Hello Internet? It’s me.
It took me a while to learn that in order to improve my business, I needed to sell myself. I don’t mean to sell myself out or sell myself short. I mean that I needed to incorporate my personality into my business/brand, and I was really reluctant to do that. I was worried that if people didn’t like who I was as a person, didn’t get my sense of humor, didn’t agree with my level of “professionalism”, etc. that they wouldn’t want to hire me as their photographer.
There are two things I learned since having these initial thoughts:
- Some people won’t hire me because they don’t like my personality. And that’s okay. Not every client is right for me, and I am not right for every potential client.
- My personality is what makes my business unique. There are lots of incredibly talented photographers out there, but not a single one is just like me.
Allow me to expand on my earth shattering discovery (sarcasm implied).
I started off by primarily concerning myself with capturing and delivering the best, most vibrant, natural, beautiful images I could create.
Good start. But not enough.
Once I let go of my fear, I started to allow my personality to seep into my Instagram captions, my Facebook posts, my website bio, etc. And- surprise, surprise- it felt good. Being authentic online is tough for me because so much seems forced, everything seems like it has to be perfect and happy, and that’s just not realistic.
So, I started sharing the good, the bad, and the witty. For example, my very first post to this blog was all about how little I actually like blogging. When I had my boyfriend proof read it, he goes “do you really think it’s a good idea to start off by telling everyone you hate blogging?”. Fair question. But, what I want to strive for is authenticity and be true to who I am. No I don’t like blogging very much, but I do feel it’s a great medium for me to share some of the things I have learned as a business owner and photographer, and hopefully I can help some readers along the way. You can check out that first blog entry here if you’re curious.
So you may be wondering, did it help? Does adding your personal voice to your business’s online presence gain you anything? From what I’ve seen so far, my answer is yes. I’ve actually seen a little boost in bookings over the past few months, and people have been more engaged in my posts. I truly think that is because people want to relate to each other. They want to hire someone they feel comfortable around, someone they know.
I’ll wrap up this little revelation/advice piece by saying, if you’re a business owner, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of “you” back into your business. It’s okay. If you’re a little bit (or a lotta bit) sarcastic and witty, use that to your advantage. If you’re someone who is into motivational quotes, share those. Don’t be afraid to be you!
Remember, “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”. -Bernard Baruch (FDR Presidential Advisor)
Peace & love,