PERSONAL BRANDING: A CASE STUDY Is a Personal Branding Photoshoot right for you? Do you need one? And what exactly should you expect?
We’re delving into a recent Personal Branding session to help you discover all the answers!
Client: Laura McDouall, Founder of Tell My Story & The Copywriting Project
Sector: Copywriting & Marketing
Venue: Hilton Hotel, Milton Keynes
Laura got in touch because the pictures she was using online had got out-of-date(as happens so easily, when you’re busy running your business!).
Her business has evolved over the last 12 months. And rather than showing them in the best light & driving sales, Laura felt the old imagery was actually a barrier to new clients coming their way.
People do judge you instantly, when they hit your website or social media. Laura was using old headshots & stock images –which she felt looked tired & uninspiring, rather than instilling confidence in their ability to do a great job.
Laura was also doing more public speaking& wanted some new shots to better align with her positioning as an ‘expert’ in her field.
Finally, she told us about her plans for growth over the next 12 months –and how her personal brand as the ‘face’ of her business was key to this.
Step #1 –Is a Personal Branding Photoshoot right for YOU?
Here’s a few questions to help you decide!
•Do your current images truly reflect you–who you are; your core values & the reality of doing business with you?
•Do they attract the right clients to you –or put them off?
•Do your pictures do you justice? Are you proud of how you & your brand are represented visually online?
•When someone hits your website –is it immediately clear what you do (within 7 seconds)? Could your imagery be stronger?
•Does your website have personality (to set you apart from your competitors)?
•Has your product or service evolved–but your images haven’t?
•Is it becoming more important for you to raise your personal profile, for the overall growth & development of your business?
And when Laura explored these questions in her business, it was clear that a Personal Branding Photoshoot was exactly what she needed!
Step #2–What do you want to achieve with your new Personal Branding images?
The next step is getting clear on the purpose you want your images to serve.
Where will you use them? And what message are you trying to convey for the people who see them?
And from here, we can plan the details of your Personal Branding Photoshoot, to make sure we capture the perfect images to meet your aims!
Laura was already very clear on this when she got in touch (as you’d expect from a professional marketer!).
For her, it was about attracting more of the right clients into her business& driving sales.
Like most of us business owners, Laura had been working hard to build her audience online – growing her email list, connections on LinkedIn & nurturing her Facebook group.
She wanted her Personal Branding Photoshoot to serve 3 core purposes:
•Public speaking – Laura wanted images she could use for her speaker bio & positioning herself as the ‘expert’ for speaking opportunities. She told us she needed direct, confident & polished images, to convey a sense of self-assurance & build trust in her ability to deliver on stage.
• New website – Laura was looking for photos to visually communicate what Tell My Story does in a strong, authentic way. So that when prospects hit their website, the pictures immediately reinforce what they do. It was important these images were aligned with their brand’s core values, with an approachable & creative feel (rather
than anything too corporate).
• Social Media & Content Marketing – to connect with their audience online. Laura was clear that she wanted her target audience to see the photos, resonate with them & think “she looks like someone who ‘gets’ me & my business”. For these pictures, she wanted a softer, more relaxed approach, in a real-life setting
It was great that Laura was so clear on these aims – because it meant we could focus on capturing exactly the right feel for her Personal Branding.
Choosing the Right Setting
For Laura, we chose a hotel that gave us the right balance of formal and less-formal backdrops, to meet the multiple purposes she wanted her pictures to serve.
We’ll help you decide on the right setting for your Personal Branding Photoshoot too – whether that’s at your business premises, here in our Carmel Jane Photography studio or at an external location.
Deciding What to Wear
We’d always suggest you bring 2 or 3 different outfits to your photoshoot.
And when you’re thinking about how to dress, it all goes back to the purpose you want your images to serve:
• A suit, waistcoat & tie conveys a very different image of you to trousers & shirt unbuttoned at the neck.
• A bright red jumpsuit & animal print belt has a very different feel to a black dress, or jeans & t-shirt.
There’s no right or wrong here! It’s about you & your personality – deciding how YOU want to seen when people view your images, and then dressing accordingly.
By bringing a few different outfits along, we can create different images for different purposes within your business.
Laura told us this was something she struggled with – wearing bright colours she knew would stand out online vs her usual preference (navy & black).
In the end, she says she’s glad she went for her usual style. Although they might not grab attention on Facebook, there’s no disconnect between the person you see on screen & the person you get turning up at meetings or speaking gigs.
She felt best wearing what she was most comfortable in (which comes across in her photos!).
Finding Inspiration for your Personal Branding Photoshoot
It’s always really helpful if you take some time to study the people you admire; how they brand themselves; and share some links with us!
When Laura did this, it helped her get super clear on what she wanted to achieve with her Personal Branding – and even more helpfully, what she really didn’t want.
Step #3 – What to expect during your Personal Branding Photoshoot
Laura’s shoot took around 2 hours – and once we’ve completed your Pre-Shoot Consultation, we’ll confirm all the details & exactly how much time you need to allow.
We’ll bring all the lighting & equipment we need to capture a whole range of shots in different settings & deal with whatever circumstances our photoshoot location throws at us!
Here’s what Laura had to say about her experience:
“I’m not a massive fan of having my photo taken – but Carmel Jane & her team have an incredible ability to help you relax! We pretty much laughed our way through the whole photoshoot session & I think we got some really natural-feeling shots as a result.
“They have a brilliant way of directing you, so you feel massively confident – telling you exactly how to sit, where your hands should be & where to look. You can tell they have so many years’ experience of putting people at their ease!
“I had some ideas of how & what I wanted, which Carmel Jane then took & made them SO better! She & her team have an amazing eye for detail, picking out features in the hotel setting that I would never have managed to in a million years.
“The whole session was completely relaxed & fun, while still being 100% focused on the end results we needed. I love the shots they produced – and I never thought I’d say that about pictures of myself!
“It feels brilliant to know your imagery is working to drive the right clients your way, instead of losing business when it’s not quite up to scratch.
“I’d recommend Carmel Jane Photography to any business owner, for images that don’t just look great – but that are authentic, with the specific purpose of growing both your personal brand & your business.
“Thank you to Carmel Jane & the whole team for an exceptional experience!”
To find out more about YOUR Personal Branding Photoshoot, click here now or call Carmel Jane Photography today on 01277 822674!