You only get one chance to make a great first impression.
That’s why no matter the size of your business, visual presentation is a key factor to your success. You know from your own experience as a customer that clients spend time researching a company or service before making a purchase.
It’s not just vanity than should push you to put your best face – figuratively and literally – forward when customers look into what you have to offer. Today, it is vital.
Whether you’re a business or solo entrepreneur, everyone needs high quality photos to showcase their brand. Richmond photographer Kim Brundage knows that. For eight years, she has been helping coaches, public figures, CEOs, influencers and more to express themselves and their services authentically through brand photoshoots. Some of those photos are included in this article. Each one was styled by Megan Wilson of Sweet Talk Strategy.
Read lessons Kim has learned as a photographer, learn why visually showcasing your brand is important, and pick up tips to prepare for your first photoshoot.
Why is it important for a business or an individual to curate their visual brand?
We readily accept that Google, Nike and Apple have a brand, and we expect them to be brand consistent with their colors, fonts and overall look. The same is true for each of our personal brands. The truth is we all have a personal brand whether we realize it or not.
What are the different elements that go into a business’ visual brand?
Did you know your brain can process images 60,000 faster than text? That’s a huge reason why your brand speaks volumes. For example, I’m an entrepreneur and I market to entrepreneurs. So I chose a font for my brand that entrepreneurs are used to seeing from places like Entrepreneur Magazine, etc.
What goals should someone set before going into a branded photoshoot?
Their main goal should be using their visual imagery to reinforce their brand and be consistent with their brand standards. In that purpose, I ask each of my client’s what are their 3-to-5 words they want to convey with their images. Every person has about 48 different muscles in their face which results in 10,000 different expressions. We want to make sure your facial expressions match your brand intent. Then I pose people accordingly.
How will photos differ when being used for websites versus social media accounts?
Your website should have your very best branded images. With social media, you can have a more “in the moment” images. If you have an important message to share, I would use one of your images from your website on your social media. Everyone wants to “stop the scroll,” as the average person consumes about 300 feet of social media per day. Showing a strong brand consistent image of yourself, will stop that scroll. I would also use one of your branded images as your profile image because the high exposure that social media algorithms give it.
What are tips you would give clients when preparing for a photoshoot?
It is normal for you to feel nervous. Hire a professional brand photographer who you will be comfortable with and trust that they will capture the best version of yourself. Also, make sure to meet with a stylist, like Megan Wilson who will meet with you ahead of time to help you select clothes that will photograph well and fits you the best. She can also help with other creative production and planning.
Sometimes we go through this process to discover clients need to get something hemmed or need to buy a certain belt. The more prepared you feel, the more confident you will be. Also, I would select a brand photographer that provides hair and camera-ready makeup.
How can having an established visual brand help a business shine?
A strong visual brand will set you apart from the competition. There are tons of coaches, speakers, photographers etc out there. How will set yourself apart when your ideal client is checking out your website? Prospects will take you seriously, as they can see that you’ve invested in yourself. People want to buy from people the know, like and trust.
What have you learned does/does not work when visually building a brand through your years as a photographer?
What does work is updating your images at least every 2-to-3 years. Our looks can change subtly and a lot depending on our hair. By updating your website with images often it shows you are engaged and give the viewer something new to look at.
What trends do you see in social and web branding in 2020?
Great question – I think brand consistent portraits will be of even more importance as more people as taking their personal seriously and well done video will continue to grow in popularity as videos can be used in social media and your website. This will continue to expand as we engage in a global economy. More professions are able to work with people around the world and having a strong brand will carry you there faster.
Be intentional with every decision you make when planning for your brand photoshoot. The point of having an authentic visual representation for your brand is to position your company for future growth. A brand photoshoot may not make your business grow exponentially overnight. But trust us when we say it’s a step in the right direction for you and your clients.