How to Rock Your Business Social Media

Hello there, my camera-shy boss babe. Let me take a wild guess ... Your social media and website need some serious updating but the thought of a photo shoot makes you sweat. Does this sound familiar?

Most of my clients tell me that although they are super confident when it comes to their work, they are incredibly camera-shy and don't love getting their photos taken. Yet as the face of their own business in a veryyyyyy digital world, it's just part of what your clients - and prospective clients - expect to see from your social media and website. They want to know YOU. They want to see your process, get a feel for your personality and what makes you unique so they can decide whether to take the next step in working together.

So, if you're thinking about upleveling your online presence with a personal branding shoot and are not fond of being in the spotlight - you're not alone. And I have good news for you - it can be a lot more fun than you think. Read on for a few helpful tips to ease your mind and help you prepare for the experience.

Tip #1: first, know that brand shoots are Not ONLY about your face

Personal branding shoots are different than other types of portrait sessions you may have done. Although they absolutely will yield some amazing new headshots and plenty of images of you, there will also be lots of images taken that do not require you to be cheesing at the camera. In order to fill your Instagram with a wide variety of on-brand images over the year, your gallery can't only be photos of you smiling. A well-planned personal branding gallery should include a wide variety of angles and compositions, many of which do not actually show your face ... or at least it's not the focal point of the shot.

PRO TIP: Your hands (and possibly feet) will definitely be a part of your shoot so don't forget to get a mani/pedi the day before your session. I recommend staying fairly neutral with your polish choices so the manicure doesn't draw the eye. Unless, you're like my client Elise, a productivity coach and podcast host who is KNOWN for her fun, creative nail polishes. Since that's a part of her personal brand, we absolutely had to include some more colorful nails in her session.

Tip #2: boost your confidence with Professional Hair & Makeup

Although hiring a professional hair & makeup artist is absolutely not mandatory for a good shoot, I can say from experience that it does supercharge your confidence and takes something off your plate that you no longer need to worry about. Plus, who doesn't love a little pampering? AmIright?

Any photographer you work with should have recommendations on hair and makeup artists they trust, who can adapt to your personal style and industry.

Pro tips: Be sure to schedule a date night or happy hour with your girlfriends after our session so you can take full advantage of your stylish look!

HMU: (left transformation) Ryann Brady, (right transformation), Amber Cousino @shininglight_beautydesign

Tip #3: ask a stylish friend (or hire a stylist) to help you Choose Clothing that lets you shine

Having clothes that make you feel confident can be a big factor in helping you relax. For those of us in the Seattle area, Nordstrom has a free personal shopper service that takes care of putting together complete outfits for you based on your style and preferences.

Pro Tip: If you're using a shopper service, be sure to build in several weeks to months to give them time to put together looks, for you to review them and order as necessary.

My life coach client, Darci, called on a stylish friend to help her prepare an amazing wardrobe that spanned various seasons and looks. All of these looks below (and a few more!) were incorporated into our personal brand session. One of her business goals was to have a library of on-brand imagery that would last for 9-12 months to feed her social media presence and save her valuable time. Having enough variety in your session is not an accident - so just be sure to incorporate seasonality into your plan.

Tip #4: Incorporate a friend, partner or pet who makes you smile

The fun thing about personal branding as opposed to more commercial marketing, is that IT'S PERSONAL! Often times our online presence and brand does include our hobbies, our family or fur babies. If there are others who frequently show up in your brand social feed and they make you smile or laugh - then let's include them in your session. Friends and partners also make great 'faux client' stand-in's to help us show your process of working with clients.

Pro Tip: if you're involving kids or pets in your brand shoot, be sure to have helpers available to take care of them once they're no longer needed on camera so they don't become a distraction.

TIP #5: Hire a Pro

If you already know that you're camera-shy, the last thing you want to do is stress out even more because you're trying to remember all the things. Probably the biggest factor that will help ensure you have a calm, relaxed and fun experience for your brand photo shoot is to get all of the planning and preparation done well before the session day. That's my job as a brand photographer - to come up with the strategy and plans to help keep things on track so you don't have to worry about them on the shoot day. Having a list of key storylines for the visual messages you want to tell, a packing list of props and tools of the trade, style and wardrobe plan, and a detailed shot list means that the day of the session is all about putting on some music, laughing, and working the plan. And having a glass of champagne after we use it as a celebration image prop is also fine by me!

So if you would like help with your own brand photo shoot to kick off 2023 with your marketing assets at your fingertips, be sure to reach out and let’s have a free brand consultation.