Business experts are increasingly discussing the importance of “brand personality” to a company’s marketing strategy. Gone are the days of assuming personality traits about your target demographic. We’ve learned that essentializing certain characteristics in our customer base ignores the diversity of individuals.
Now, the goal is to give the brand a personality and make the most important qualities and values apparent. For large companies comprised of hundreds or thousands of personalities, this can be difficult. When you’re self-branding, the task at hand becomes simpler and more streamlined.
We may think of headshots as tricks of the trade, self-branding tools that have always been around. However, the truth is that well-crafted, unique headshots are the perfect self-branding tool you shouldn’t overlook.
Read on to learn more about how your headshots can boost your efforts at self-branding and how.
The Importance of Visuals
Whether you’re pitching to potential investors, launching a digital marketing campaign, or looking to increase your social media followers, visuals are key. Why?
Humans are drawn to visuals. In fact, 90% of what our brain absorbs is visual data–and we can absorb visuals about 60,000 times faster than text.
In other words, you’re going to convey a lot more information to your target audience with your visuals than with text. In fact, because we’re all inundated with a constant stream of content through our phones and computers, we’re pretty picky about what we stop and really look at. A compelling visual will do a lot more to attract your viewers than a wall of text.
The Importance of Personality
Visual branding is a broad concept that includes not just photographs but infographics, logos, and video content. The truth is that barraging your viewers with incohesive or impersonal visual content isn’t going to do the trick. Your visual branding needs to have a theme that speaks to who you are and what you bring to the table.
The reality is that most of the time if you’ve thought of a new business idea or endeavor, someone else has, too. What’s the difference between your business efforts and someone else’s? You!
The trick is that when you incorporate your personality into your branding, you give potential customers something to latch onto. You appeal to people who identify with you, share your passions, and share your principles.
The best way to remind them that there’s a “you” involved in your business is to put yourself, your face, at the forefront. How do you incorporate your own face into your self-branding? That’s where professional headshots come in.
Crafting the Perfect Headshots for Your Brand
The first thing you’ll need to do is find a photographer who specializes in unique, professional headshots. The right photographer will make your job a lot easier because they’ll walk you through the little things like body language, facial expressions, and even hair and makeup tips.
The next is to ensure that your photographer understands who you are and what you want to convey. Go in with a clear idea of what your business offers, what your strengths are, and a list of your most important qualities.
Photograph Who You Are, Not Who You Think You Should Be
Some people clam up at the term “professional headshot.” They imagine a photograph of themselves in full-blown business attire with a neutral background.
Of course, this is a perfectly suitable professional headshot–unless it doesn’t line up with who you are and what you offer.
Ultimately, the “professional” in “professional headshot” is referring to the quality of the photo. You want to leave with photos that are crisp, clear, well-lit, and properly saturated. The rest has more to do with you than anything else!
What do you wear on a normal workday? How should clients and customers expect you to look upon meeting you in person? Does a neutral background make sense or should you set the scene with certain props and backgrounds that provide insight into your life and work?
Allow your photographer to capture the real you, not the person you think people want you to be!
Take Your Time
Don’t rush through your photoshoot–and don’t work with a photographer that expects you to, either.
Those first few photos may seem a little forced if it takes a while for you to warm up in front of the camera. Plus, if you feel pressure to get in and out in a matter of minutes, you probably won’t feel relaxed even if you aren’t in the least bit camera shy.
Take your time and let the photographer walk you through different angles and poses so that you have plenty to choose from. That way, you’re guaranteed to find a handful of great headshots that reveal the authentic you.
Leave With Multiple Photos
Our online presence is constantly expanding. Most self-branded entrepreneurs have a personal website, Instagram account, Twitter account, Facebook account, LinkedIn account…the list goes on and on!
If your viewers keep seeing the same picture of you across the board, they’ll lose that impression of authenticity. Rotating through multiple pictures of yourself gets people past that sneaking feeling that they’re looking at a stock photo. They’ll know that they truly are looking at you!
Plus, when you have multiple photos you can cater your use of them to the platform you’re posting it on.
For example, take that classic headshot we mentioned earlier with the neutral background. That’s a good one to use on a professional contact site like LinkedIn. Your Instagram followers, on the other hand, may respond to more fun or open headshots, ones where you’re smiling a little bigger and look a bit more natural.
The more headshots you walk away with, the easier it will be to incorporate them smoothly into your self-branding.
Finding a Headshot Photographer
If you’re looking for a headshot photographer in Montgomery, Texas that can help you improve your visual self-branding, consider Surber Photography.
I devote as much time and energy to each of my clients so that I can get to know–and photograph–the real you. Contact me to learn more about headshots I’ve taken in the past, pricing, scheduling, and more.