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The Unexpected Benefits of Professional Branding Shots
Tomorrow morning, I’m booked in to have new business branding photos taken.
A professional headshot photo shoot, complete with hair and makeup, wardrobe considerations and professional studio. I met my chosen photographer at the start of the year at an event and felt comfortable with her almost immediately. But after a tough year, and since I’m normally a behind-the-camera person, it was easy to keep putting it off.
When I finally made that call I was in for a much greater return than just a set of promotional photos. I already knew the benefits of professional photos, but what I didn’t count on was what I’d discover about myself and my business as I made the journey from initial inquiry to photoshoot event:
1. Describing my business out loud.
To start the process, we had a 30-minute discovery call with the purpose being to find out what it was I actually wanted. What I would use the photos for and what my business was all about. What I wanted the photos to look like.
I’ve recently changed the direction of my business. And while I’ve spent a lot of time talking goals and running ideas past coaches and consultants, writing and reviewing business plans; I hadn’t actually refined the verbal description of what I do and what I want to achieve.
While I was fumbling my way through answering these questions, I realised that with all of my research and development in redeveloping my business for 2018, there were a lot of areas I’d missed looking at. Since then I’ve been able to fill in some gaps and have a really solid base to launch off into 2018.
2. How do I want to be perceived?
I’d never given much thought to how I wanted to be perceived. I always thought that was something I couldn’t control, but I was really wrong. Headshots and logos are most commonly the first interaction a customer or client will have with your business, so it’s important that what you’re putting out there is how you want to be known as a business or professional.
As soon as I booked the session, I started panicking. I don’t really have any traditional ‘business’ clothes; I have to go shopping … But that isn’t me. I’m a creative, who you’ll more commonly find in jeans and converse sneakers, and my images need to reflect that. I was able to go through my existing wardrobe and set some outfits with intention, which will also now become almost a uniform and are 100% me.
3. Streamlining business image.
Thinking about how and where I needed to use the images, and how I wanted to be perceived, led me to thinking about my business image as a whole. Was everything I was planning really a true reflection of me?
Honestly, most of it was. But some of it was what I thought I needed to do, to be ‘professional’. And these were things that hadn’t been sitting comfortably with me because ultimately, they weren’t authentic. So, I went back to basics. Looked at my big goals and rethought the steps I needed to make them happen.
4. Set stalled projects in motion.
I had a number of projects that were missing something, although I hadn’t been able to pinpoint what, so they’d stalled. With all the work, I’d done so far thinking about business image and refining my journey; I’d successful set the majority of these projects back in motion. And the ones I didn’t, were reviewed and either altered to fit my new plan or thrown out.
5. Something fun at the end of a long year.
So, most people’s idea of fun probably isn’t getting in front of a camera, and if I’m honest, neither is mine. But the thought of being pampered in hair and makeup while reflecting on my year is. A quiet moment (kid and phone free) to think about how far I’ve come and what I’ve got ahead.
And finally, being able to get crazy and creative, maybe even a little silly. Business can be so serious and a lot of times stressful, and this is an opportunity to inject some personality and let loose!
So, if you’ve been thinking about investing in a new marketing product or service for your business, make sure you take full advantage of the process and look at your business as a whole. It’s incredible to think that just the action of booking a branding photoshoot could have saved me from heading down the wrong business path.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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