Have you ever heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words?’ This is never more true than when you decide what headshots and photography to use for your business. Photography is something I’ve always been very conscious of – especially in this digital age we live in – so recently I made the decision to invest in building my personal brand further by getting some new headshots.
Yes that’s right. On brand. Full on Kathryn and full on KD Communications. Why did I do this? Read on for my story.
My headshot story
When I first launched KD Communications nearly 4 years ago I left behind a career in professional services. In that role I was suited and booted every single day, I wore a full face of make up, I always had my hair done and was rarely seen without a pair of high heels on (and believe me they were VERY high).
That was how it was. That was how I was. I was corporate through and through and I loved it. That’s why when I stepped out on my own and launched the business I decided to stick to my corporate roots – both in the way I presented myself, in the way I created content and in the way my personal brand looked online.
My original headshots (see below) reflected who I was and what I stood for then in the best way possible. Over the years I’ve had so many compliments about them and I still love them, but as I’ve grown my business, my personal brand and got more comfortable in my own skin as a business owner and PR professional, I’ve changed. I’m now more relaxed, I dress smartly but I mostly ditch the whole suited and booted appearance and I’m much less formal. I do still wear the high heels though – I doubt I’ll ever ditch them.
Over the past year I’ve considered how I’ve changed and decided that my headshots needed to as well. In steps Laura Pearman Photography and her team.
I first met Laura at a local networking event a couple of years ago and it became clear to me very quickly that she was a photographer who offered something quite unique – a fully branded photo session that truly reflects who you are, what you offer and what your target audience wants to see. She’s very focused on using photography to help you attract custom and grow your business rather than simply taking a headshot without understanding your brand.
Knowing all of this about Laura spurred me on to book a half day photography session with her (her Sch-wam package) and we got to planning. Included in the session was time with Laura’s extended team. Styling was by Nichola English – The Wardrobe Provocateur and my make up was by Marie Scroggins from ND Make Up Artists.
The team worked tirelessly to create a photo shoot that:
- Creates a good first impression
- Reflects me and who I am
- Appeals to my target audiences (I’ve received SO many comments on them since they’ve went live on my website and social channels. Seriously, people have actually emailed me to mention it).
- Is completely on brand for me.
So here are the final results. A selection of shots showing the different sides to my character and my brand. There locations – one shoot.
How to build your personal brand with headshots
Personal brand seems to be a phrase that is all the rage at the moment, but what does it really mean? It means showing people who are really are – your personality, your skills – everything that makes you you.
Headshots are just one of the ways to build your personal brand, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked as they can be incredibly powerful. Here are some ways you can build your personal brand with headshots.
- Show your audiences what you represent: What are your beliefs and values? How can you relay these visually? If you’re all about the fun then show it. If you’re a geek show it. If you’re an introvert show it. Talk to your photographer about how to do this in a way that clearly conveys who you are and what makes you different.
- Make your photos instantly recognisable: In other words, create your own photo signature so to speak and that is unique to you. You need people who stop at your photo when they’re scrolling. The only way to do this is to make sure they recognise you. The more you stop them scrolling, the more they’ll become interested in you and your brand and they’ll visit your website.
- Tell your story: Your location, surroundings, wardrobe, pose … everything about your headshot should tell a story. If a selfie tells you story then use it, if you’re very corporate then get some corporate shots done. Whatever reflects you and your personal brand.
- Be consistent: I would recommend choosing one headshot as your profile picture on social media and use them across all of your channels, blog posts, guest appearances anywhere, press etc. This will help you become recognisable and get known as you develop your PR strategy.
- Focus on attracting the right people: Your headshots should work alongside your website as your shop window. That’s why they need to appeal to your target market. Make sure you keep prospective and existing customers in mind when you invest in your new headshots as that way they’ll work well in helping to convey your brand.
So what can a good headshot do you for you? They can help you build your personal, grow your audience and become known in your field as the expert you are.
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Do you need help developing your personal brand? Get in touch with me for help. Call 0191 236 1010, 07941694702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org