I recently had a client who asked a seemingly simple question while trying to choose the images she was planning to use in her brand. She was wanting to base her decisions about which images she was going to choose off of this question:
“What is my audience most likely going to want to see?”
This is such a good question worth unpacking for the sake of everyone’s personal branding because it leads us all to a truth about what your audience really wants to see from you in order to do business with you.
What we think our audience wants to see
It’s so easy to get caught in this trap of constantly guessing what you think your audience wants to see. I’ll tell you from experience, that’s a moving target, friend. Once you go down that rabbit hole, it’s truly never ending. And to be clear, I’m not talking about knowing your audience and who you are marketing to so you can speak directly to them and help them with their problem. I’m talking about trying to constantly be that one thing you THINK they want to see in order to please them enough to do business with you. It’s a sneaky difference, isn’t it?
It really all goes back to people pleasing – and as Mel Robins describes people pleasers – it is manipulative, and you don’t need to tie your self worth to what you think others want anyway, so we don’t want to go there!
Here’s what your audience really wants to see from you…
People Want To Be Inspired and Connect
As a personal branding specialist, I believe in showing different sides of ourselves in your photos online. Think of it like this: as women, we are never just one thing. Sometimes we might feel bubbly, sometimes we might feel badass, sometimes we feel uber professional and bold, sometimes silly, sometimes introverted or vulnerable. And it’s all good because it’s all us. The trick is being okay with who you are and okay with the sides you decide to share.
Now back to my client’s question. This is what I told her:
“If we are always trying to guess what others are wanting us to be, wanting us to look like, wanting us to act like, we will never truly embrace our authentic selves and put THAT out there. It is only when we can be ourselves – as many sides as we feel comfortable – that we will connect with our audience. And when others see that we’re okay with ourselves, they will want to be around that energy and work with us.”
Maybe that introverted side will really connect with other introverts out there (I’m an extroverted introvert). And most likely, when they see that you’re okay with yourself, they’ll think they’re okay too. There’s probably a good story you can even use in your brand voice about that journey in the introverted world that will connect with others like you! That, my friend, is authentic branding.
People don’t just buy what we sell. They want us. They WANT to be inspired by us and our story. They WANT to connect to someone who is passionately and unapologetically themselves.
If you have any questions about how to show up more authentically and connect better with your personal brand (or are just curious about how it feels to work with me for your next Personal brand photoshoot), fill out this quick questionnaire and we’ll chat soon!
Speaking of showing up in an authentic way… Leah wanted to stand out as a therapist and who really gets young adults who have it rough growing up. I absolutely love these authentic branding pictures that capture her chill, yet professional vibe we created together.