with a personal branding strategy can be stifling. If you Google personal branding you will see in depth strategy plans and examples of super successful people with strong brands to aspire too. It’s no surprise that building a strong brand doesn’t happen over night. So the best advice I have to start building your personal brand is to do exactly that – start!

creative woman working at desk personal branding image

Focus on you and who your talking to

It all starts with you. You need to identify who you want to be and how you want to be positioned. Once you know that you can focus on who your audience is and how to connect with them. This is easier said than done, but keep it simple to begin with so that you can I identify the general direction you will head in.

These are two important and big things to consider and deciding on these can be half the battle. However they will both constantly grow and develop over time. You will refine your personal brand as you grow, and organically you will see who is drawn to you as you continue to develop. So don’t be afraid to start.

Create quality content

Once you know your direction you can begin to create content that will help establish your digital presence. Your content should be relevant and interesting to your prospective clients. If you want a loyal following you need your audience to feel connected to you on a personal level. The most popular and easiest place to start is by utilising social media platforms.

Social media posts are image and video heavy. Successful social accounts post regularly. This is why content creation is a crucial when building a personal brand. Different platforms use different content and it’s wise to choose a couple that you feel most confident with to start.

Chooses Tiktok if you like creating short form videos, or make a YouTube channel if you are drawn to longer videos. Facebook and Instagram allow you to share both images and videos. Blogs are suited if you have a lot to say and enjoy writing, with Twitter being great for sharing short thoughts, insights and opinions. Finally you can create a LinkedIn profile which is perfect for business to business networking where you can share video and image posts.

The best personal brands utilise a mix of all platforms. If you are just starting out my recommendation would be use Instagram or Facebook. They are well rounded and allow you to share all forms of content.

Begin with photos

Sharing photos is the easiest way to start. Photos can say a lot as well as be used in many places. Of course they can be shared as social media posts but they also can be used across all of your profiles as your profile photo, cover photos, e-mail signatures, marketing, website, accompany any written content and used as cover images on videos.

I’d say we all have camera phones these days, so there is no barrier to getting started here. Of course there is a difference between good and bad photos. I may be biased but I would recommend you hire a professional when you have the means to do so for a Personal Branding photoshoot.

You NEED to be in the photos which means eventually you need someone to take them for you. DIY what you can to begin things don’t need to be perfect – done is better than perfect. But to build a strong personal brand and get on the same level as other influencers in your industry, a strong set of curated professional images will help establish who you are and what your brand represents.

Content Planning

A strong set of branding images will allow you to get your social media accounts set up and allow you to insert yourself into your posting schedule regularly. People building personal brands should post a mix of different things – not just themselves all the time.

I recommend making a list of every different type of post that you can use for your business. This will get you thinking about what your going to share and how you can present yourself.

Here are a few examples that most personal brands could utilise:

  • Product posts – sharing your product or service and it’s selling points
  • How to posts – showing expertise and educating your audience
  • Introduce yourself posts – sharing things about yourself to create connection
  • Testimonials – builds trust
  • Behind the scenes – you working on things, showing another side of what you doYou would also include posts in the mix that are not focused on your personal brand.

This list is not even close to a complete list of post types – what you can post is endless. The idea is to choose things that make sense for you and your brand. By categorising the main types of posts you will create helps you formulate more of a system instead of going in blind with your socials.

From this list you would then start to work on a bit of a content schedule. When planning out what and when you will post things will help you determine how much content you will need you see you through each week, month and year.

On your schedule you want to make sure you mix up the type of posts that you do so that your whole feed isn’t just quotes, or product based posts. This also means mixing up the type of media as well – alternating every few photos with video posts for example. You need to mix it up and infuse yourself into the mix to build your personal brand.

Personal Branding Photoshoot

The next step is creating content based off the posts in your schedule. If you are hiring a professional photographer this should be done with together with them. The best way to do this is to take your list post types and determine what images can be used to accompany them.

A single well planned Personal Branding photoshoot could create enough branded content to last months if not up to a year depending on how often you are posting. Building a personal brand will see you spending many hours on content creation so being efficient is really important.

How to use your Personal Branding images

Here are a few examples of the types of photos that you can create in your Personal Branding photoshoot based on the example post ideas listed above.

Product posts if you work with physical products when talking about them and their selling -points posting images of the product that also has you in the photo allows you to infuse your personal brand into the equation. This is just an alternative to sharing regular product only images. In your shoot you should aim to have images of you with the product and some candid lifestyle images where you may not be focus of the photo but the product is.

How to posts this in one is pretty straight forward. When taking about how to use a product, or how your service works an effective personal brand will have images of them using the product themselves or showing them providing service.

This is important as it will show that you stand by what you do and highlight your professionalism. This could images of you in uniform or with your professional gear or using the product in your own home for example. Depending on the business a range of images can be taken at every step of your service to show your process in detail. These images can then also be used on your website to explain how things work.

Introduce yourself posts this is something I personally think you should do on a regular basis not just when you are starting out. As your profile grows you will gain new people into your audience. Re introducing yourself, who you are, what you believe in and why you do what you do will build connection. It’s an easy way to get your personality out there if you find it hard to find ways to be personal online.

Of course to accompany posts of this nature you need great images of yourself. In your Personal Branding shoot you should make sure to get a range of portraits of yourself. You want professional business inspired shots as well as more candid and casual images.

Testimonials the easiest way to share a testimonial is sharing it as a quote on a graphic. However depending on what your business is during your personal branding shoot you may be able to reach out to past clients and get them to participate in photos that you take. Having real clients in images with you will solidify their review and show that you value the people that you work with.

Behind the scenes posts images that show you working in or on your business. Showing the ins and out of your business builds a sense of authenticity. It helps to build trust and shows more of a raw perspective which in turns clients will connect with. These shots should be more candid in nature.

Consistency is key

A small amount of personal branding can go a long way. By simply showing up regularly on your platforms you will build your reputation. Highlighting your skills you will show expertise and build trust. Infusing what you do with your personality you will create a unique brand that cannot be replicated because you can’t be replicated, so don’t be scared to share your ideas and thoughts.

All of this over time creates a more personal connection with your audience and helps build more credibility. By showing that you take yourself and your business seriously your audience will be more likely invest their time and money with you.

Putting yourself in the public sphere can be daunting and a lot of work. The best way to get started is to simply start! Begin small, do what you can and don’t be scared to invest in your self and level up when you’re ready.

If you are located in Melbourne’s East and interested in hiring a professional photographer for a Personal Branding Photoshoot contact me via my website i’d love to help you with build your personal brand.

Personal Branding Photography

Are you ready to level up your personal brand? Head over to my Personal Branding page to find out more. Ready to book? Get in touch over on the contact page, or book now.

Angela Pezzimenti Photography

Angela is a professional photographer based in Melbourne specialising in portraits, family mini sessions, headshots and personal branding photos.