Dr. Sarabeth Berk is the leading expert on hybrid professional identity, and a hybrid professional herself. She was featured in Forbes, and is a TEDx
How to Build a Next Level Personal Branding Portfolio
So much of booking new clients and scaling your business as a personal branding photographer comes from one thing, and one thing alone: getting people really excited about and connected to your work.
It makes sense when you think about it, huh? Certain people are drawn to certain styles of photography, and your ideal clients will be pulled to the way YOU do things. They’ll love your editing style, your poses, your vibe, and the stories you tell in your photos — because they want you to tell their stories, too!
The only way to get there, though? By creating a personal branding portfolio that actually showcases your work so new clients can find you. There are really few things as important as portfolios for photographers — and, if you do them the right way, you can start to excite and engage a whole new round of people who want to work with you.
Here’s what you need to know about absolutely killing it with your personal branding portfolio:
Why you need a personal branding portfolio
First off, if you’re wondering WHY the heck you need a personal branding portfolio, let me tell ya:
- Because you owe it to yourself to put a face to your business you’re proud of.
- It’s like your resume, online business card, and proof of excellence… all rolled into one.
Personal branding photography is unique in itself, and — like all photography — its unique to each person, too. By creating a personal branding portfolio, you’ll be able to actually show how your vision comes to life. More importantly, your future and potential clients will be able to picture themselves inside that vision… and that’s absolutely essential.
Having a personal branding portfolio also lets you house all of your favorite work in one place, gives people insight into what makes your business different, and helps you build your network. By having a personal branding portfolio that you can point people directly towards, you’ve created a lead-generating machine. It’s that simple.
6 Tips for Creating a Next Level Personal Branding Portfolio
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to create this massive, complicated, expensive custom website to house your personal branding portfolio. Great work stands for itself, and your personal branding portfolio is the same way. By following a couple of smart guidelines, you can easily create a portfolio that attracts the right attention and positions you as the expert you are. Here’s what you need to know:
- Keep it consistent: Remember that people will want to work with you if your style aligns with theirs — and then put that into action with images that consistently show your style and your technique. While trying new things is always fun, your personal branding portfolio should primarily show images that feed into each other and reflect your typical shoot. Remind yourself that most of the people coming to your portfolio are doing so to take a look at the work that THEY can imagine themselves in, and take steps to create that experience online.
- Remember your target audience: When you’re building your personal branding portfolio, ask yourself what clients you’re doing this to attract — and then keep that in mind. From the messaging that accompanies your photos to the photos themselves, work to continually stand out to that target audience of yours. (If you’re not sure who exactly your target audience is, it’s definitely worth putting in the work to figure it out.)
- Give a diverse view of your work: While the images themselves need to stay relatively consistent in your personal branding portfolio, that doesn’t mean that the people do. Make a point to share a diverse portfolio of work, from the clients you work with all the way to the locations you shoot in and the industries you’ve shot for. Your target audience isn’t just one person, so reflect that in your portfolio.
- Showcase what makes you stand out: When people land on your portfolio, they want to see something that they personally connect with — and that’s always going to be something that makes you stand out and makes your business different. So, what does that look like for you? Is it the way you capture light? Is it the way you inject personality into every shoot? Is it the way you guide your clients to tell their own stories? Land on that — and show it off.
- Always, always call people to action: The ultimate goal of your personal branding portfolio is to get people to book with you, so make it super easy! Drop a call to action on every single page, whether it’s in your website footer or you add a “book now” button on each photo description. By making it a no-brainer for people to book with you, more of them will book with you. It’s really that simple!
- Ask for opinions: I’m a huge fan of collaborating in my business, which means I love having loved ones and fellow photographers take a look at any new offerings or portfolio updates. Asking for an outside perspective can make a huge difference in the things that you may not have even noticed (like a page that seems hard to navigate or wording that just doesn’t sound right).
Trust me, friend — I know that running a personal branding photography business involves a lot of moving parts (like… all the time). From client outreach all the way to editing photos, there’s a lot to keep up with. But, your personal branding portfolio doesn’t have to be a stressor! Instead, let it make your business easier. I promise it’s possible — like, really, really promise.
If you’re ready to start building out your own personal branding portfolio, I have you covered here with this free download that tells you the 10 things you *need* to start building a killer portfolio. Swipe it here!
So much of booking new clients and scaling your business as a personal branding photographer comes from one thing, and one thing alone: getting people
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