Does the below seem all too familiar, or am I the only crazy one in the room?
It’s late at night. The dishes have been washed after dinner. The day is done and you’re enjoying that extra piece of chocolate you promised yourself. You’re scrolling through your news feeds: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn… back to Instagram again… then back to LinkedIn just once more, thinking something might have changed since even just 30 seconds ago (we all do it, right?).
It’s a repetitive habit, but every now and then we actually do find something that catches our eye. Or should we more accurately say, we find someone that catches our eye!
Think about it. Social media is exactly that: social.
It is designed to grab our attention by means of what the people around us are doing – and we, the user, take every opportunity to soak up that social soap opera as possible.
And this is why so many of the small business owners who aim to hide behind their logo or website branding find themselves so unfortunately behind the times when it comes to the way social media can be leveraged for business.
When using social media, people want to connect with people.
They don’t want to connect with a business’ logo, the front page of their website or an encouraging tagline. They want to connect with a face, a personality… a human being.
They want to reach out to a business through social media and receive an empathetic reply from someone who understands their needs. They want to know they’ll be able to truly connect with the business owner who’s here to solve their greatest problems.
They don’t want to have a coffee with a logo sitting across from them, they want to be able to say ‘it’s good to actually finally meet you in person!’
And it doesn’t just stop at the coffee.
The social media approach to marketing and selling ourselves has a profound impact throughout all layers of business. Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing at the small business level don’t happen when our buyers tell their friends and family about our logo or website, they happen when they tell them about us, the person.
Recognition at networking events, keynote presentations and within online communities happens when others see us, the person. Crowds and followers love to align with the personalities that inspire them and who cause them to ‘if this person can do something, then we all can’.
And the first opportunity we give our market to see us for who we are as a person? Our personal branding photos, of course – and it has been that way for decades now. Social media has only made this fact even more widespread (and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon).
If first impressions count, then our personal branding images count more than just about any other part of our branding strategy.
This is why it’s so critical our personal branding photos are not only updated and improved regularly, but they also represent who we truly are as a personality in business.
Give your market the chance to reach out and say ‘hey!’ to you, the person.
Give them the chance to say, ‘I feel like we were just meant to meet each other’.
Give them the chance to say, ‘As soon as I saw you I knew we had to chat’.
And most importantly, make it easy for them to approach you and ask ‘would you help me solve my problem?’
Is it recommended to invest energy into the logo, branding and website design of your small business? Absolutely – it matters. But only when it’s been paired with the personal, human touch that personal branding images give us.
Because without the human aspect, we miss our opportunity to truly connect with and touch the lives of those we love to deliver value to most.
Our buyers are looking at our online images right now, tonight while we’re tucked up in bed asleep, and they’ll be looking at them tomorrow as well. If you know it’s time to nail your first impression and truly connect with your buyers, then book in your personal branding photos with Jo Westaway Photography today on 07 3202 7275
Jo is owner, photographer and visual designer of Jo Westaway Photography, creating authentic, meaningful and oh-so-gorgeous portrait and personal branding photography to ensure you stand out, connect with your buyers and achieve the results you deserve in business.