When Lynsey - Director at PR company Front Door Communications - got in touch to organise her company’s personal branding photoshoot, I instantly realised that she was someone who knew the value of personality in business.
In this age, we do a LOT of business online. We do our weekly shop, order things on subscription, and have virtual tours of potential new homes, all without actually seeing a real life person. But even in this digital age, there is tremendous value in knowing who the person behind the business is.
It’s one thing to buy goods online. As long as you’re buying them through a reputable website, you can be confident in the knowledge that they’ll arrive safely, and if you’re not happy with them, you can send them back for a full refund. But we often (rightly so) take a different approach to buying skills and services. When we hire a plumber, tutor or personal trainer, we’re investing our money in someone else’s skill set. It makes sense then to have some sort of connection to that person before we spend our money with them. Having a visual representation of the services offered, as well as examples of previous work is essential for businesses. But even more importantly, future clients want to see who they are spending their money with.
So how do we show future clients who we are? Well the most obvious answer is by having a photo of ourselves on our website. But is it enough to have a standard iPhone photo or a selfie taken on a night out? Think about the message you want to convey to potential customers – I am professional, I am competent, I am skilled, I am worth your time and money. Phone photos and selfies don’t really match up to these statements. Conversely, a professionally taken photo instantly gives the impression to future clients that you care enough about your business to invest in yourself and present yourself in the best possible light.
The classic ‘headshot’ is used by many businesses as a way to showcase their staff and let you know exactly who’s who within the organisation. Usually a head and shoulders shot against some kind of plain background, it’s simple and effective. It ensures that your clients can put a face to a name and know who they’ll be spending their money with. But apart from that, what else does a classic headshot offer? What does it say to your clients about you? Honestly, I think the answer is – not much. There’s no context to the shot, no personality. It doesn’t say anything about your business or give future clients the information they need to work out why you’re different to others in the same industry. Think about it this way – if clients are choosing between two firms, both of whom have been in business for a while, both of whom have same reputation, both of whom are charging the same price for the job, what will set your firm apart from the other? It may be as simple as having photos of your staff that clients can relate to, and that give clients that extra bit of information about your company with just one glance at a screen.
This is where personal branding sessions trump classic headshots hands down. If we’re trying to sell our skills and services, then surely it makes sense that the focus of our photos is the person behind the business? A personal branding session will still deliver headshots, but they’re not done against a plain studio background – they’re taken in your place of work, whether that be an office, boutique, your home, a garden or on a plane! They show you at work and give context to you and your business, so that future clients know who you are, where you work, what you do and how you can work together – all from seeing one photo.
About the author
Clare Harding is a professional photographer based in Cardiff. She has a portfolio with Vogue Italia, and specialises in using natural light to create modern portraits for corporate businesses and families alike. For more information and portfolio, visit; www.clarehardingphotography.com.All News