Serious about building a personal brand that is both professional AND human? Here are some DOs and DON’Ts of selfie posting using my own photos as examples!
‘Selfies’ – the happy snap you take of yourself – are a great way to show your human side and attract followers or customers through engagement on social media. The selfie has become such a popular social tool that inventions such as the ‘selfie stick’ (a long-armed prop for your phone so you can hold it further away and get more of the scenery around you) are coming on the market to give you a better selfie experience! But no matter how socially acceptable selfies have become, if you are serious about building a professional personal brand, you need to take some care with your selfies.
Selfies were not all created equal. In the world of selfies, some content is more appropriate than others!
If you are running a business or representing a company, or you are a speaker, author or consultant, you will need to consider your photographs online, including those you post socially. I keep my social posts to a bare minimum, mainly using social media for business. Even when I post a social pic like this one (here I am tucking into a delicious feast at a German brewery in the southwest of WA), I always have a purpose in mind.
Since photos of me at leisure, though showing a human side, have little to do with my business, I keep these posts to a minimum.
Remember, your potential clients, customers or employees can find you anywhere online!
I am more likely to post selfies like this one, which is both social and has a work context. Here, I am attending my sister’s art exhibition with some friends. Since supporting the work of local artists is a value listed in New Work Photography’s values statement, I frequently post news on art happenings around Perth, and occasionally add either a professional photo I’ve taken at the event or of the artist’s work, or I add a happy snap like this one.
Because I’m nice (and I’d like others to be nice to me), I only post images that include friends when they look good in the photo and I know they won’t mind. I never tag them, because if they’re anything like me they may not appreciate being identified in something they didn’t post themselves. RESPECT. It says a lot about you too.
Most of the time the selfies I post are work-related, such as behind the scenes in the office or on a photo shoot. While they may involve team members, clients and myself, often my ‘selfies’ are just happy snaps of things that inspired me or made me laugh throughout the day.
Here, you can see me at work on an art photo shoot, sporting ugg boots on a cold winter’s day in the office, and a book I was reading to get inspiration for photography.
Remember that a selfie never replaces professional profile photos or other ‘official’ photos making up your personal or business brand. If you take a look through my website you will see the photos there are very different from the examples in this blog post or on my Facebook page!
My golden rules for posting selfies and keeping professional are: less is more, post with purpose, avoid overly sexy photos or those with shock factor just for the sake of it, keep it positive, and if in doubt – leave it out!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so post them below.
Oh and in case you’re wondering… the top picture is a selfie taken on my travels through Europe: in this one, standing under a waterfall in Nice and feeling pure joy 🙂