Photography Personal Branding Expert

My biggest No-No's when photographing Personal Branding or Corporate Headshots

Biggest No-No's when photographing Personal Branding
 

My Biggest
No-No's when photographing Personal Branding or Corporate Headshots

A a couple months ago, I added my Personal Branding Photoshop Template to my online store.

The idea to create the template, came after I did an interview with Sue Bryce, and we spoke about how I market & sell corporate headshots  (a.k.a personal branding shoots).

This led me to writing today’s article - to share with you all the things I wish photographers knew before shooting corporate headshots/personal branding.

All the things I wasted a lot of time learning - the hard way!

Here we go...

1. You shouldn’t...
shoot before having a consultation

Because every client and every business is unique and needs to stand out from the competition, it's imperative you chat (in-person, or on the phone) with your personal branding clients before photographing them.

“Every day we are selling our most important asset: ourselves.” - Fredrick Eklund

Use your consultation time to do two important things: 

  1. Ask specific questions about your client, her business and where she wants to use her photos.

  2. Suggest new ideas of where she can use her photos (i.e social media, magazine features, etc)

Be sure to take notes and use those notes to plan out your photo shoot (see #5). (Having trouble making suggestions on new places where your client can use their photos? Check out the Photoshop Price-list Template for ideas).

SUMMARY:

Your consultation will:

  • tell you what your client wants

  • suggest new places/strategies your client can use her photos

  • help you collect information on how to approach her shoot

“The personal branding consultation is both a gathering of information and a creator used to fulfill your client’s photography needs and elevate her success.” - Heike Delmore

2. You shouldn’t...
consult with your client before doing your research

Similar to point number one, do your leg work before the consultation. 

Why you ask? Because it’s important you be specific and take a personal interest in your client.

With personal branding one size does not fit all. If you have a consultation before doing any initial research, you won’t be prepared and your suggestions, if any, will sound very generic. Show your client that you're taking an interest in them personally.

When researching your client you are looking for the following:

    1.    Is she currently using any personal branding photos?
    2.    If yes, where is she currently using her photos?
    3.    Where might she be looking to update them?
    4.    Where could she be using them - but is currently not?
    5.    Think of completely new strategies she could impliment

SUMMARY:

  • Gather as much information on where your client is currently using her photos and note where she could be using them in the future.

  • This information will prepare you for a finely tailored consult

3. You shouldn’t...  
have an inconsistent price-list

What's an inconsistent price-list? 

An inconsistent price-list is a price-list where the same product is priced differently across different genres.

Let’s say you sell 7x10s. And you price a 7x10 for family portraits higher than a 7x10 for corporate headshots. Why are they priced differently? Is one 7x10 better than the other? 

This is why consistency is important: let me tell you a story where this became a big problem for me. 

When I started out in this genre, I was charging really low prices for my corporate headshots. Lower than my glamour portraits. I told myself I was getting clients in the door. The problem arose when my headshot clients would bring in a couple of gowns to shoot at the end of the session... "just for fun". The photos with the gowns would usually qualify as a portrait or glamour photo. When the client came in to select and purchase their photos, it seemed ridiculous to charge one amount for the corporate headshots and another for the glammed up photos. Having a consistent price-list across the board solved this problem.

SUMMARY:

  • Using a consistent price-list will streamline your business

  • Repeat clients will not longer be confused (and you’ll feel clearer - trust me)

  • Now, I’m not saying have 1 generic pricing brochure for all genres. No! Absolutely design them differently target each market you shoot. But keep your pricing the same.

4. You shouldn’t...  
shoot personal branding without a checklist

What kind of checklist you ask? 

If you’ve you’ve done your pre-consultation research and had your in-person or telephone consultation, you can easily put together a shooting checklist.

Your checklist should consist of:

  1. Shots your client says they want or need

  2. It should also indicate the photographic style

  3. Where your client plans on using the images

  4. Where your client may try using their photos in the future based on your suggestions.

For example, if you client is going to open a Facebook business page, you check off vertical/square profile image and horizontal image for the cover image. And shoot to fulfill those requirements. 

SUMMARY:

  • Your checklist will act as a photo shoot planner.

5. You shouldn’t...  
shoot to fit IN

Many of us were taught that to be in business we nee to fit a certain look or mold. 

When shooting personal branding photos, I suggest getting a few safe photos at the beginning. 

But be sure to branch out and capture your client’s authentic self. From your pre-consultation to your in-person or telephone consultation, you should have a good idea who your client is and what they’re trying to express to the world. 

Aim to capture all of this your shoot.

“You are your brand. Failure to share yourself in an open, honest way is a costly miscalculation. Who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s comfy in their own skin? On the contrary, who likes hanging around phonies?... Who were you as a carefree six year old, before the world taught you to play it safe and blend in with everyone else? Find yourself; be yourself; sell yourself.”
- Fredrik Eklund

SUMMARY:

  • When shooting personal branding start with a few safe photos

  • Then branch out and get creative to capture your client’s true self.

I hope you found this helpful. Leave me a comment below.

With love and gratitude and wishing you all the happiness and success,

 

 

P.S. If you know someone who will find this article helpful go ahead and share it with them!

Are you thinking about incorporating WEDDING photography into your studio? And you're interested in how you can easily build a profitable wedding photography business. Check out the coming soon: E-Course: For those with a creative background not a business background - how to easily create a successful and profitable wedding photography business.


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How to blog to keep yourself fully booked

easy-how-to-get-fully-booked-heike-delmore

Spring is already here for those who live further south. Last week I had the opportunity to visit Nashville, TN. With the family in tow, and camera in hand, it was a fabulous trip. I think I even got a bit of a tan! See my Instagram feed for pics from the trip.

While on my trip I got to meet an awesome stylist, Krista Roser, who styles many of the young country stars. And I got to hear how others are using their social media accounts to generate income.

All of which got me thinking about how I've used blogging + social media to keep my calendar fully booked. (I outline the super simple steps below).

I've never needed to invest in any advertising or do any shows/expos. Truth be told, I've invested in advertising twice. Approximately $1000 each time. Once was for a listing on a local wedding website. And the other was on a national magazine's website. The latter got me 3 out-of-town jobs. 

Not bad I suppose, I made the money back - but blogging is what has kept me consistently fully booked with shoots. Best of all it's free. And here's how...

I don't search for ideas or try to brainstorm new ideas of what to blog about.

I blog about my clients.

I use the photos I have created and sold to my client for the core of the post. Then I add a little story around those photos.

I call this method C.B.B. - or Client Based Blogging. Sounds simple right? Here's what it does...

Client Based Blogging (C.B.B.)


    1.    It makes my current clients happy
    2.    It attracts new clients


Here's why the "Client Based Blogging" method works...

CURRENT CLIENTS FEEL SPECIAL

It makes your current clients happy. The blog post makes them feel special. Heck, I feel special if my work gets featured anywhere! Your clients feel the same when they are featured on yours. 

Often clients are more excited about their photos being posted online, than they are about receiving their albums or digital files. They're excited because they want to share and show them off.

So having a well curated blog post + a story shows your client in their best light.

ATTRACTING NEW CLIENTS

Now onto the psychology of how blogging about your current client actually attracts new clients. 

  1. Suspicious - according to socialmedia.com "buyers are naturally suspicious". If they see someone they know has purchased from you, they become more trusting of your product and services.

  2. Best choice - other times buyers don't have time to shop around. They assume those before them have already done the research and selected the best choice. According to research conducted by Forbes magazine, "we copy people we know because we’re simply uncertain about the best choice".

  3. Fitting in - according to Psychology Today magazine, sometimes clients purchase from the same company to "imitate others and fit in".

  4. Success Stories - if your work has aided in your client's success - success stories have an immense impact on consumers, according to socialmedia.com.

Now that we know how and why it works - how do we get people to our blogs?

PROCESS: HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO YOUR BLOG

All roads lead back to your blog - and timing is of the essence.

  • When to create the blog post - create your client's blog post before releasing any digital images. Here's the process: you've completed the photography job for your client and he/she has paid you. You are ready to deliver the photos. Before you do, put together their blog post and send them the link. This ensures your client will share the link with their friends and family (not the other products you give them).

  • Announce on Social Media - announce on any and all of your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.) that you have a new blog post up on your site. Be sure to include the blog post link and post a photo to peak interest.

  • Email your client - email the blog link and social media posts to your client. Encourage them to tag themselves and share the post on social media.

PROCESS - TWO steps HOW TO WRITE a C.B.B. POST

Still not sure how to make a "Client Based Blog" post? Use these two easy steps to help you:

  1. Use photos your client has selected and purchased

  2. Accompany those photos with a story about your client. Try to write a minimum of 3 sentences. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • What... are they using the photos for? (tells both about them and the service you offer)

  • Who... is your client? (promote/plug their business or tell their story)

  • How... did the photos impact their life? (e.g. client got first modelling job)

  • When... did it happen? (is the timing of their photos important or is age?)

  • Where... did it take place? (is significance in the location?)

  • Why...? (why did they need these photographs)

ACTION STEPS


A. Create a blog post about your last client using the Client Based Blogging method (C.B.B.)
B. Use the photos they purchased
C. Write a minimum of 3 sentences about the client
D. Post the link to your blog post and teaser images on your social media accounts
E. Send your client the link to their post
F. When you are done go to my website and leave me a comment

ASIDE - I know you do this already, but I want to remind you to have your clients sign a model release before posting any of their images online.
TIP - I also let my clients know ahead of time that I'll be writing a special post about them on my blog. This gets them excited. Or, if they are super private people, they have to chance to let me know that they are uncomfortable.


With love and gratitude and wishing you all the happiness and success,

 
 

P.S. If you know someone who will find this article helpful go ahead and share it with them!

If you'd like to take these concepts further and dive in deeper on how you can easily build a profitable wedding photography business, check out the E-Course: For those with a creative background not a business background - how to easily create a successful and profitable wedding photography business.


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Animoto Video - Yay or Nay?

Animoto Photography business making video marketing Animoto

So I did it! I took the plunge signed up for Animoto and created a video!

Now I’ve heard people in the photography industry singing the praises of Animoto for a while. Namely the super talented Sue Bryce! And I must admit, my initial reaction was how great can it really be? I mean I use a Mac.... and iMovie is simple enough.  

I’ve also tried Photodex Proshow Web. Could this really be any better? - I said to myself.

Well, at the end of this article I’ll tell you the reasons why I think Animoto is a better tool - for my needs - and they probably aren’t for the reasons you think!

I’ll also touch on some different ways you can use video for your wedding, family or glamour photography businesses!

Why

But first let’s start off with why video is even important to your photography business!

These are some interesting and rather compelling statistics in my opinion. The article “The Science of Video Engagement” found that:

  • 60% of web site visitors will watch a video if one is available before reading any text

  • 88% of visitors stay longer on a site where there is a prominent video

  • homepages or landing pages that have a prominent video lead to 800% more conversions

  • website visitors have a higher likelihood of remembering videos compared to other forms of information

  • visitors who watch videos tend to look deeper into your product/brand and later purchase from you.

So video is pretty important. But how can we use it in our photography business?

How to use video

I’ve put together a list of some fun and easy ways I’ve seen and heard of video being used - and ways you can use it too: 

  • show behind the scenes at a wedding or in studio

  • interview

  • show your studio and office

  • client testimonials

  • image galleries

  • surprise client with their images put to music

  • showcase final images mixed with behind the scenes video/images

  • family shoot: interviewing the kids mixed with final images from the shoot

  • business commercial

  • brand story with images and your voice-over

  • showcase products e.g. wedding albums, folio boxes

  • up-sell packages

That’s all great, but where can you use these videos? Uhm… just about everywhere! And the best part is you can easily re-purpose your videos. Think - homepage, blog post, Facebook, Instagram and other social media.

My Animoto experience

I wanted to surprise one of my beautiful portraiture clients with something extra thoughtful. 

My typical portraiture blog posts prior to this, I’m sad to admit, were 1-2 images from a photo shoot that I would post here and there if I found time. 

This time I wanted to say more. This time I wanted to show more. And I wanted to say more without words and without just throwing a bunch of photos up consecutively one after another.

So I logged into my Animoto account and I picked a theme that I thought would be fitting with the style of photos I wanted to showcase. 

Tip: when viewing the themes, try to look past the default placeholder images - your photo genre may give the theme a completely different vibe.

Next I uploaded my photos, added my logo, a few lines of text, picked some music from their suggested royalty free music library and voila - I published my video! (Big Smile)

Animoto, automatically timed my video to the music, transitioned between the different slides and gave me straightforward options to export/publish my video.

Since you can control the time of the video, (if you’d like), you can also make shorter complimentary videos to use on Instagram. 

Tip: Instagram cuts videos off at 15 seconds.

So in addition, I made a shorter 15 second version of the video to match the look & feel of the original video.

Then, with the touch of a button, I exported the videos to my youtube and vimeo accounts and also downloaded them to my computer.

And the very best part... my video looked ultra professional! All shiny and polished!

Why I love Animoto

iMovie and other online video programs can do the same thing right?

Yes for some features, but these are the reasons why I prefer Animoto to other software I have tried:

  • it’s a super simple process

  • it saves me time! I’m a photographer and I don’t have time to fiddle around with video software.

  • it’s drag and drop

  • it’s really fast and slick

  • it’s online

  • you can import photos from smugmug

  • if you dislike the theme you can easily switch it without re-starting your project from scratch

  • it makes exporting easy

  • it exports quickly

  • all of your videos are in one place

  • it connects to your vimeo and youtube accounts

  • it easily embeds video into your website

  • you can upload both videos and still images

  • you can clip your videos in animoto

  • you can upload voice-overs

  • it has a huge library of royalty free music (hola!)

  • it has a blank template that you customize for projects that don’t fit with any of their other themes.

If you’ve been considering using video for any aspect of your photography business, I hope this article has been useful! I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Also, if you want to explore more about how to use animoto to boost your business check out Sue Bryce's super Creative Live course here!

Be sure to leave me a comment below.

P.S. Here is my video

With love and gratitude. And wishing you all the success in photography business,

 
 

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