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Personal Branding for Photographers: How to take that First Step

October 3, 2019

Personal Branding for Photographers | Ariel Dilworth | Marketing for photographers

“How did you take that first leap of faith into sharing more than just your portfolio work? How did you start implementing Personal Branding into your photography business?” This was a dm I received yesterday from one of my followers on IG. And I wanted to share this because I think we all can relate.

Here’s is exactly what I told her!

Yes, it’s hard!

Anytime we put ourselves out there on social media, it’s terrifying! But here’s the reality, not every photoshoot is blog worthy… sometimes I have nothing better to say about a particular session than “Here’s my latest engagement session…” Am I right!?! As photographer’s we believe this lie that everything we post whether its on our blog or on social media MUST be business related. When in fact, the opposite is true!

After implementing personal branding into my business, my income grew to over 6 figures in less than a year. My calendar was booked 12-18 months out. I was able to start charging more money per session! I began to outsource my editing AND I launched my first online course and my second one is on the way! But it allllll started with that first step… getting personal with my followers!

Start Gradually…

You don’t have to start with the story of how you had a miscarriage, you and your husbands love story, or your battle with an eating disorder (all things i’ve posted on BTW!)

When I first started “personal branding” I started with something small that was semi-related to photography! I took a look at my ideal client and figured out their pain points. What do they struggle with in the photography process? What do they struggle with on a daily basis that I can also relate to? I began to focus on those.

So, my very first “personal branding” post was about selecting outfits for their photo session. What looks good, what doesn’t, where to find them, literally #allthethings. And the response was incredible!

Then, since a lot of my clients are working moms, I began to post about the struggles of work/life balance. Something that both I AND my photography clients/followers know a lot about! And the response from that was even MORE incredible.

Then, I shared about how I was a strong-willed child because what mom doesn’t have one of those! 😉 But the personal branding got real when I had a new mom tell me about her struggle with getting pregnant and how many miscarriages they had! When I posted a sneak peek of their rainbow baby, I decided to share my own story with miscarriage and how I too had lost two unborn children. And I think my feed exploded.

That’s when I realized that NOT being personal with my audience was actually a huge disservice to them. ” – Ariel Dilworth

That’s when it hit me just how powerful and how effective personal branding actually is! My unique strengths, my story, my passions, photography all fit together into this one beautiful picture!

Then it grew…

From that point on, there was no turning back! The increase in inquiries and bookings was astounding! I was converting at almost 97% (so naturally I raised my prices because burn out was on the horizon). Not to mention that my marketing began to feel SOOOOOOO on point and not fake at all!

But when I first started, the biggest struggle I had when it came to personal branding was the vulnerability! I knew that if I chose to make my business personal that anyone who didn’t choose me as their photographer would feel like rejection on a deeper level. There was always this evil voice in my head saying “no way! You are not good enough and no one cares to listen to what you have to say!”

Learning how to tell that voice to sit down and shut up was a leap of faith in itself! 😉 But once I made that first post (and kept checking its likes and comments every 2 seconds), there was no turning back. Not for me OR for my audience who was no longer JUST an audience, by the way, but my community!

Need a little help on knowing what to post on social media? No problem! Download this totally free Content Calendar with 30 days of posts and 30 days of live videos so you can bust out of the monotonous sneak peek posts!!!

Free Content Calendar for Photographers | Ariel Dilworth Marketing for Photographers
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