How Customers Experience Shapes Your Brand: In this classroom blog, Miss Digital Media collaborates with Katie Spreadbury, from Orange Sheep Research.
Katie provides a different perspective on how we can give our Brand a Boost by considering the customer’s experience of our brand and identifying how we can improve our brand by asking our customers questions.
You do not own the way your brand is perceived
Sure you can work out your brand values, sort your logo, colour palette and design, choose your brand voice, and so on. But the fact remains, your audience – your customers/clients and the people you are targeting to be customers/clients in future – are the only ones who truly know your brand.
Because their truth – the way they perceive your brand – is the only one that matters.
Every interaction you have with your customers shapes their view of your brand. From the post you put on social media, to your website, to the experiences they have of dealing with you directly (purchasing or working with you) to the way they see you interacting with others online – it all shapes their perception of you and therefore your brand image.
Is the image you are putting out there the same as the one you think you are putting out?
For example, one of your brand values might be “helpful”. But if they are seeing a lot of comments and questions on your social media page going unanswered, this will not be something they particularly associate with you.
The only way to really know what they think of you is to ask them.
Asking questions such as what words they would associate with your brand, how your brand makes them feel, whether they agree your brand is aimed at them. What do they really think of you? Do they associate the values you are trying to portray with you?
Katie Spreadbury founded OrangeSheep Research to help small businesses increase sales by building a band of loyal customers who buy more, more often, and who will shout about them to anyone who will listen. Katie believes that when a business knows what their customers really think they have the foundations to build a business their customers love, and she helps them get there through high-quality customer research. To learn more about how to find out what your customers really think to join Katie in her free Facebook group, the aptly named “What your customers REALLY think”.
Miss Digital Media would like to thank Katie for sharing her useful tips and advice which will help to Boost Your Brand.
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Personal Branding, Photography, and Visibility: In this classroom blog, Miss Digital Media collaborates with Ginny Marsh, from Gorgeous You Photography.
Throughout the process of designing and developing a personal brand, we have to think about so many different factors. A brand is not just about the design of a company logo, or the colours used in marketing, it is so much more than that!
Branding encompasses our personal mission, values, and ethos, our business vision, our unique selling points, our tone of voice, style of writing, and communication. We’ll need to create brand words, elevator pitches, and memorable straplines or tag lines for our marketing and promotions.
We need to be clear about the products and services we offer and who our target audience is. All of these things need to be represented in a visual way which is why the brand design is so important.
Choosing the right images and colours and creating a layout and design that is fit for purpose ensures our products and services appeal to our ideal customers.
As a branding designer myself I feel it is really important to explain that building a brand takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual and ongoing process, which requires the business owner to invest time and finances to develop and grow their brand.
Business owners need to build the like, know, trust factor with their customers, and to demonstrate their credibility through their bio’s, cv, expertise, and testimonials.
However, it is equally as important how we present ourselves. These days it’s the norm to share photos and videos of ourselves on social media to promote our personal brands, so how we look, how we dress, and how we speak can really make all the difference to getting our potential customers to like, know and trust us.
Some of these things may put some people off even starting a business. Speaking from experience I know that my own lack of confidence has prevented me from achieving in my business, and I know that there are many business owners who feel the same about their own personal brand, which has stopped them from being visible to their customers.
I asked Ginny Marsh, Personal Branding Photographer, and Body Confidence Coach at Gorgeous You Photography, some questions about how we can improve our personal branding and visibility.
What is Personal Branding Photography and why do we need it?
We all need to start with a good headshot… But personal branding photography is so much more than that! It’s a collection of photos that represent the essence of your brand.
I work with my clients to create images that tell a story about who you are, what you do, your process, and how you deliver your product or service. I bring out your personality, show how it feels to work with you, and why you’re different from your competitors.
It’s so important to have good Personal Branding photographs to make you stand out and show you as the expert at what you do.
What tips can you give on creating great personal brand photos?
When planning each shoot, I always ask my clients to get clear about a few branding key essentials:
What is it that you do?
Where do you work and/or meet clients (and does that fit in with your brand)?
What are you actually selling (product/service) and also, what FEELING or RESULT are you selling?
How do you want to be portrayed and come across to your ideal clients?
Who are your ideal clients and what are they interested in?
What do you want your branding images to do for you and what do you want to achieve?
What’s your process or client journey? How could you show what it’s like to purchase from you?
What are your brand values and/or company ethos?
Who are you and what’s your personality and style?
What are your brand colours?
What can we do to make our brand visually unique?
I absolutely love to create mood boards on Pinterest! It’s a great place of inspiration and visual references for how you want your brand and images to look, and I love to help my clients to get creative making mood boards.
When planning a personal branding shoot, you need to think about what would really make you stand out and tell your story.
Think about your branding colours, and how you can keep those throughout all your branding photography.
Think about props, locations, outfits, and styling that says something unique about who you are, your values, and how you work. You don’t want to look like everyone else. And ultimately, think about where you’ll be using the images (online and in print).
How can we improve our camera confidence?
I have one main rule for getting more camera confident… and that’s PRACTICE!!! The more you do something, the easier it gets. And as with most people, it’s probably completely out of your comfort zone because you aren’t used to having your photo taken.
So practice taking lots of selfies, or get your friends to take photos (unless they’re really bad and make it worse). A good photographer will put you at ease and make it enjoyable.
However, I have a few other tips to get you more instantly confident in the short term…
Listen to your favourite music and dance to it!
Wear your favourite perfume
Wear an outfit that makes you look and feel really good
Tell yourself positive things, such as “I can do this, and I’ll be great at it!”
Make sure you’ve got good posture (sit/stand up straight and relax your shoulders down), even do a good power pose like you’re Wonder Woman!
What tips can you share on creating great selfies and product shots? Or if offering services how can we show that in our pictures?
The Facebook group is to support women to improve their self-esteem, camera confidence, and visibility in their business.
Ginny’s group called Gorgeous You – The Confidence to be Visible, has been very helpful indeed, it has helped me to learn new skills, and improve my camera confidence, and I have been posting more selfies doing more video than I ever thought possible, better still I have helped to boost my own brand and visibility.