9 tips for content creation, personal branding & photography for social media
Updated: Jun 14
Content marketing & personal branding, what is it exactly and why is it important, especially for social media? Questions I get a lot. That is why I host workshops about this and decided to write this blog.
Content marketing is by definition: ‘A strategic marketing approach focused on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and in the end, generate profitable customer actions.’
As traditional ads and regular selling techniques are getting less effective by the minute, being filtered by consumers, and perceived as annoying more and more. While the market is constantly changing and expanding, and with the rise of web shops, apps, social media and online courses the world has become your competition, we all have to step up our game and adapt to the new marketplace and generation.
Although I am nearly too old to be deemed a millennial, I am very familiar with this generation and find their ways ever so interesting!
Social selling has always had my interest as networking comes naturally to me. And good marketing & branding, opposed to pushy sales techniques had always had my preference. That is why the recognition and acknowledgement of content marketing as a profession makes me super happy, and the importance of this can not be described better than with this quote;
'Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you're a rockstar. Content marketing is showing the world you are!'
Because isn't it much more natural to show the world why they need your brand, product or service through relevant pictures and storytelling, to earn their trust and their goodwill by convincing them that you are a good match, than screaming to them why they should buy from you?
And isn't it much more convincing when other people are recommending you, than tooting your own horn and telling them yourself why you are the best?
That's also one of the reasons why influencer marketing is getting more and more important for the current and future generations. With so many websites, products and brands to choose from people are looking for advice and recommendations of familiars, family and friends to help them choose!
But what’s influencer marketing exactly? ‘A type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market.’
It often goes hand-in-hand with social-media marketing and content marketing.
The concept is certainly not new and built on the foundation of the 'word-of-mouth phenomenon', revitalized by the power of social media. Influencer marketing can be used by brands through collaborating with relevant ambassadors to promote their brand, products or services to build brand awareness in an authentic and organic way.
It's not much different from when a friend recommends a movie or holiday destination. People trust these recommendations because they 'know this person's taste' and trust their judgement. Influencer marketing works the same way, allowing you to target an audience of like-minded people that follow an influencer they trust or relate to.
Also a reason why it's becoming more and more important, especially as a freelancer or start-up, to build a community and work on your personal branding at the same time. This way you can eventually become your own ambassador, like Starbucks and so many brands have done through social media already.
Personal branding is described as; ‘the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by showcasing their unique value proposition. Whether professional or personal, this should be done across several platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal, and enhance your recognition as expert in your field, establish reputation and credibility.’
So now that we have cleared up these technical terms and established how important they are, many people still have that one burning question: how do I implement personal branding and create the right content?
First and foremost content is still King in this matter, and pictures are in general much more effective than words, so make sure to get those relevant pictures!
Of course the type of content and pictures for your specific brand, products, services and social media accounts differs per platform, and also really depends on your concept and (personal) brand.
I am happy to help you clear this up, customize and set up a plan for your account or brand in one of my workshops, about which you can read more here; Workshops.
But I have summed up a few of my best photography tips for personal branding and content creation on the go right here for you already.
Next to all the obvious tips like using good equipment and quality pictures, about which you can read more in this blog; 9 tips for Instagram photography, it's also very important to focus!
Especially for personal branding, if you want to become an influencer or are a freelancer like me. This is what I learned by experience the past 4 years;
Keep these in mind when taking pics and selecting the right ones to post.
When you visit a destination with nice settings for your content make sure to look up the most Instagrammable spots of the area in advance in order to prepare yourself and your itinerary accordingly.
For personal branding, especially on social media, it's very important to show the person behind the brand as well, so people can relate. Therefore it's essential to also be in the picture yourself! This doesn't have to be a headshot or up close and personal, but from afar or behind, looking over your shoulder can also work well.
If you are going to be in that pic, you can make it look even nicer by color coordinating your outfit to the photo location or by wearing something colorful to stand out instead. Also bring several outfits if you are going to take pics on different locations on the same day!
Next to that accessorizing can go a long way. You don't have to be a model to look nice in the picture. A cute hat, special scarf or even those cool glasses can easily help you stand out, especially on social media.
Make sure to take pics at the best time, e.g. before 10 am or during golden hour / sunset when the light is the prettiest. Therefore be prepared to get up early if you want to get a beautiful public place all to yourself. If not you will have to be very patient, or up your photoshops skills so u can edit all those photobombers out;)
If you really want to step up your game and take those more candid shots that work so well on social media, there should be no shaming. As they sometimes say; everything for the Gram;) So just forget about those people around watching you, channel your inner Goddess and always dance like nobody's watching!
A very important one is to go picture crazy; take at least 10 shots from several angles and with different poses at each setting to make sure you have enough content to choose from when you get back.
And don't forget to get some Boomerangs and behind the scenes videos for your Instagram stories. Use some of the newest apps for special effects, make a stop motion and IG TV video, go live on IG and Facebook, or stream something on YouTube as well!
Nobody said it was going to be easy, and yes I do admit it can be a lot of work to get that perfect shot and create enough content on the spot. It takes preparation and you need to think about a lot, but when you like photography and are motivated to build your own brand, creating content can be fun as well.
In the end that is one of my most important tips; ‘Stay true to yourself and keep your personal branding themes and values close to your own, so it will be fun, you will enjoy doing it and then it should come naturally!’
Feel free to follow me on social media and Instagram for weekly IG tips and daily pics, via the pic above or the icons at the bottom of this page. And for more tips about photography for social media, Instagram updates, growth and engagement, you can check out my previous blogs on my Social Media Tips page.
Hope you can benefit from them and curious to hear if you agree with my tips or knew all of them already.