Common Myths about Personal Branding Photos and Photoshoots
Amazing scroll-stopping personal branding photos are not only for the rich and famous. If you think that your website copy is good enough you don’t need great photos, or you think that your dream clients won’t notice your headshot is from your old corporate job 15 years ago, think again.
The truth is this: Your ideal clients want to know who they’re working with. They not only want to like you, they want to trust the people they do business with. So I’m going to cover the top 6 myths I come across as a personal branding photographer.
You Need to Be Photogenic
This is the number one thing I hear: “I don’t look good in photos!” When you see people who look like they were meant to be in front of the camera, it’s usually more about how the photographer has made them feel than their natural born posing talent. A good personal brand photographer knows how to make you feel and look comfortable.
I enjoy the process of getting to know my clients and having fun during the shoot to help them loosen up during our shoot. Almost everyone is uncomfortable in front of the camera. I get regular shoots done, and I’m always self conscious to start. But with some basic tips and simply laughing and having fun, even the most awkward of us come out looking sharp.
You Need to Spend a LOT of Money
If you think you need to spend countless hours and a small fortune finding the right location, buying the latest fashions, and having a small team for a day to keep you looking picture perfect, plus hire a photographer, you’ve got the wrong image in your head.
Sure, you’ll want to hire a GOOD photographer (and not just your cousin’s friend who “takes photos on the side”), but that should be the bulk of your expenses. You don’t need to head to Tuscany to be in the “perfect” location. You don’t need to wear Gucci, Prada, or even Brooks Brothers. And you don’t need five people following you around all day to make sure your hair is never out of place.
Your photographer will handle most of those details. Your job is to handle how you look. Get a good manicure and a pedicure too if you’re showing your feet. Have your hair and makeup done (this might be included). Don’t feel compelled to spend money a new clothes. Nobody knows what brand is on the label – but they can tell if the clothes fit well. Spend time selecting clothes that fit well.
Don’t worry about a fancy location. Talk to your photographer abut that type of look you have in mind. They might have some great ideas. Your routine places in your life can look amazing through the camera lens. You don’t need to travel to an amazing destination. But hey – half my work is about destinations – so if you WANT to and can afford to do it, go for it.
You’re Too Old/Shy/Fat/Boring/Weird to Be the Face of Your Brand
This is a self-limiting belief. Internal negative talk. It’s just B.S. Feel like there’s no amazing new ideas for your images? Feel like your life is average and boring compared to everyone on social media? EVERYONE has those aspects of their life. And yet, EVERYONE can find the mundane moment of eating breakfast and make it look amazing?
You are unique and amazing. You just need to give yourself permission to share it with the world. What are you passionate about? What drives you nuts abut the typical person in your industry? Focus on those things that bring meaning to your work, and I promise people will find you just as interesting as the people you scroll past on social media.
Personal Branding Is for Extroverts
If you’re an introvert like me, the idea of sharing your face on your website and repeatedly putting your own photos in your various social media feeds can nearly make you feel sick. Or at least a little nervous or scared. But so many of my clients feel the same way. You are not alone.
If your favorite thing to do is curl up with a good book, spending time working on your business, or just having a glass of wine with a close friend, maybe those are simply ideas to incorporate into your personal branding photos.
But here’s the problem of feeding your natural tendencies: When you hide your face from potential clients, they don’t get a chance to know you. A picture is worth a 1,000 words, right? What if it was worth 60,000? People process images 60,000 times faster than they do words! Ultimately, they connect better with your words if they can put a face with them. People want to see you. So step into the light and give your people what they crave.
Product-Based Businesses Don’t Need a Personal Brand
“My products sell themselves.” “I want people to see my products, not my face.” Listen, people interact with people, not products. If all you are is a product, you simply become a commodity. Even the most automated brands are run by people who stand for something. The more you can step in front of your customers, the more you get to know them, the more they get to know what you stand for – the more the will trust your products. Period.
I’m an Employee, so I don’t Need to Worry About Personal Branding Photos.
Oh really? Nearly 80% of jobs are filled through a connection or relationship. Many of the best jobs are never advertised. Do you think you will get a great job without a person making the decision? Even if you’re using LinkedIn as only a job-seeking platform, if you don’t have a personal brand crafted, your odds at excelling in your career are greatly reduced.
I spent 25 years in the corporate world. In today’s online, connected, transparent world, your personal brand matters more than ever. It might be the difference between getting that dream job and sitting unemployed for another six months. Maybe it will let you leverage a hot job market to beat out every other candidate and earn a significant pay raise. The bottom line – you need a personal brand too. And great personal branding photos are a big part of that process.
After busting these myths with me, how do you feel? For me this is the bottom line: Effective personal branding photos will help you make more money.
Now you have no excuse to not step into the limelight. It’s your time, make it happen. Live the life of your dreams – and bring your people along for the ride through your personal branding photos.