The process of creating a visual brand can feel challenging. Taking your business ideas, the service you offer, and the values and inspiration that are driving you forward, and turning them all into a coherent visual identity is a big step for a business, particularly a new business. It can be tempting to design a logo yourself and use phone snaps to keep costs down, or to hide behind images of your product or service. But people buy from people, and your visual identity can do the important job of introducing you to potential clients.
If you give the visual elements of your brand a professional polish, you present a confident and professional face to the world. Time and budget invested in photography and design will present yourself in the best possible light. In effect, your visuals will do part of your marketing for you. The initial work on establishing your business values will be critical here as you start to translate this into a visual brand that represents you and your business.
When you are thinking about your personal branding, there are a number of different visual elements to consider.
Your Personal Brand Visuals
Brand colours are those that will be used in all elements of your visual brand, your logo, your website, social media images and printed materials. Typically you may use a palette of 2 or 3 colours.
A very unscientific survey among a networking group I belong to revealed that when deciding what colours to use, entrepreneurs more often chose colours they liked to look at or those they like to wear. If you choose colours you like to wear, you may want to ensure you are getting exactly the right tones and shades for you. You may also want to think about colours that will resonate with your audience or colours that will mean something to them, or generate the feeling you want to inspire. I chose a muted blue and green for my initial brand colours to reflect the serious nature of my target clients.
Working with a designer may give you options and colour combinations you hadn’t thought of. Even if you have decided on your colour palette, I would always recommend working with a professional to create your logo, typeface and other visual elements, to ensure it has a professional polish. A designer will also ensure you have all the right versions of your logo, including a black and white version and file types for online and printed use.
Time and budget invested in photography and design will present yourself in the best possible light. In effect, your visuals will do part of your marketing for you. #personalbranding Click To Tweet
Personal Branding Photography
We all have mobile phones and we can use our own phone snaps as brand imagery, but there are many reasons why you could invest in a professional photoshoot and a selection of professional images of you.
I worked with Emily Moya of Emily Moya Photography on my brand photography earlier in the year. You’ll see the images she captured all over this website and my social media and brand collateral. I asked Emily what value she thinks personal branding photography adds: “In our infinite universe, there is no-one quite like you. Add to this the idea that people buy from people, and you have the basic premise of personal branding photography.
“Personal branding photography is photography for your brand that centres around your personality and using yourself as a figurehead for your business. Many business owners may hide behind their product or service and never show pictures or videos of themselves, however, this approach is quickly becoming dated in a social media culture where people want to see who they are buying from. A personal branding photography session is the perfect way to show your audience who you are and build a connection with potential clients before you have even met them.”
Confidence Infront of the Camera
Working in PR and marketing and commissioning photography for clients over the years, I’ve heard the comment “I hate having my photo taken!” on many occasions.
Emily’s helpful advice is this:
“We are all passionate about our business and our message, and this needs to shine through in your photographs! Even if you are not feeling amazingly confident, you may need to “fake it till you make it” in order to embody your brand. Imagining yourself as a brand ambassador can help you change the way you think about being in front of the camera – in these pictures, you are the face of your brand!”
“I once read a blog online, where the writer said, “I was terrible in front of the camera, until one day, I made the decision to be awesome in front of the camera!” I love this quote as it shows that confidence in front of the lens comes down to having a positive state of mind. It is the photographer’s job to direct your poses, get your best angles, and create flattering images, but this can be hard to do if the subject doesn’t bring good energy and sense of positivity to the photoshoot.”
What to Consider when Briefing Visual Professionals
If you’ve spent some time working on your personal values this will be a useful part of the brief to your designer or photographer. A great exercise is to think about your brand and try to think of 3-5 words that encapsulate your brand. These may be words such as creative, inspiring, dynamic, informative, timeless, fresh, fun, relaxing or aspirational.
Before having a branding photoshoot or sitting with your chosen designer, ask yourself these simple questions to really get clear on your brand.
How do I want my brand to make others feel?
Do I want them to feel happy, calm, energised, relaxed, nostalgic, strong, uncomfortable, inspired, or something else?
What colour scheme is best for my brand?
Is my brand best suited to light and airy photography with a pale colour palette, bold and dynamic with a colourful look, or dark and moody with a deeper colour scheme?
What am I trying to say with my personal brand visuals?
What message am I trying to get across using my design and photography?
Where would it make sense for my photographs to be taken?
Should they be indoors, outdoors, in my place of work, at a desk, in a park, at my home, in an office, in a café, next to a local or well-known landmark, or at an event?
What type of outfit will best express my brand message in my photographs?
You may consider wearing formal or informal clothes, a suit, an evening gown, a summer dress, a colourful top, jeans, a coat or jacket, pyjamas, or a uniform or branded item of clothing.
What should I be doing in my photographs?
I could be sitting with a client, engaging in my work, drinking a coffee, standing against a plain background, standing against a colourful background, or giving a talk.
Who should be in my photographs?
Should I be alone, with clients, with a business partner, with a group, with a partner, with kids, or with an animal?
What props would make sense in my photographs?
There may be props that nod to what you do, such as a book, notepad and pen, phone, laptop, branded mug, or something more specific to your industry.
The clearer you can be in your brief the more likely your designer and photographer will be able to achieve something that you will love and will work really hard for you and your business.
Can We Help?
If you need help establishing your brand values and creating a visual identity, why not book in for a Power Hour with Jenny to help you get clarity and create a design brief.
Do you need to refresh your brand visuals? Book in a brand photography session with Emily at Emily Moya Photography or call for a free telephone consultation about your needs.