A few years ago, I published Five Essential Images You Need to Market Your Brand as a resource to my clients in planning their personal branding sessions. I still use these categories today to form a foundation for the types of brand photography we need to execute your vision. However, as my work has evolved to support more heart-centered business owners, so has the framework we use to tell your visual brand story. Today I am offering you an updated version: Five Soulful Brand Images to Connect with Your Kindred Clients. With everything unfolding in the world right now, it feels more important than ever to create trust and value with our clients and communities. We can start by sharing our message clearly, showing up authentically, and inviting them into an experience with us through our imagery.
Having a curated visual style is one of the best ways to showcase the quality of service you are providing your kindred clients. Even more compelling is to align your images with your message in order to build an authentic connection. Beyond understanding the services we offer, our clients are interested in knowing what kind of experience we are promising. Meaningful photography can intuitively tell our brand story in a way that sets us apart from others in our market and elevate how we are perceived. Photos have this incredible unspoken language that can communicate our core values and create trust before our clients even meet us. (It’s also been proven that including imagery in your social posts encourages higher engagement and drives more traffic, so another win there!)
Here are some of the key types of branding photography that are essential in communicating your value and service offerings.
1.Personal Branding Images / Creative Portraits
We want to see you! Images that feature you and your personality are key to connecting with your dream clients. Why? Because they are looking to hire someone they know, like, and trust, and you are their guide in the process. A warm, inviting, authentic photo helps clients feel like they know you even a little before they reach out. It makes you feel accessible and like a real person. While being in the spotlight can feel vulnerable or even self-indulgent, ultimately it’s about creating a safe space for them to work with you. When we put ourselves out there, they see a real human behind the screen, and they are more willing to reach out.
It’s also an opportunity to share more about your mission and how you can serve them. It’s the quickest way to get to the heart and soul of what you do and share a little bit about who you are. Clients make purchasing decisions based on emotion, and photos of you showing up in your radiance are key part of the emotional connection. If they can feel as if they know you before they’ve even had a chance to chat with you, you’re one step closer to working with them. How many photos you use of yourself depends on the kind of work you do. You know your clients best. But at the very minimum, you should have 2-3 go to shots to use on your site, social media, press releases, or even in your email signature.
2. Behind the Scenes / Lifestyle / You in Action
Lifestyle images images showcase a “day in the life” of your creative, spiritual, or wellness business. Give your dream clients a glimpse of your magic, whether it’s designing a website, creating a recipe, playing crystal sound bowls, burning palo santo, holding a yoga asana, writing your latest masterpiece, matching fabrics, or sketching out strategy documents. In this way, they can actually begin to envision what it would be like to work with you. Clients are typically coming to you with a vision or a problem to solve, and seeing you in flow helps them get a sense of what to expect and how you can help them. It builds trust by showing them they are safe and in good hands with you.
Remember, as humans, we are very motivated by emotion, particularly when making purchasing decisions. So if you can paint a picture of the experience of working with you, they can start to dream about how your services will help them heal, grow, and flourish.
3. Your Workspace (Where the Magic Happens)
While images of you communicate the magic itself, seeing your space helps your kindred client get a sense of your creative aesthetic. It’s also another way to build trust by setting expectations and letting them into your work life and creative process. This could be a peek into your artist’s studio, your kitchen, your meditation or yoga corner, your desk styled with gorgeous florals, tarot cards, or covered in those aforementioned strategy documents, or a look into your favorite nook at home you’ve decorated with care. It’s great to have some of you in your workspace and some of it alone.
4. Your Products, Services, and Tools
This shows your clients your plan for them: your magic method, your process for their journey with you. If you are a service based business, this may overlap slightly with behind-the-scenes and in-action images. Photos of you engaging with your ideal clients whether on the phone, at a conference table, or at a café can really help them further visualize what the experience will be like working together.
The tools you use to get your work done are often shot as flat lays, but these images can be styled a number of different ways. They’re great photos to use in social media or as banner images on your site to illustrate some of the tangible things you use to serve them. These detail shots or custom styled stock images put the focus on your values and promises to your clients. They’re perfect for the header of a blog post or in a social post that talks about how you will guide them from problem to solution.
5. What Inspires You / Things you Love
While ultimately your marketing efforts need to be about your kindred client, incorporating some things that light you up are a great way to showcase what you care about. Those things you love – your pet, a particular kind of tea, craft beer, travel, coffee, yoga – can often indicate an alignment of similar values between you and your dream clients. Maybe you really crave the feeling of the pavement beneath your feet as you run, but you also value goal-setting, self care, grit, and determination. Or perhaps you appreciate starting your day with a routine; however, for you it’s really about how yoga and meditation have helped ground you and bring your more inner peace, which ultimately helps you show up for yourself and your clients. Or maybe you can’t imagine a life without pizza, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and the Backstreet Boys, but it also means you don’t take yourself too seriously and know how to have fun. The things you’re inspired by may be different from that of your dream clients, but chances are the kind of people who are most attracted to what we do have similar underlying values. It also helps them envision what it looks like to find joy, success, and fulfillment as a result of the work they do in their journey with you.
As a photographer, I rely heavily on the type of imagery I use on my site to communicate my core values and create trust before my clients even meet me. As a creative who understands how important it is to build genuine relationships, I love the opportunity to help other artists, business owners, and wellness entrepreneurs do the same. The brand imagery we use in our newsletters, our marketing collateral, on our websites, and in social media outlets is about so much more than beautiful photos. It’s about attracting our kindred clients and creating resonance so they know how we can serve them. It’s crucial we identify the message or intention behind our imagery so we can truly tell a powerful story.
If this resonates with you and you are looking to update your imagery in a Soul Brand Session, it would be my deepest honor to begin this journey with you!
I’m also offering Soul Brand Coaching sessions independently of my photography collections now! If you need help developing a visual strategy that authentically represents your brand, I would love to support you.
Please feel free to reach out at email@example.com or reach out via the contact form on my site.
Wishing you peace, safety, and wellness!