The importance of our personal brand in an increasingly online world – by Tabitha Arthur
Right this second, we have access to many, many choices for anything our heart desires – more than any other time in history. This can be really helpful – but it can also be incredibly overwhelming.
In order to grow our business, we want to attract ideal customers: we love to work with them, they love what we do, they come back for more, and they refer other ideal clients our way. But our ideal customer’s attention is split – we know our business is the solution they need, but how do we help them pay attention to us?
Picture this: Your future ideal client, who doesn’t know you yet, is searching in Google for something your business specialises in. Google shows them fifty similar businesses relevant to their search, and by some miraculous algorithm alignment and a sprinkling of clever keywords, they click on your business! Now they’re looking for reassurance they’re in the right place, that you are the answer. They do some due diligence Google-stalking: they check out your Google reviews, then your website, your Instagram or Facebook business page…
In an ever-increasing online sea of choice, what makes YOUR business stand out and you be the one they choose?
I believe it’s all about CONNECTION.
Ultimately we want to do business with people we like. If you had two identical businesses to choose between: in one the owner is not to be seen, you don’t know what to expect; whereas in the other business you are greeted by the smiling owner, sharing stories with you, you felt welcome and like you knew them before even setting foot inside. Which would you choose?
Online we have so much choice, it can be overwhelming. We’re looking for a reassuring face to connect with – to help us pause in our search and reassure us we’re at the right place.
How do you connect?
1. Visual. We humans are visual creatures. When we hear a piece of information, after three days we’re likely to remember only 10% of it – but when accompanied by a relevant image, we’ll retain 65% of that info! (brainrules.net)
2. Emotional. People connect with people. When someone we like smiles at us, our natural response is to smile back – their smile gives us warm feelings towards them. If our friend is full of joy and laughing, that can trigger the giggles in us, too! We don’t have to be there in person – we can see a photo and that same natural emotional response kicks in.
3. Know, Like, Trust. The point of personal branding photography is ultimately about helping your ideal clients feel a connection and choose to do business with YOU. Showing up and being visible online in your business is one heck of a powerful way to communicate. By sharing on-brand photos of yourself, along with relevant stories or snippets, you’re helping your audience get to know you at their convenience, any time of day or night – essentially making you more money while you sleep! By seeing you, people will begin to develop a stronger connection, feel they get to know you, which leads to liking you, which leads to trust. That ‘Know, Like, Trust factor’ is what helps your ideal clients reach out and engage your services.
GROWTH CAN BE CHALLENGING!
99% of readers are likely squirming right now. Are you now thinking of 100 reasons why you don’t need photos? “I HATE photos of myself! Is it vanity to share photos of yourself? I’m not confident in my appearance. I feel so awkward in front of the camera!”.
I hear you!! Having photos taken can feel so incredibly awkward, and we have ALL had photos of us that are truly awful. That’s why choosing a personal branding photographer who guides you through your photoshoot, from posing to expressions, is vital to the success in getting photos you love and feel proud to put out into the world to represent you – and connect with your ideal clients.
GROWTH CAN BE REWARDING
It took me a long time to work out that how I feel about myself is how others will feel about me. The way I show up in my business is a direct reflection of how I feel about myself – and that shows up in sales.
Once I finally took that challenging step, and put my face to my business, the response was so positive! As I write this, just yesterday I had a phone call with a lead (now a client!) who was glowing about how she felt she already knew me through my website and social media. She lives in another part of the country, but she is prepared to travel to me. She was ready to spend thousands of dollars with me before I even provided my service, as she already trusted I was the right person for her business needs.
My own personal branding imagery, and the stories I share, has helped my clients choose to work with me. I know getting brave and putting myself out there online over and over has helped people feel a connection and be that catalyst to choose me over the multiple other options around.
The return on investment has been incredible – not only for the increase in my business, it also helps increase my confidence in my business, and myself.
WHAT SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL BRANDING LOOKS LIKE
Working with an expert in personal branding who can help you get clear on what you want and need for your business can be incredibly empowering. My clients tell me all the time how uplifted they feel throughout the process, they feel aspirational, as they can see that business woman they aspire to be reflected back to them in my photos, which stokes their drive to achieve even more. It’s win-win-win!
When looking for a photographer for your personal branding photos, check out their website and Instagram. You’re looking for two things here:
1. Do you like their work?! Can you see examples of personal branding photos of everyday people (not just models!) that resonate with you? Chances are high if they have done great work before, they can do great work with you.
2. Are they showing photos of themselves? If they show up in their own personal branding photos, they know what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera, and they know how effective personal branding photography is.
Lastly, I will be launching my super helpful Guide to Using Your Personal Branding Photos Online soon. It’s a freebie, so if you’re keen to get on the priority waitlist to receive this, please let me know! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request this and we’ll send it out as soon as it’s ready to share!
By Tabitha Arthur, Personal Brand Photographer