If you’re planning to take personal branding photos in 2024, it’s important to think about the different mediums you can capitalize on when sharing your photography session. It’s not just about your annual website refresh; branding photos, portraits, and headshots can be translated across print mediums, social media, digital presentations, and more. This month, I sat down with photographer and content strategist Shelby Zeuli, to pick her brain on best practices for maximizing your personal branding photos, specifically across all of your social media channels.
A: A good introduction post is so underrated! For how often content reaches new followers with the help of advanced algorithms, you can assume a healthy amount of new followers haven’t yet been properly introduced to your brand and services every 6 months or so. Use your personal branding photos as an opportunity to refresh your page regularly with an introductory post. Start by following a prompt like: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About (brand, new service offering, founder/owner, etc), Get To Know Me, What Inspired (brand revamp, new product), etc.
A: My service-based clients are great at keeping a pulse on their branding photos to make sure visuals always reflect their service and client experience as they grow. At the very least, my clients schedule a branding session every 12 months to keep visuals fresh for web and social content, update aesthetics if necessary, and highlight new services that will be a focus of our marketing efforts in the future.
A: At a minimum, I suggest you audit your brand photos once a year! Keep in mind that your business and services are bound to evolve over time, which is just as much a reason to update your brand photos as trends and aesthetics. If your images have started to tire out from overuse or you don’t get the sense that they represent the current state of your business, it’s time to book a branding session.
A: Despite the quick tips you see in Reels, there’s no one-size-fits-all posting strategy for social media. These days, a general rule of thumb for Instagram and TikTok is 2-4 posts a week for maintenance and moderate growth or 5-7 posts a week for moderate to aggressive growth. But what’s important to keep in mind is that the most engaging and successful accounts are the ones that stay consistent, no matter if they post twice or six times a week!
A: If you can handle one high-value short-form video a week and one feed post, stick to that rhythm to get your audience tuned in and excited each week. Then, gradually build on your effort by utilizing your content across multiple platforms. Repost your weekly Instagram Reel to TikTok, then pull the juicy hook or valuable takeaway to post on Threads or X (formerly Twitter). You can also share Reels and TikToks on Pinterest to drive traffic to relevant blogs or landing pages on your website. As you become more efficient at creating content, try to increase your frequency!
As of 2022, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 151 minutes per day, up from 147 minutes in the previous year.Statista
A: Absolutely! You should factor in the social media platforms you want to be visible on when determining your strategy and posting frequency! If your target audience is primarily on Instagram, TikTok, and Threads, that might determine a slightly different posting schedule than a brand whose audience is on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
A: One of my favorite resources for social media trend alerts and best practices, specifically for service-based entrepreneurs and small businesses, is a client of Sara’s: Shannon McKinstrie! She is always updating her audience with trending Reels audios, high-value post prompts, and case studies for successful social media clients, all in quick, bite-size takeaways that make it simple to put those ideas into practice.
Many of my followers find my page while looking for personal branding photography or headshot inspiration, but even so, I knew I needed to lean into Reels when Instagram shifted their focus to short-form video content. After spending two hours too long trying to create my first Reel, I quickly realized I’d be much better off outsourcing my content creation. That’s when I reached out to Shelby to support my growth on social media. Being a photographer herself, Shelby naturally has a really creative approach when it comes to dreaming up engaging content.
One of the goals we established at the start was to aim for moderate growth, but primarily to focus on providing a lot of value and inspiration to my existing follower base. Shelby’s strategic approach to the hooks and informational captions we post has been instrumental in transforming the growth and engagement on my account.
Shelby and I have worked together since October of 2020, first as photographers and peers, and more recently as I brought her on to transform my social media presence! We began with an Instagram audit when I was writing my first educational guide for photographers looking to grow their pool of returning clients. We wanted to bridge the messaging gap between what I was writing and promoting and my social presence. It was also at the time that Reels first came out, so it felt like the wild west for short-form video. We did a lot of experimenting! We started with mainly educational content for photographers on Reels, built out my presence on social media, and developed more connections with both clients and industry professionals through our content.
Shelby has been the brains and strategy behind a lot of my growth through Instagram reels and engaging authentically with my followers. Shelby works as a content strategist for a number of small business owners through her freelance social media management business. She takes a selective approach to working with new businesses because she values one-on-one connections with clients more than anything! To see if you’re the right fit, reach out to her on Instagram at @shelbylynnezeuli.