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Building a knockout personal brand

Updated: Feb 18

Our 5-step plan to make you stand out from the crowd and attract the right sort of client. I'm going to take you step-by-step through the process we take all our clients through when they're building a new brand; from "what the hell am I doing" through to curating a knockout online presence that clients flock to see.

Step 1

This is by far the most important question you will ask yourself as an entrepreneur:


Who are you?


This may seem like a simple question. But I'm not asking your name here, or for a 5 second summary of what you do for a living. I want you to go deep. Stop right now and take a few minutes to really really think about who you are. What is it that you believe in? What is it that you want from this business journey? What is it that gets you excited and makes you go that extra mile?

Does your brand show the real you? Are you attracting the right clients? Are you selling yourself or just your product? Be true to who you are and then shout it from the rooftops!

Every successful brand has a super-solid foundation. And that's what we're building here. You need to know 100% who you are, what you stand for and why you're doing this in order to build a consistent and coherent message for your audience.

Don't be afraid to be your true self - people won't invest in anything less. Be totally, unapologetically you and your tribe will follow, your business will grow and your happiness will flourish.


Step 2

So, now you know yourself a little better, it's time to get to know your audience:


Who is your ideal client?


I don't mean who bought your stuff last week and I don't mean "anyone with lots of money". You need to market yourself towards a particular type of person. Picture this person in your head. What kind of job do they have? What do they wear? Where do they shop? What do they need? What motivates them?

These are the people you need to attract more of so you need to know them inside-out. And once you do, ask yourself - How can I add value to their lives and why do they need me?

One of the core mistakes new brands make is trying to appeal to everybody. Be confident in who your message is speaking to.

Step 3

You know yourself. You know the clients you want to attract. Now, to make you stand out from the crowd and make sure those people see you.


What's special about you?


What makes you so much better than your competition? What do you do that makes you that bit different? For us, it was our adventurous lifestyle and the simple fact that there are two of us - double the expertise, double the ideas, double the image opportunities, but hopefully not double the trouble! So that's where we leaned with our marketing - play to your strengths.

Identifying your uniqueness is a great way to attract new customers. Remind them what they need and why you are their answer.

With this exercise, make sure you're not using the same terms as everyone else in your industry - focus on the unique aspects. For example, for us photographers being "creative" or "professional" isn't a selling point, it's expected. So take a good look at your competitors and ask yourself what it is that makes you the one to hire.


Step 4

The next step is starting to think about the aesthetics of your brand. This is a huge area that I'll do a whole blog post on this soon, but to get you started the first question is:

How should clients feel when they see your brand?


What do people saying about you after you leave a room? What emotions do you inspire in others when they see you posts? What is their instant gut reaction when they view your webpage for the first time?

Be under no illusion - the majority of people buy with their hearts, not their heads, so that emotional response is paramount.

Is your "feel" relaxed, professional, natural? Is it inspiring, reassuring, reliable? This "feel" will run through every aspect of your visual marketing, so imagine yourself as your ideal client and pretend you are seeing this brand for the first time. How does it make you feel?


Step 5

Of course the final step, is putting all this into action. Again, a massive topic in itself, but put that fear aside and make a start. You have your solid foundation, so now is the time to start building.


Build your online presence


The key here is two things - building a brand that is all about you, and is also all about what your audience wants to see. Easy right?! Look at your social media and website through your client's eyes. Are you giving them something they need? Are you engaging with them and adding value to their lives? Are you selling a story or just a product?

If your social media account is a long list of products and offers, people won't be interested in following you. Make your content of interest to them, make it relevant. What can you give away that makes them want to see more?

Make your business human, make your product about you, engage and be real.

Thanks for reading and be sure to give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook and take a wander around our website. Get in touch and tell us what you think and also what other blog posts you'd like to see.

The photos here come from two of our recent shoots with the wonderful business growth mentor Helen of helenvandenberghe.com and the divine doula Michelle of www.michellethedoula.com

#barefootyourbrand #smallbusinesslife #buildingyourbrand #brandinginspiration

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© 2020 Barefoot Photographers

Personal branding and product photographers for Cambridge, Suffolk, Essex and beyond

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