Have you ever felt that running a business is one giant learning curve after another, that your market is super saturated and that everyone else on the internet seems to know more about how to market themselves than you do? 

I’m here to tell you that if you have a strong personal brand then none of that matters one bit to the success of your business. Never mind how many other people are selling what you’re selling – nobody else can do it in the way that you can, because nobody else is YOU. Concentrating on what makes you unique is pure business magic, so find what makes your offering one of a kind and then celebrate it by showing it off to your audience – aka use your personal brand as your USP and turbocharge your success! 

Where do you start?

Let’s start with the basics: you are your brand, and if you want to attract more of your ideal clients then you have to physically show them who you are! More than ever we want to see who is behind the brand and connect with the person we’re buying from, so no more hiding behind your products, you have to show up! I know it’s scary but having the confidence to step out as the face of your company brings your brand to life in ways text and product photos just can’t, so embrace this and the important role that you play in your business and use it to get the conversation started. 

Personal branding photos are your secret weapon to bringing the narrative of your brand to life in a way that words alone cannot. These are photos that are specifically designed to promote who you are and tell your brand story while simultaneously making it so easy for clients to connect with and relate to you. Other brucie bonuses include establishing your professionalism, uplevelling your brand, setting yourself apart from your competitors (most of whom won’t be doing this to a very high standard) and improving your social media engagement. What’s not to love?!

What’s the objective?

To stand out to the people you want to work with so that they feel a connection to your brand before they’ve even met you! Being visible within your brand tells your audience that you are professional yet approachable and invites them to believe in you too. As well as being on point with clear brand messages and values, having have a set of photos of yourself that look and feel like you that you’re happy to plaster all over your marketing materials is something you should have ready to go at any given point (especially for PR requests – more on that in part 2!).

All rise the power of the headshot.

The days of a headshot being just an awkward, impersonal, formal affair that barely sees the light of day unless your passport needs renewing are long gone. Your headshot is your golden ticket – your chance to show your dream clients exactly who you are by looking them right in the virtual eye. This guy is repping you all over the internet, across your marketing efforts and any PR that you do. It is often the very first impression your potential clients will have, so showing yourself off in the best possible light and giving away a bit of your personality until you can meet in person is a really marvellous idea. 

Top tips for honing in on your personal brand story.

Having a kickass set of high-quality photos to showcase what your brand is all about is a fast track to elevating your business. If you don’t already know what your personal brand story is, then it can be useful to break it down into the following components:  

  • Who are you and what do you do? Try to think beyond the obvious “I’m Sara and I’m a photographer” here – even though both of these things are true, I’m also a wife, a Mum of 2 busy boys, a multitasker extraordinaire, someone who gets up at the crack of dawn just to get some peace to write my to-do list, half Lebanese, a people person, someone who loves helping other creative women find confidence and build really strong personal brands…the list goes on! Think about the experiences you provide and how you deliver what you do. It’s great to brainstorm first and then get really clear on what you do, as it makes marketing yourself and showing up online so much easier, because it’s coming from a place of authenticity.
  • Why do you do what you do? What are the things that are important to you, and what values do you have? It’s really important to be clear on your values and to have a set that is authentic to you, and to weave what drives you into your marketing communications, any content you put out and of course in your photos.  
  • What do you do that is unique? What are you good at, and what are you specifically offering that’s different to your competitors? Think about how your clients feel when they work with you, and what you deliver for them that others don’t. This could be anything from outstanding customer service to a fun, relaxed atmosphere. 
  • Who are you doing it for? I really recommend writing your client avatar out as fully as you possibly can – think about what they’re called, where they live, how old they are, what they’re into, what they struggle with, what they like/don’t like – EVERYTHING. The clearer you are on who you want to work with, the easier it is to show the exact content that will resonate with them and make them trust and want to work with you. 

Nailing your personal brand story gives you the ability to create images and content that’s always relevant and on point and allows you to confidently deliver crystal clear messages about what you’re about and who your products or services can help. In part 2 I’ll share my top tips for creating amazing photos to support your personal brand, some must-have shots and how the images on your Instagram feed may differ from images you’d share for PR purposes. 

About the Author

Sara Dalrymple is a London headshot photographer for creative businesses who want to stand out online, find their space in a crowded market and step into being visible with absolute confidence. Specialising in putting even the most camera shy subjects at ease she creates fresh, personality-filled headshots that are all about feeling your very best – the kind of shot that is going to get you seen by, and booked by, your kind of people.

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