Think of someone you respect on social media who you’ve never met in person. Someone who inspires you and who you look up to for their message and accomplishments. There are probably a few reasons why you chose to follow that person, but whatever they are, all of those reasons add up to one thing: they have a presence that drew you in. If you’ve ever been in a room with someone who really has a commanding presence this is probably even easier to understand. It works the same way, but it’s even more difficult to master when you’re in a virtual space. It means that the words you choose and the images you post need to add up to equal the same effect you could have if you were standing proudly on a stage, walking boldly through a room, or shaking someone’s hand with confident eye contact.
Social media captions are increasingly important, but you need to post an authoritative and interesting image to draw someone in and get them to read what you’re saying. And you have to do this repeatedly for it to hit home with your followers.
Here are a few ways that custom brand photography helps you to build a commanding presence online (which leads to bigger brand success and customer loyalty down the road.)
Consistency builds the know-like-trust factor and customer loyalty.
Quality brand photography, when used over time, shows your audience that you mean what you say and that you run a consistent, professional business. We don’t fully trust people the first time that we meet them. We trust them when we’ve had a history of interactions with them that leave a positive impression. I don’t ask people to dog sit for me just because I met them one time and they seemed like they might be nice to animals.
When you show up repeatedly with professional imagery you’re building that trust factor that people are looking for. You’re giving them the chance to get to know you by seeing your face and reading your captions. You’re helping them find that they like you (or dislike you, which weeds out difficult clients that would otherwise be a headache later down the road.)
Quality stands out and sets the bar.
If you aren’t willing to invest in the presentation of your business with quality content and visuals, how can you expect your customers to want to invest in you? No one will ever care about your branding as much as you will, so it’s up to you to set the bar for how you want your products or services represented. It’s up to you to set the tone for the look and feel of your branding and marketing. This is why I strongly advise against having a social media strategy that is largely composed of reposting your customer’s images until you’ve done such a good job of raising the bar that you have high-quality options to choose from and mix into your regular posting schedule.
Nike is a perfect example to point to when it comes to commanding photography. Their images are on-brand, powerful, and reiterate Nike’s position as an industry leader. The quality and professionalism of their branding stands out in what is now a saturated marketing of fitness companies.
Your images will look entirely different based on your industry and personality, but they should have the same net effect.
Presence is the result of a sum of parts.
Going back to the idea of someone filling a room with their presence, this doesn’t just happen because that person had a good hair day or knows how to give a good handshake. It’s because that person has mastered so many touchpoints with their interactions and reputation that they truly stand out and command attention. Building an online presence is no different: it is the sum of all of the efforts that you put into showing that you are worth taking seriously.
Branding is a lot more than a visual thing. But quality visuals that are inspired by a solid brand are often the first touchpoint that people have with you. It’s important to make sure you’re mastering these early touchpoints since they all add (or subtract) from the customer experience you are creating. When you give the world clarity about who you are you open the door to your ideal clients to find you and decide to work with you.
Wondering how to get started? Check out my free download on how to develop your brand photography style. And you can always reach out to me if you have questions!