Your Brand Images

From Rookie to Pro: Elevate Your Brand Series

I am sure you are feeling, or have felt this… I am new, who am I to tell people how or what to do/buy or be, right?  Or… I DIYed my branding and website SO…you feel less than adequate.

 

But here’s the thing… we ALL started somewhere, and I don’t know when, where or who said we have to be ashamed of that? Maybe no one said it, we just thought it and made it OUR reality.

Well, I am here to tell you it’s ok to be a rookie, but here’s the twist. The trick is, you don’t have to show it.  Again, not that there’s anything wrong with it, but there’s just no need. There are a few things you can do TODAY, to make your biz, your brand, look the part. And that’s what we are going to talk about in this blog series.

Learn what the importance of professional images can do for your brand. If you want to make your branding look more like a pro then you need to be more intentional about how you use and the quality of those pictures.
An image is worth a 1000 words. I say an image is worth 1000$. Learn how your images may be sending the wrong message and how to change that with a free mini-guide and free stock photos to get you started on the right track.

ROOKIE IS A STATE OF MIND — Last year, I spent the summer in Poland. Amazing place by the way! Besides the point, just had to say it…One day, a man approached my better half and I and said in broken English. We open new restaurant, come visit and get free drink, own beer…I could already see D was happy with the sound of those words. He loves beer and Poland is well known for brewing interesting beers.

Anyhoeeee…fast-forward to the next day, we strolled aaalll the 15 steps from our place to the new restaurant and were welcomed by the guy from the day before. Within 2 minutes we had a selection of small wine glasses in front of us. But wait, —we thought— didn’t you say you had your own beer?  While he placed the glasses on the table he proceeded to explained that the beers he was expecting hadn’t arrived yet, but instead, he said:  “here’s a small selection of our wines so you can try them.” BRILLIANT I thought.

See, first he anticipated that by luring us in with the promise of beers we will indeed be asking for beers. So in anticipation to our request he offered us a small selection to wet our appetite and build anticipation for the ‘next time’ already assuming we will be back for more. And, oh did we indeed! The place turned out to be one of the best places we ate in our stay in Rzeszów.

You see the point in this metaphor is this. Instead of apologizing for being new/not finished  which we knew (he wasn’t hiding it); he took matters in his own hands and turn this fact to his advantage. And this is what we need to do with our brands and business.

This applies to both brand new businesses but also to business that may or may not have their brands all that together just yet.

So let’s stop apologizing and using whatever obstacle you see as an excuse to NOT be the best you can be TODAY! At the end of the day is not a pretty logo, beautiful colours that will seal the deal. Is everything together.

From Rookie to Pro

The reality is that if you are in business whether serviced based or selling products it’s because you have a certain expertise in certain area. That makes you an EXPERT, yes YOU my darling you are an expert in something that I and many other don’t know about.

However, a lot of us are not doing a good job as establishing that authority and that’s what we need to change. ASAP!

How do we establish authority?

Simple, by being present… If we don’t show up in front of our potential clients/customers how do they know we exist right? I am sure you have heard that saying people buy from people they Know, Like and Trust! This takes time, we need to build a relationship with them, after all you don’t expect to get a proposal on your first date right?

And how do we ensure that potential clients/customers hang around to get to Know, Like and Trust us?  One of the most important aspects it to have a solid, professional looking brand. We need to make sure that our presence looks PRO so that our visitor’s first impression is a good one and create the feeling that we know what we are doing even if ‘our beer hasn’t arrived yet’ After all first impressions count A LOT so lets make sure we give out a good one.

“…I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling but daring still.”

MAYA ANGELOU

Three tweaks to look more like a pro

  1. Using professional images.
  2. Adding value.
  3. Being consistent.

Using professional Images.

The number one thing that screams rookie, unprofessional, newbie, not there yet, has to be using low quality images. What do I mean by low quality? Lets look at these two pictures below. Which one are you more drawn to? Which one makes you think maybe it was taken in a fancy studio with lots of fancy equipment?

This image is taken in poor lighting condition and the composition is not very interesting.

No complicated equipment, just natural light and intentional setup can make all the difference.

I know what you may be thinking:

  • You are a photographer so of course you are going to say that.
  • I don’t have a professional camera.
  • I can’t afford professional pictures.
  • I can just google and use those pretty pictures right?

Here’s my take on that.

You are a photographer so of course you are going to say that.

Yes, I am a professional photographer, but NO that’s it not the reason why. Let’s put it to the test. Which of the two pictures do you like best? Which one do you think looks more professional? The kicker? I took both

Having professional images for your website to me tell your visitors and potential clients that you care, that you are serious, so seriously that you invest in your business and that shows by your branding and images is part of that experience you will give them when they stop by.

You don’t have a professional camera you say?

If you look at my Instagram, I would say probably 80% of my images there were taken with my iPhone. And before you tell me you don’t have an iPhone what you can do with one you can do with most smart phones.

You are a photographer so of course you are going to say that.

Yes, I am a professional photographer, but NO that’s it not the reason why. Let’s put it to the test. Which of the two pictures do you like best? Which one do you think looks more professional? The kicker? I took both

Having professional images for your website to me tell your visitors and potential clients that you care, that you are serious, so seriously that you invest in your business and that shows by your branding and images is part of that experience you will give them when they stop by.

You don’t have a professional camera you say?

If you look at my Instagram, I would say probably 80% of my images there were taken with my iPhone. And before you tell me you don’t have an iPhone what you can do with one you can do with most smart phones.

I can’t afford professional pictures.

While of course I would strongly suggest that you hire a professional to take your pictures. It does not have to break the bank. You can even find someone who is willing to take some pictures for you in exchange for something you can help them with. Or even get only a few shots if they provide a picture per picture service.

I can just google and use those pretty pictures right?

Alright, let me take a deep breath before I say anything I will regret. This topic requires a full blogpost on its own for me to be able to even scratch the surface. But I feel I have to say. NOOOOO

Just because there are beautiful imagery in google does not mean we can google something and just use the pictures we find. No, not, nop, noppidy nop.

I can’t afford professional pictures.

While of course I would strongly suggest that you hire a professional to take your pictures. It does not have to break the bank. You can even find someone who is willing to take some pictures for you in exchange for something you can help them with. Or even get only a few shots if they provide a picture per p

I can just google and use those pretty pictures right?

Alright, let me take a deep breath before I say anything I will regret. This topic requires a full blogpost on its own for me to be able to even scratch the surface. But I feel I have to say. NOOOOO

Just because there are beautiful imagery in google does not mean we can google something and just use the pictures we find. No, not, nop, noppidy nop.

And just to help you avoid breaking any laws I am gifting you with 3 beautiful images that you CAN use to your heart’s content. Yeap! no restrictions other than you can’t sell them, or claim them as your own of course. Other than that feel free to use them as you need them go here to get them. 

The proof is in the pudding.

So how do I know that having professional photography helps you elevate your brand? Just look at my latest client’s results from her branding photoshoot. 

One of Maggie’s main complaint with her old pictures was that it didn’t represent who she really is, or what she wanted to portrait in her business. For a while she was struggling with how to bring in her little intricacies in a way that was fun, creative and effective.

Well, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Not only did we have a blast in the photoshoot. By adding a few props Maggie was able to bring in a part of her that she felt was lacking in her business. And even more amazing she created a whole service around her love (dare I say obsession with Lord of the Rings).

And what did it do to her brand? Well, social media exploded when she posted the new pictures.  Even more cool, as we speak she is busy with launching a super duper -fantasy included- super event. Stay tuned for more details on that on my social media. And for me? Well,  the most important this is that she is super excited with the results!

I love my new brand photos. Maria-Ines captured my personality and what I bring to my clients, and translated that beautifully into images. I’ve already gotten so much more engagement online, and I’ve had the photos up for just a week! I’ve also immediately put them into my marketing material, my website, and social media images. My only regret is that I didn’t work with Maria-Ines sooner!.”

MAGGIE GIELE

So as you see, images are much more important than a lot of business owners like to think. I truly hope that I have at least tickle your curiosity on what and how, professional images can do to elevate your brand. No need to feel overwhelm start small, but start! Being more intentional with your images, where and what you share on social media etc and you will start to see a difference. This is already a huge topic that we will continue to cover in future posts. But for now I urge you to look at your website, your social media, etc and take down any pictures that scream rookie and are doing a disservice to you and your brand!

That’s it for now!

Hugs,

Maria-Ines

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