I often get asked “Who needs branding photos?” Or “What kind of clients do you serve?” I often interpret these as someone likely wondering “Should I be thinking about getting personal brand photos for my business?”
I think there is a question of “Am I READY for the investment in personal brand photos?” In fact, that will be a good blog post for sometime in the near future.
One way to think about whether you might need a library of custom personal brand images is to think about all the ways you might use the photos. You and your business are unique – so there’s not a one-size fits all answer. It would fit like a dress that was also marketed as one-size fits all.
Here’s a list of 41 ways (yes – forty-one!) my clients use their personal branding photos. I’ve grouped them into themes to try to make it easier to digest, but there’s not a “right order” or “best way” to use your images.
The first thing that comes to mind for many when they think of personal brand photos is for posting on social media. And that is a great use. Having a selection of images waiting to be posted saves you time and money, and it’s more likely that you will post consistently if you already have a bunch of images you love!
But, it’s more than just posts. So let’s start this list off with:
10 ways to use your personal brand images on social media
- As a Facebook banner.
I like to use a program like Canva or Adobe Spark to create banner images for Facebook. Sometimes I even have a graphic designer create my banner images using one or more of my personal brand photos.
- In your Facebook posts.
This is a no-brainer, right?
- As your profile photos. …
- In your Instagram posts.
- In your Instagram stories.
And by the way, make sure you share your new posts to your stories too!
- Pin Pinterest pins to drive traffic to your blog/website.
This is another time to spend some time on Canva, create some graphics that include your photos, then make some variations of the graphics, and then pin them every day. And always, always, always have a link back to your website or other content when you Pin.
- Twitter header
If you’re a twitterer, you might as well create some brand awareness through your visuals as well.
- LinkedIn header
So many people don’t even realize you can change the header on your profile. Oh – and as I type this, there’s also your posts, any articles you write, and in your “featured” section on LinkedIn! Would 50 ways to use your personal banding photos sound better than 42?
- Youtube Thumbnails
If you want to succeed on YouTube, you’ve got to have great thumbnails. Oh – and another bonus – crate a graphic for your YouTube Banner that uses some of your brand photos in it too!
- Facebook tabs
Admittedly I don’t do this currently, but it’s similar to using your branding images on your Instagram highlights. Oh hey, there’s yet another way you can use them!
So about 25% of the way through the post, and it’s more like 52 ways you can use your custom pics.
Many of my subscription clients rely on social media for some aspect of their business. And you can see why – there’s so many ways to use them to get your brand message out and connect with clients and potential clients! Now let’s look at other ways you can use your personal brand photography.
Where to use personal branding images on the internet
So if social media is all the rage, this section is sort of like your home that people see once you leave the social media party and start becoming better friends. Everywhere you have a presence on the web, you can use your brand images.
- As blog post header graphics.
I’m a big fan of making sure every blog post has a picture. And by using the picture and taking them time to tag the alt description and such, you can add just a little more SEO sauce to your article.
- In the body of your blog posts.
Sort of like this…. But maybe not as gratuitously!
- Website Header
I firmly believe you should be the Hero of your brand. So when people land on your page – they should see you. Period. Unless you’re a big mega-corporation or a low-priced commodity product. But if you are, you’re probably not reading about PERSONAL branding!
- In your freebies / lead magnets
You should absolutely have your photo in your lead magnets. You want to stay top of mind, right? Plus, good images will make your lead magnet more engaging, interesting, and increase the perceived value.
Love ‘em or hate’em, pop-ups work. In the right situation. So why not use a friendly, on-brand image in there to soften the irritation a bit?
- About me pages
Hopefully this goes without saying, but since your “about me” page is, well, about you, of course you want to use them here. And arguably, a few more than you might think are probably better, especially if each image reveals a slightly personal theme about what it is that makes you interesting, unique, and the kind of person your client would want to work with and be around!.
- Website buttons
Technically, I use them above or below a website button, but it is still an on-brand image that draws attention to where that button resides on your website. Keep in mind, not all personal brand images are pictures of you. They can also be your products,services, experiences, team, clients, location, etc….
- Google My Business Page
How many people do you know who don’t use Google? Yet astonishingly, over half of all businesses have not claimed their Google My Business (GMB) page.
And of the 44% or so that have, a vast majority of them have only done the minimum.
SEO can be hard. It can be competitive these days. But GMB gives you a nice boost. Put those images in there, and get some reviews and posts flowing to improve your search engine rankings!
Using your Personal Brand Photos in your Marketing
Marketing is ultimately what drives sales and revenue. You have to create the content, build the relationships, and deliver an exceptional experience and result. But, without an effective marketing system, it is pretty tough to have an amazing, profitable, and fulfilling business.
I like to think of marketing as educating the people whose lives could be changed for the better by the superpowers you possess. It’s letting them know there is another option. Or that the thing they dream of actually exists, and you’re the person who can help them realize it.
Deep down, if you don’t market, you’re actually depriving people from experiencing the amazing things you can do to help them be more fulfilled and potentially make a larger impact in the world..
- In your Funnels
When people make buying decisions, it’s not only emotional, but it’s based on trust. And the more expensive the purchase, the more trust that is involved. So wherever someone enters one of your marketing funnels, it can be extremely beneficial for them to have a visual of you to add to that know, like and trust factor.
- Campaign landing pages
I use various landing pages for my lead magnets. I love to have a branding photo on those pages as well!
- Email marketing / newsletters
I occasionally include photos in my regular emails, but I always have them in my monthly newsletter email. Partly to break up the text, but more importantly to build a little deeper connection with my list.
- Email signature
I’m always impressed when I get an email that has a decent picture in the signature. I currently use my podcast cover art, which also has my photo on it.
- In your online courses
More and more people are creating online courses to share tier knowledge and scale their business away from 1-1 work that is dependent on the amount of time you put in as the business owner. Having a great library of images makes creating engaging courses just that much easier!
- Press Releases
Yes – press releases. These still work. Especially for local businesses. When you issue a press release, you never know when a local media outlet might pick up the story and be interested in sharing it with your local market. And an engaging photo or two makes it just that much more likely to happen.
This is another of those placeholders for whatever else isn’t explicitly covered. Billboards, magazine ads, newspaper ads, Facebook ads! Instagram ads! We’ve got to be getting close to 60 different examples of how to use your personal brand photos….
Let’s press on!
Use your photos to grow your network
They say “your network is your net worth?” Who are they, exactly? Tim Sanders, Porter Gale (who wrote a book by the same name), Huff Post, Forbes….
I’ve heard it for years myself. But intentionally growing your network will absolutely lead to increased business performance. So here are three ways to use your investment in personal brand photography that aren’t related to networking via social media.
- Business Cards
Some people still like them. And when I hand one out, I almost always get a comment on the photo on the back side. Just one more chance to make a memorable impression versus being simply another pale, drab, forgettable piece of card stock that ends up in the pocket, drawer, or trash.
- Networking / speaking events
While you may hand out your business cards as an attendee, this is more specifically thinking of when you get a chance to share your expertise with a group. This can be either in-person or virtual. Having a great on-brand photo – or several to use at various times during the event depending on the topic – is a great way to become just a little more memorable to the audience.
- On your podcast pitch bio
Podcasting is a great way to build your brand authority. And I routinely get compliments on my one-page podcast bio that I provide to podcasts hosts that either ask me to be a guest, or that I seek out because I think I have a message for their audience that delivers value.
Your personal brand photos can be used in print items
- For magazine / publication articles
This is especially true for your headshot. I routinely hear stories of “I need a headshot YESTERDAY.” Opportunities will arise, so why not have some images ready to go in a Google Drive or Dropbox folder that you can simply share? It will make you look more professional, and you can give them a few images to choose from to make sure it fits their needs for the article.
You might also be able to include some other photos in the article itself if this is a story about your business, too!
- For your book
Everybody has a book in them that needs to be written. So even if it’s just the back cover or inside flap, you can use your branding photos for that purpose.
Oh, and if you create an e-book, you might even want to include more in there as well – whether it’s something to be sold or whether you offer it as a lead magnet.
Certain professions can benefit from a beautiful picture book as well. By booking regular branding sessions, you naturally build a growing library of images that tell your story. One idea that pops to mind is a local distillery. They create amazing spirits, and amazing cocktails. A coffee table book for them could be incredible!
- Pricing Guides
These can be online or in print, but having some personal brand photos that show how it FEELS to work with you and perhaps even the transformation yor create – or the problems you solve – are amazing to add to a pricing guide.
- Event Invitations
If you’re hosting an event, why wouldn’t you want to spend just a little more on invitations that have branding images included?
Sure, you can use stock photos here. BUT, people are pretty good at sensing when something is stock vs. a custom image. Once you have the personal branding images, you’ll use them and set yourself apart just a little more!
Postcards still work for many businesses. I have two clients that use their personal branding images on their postcards.
- Thank you cards
Also a great way to add just a more personal touch. And here’s a pro-tip – hand write your thank you cards. It also adds just a little more “personal touch” that increases loyalty.
- Displays at events and trade shows
If you’re going to set up at an event (and they will return, eventually) why wouldn;t you want to have photos that are specific to your business? And again, when you already have the library, it’s often a much easier preparation cycle for getting your initial display ready.
And there’s still a few more ways to use your images
- In a custom business app
Personal brand photos for fitness coaches come to mind here. My coach has his own app, and whenever I open it, there’s Marcus to greet me!
- Zoom Image for conference calls
If you didn’t know what Zoom was before, you do now. Use one of your awesome branding images as your screen avatar. And bonus points for showing up in person in a way that aligns with your brand. I get it – in this day of yoga pants and sweats, it’s easy to get away with not looking your best. But you want to stand out, not blend in, right?
- As wall art
Yep – this is how much you’re going to love your photos. It happens more than you think. And if I do say so myself, I almost always have a few shots from every shoot that I wouldn’t mind having prints made as well!
- Promotional videos
That’s right! Even though we’re talking video, you can also insert your photos into the videos when it makes sense as well. My YouTube intro has a series of photos I took that flask rapidly. You can add photos into your videos to convey the feeling of your business and add just a little more visual interest.
Ooh! And another idea: You can use a series of photos to create a GIF or a little GIF avatar from Instagram! It just takes a little planning to get the right photos!
- Podcast cover art
I mentioned I use my podcast cover art in my email signature. Your podcast is just another form of building our authority and your personal brand. So why not have a culture of you as the host on the cover? For me, all I did was give my designer a few options, and then select the design that I liked best.
Here’s another quick tip – when you have ‘assets’ like branding photos, you logo, and your brand colors, you can easily outsource basic graphic design to someplace like Freelancer or Fiverr. I absolutely love using freelancer contests for my design work!
And don’t forget your team – they can use branding photos in most of the same ways!
When you have other people in your business, it can be just as valuable to have great photos of them too. I’m always impressed when someone’s assistant has a great photo in the email signature. And when your employees look good, your business looks good.
So that’s my list of ways to use your personal branding photos in your business. I’m sure I missed some things too, because I kept coming up with other ideas as I typed the article! So I’d love to hear your examples of what i missed in the comments below.
Now that you read some of these examples and thought “Wow! I absolutely should be using my personal brand photos in that way to grow my business!” , check out my guide on how to prepare for an awesome personal branding photo session.
And then get out there and become the hero of your brand so you can expand your influence and impact!