Follow the trend or stay true to your brand?
If you open a magazine or peruse Social Media I am sure you will have seen a shift in the imagery used, particularly in the case of small businesses and entrepreneurs.
As with fashion, photography also follows “trends”. The current trend is more geared towards personal branding and this creates a more relaxed feel in the photography. Think back to when you read business articles and they had the MD in a power pose, all suited and booted leaning against the building, now you are more likely to see the MD actually at work or even enjoying leisure pursuits.
This is more than just a trend though; it actually becomes part of storytelling and gives stakeholders an insight into the person behind the business. This is personal branding.
So, what is the difference between personal branding and a headshot?
For me the best description is that your headshot is akin to the cover of a book. People have to like what they see in order to what to open the book and delve a little deeper. It must align to the values they associate with your business. Personal branding is the story, it shows your customers more of who you are and what you do.
A headshot should most certainly still be the lead image on social media and your corporate branding. Personal Branding can then be incorporated into your communications and Social Media platforms to punctuate the story behind your brand, it can reflect your values and personality and help people relate to you.
Let me explain, an accountant chose to promote his business using a singular Personal Branding image of him on a Saturday afternoon in his cycling gear with his bike. When used in isolation across his Social Media accounts it may leave customers confused about what his business is and may even lead them to question his passion for accounting.
However, if that image was used as part of a story that shows our accountant at work, meeting clients, walking to a lunch meeting, sitting with a coffee at his computer, walking his dog in the woods and then cycling at the weekend it would work to create an interesting personality story around the man behind the business.
Is Personal Branding imagery right for you?
People buy people!
It is important to remember first and foremost that people need to actually connect to a person first (a picture of our accountant in his cycle gear is really not going to cut it). They need to like what they see and it needs to clear. A headshot is perfect for this. It doesn’t need to be stuffy and serious; it needs to reflect what people will see when they first meet you in a business setting.
After that, you need to look at whether showing the personalities behind the brand is right for you and your business.
People often find it easier to approach others if they feel a connection and Personal Branding can most definitely do that as it shows the customer the “person” behind the business. It can create conversation points and make a business more approachable and “human”
But, is it right for your business?
Food for thought…
Do you have the time to maintain Personal Branding profile and keep it fresh?
Consider and plan your story. Whilst Personal Branding appears to be relaxed and informal it is imperative that it is well planned and structured in order to avoid a loss of continuity and momentum.
Consider all aspects of the photo’s – background, clothing, activity, hair and makeup where applicable.
Quality, quality, quality – whilst the shots may be more relaxed in their content it is imperative that the quality of the shots is not compromised as whilst the shots are personal this is still the business image.
So, whether you decide that the more traditional route is right for you and your company or that you would like to learn more about Personal Branding and how it could work for your business – seek advice.
If you are thinking of updating your headshot or adding personal branding to your photography assets, please drop us a line. We would love to have a coffee and talk through your ideas.