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How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional Headshot

How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional Headshot

Why it’s Time to Ditch Your Selfie Profile Photo for a More Favourable First Impression

Does your social media profile photo reflect the professional business person you want to be perceived as by prospects?

What about your website or other touchpoints a prospective client might encounter to help them determine if you are the best person to work with?

I find many solopreneurs and business owners are not as keenly aware as they should be about how acutely important professional headshots are to their personal and business brand.

Many solopreneurs aren't aware of how important headshots are to their personal & business brandClick To Tweet

I know I didn’t for many years until I finally broke down and had my first photoshoot done a few years back.

Wow, what a difference it made to my overall brand positioning and the perception others had of me as a business professional!  Suddenly the first impression I was making on prospective clients and business-related connections was far more favourable.

All thanks to Taneane Twele of TT Photography in Mission and Judy Doduk of Judy D Beauty in Abbotsford who have teamed up to provide photography, make-up and even hair services in their Shine Portraits package.

Professional Make-up for Photoshoot with Judy DodukSince it’s been 3 years since those initial photos were taken, I recently headed back to Taneane’s studio to better reflect how I look today.

I know how many business owners strongly resist having professional photos done. Me too. I was overweight and avoided the camera lens at all costs. But somehow, miraculously as far as I was concerned, Taneane was able to position me in various poses that showcased ME instead of the excess weight I was carrying.

Whatever your reasons for avoiding the camera, trust me when I tell you a professional photographer, combined with professional make-up application, will make a world of difference and enable you to be showcased professionally in front of your prospects and clients.

Using a professional photographer & make-up artist makes a huge difference in your personal brandClick To Tweet

Click here to watch a quick video I did with Taneane while on location during our shoot.

At the end of the day, professional photos give the impression you care about your personal and professional image. It’s that favourable perception others have of you that will greatly enhance the success of your business.

If your profile photo was taken years ago or not done by a professional photographer, it’s time to step up and create a better lasting impression by booking a professional photoshoot. And once you have your new photos in hand, ensure you use them!

Here’s several places to incorporate your professional headshot:

  • All Social Media Profiles

    Whether you are active on them or not, people are accessing any and all of your social media profiles at any given moment.
     
    Try to vary your photos if possible. For instance, I use a more personable, friendly photo on my personal Facebook page where a more professional photo is used on the Business page, LinkedIn and other professional networks.
     
    They are each professional photos but what I’m wearing and my pose makes the difference between the friendly and casual look compared to a more polished and professional one.

  • Online Profiles

    If you do any form of content marketing, the odds are good you have bio profiles scattered in several places that showcase you being the author of your piece. Take a look at places like Storify, Business 2 Community, or YouInc and ensure your professional headshot is in place.
     
    Don’t forget about other websites and platforms you might not visit often like Skype, Medium, Alignable, WordPress, DISQUS, Gravatar, and other places that require an avatar to go with your name and bio.

  • Social Media Banners

    If you are the face of your business, then you need to get comfortable with seeing yourself in the spotlight. For instance, if you are a speaker, author or industry leader, then your social media banners should also include your photo.
     
    Have your photographer take shots of you “in action” either posed or live when on stage. This welcomes followers and prospects into your world and gives them a feel for what their experience would be like if they went to see your presentation.

  • Your Website

    Most entrepreneurs are the face of their business regardless of the industry they are in. Placing a professional image of you throughout your website is imperative for prospects to get a favourable impression of you and your business.
     
    Use your About page wisely and ensure your photo evokes trust with your website visitors. You want your photo to give the impression you are friendly, approachable and honest.

  • Email Signature

    How many emails do you send out in a day or week? More than likely that’s a lot of eyeballs you have an opportunity to gain better brand visibility with through an email signature.
     
    Get a professional eSignature designed that includes your photo so when people meet you in person, they feel they already know you and are a familiar face.

  • Marketing Collateral

    Whatever you do when it comes to your print and digital marketing pieces, you are definitely leaving a lasting impression on whoever it comes in contact.
     
    Whether it’s your business card, promotional materials or advertisements, take advantage of the opportunity to have your personal and brand be showcased by using your professional head shot.
     
    This will help build upon the valuable “Know, Like and Trust” factor you want to achieve with your target market.

Sadly, the truth of being a business person is prospects are going to judge you based on your appearance. That first impression could literally make them decide whether or not they can trust you to do business with or move on to your competitor.

If you want to give a lasting and positive impression to your followers and potential clients, make the small investment to get professional headshots done. This type of business investment will get you great returns – it did for me!

Have you resisted getting professional photos done for your business? Share below your reasons.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional HeadshotClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why A Professional Headshot Is A Must For Business Owners

When you run your own small business, you understand that first impressions can make or break valuable relationships.

 

Oftentimes, the only thing standing between you and a new client, is a good first impression.

What makes a good professional photo?

If you’ve ever looked at a photo of yourself and cringed, you understand on some level the complexities of a great, photogenic photo.

You also probably relate to the feeling of taking a photo that makes you feel like a million bucks!

If you’ve never felt that excitement, you’re missing out.

Here’s the biggest takeaway I had from working with Taneane from Taneane Twele Photography: No matter how bad you think you look, you are the only one who thinks that.

And that’s never more clear than when you get a professional headshot done.

Your face is treated like a canvas, with all the subtleties and flourishes that make pretty pictures into masterpieces.

If you have any questions about professional headshots, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Or if you are interested in more information about how to market your business, sign up for my free newsletter.

Until next time,

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or finding it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand Identity

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand Identity; How the Business of Branding Works to Meet Your Sales and Marketing Goals

How the Business of Branding Works to Meet Your Sales and Marketing Goals

One of the most important elements in making sales is the ability to build trust and rapport with prospects.

One of the most important elements in sales is building trust & rapport with prospectsClick To Tweet

In person it’s easy.  You shake hands, strike up a conversation and build a connection.

But online sales are a bit different.

Often times you are doing business with strangers who have never met you.  They have doubts about who you are, if you can create the results they are looking for, and if you are specialized enough to understand their needs.

Moreover, today’s consumers are craving more connection and authenticity from companies they do business with.

And this is where business branding comes in. 

Business branding helps connect prospects with companies on a personal levelClick To Tweet

Your business brand defines who you are. It’s the heart of your business.  Branding helps to identify and differentiate your business in the marketplace. It defines and positions your business in order to separate you from a sea of competitors.

Branding creates an emotional connection and turns regular customers into raving fans.  But how do you build an effective brand?

Here’s 5 ways to build a business brand that will strengthen your relationship with your target market so they will be more inclined to do business with you:

  1. Claim your Niche. It’s really important to define who your perfect customers  Brands that try to appeal to a wide audience are weak.
     
    Instead, when you define your target market with a specific niche, it allows you to speak more powerfully to their needs.
  2. Be the Top Expert. Being a dentist in your home town puts you in the same class as all the other dentists in your area.
     
    But what if you are the top holistic dentist using all-natural products running a “green” dentistry practice?  That brand may attract clients from all around the country.
     
    Accentuate your strengths.  Claim your title.  If you are not the best, you can be the first, the biggest, the #1 trusted choice.
     
    Find a way to set yourself apart as top dog in your industry.  Then constantly read, learn and grow to keep your leading edge. When consumers see you as an authority they’ll seek you out.
  3. Be a WowSeth Godin talks about “Purple Cowing” your business: “Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable”.  Offering VIP value to your customers helps you stand out.
     
    Instead of just being an oil change shop, imagine if you have a cappuccino maker, offered a mini back massage, and had a big screen TV within a high-end lounge that customers could wait in. You could charge premium fees for a business with “over the top” service and amenities.
     
    Maybe you offer “freaky fast” service like the Jimmy Johns sandwich chain.  Or perhaps you offer personalized services that make your customers feel special.
     
    Do what it takes to stand out from the crowd and be remembered for something your customers will be wowed over. The more you strive to make your existing customers feel special, the more they will tell others about you.
  4. Build a Tribe. Create a community your fans can be a part of. Some ways to do that are:
    • Share frequent updates with your fan base on Social Media and in your newsletters.
    • Tell them insider information about future offers, releases or launches.
    • Give them exclusive discounts or gifts with purchase.
    • Reward them for their loyalty. We offer incentives for those who refer others to us.
    • Recognize top fans publicly.
  5. Give Back. Want your brand to become legendary?  Find ways to give back so your business brand leaves a legacy.  Here’s some ideas:

Find your own way to touch the world and leave your mark in a way that only your company can.

Struggling to Define Your Business Brand?

As much as you may love your current brand, it may not be presenting a very professional image. We can help establish a brand that showcases your business professionally. Find out more about our brand development, brand makeover, and brand communication services today!

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand IdentityClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

Why Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

How well do you know your ideal client or your target audience?

In business, there are many ways to go about getting clients. We have the service-based business where we take on clients where we work with them one-on-one or in small groups, and we have the kind of business where we are selling a commodity.

Each kind of business takes a different sales approach. The first is often more relationship-based, and the second is often more product-based.

Service-based businesses

If you’re selling a service, how often do you, as a business owner, take work that isn’t a perfect fit?

The live client is there and in front of you – so yes! You’ll take the work.

But what if you only took work that was a perfect fit for you and your business? Do you even know what a perfect fit is for your business?

Understanding your ideal client is more than knowing their age, their demographic and where they hang out online.

It’s about knowing yourself and your business offerings.

What is it that you offer that’s unique to you?

Why would people want to hire you over anyone else?

Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you get really clear on what your strengths are as a business and who you’re really after in an ideal client:

Analysis of Core Strengths:

  1. If a complete stranger were to come up to you and you had no idea their background or what their interests might be, what would you tell them that you did?
  2. What do you know you do better than almost anyone else you know?
  3. What is it that you love to do and would gladly do for free? No matter what?
  4. What’s your track record? What are your most favourite clients or projects and why?

Analysis of Ideal Client:

  1. Describe the last client who hired you. What was their:
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. How did they hear about you?
  2. Now do a review of the clients who have hired you over the past year. Create a spreadsheet analysis of their commonalities.
  3. Rate, on a scale of 1-10, how much you enjoyed working with each one of them.
  4. What are you learning?

Product-based businesses

What if you’re selling a product?

It’s the latest, greatest thing to hit the travel community or the housewares department.

This involves a broader approach to your sales and still requires you really getting connected to why your ideal client (or target audience) would buy your product.

This can really help when designing PR campaigns to reach them.

What are your target audiences looking for?

Why might they buy the product?

What else can you do to cross-promote the product? E.g. If you are selling a travel accessory, writing articles and creating content that creates an experience for the reader would be a great way to promote your product.

But the catch is you need to know where they hang out, what they read, where they get their news, and what they like to do for fun.

Analysis of Your Product:

  1. Is your product a luxury or needs-based product?
  2. Is your product something that will be repeatedly purchased or is it likely a one-time only purchase?
  3. What need are you filling when people purchase this product?
  4. Can you create an experience around this product? i.e. is it just coffee that you’re selling or are you selling friendship and a relaxing moment in your day?
  5. When would people likely think of purchasing your product?

Analysis of Ideal Customer:

  1. Describe your ideal customer – why would they purchase your product?
  2. What do you know about your ideal customer?
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. Where do they purchase your product?
  3. What’s the need you are filling when they purchase your product?
  4. What other things do your customers have in common? For example, if they are purchasing a travel-related product, what else might they purchase and where?

The more we know about your ideal customer or client the more we can use different marketing and communications techniques to reach them.

Here is a list of different ways that you can advertise to your ideal client or customer without them feeling like you’re selling to them:

  1. Blog articles
  2. News media stories that mention your product or establish a need for your product
  3. Speaking Engagements at events
  4. Client or customer contact events
  5. Referrals from previous customers or clients
  6. Social media posts
  7. Sponsorship of causes you care about
  8. Posting opinion pieces that raises your company’s profile
  9. Entering contests that promote your business
  10. Giving away product promotion pieces that have people remember you

The better you know your ideal client or your target audience, the more likely these PR tactics will reach them and turn into sales for you!

About the Author, Susan Elford

Kathryn Wilking

Susan Elford, PR Strategist & Leadership Coach, works with start-ups and seasoned entrepreneurs to help them get real about their strengths and celebrate them so they get more of what they want; clients, exposure and success, while living a life of balance.

Visit Susan at www.elfordcommunications.com for traditional PR support and www.susanelford.com for a look into how she works with her coaching clients.