In a prior post, I told you a little about the benefits of personal brand photography for online entrepreneurs and influencers. Today I want to talk about a key aspect of this type of photography. Telling your brand stories in photos. Your followers want to know they’re connecting with a real person. It seems every day I see another article or hear a podcast confirming that you’ll get more engagement on social media if you share parts of yourself. What you’re known for above and beyond what you do or create. Heck, even on my personal Instagram, I get more engagement when I share a picture of my family or of my pets than I do on some of my favorite fine art shots. People just connect with them more personally.
But how do we share your personal brand to help your business grow? Well, to start, identify your personal brand stories—what parts of you do you want to reflect on your business? What parts of you would your audience, your customers or followers, best connect with? Are you a mom with a mini-van full of kids? Do you love yoga? Are you a sucker for travel? What is it about you that makes you like the people you want to reach?
Let’s take a look at an example.
My husband loves to do pottery. Someday he hopes to open a studio and move beyond gifting his pieces to friends and family. While learning the craft, he’s created a ton of cups and mugs. I use them for coffee, but he prefers to fill them with beer. You see, he LOVES beer. Especially microbrews and specifically IPAs. For his 50th birthday, he asked for a shopping spree at a nearby establishment known for it’s extensive beer selection.
I don't want to use the word "snob," but he is pretty picky about it. Not one to suffer through a bottle he doesn't like, he'll pour it down the sink and move on to the next. And he's opted for water at more than one party when the beer options weren't inspiring.
One of his day dreams is to team up with a local brew pub to create custom ceramic beer mugs for their regulars. He’s been to a few pubs that offer that, and though he doesn’t have his own mug anywhere, he loves the concept. But, to start, he figures he’ll sell individual mugs his fellow beer lovers can use at home.
Clearly, he’ll want to grow a following of people like him, who love beer, regardless of whether they’re in the market for a beer mug. Sure, he’ll pepper his posts with pictures of the mugs he’s crafted, but it's not just about peddling his wares. He’ll need to go beyond that and share more of himself and his beer experiences. He needs to illustrate that he’s a kindred spirit, to share visuals and stories that will draw in people like him, make connections. If he shares a part of himself, they’ll get to know him. And who knows, someday down the line, if they're in the market for a custom set of beer mugs, they’ll know exactly where to turn.
There are a slew of options when it comes to visuals for this particular storyline. Here’s a small teaser gallery to get you thinking. Pictures of some of his completed mugs, him enjoying a flight at a local brew pub, detail shots of glasses and bottle openers, and of course, him snapping a pic of the beer he’s about to enjoy. That one makes me laugh. He and his beer buddy Mike trade photos of their beer selections every weekend. They’re truly a match made in heaven.
No doubt, Mike would make periodic guest appearances in his feed, as would photos of:
Our collection of Belgian beer glasses—we have 20!
Opening, pouring, and OF COURSE, drinking a beer. Preferably using one of the mugs he’s made for himself.
Growlers. We have a collection of those, too.
My husband at his pottery wheel busy “throwing" a beer mug.
Really, there are tons of options. His library of pictures would include wide angle shots, some with extra "white space" he can use to add a fun beer-related quote. We’d also capture tight, detail shots—with and without him—to focus on a specific aspect of his love story with beer. And we'll capture more shots each quarter to take advantage of all those seasonal brews! He'll rotate these shots in with his other brand stories and have enough photos to post every day.
So, with that example in mind, how can we translate your brand stories into engaging visuals?