Do you want more clients? You have to incorporate your face & your brand, friend! Here’s how showing your face leads to more clients…
We’re always being told to show our face when it comes to showing up for our clients & potential clients. Something that we don’t dive into when it comes to this is the why. Why should we show up, show our face and make sure we’re incorporating our brand? Well, today we’re diving into all of that with Brittany Bennion. So, before we get into how showing your face leads to more clients…Brittany, please introduce yourself to my audience.
Brittany: I am a personal branding photographer based out of Utah. My background is like most photographers, I was able to dabble around in photography, doing a little bit of this here & a little bit of that there. I have had a background in business for the last 15 years, it’s what I went to school for, I have run or owned a small business (including my photography business) for 15 years now.
There came a point in my business where I knew I needed to make a shift and niche down. I asked myself, “what do I love doing?”. The answer was quite simple, I love working with women, I come from a family of all girls, I have the strongest mom you have ever seen. She has taught my sisters & I that we can do anything & be anything we wanted to be. I came to a point that that blessing in my life was not freely given to everyone, and that a lot of times, especially women feel like they can’t step up & be their own person sometimes. A lot of times, we find ourselves saying, “we want to start our own business”; whether that’s for themselves or maybe they’re all of sudden the sole breadwinner of their family.
So, I said to myself, I love working with women, I love empowering women in their business so why don’t I focus on photographing women in their business. That’s where I got my start as a personal branding photographer. My background is in journalism and business & it just kind of marries the two of them. I’m also the host of the Posed for Success Podcast.
Brooke: I’m in love with your niche! If I’m being honest, I don’t feel like many people really fall into this type of category. I can see where it would be kind of hard bust in there & make a name for yourself. The other piece of that, which is kind of what we’re talking about today, which is how do you even get photographers to be clients? I love that we’re really going to nail down the importance of why does it matter that we hire photographers for ourselves, why do we need to show our face and what is the correlation to our bottom line of booking more clients? I’m so excited to dive into this & especially with you, Brittany as it is your niche!
Brooke: How do we really understand the importance of showing our face?
Brittany: I love this question and I love that we’re starting here! A lot of times we think, “Oh my work will speak for itself. So, I’m going to sit here and focus on making sure I have the best lighting, posing, styling and presets…” But, I’m here to tell you, all of that is wonderful and you should certainly have all of that; however, we’re in this age of information where it’s so simple to ensure you’re setting yourself a part from the other hundred people that can do exactly what you do with the click of the button…
The thing is, if you’re not actively telling your potential clients what it is about you specifically that sets you apart, then you are simply competing with other photographers for the bottom dollar. No one wants to be in that situation, no one wants to be price hacked to say, “who’s going to be the cheapest” and have all the clients go there.
You need to create an experience for them, and I know that Brooke has talked about this and I know that you have heard this a million times about this ‘client experience’, but it has to start with that initial handshake & greeting of seeing your face on social media, your website and seeing you being shared by their friends. If you’re not actively trying to do that, you’re losing out on clients.
Brooke: I’m going to back this up just a bit with something that I always say when we focus on marketing…when I do social media audits, the very first thing I look at, well there are two things…number 1, the profile picture…it’s time to get rid of the logo. Your profile picture needs to be an image of face! The other one is, do you mention your name anywhere in your bio or your page? I have to be able to see your name within 10 seconds or less, otherwise you’re losing out on potential clients. Yes, I know that sounds crazy — but how can they reach out to you when they don’t even know who they’re speaking to?
Again, I love the quote: “people don’t do business with businesses or logos…people choose to do business with people”.
The client experience is SO important.
Brittany: Absolutely! Take it back to a network marketing scenario. If you’re a network marketer, you’re given the exact same product, the exact same photos to use, the exact same copy, the exact same pricing, etc. So, what sets someone apart from being super successful versus mediocre or kind of wasting their time & money. We know that there is a spectrum, some are crazy successful and others aren’t. The difference is YOU!
If you think about this with any industry, you’re the person that sets YOU apart from anyone else. You have to engage with potential clients with who you are and what you bring to the table.
Brittany: I know it can be hard, you may think “oh nothing is special about me”…but, usually it’s what comes easy to you that’s special to you. When I was doing family photography (I’m a mom of 5), I always told people that there isn’t a kid out there that could drive me crazy. I have 4 boys and 1 daughter, nothing that their kid could do to drive me crazy and that really drew people to me because THAT was my superpower.
With branding, I say “I help choreograph you (I used to be a professional dancer), I help choreograph your body into a style and a pose that is natural” and women LOVE that!! They always say, “oh good because I feel so awkward in front of the camera and I don’t know what to do” and I say, “girl, don’t worry, I’ve got you!”, and, this is what sets me apart as a branding photographer.
So think about what sets you apart, if you’re struggling with “I don’t want to show my face” or “I don’t know what to say to people”, focus first on what maybe is your superpower, what would set you apart and lead with that!
Brooke: Yes. The first thing that popped into my mind when you said that was, “what is something my clients say over and over again?” And, for me, it’s how I manage the chaos and my patience…it doesn’t matter if their toddler threw a fit or how stressed out mom felt in that moment. When I deliver a client gallery, every time, I receive the same response, “you would never know ‘fill in the blank’ that this happened”.
Brooke: What do people tell you? What are you getting compliments on? Go back and read your reviews. What’s the one thing that is said over and over? And, if you’re a beginner photographer or in the beginning of your business, it may just be that “you take great photos”, but you’ll eventually figure it out! Go back to your niche, what are you trying to specialize in? Your superpower is wrapped up in your niche.
Brittany: If you’re struggling to figure it out, ask your friends and family, too because what comes easy to you may not actually may not be easy to most people and you’ll figure it out. Once you kind of get your foot in the door of “I am the person that can handle any kid in the world” or “I am the person that makes sure that if the bride is a bridezilla that I can totally calm her down”….lead with THAT. The people who want that will be attracted to you and they will want to book you.
Another thing you want to focus on when you’re showing up in your brand and for your photos is that you need to tell a story. As photographers, we are all story tellers and you know this, you’re telling a love story, you’re telling the story of a family, you’re telling a story of a birth, etc.
You have to also look back at your business and tell the story of your business. Once you know what your superpower is and you’re showing up in that way, the next thing you need to do is make sure you’re showing the story of your business.
Brittany: What does it look like for someone to engage with you? From the very beginning all the way through to the very end. That’s going to make people feel comfortable with you. You can use your photos to showcase that. What is it like for them to contact you? What do you have in your studio? Do you have amazing locations that you absolutely love to shoot at? Make it so that it is really simple for someone to know what it’s like to work with you before they even contact you.
BONUS TIP: This is an amazing way to vet clients because when you’re ready to share your prices with them they’re already like, “okay, hands down, I KNOW I feel comfortable with you and I’m ready to book!”.
Brooke: Yes. I absolutely agree. I tell people who are primarily marketing on Instagram to have a highlight that’s called “process”, one that literally leads a potential client through your client experience/journey.
Brooke: From photography aspect to when is it appropriate. How do we actually take the action steps to start showing our face?
Brittany: Perfect. Well, when we think about where we can show our face, the options are endless. So, I want you think about where your clients are currently viewing your work and start there. For many people because photography is so visual, we’d use a visual platform like Instagram. Instagram has a million different places for you to show your face; you can show it in your feed with photos of you, you can show it in your stories, you can do lives, etc. If you are not using reels, you must start doing reels and they can be so simple and so easy, there really are a million different ideas out there.
You have to focus on where your clients are and show up in that way.
I’m not going to tell you to show up every single day or five times a day. Instead, what I want you to do is figure out what works for you to start out, keep it simple and keep it consistent.
Start small, stay consistent and you can grow from there.
Brittany: It’s okay to be totally YOU!
We as women start to get stressed out over.
NO! Show up exactly how you are, right now because people will fall in love with you then. Whether or not you’re talking about your day, your process, or whatever it is. Start with not worrying about being perfect all the time because all I know is that when I see people that are perfect on Instagram and I see people that are imperfect on Instagram, I’m choosing to follow those that get me and that’s the imperfect people.
Showing up and posting what you had for breakfast every single day is not what I mean here. You do have to be intentional about what you’re posting because you want to make sure you’re speaking about things that your audience actually cares about and that what you have to say will actually engage a conversation with them.
Those are just a few of the ways you can start showing your face. There are a million different ways to do it. Pick one and stay consistent with it, keep it simple and be authentic.
Brooke: I love it! I’ve had some ideas run through my head and I always play, “if I’m a listener, what are my questions?”. So, here are some ideas…
If you’re a wedding photographer and you’re married, something to think about is, if I were a soon-to-be bride. I would be looking at your work and how you interact with your clients. Do you meet up with your couples? If so, what does that look like? Could you have someone take a picture of you meeting at a coffee shop? Show us some behind the scenes.
When it comes to you, I would actually be interested in you telling me your wedding planning process.
Same thing, I love when we as momtogs get on & show how crazy it is our own lives, but also how we can manage the chaos of our clients’ kids, too. We get so stuck in our heads about “being an influencer”, and I get it; but, you have to give something. The good news is there are different ways to do this! Here’s how to show your face to lead to more clients in your books…
Let’s talk a little bit about the photography side of this:
Brittany: I love that! So many times we as photographers say, “Oh, I know how to shoot, I have a camera, I can just do this myself”, and that’s great if you actually do it. I can tell you that most photographers will say that they’re going to do it over and over again and then end up NOT doing it.
For me the most important thing is just get it done! You’re going to find that once you start, you will be amazed at the HUGE difference you see in your business when you start putting this into action.
I’ve seen it with my clients and I’ve seen it with myself! The second I said, “I need to put my money where my mouth is and get some branding images done”, I doubled my business that year! This is how showing your face leads to more clients!
Brittany: If you’re shy, if you’re scared or if this is not something for you, find another photographer! Do a trade, guys. This is a simple solution for you. You have to let down your guard, find a photographer girlfriend, don’t think of yourselves as competitors and just get some pictures done.
You can also look for someone in your area that specializes in branding photography. Just like if you’re looking for someone to shoot a wedding, you’re not going to be looking for a newborn photographer to do that, they’re totally different genres. Find someone that knows what they’re doing with branding and someone that’s going to understand your story because once again, as photographers, we have our own style and taste, but that photographer has to understand how to capture your story. Make sure that your photographers style fits the style you’re shooting, too.
Brittany: All of you are ready for pictures. Right now you’re ready. When are you ready to take it to the next level? Once you’re SO busy and you’re ready to go to the next level, you have to do it before then! You have to be thinking ahead, always. Show up in the business as the person you want to be right now and then the clients will follow.
Brooke: I absolutely agree! I love that you said that, Brittany because I think that the biggest lie that holds everyone back is, “wait until you’re ready”. BREAKING NEWS: there is never really a time when you’re fully ready for anything.
I want to take this one step deeper and close it out with this, when you say we’re showcasing our story…can you give us a small tidbit on how we can prepare for that? I feel like if I go to Pinterest right now and I search ‘branding photos for photographers’, I’m going to see the same two things…
How do we go deeper, Brittany? What story are we really trying to portray?
Brittany: Perfect. Let’s take a newborn photographer for example…There are so many different ways you can photograph a newborn, right? If someone comes into it thinking they’re going to get a studio session versus a lifestyle newborn photographer, if they don’t understand that because you have shown them that ahead of time, they’ll either be upset or won’t book with you at all.
We have to think about the steps…what is the first thing you do as a lifestyle photographer? You’re going to need have images of you connecting with the parents, talking with them, meeting with the mom before the baby is born, etc.
You’re walking them through the process that you typically tell them about, but you’re showing them in a series of images. Think of it in a series of the client experience from start to finish.
Brooke: Oh my gosh! My mind is blown. This is amazing. It is literally taking someone behind the scenes. It’s your client journey in visuals!!
Brooke: So good! It’s so much more than smiling at the camera or holding a camera. It’s literally showing them exactly what it looks like to work with you!! And, this is how showing your face leads to more clients!
Brittany, this was GOLD! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with my audience! Can you tell us where to find your podcast because if they loved this episode as much as I did, they definitely need to listen to your podcast, too!
Brittany: Thank you! I can be found on Instagram @brandingbybrit and I also have a really great resource for you all, too! It is my Personal Branding Resource Guide, it helps you with everything; styling, locations, props, etc. And, if you want to hear more from me, you can find me on the Posed for Success Podcast!
Do you want to dive deeper into how showing your face leads to more clients, regardless of what season you’re in as a photographer? Head on over to the Book More Clients Photography Podcast to listen now!
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