Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a solopreneur or the founder of a company — to help your audience remember you and associate you with your offer, you must show your face regularly on socials.
I know it feels safer to hide behind a laptop or stock photos. Your brand is so much more than a logo, though. Your audience wants to see the real person behind it. In fact, LinkedIn posts with images tend to get a two times higher comment rate, and photos with faces perform almost 40% better on Instagram.
Plus, your audience interacts with countless accounts and is bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day. They’ll be much more likely to remember you if they can associate your face with your brand and type of services or products.
Here’s exactly how you can use your personal brand photos effectively and strategically on your social media.
Related: 5 Reasons Your Business Won’t Survive the Recession Without This Crucial Tool
Snap the right photos to begin with
The aim is to reinforce your brand and show up authentically but professionally. So, don’t resort to low-quality selfies!
The best option is obviously to work with a personal branding photographer. That way, for a one-off investment, you’ll have a folder of magazine-worthy photos that you can repurpose regularly.
If you can’t afford it right now, however, you can set aside a day to shoot your own self-portraits. Ask a friend who’s already quite good with a camera or, if you can’t, use a tripod with a timer or remote control.
Either way, plan everything beforehand. You’re not after some pretty shots — you need photos that complement your brand and inspire a connection with your audience.
So, prepare a shot list, pick the right outfits, choose a location that’s relevant to your vibe and consider booking hair and makeup to get a confidence boost, if you’d like.
Related: How to Prepare for a Personal Branding Photoshoot Like a Pro (and Why It Matters)
Post a mixture of headshots and lifestyle pics
Smiling and looking at the camera will help you make a more personal and eye-catching first impression. However, there’s more to personal brand photos than that. You also want to welcome your audience into your world.
You could post photos that involve:
- Headshots showcasing your personality (not the usual rigid, corporate poses)
- Doing your work, whether that’s typing on your laptop or speaking on a stage
- Talking with a client (Hint: for this photoshoot, it can easily be a friend of yours)
- Behind-the-scenes shots
For example, I often post photos in which I’m photographing my clients or where you can see my quirky home studio in the background.
Wear clothes that match your brand
This is an important element to take into consideration when planning your personal branding photoshoot.
Your clothes shouldn’t be an afterthought or a random decision. They can actively help you reinforce your branding and set the right tone.
- Incorporate your brand colors into your outfits and accessories
- Choose garments that complement your brand words. If you want to be perceived as “casual and approachable,” that black suit might not be the best choice. Going for a calm vibe? Then aim for a soothing palette and more monochrome clothes rather than loud colors and prints
- Keep it real: Wear outfits that you’d also choose when meeting your clients for the first time. After all, your photos will be doing exactly that on your socials, even when you’re sleeping.
Related: 6 Positive Changes That Come When You Start Showing Authenticity in Your Business
Use relevant props in your photos
Not only will this help you create a wider variety of shots, but it’ll also remind your audience of what you do every single time you post them.
Of course, the type of props will depend on what your business is about. They could range from your laptop to a camera and much more. Still, the most important thing is to use them naturally, just like you would in real life.
For example, one of my clients is a music educator and performer for children, so we took several shots of her playing her ukulele and holding colorful boom whackers.
Create on-brand graphics with your photos
When photographing my clients, I use backgrounds that I then edit to match their exact brand colors. If you’re taking your own photos, you can try and do that against a monochrome vertical surface and then use software like Photoshop to replace it.
This will allow you to add text to create clear, on-brand and attention-grabbing graphics. If you haven’t got a graphic designer, get creative with tools like Canva.
On social media, these types of graphics are especially useful for:
- Offers and launches
- Quotes or testimonials
- Covers for reels and TikTok videos
Related: Getting The Most Value Out Of Your Brand Identity Design
Have some cohesive profile photos across all your platforms
Finally, using personal brand photos on social media goes beyond the actual posts. Create and maintain a consistent presence by having the same high-quality headshot for all your accounts.
- Consider having your main brand color as a monochrome background to increase brand awareness.
- Use the same photo on your website, email and additional platforms, too. That way, you’ll inspire a sense of familiarity in your audience, and your social media will feel like a natural extension of your core marketing channels.
- Choose a different but cohesive photo for your banners.
Once you’ve done all this consistently for a few months, you’ll stop being just another characterless social media account. Instead, your audience will associate your face with your name, brand and offer. So, start with a new photoshoot and shoot for the stars!