Personal branding is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital world. As a business professional, having a strong personal brand helps us to stand out from the crowd, attract more clients, and increase opportunities. Being a relatively new small business, it was important for me to understand this when developing my brand. There are a range of things that can help develop your personal brand, such as
- Using a signature colour can increase brand recognition immensely and even choosing the right colour is important (think about some of the top global brand logos from giants such as Starbucks and Ikea for example!)
- It takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your website and therefore about whether they want to work with you
- People remember only 10% of information three days after hearing it, on average. Adding a picture can improve recall to 65%
- Online shopping engagement is increased by 50% when you include large, high-quality product images
- Images on social media receive 20% more engagement than videos and 352% more engagement than (text only) posts.
- Where possible use a real photo of a client rather than a stock image, engagement increases 35%
Following researching all of this on setting up my business, I decided that one of the key elements for me in developing my own personal brand was through professional photography.
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a personal brand photographer and it was an incredibly valuable experience. I had noticed that one of my LinkedIn connections locally to me in Dorset, had published her own cookbook and I loved the cover photo shot so much, I enquired as to who had taken them. I was introduced to a local photographer, who also runs her own business.
The process began with a consultation where the photographer and I discussed my goals for the shoot and what kind of image I wanted to project. They were able to offer valuable advice and suggestions based on their experience working with other professionals.
At the same time, as a relatively new member of the Dorset Chamber, SmartbaseUK had offered a free trial day at their venue, conveniently located at Bournemouth Airport. SmartbaseUK provide modern, flexible, co-working spaces, from hotdesking to dedicated office spaces, perfect for entrepreneurs, businesses and professionals like me. So, this was an ideal place for the shoot and perfect timing to take them up on their offer to Dorset Chamber members for a free trial.
On the day of the shoot, myself and a fellow small business owner and Dorset Chamber member, Rebecca Gilbert from Headland HR met at SmartBaseUK and were greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff onsite and given a tour of the wide range of impressive options to suit any work pattern.
Soon after the photographer arrived and from the outset made me feel comfortable and at ease. She directed me on how to pose to get the best shots, working with my brand following researching my website and social media profile ahead of the shoot. The photographer was able to capture a variety of different looks including meetings, relaxed water cooler moments, presenting and profile shots to meet the brief, so that I finished up with a wide range of images to choose from, including a duplicate set of images in black and white.
The final photographs were stunning. They were high-quality, well-composed, and captured the essence of my personal brand. I was able to use them on my website, social media profiles, and in my marketing materials.
Working with a personal brand photographer was an excellent investment in my professional development. It allowed me to create a strong visual identity that helped me to stand out and attract more clients and opportunities.