Are you falling into the most dangerous of personal branding traps?

Are you fall into the most dangerous of personal branding traps?

Let’s be honest with ourselves…

We’ve all got our guilty pleasures.

And I’m not talking about the extra piece of chocolate after hitting the gym or the Justin Bieber or Wham hits in our Spotify playlist (as pleasurable as they may be, right?).

I’m talking about our photographic guilty pleasures. We all know the ones – where we wouldn’t necessarily say it out loud, but…

We kind of, really, actually… look… great in that photo! (here’s hoping no one heard us say that in our own heads).

They’re the image of ourselves we use as our display photo as often as possible. The one that claimed the most likes when we released it to the world. The one we show first to our friends who are ‘dying to see how the photos came up!’.

Put simply, it’s the photo we’re finally actually proud of.

But within a photo like this sits a hidden trap – one we see so many other business owners fall into but believe we’re too smart for. ‘Everyone else falls into that trap – I’d never be so foolish’ we think to ourselves as we see the trap catch another victim:

The trap of the “over-used photo” (insert crowd gasping here).

One headshot photo is not personal branding

The photo that’s been recycled one too many times and for one too many years now.

It causes our ideal buyer to think as they scroll through their own news feeds: “I swear she has used that exact photo four times this month already…”

It’s been plastered all over Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter previously and is just about to start doing its rounds again!

We’d all agree it’s not a good look, right?

But this is a trap that almost no business owner can avoid, particularly if they only have a handful of photos (at most) of which they are willing and proud to show the world.

Who knows why it happens… Call it our undeniable insecurities, call it our ego or vanity, call it a fear of what people might think, perhaps? Either way, the truth is if we don’t have something we’re proud to share with the world, we typically refrain from sharing it!

The result – unfortunately, for both us and our market that has to watch it happen – is falling for the trick of posting the same photo or couple of photos over and over again, thinking to ourselves ‘it’s not that big of a deal’, ‘no one will really notice, surely…’

But the consequences from a personal branding perspective can be dire.

Most people when scrolling through a news feed will be attracted to the imagery first and the text second. That means if you’ve created a meaningful, impactful and inspiring post but posted an old photo with it, a large majority of your market will scroll right past it assuming it’s something they’ve already seen.

But that’s not just where your authority stops.

Please be aware: If your market starts to associate you with ‘something they’ve already seen before’ over and over again, they very quickly begin to tune out your message. Keeping things fresh, attention-grabbing and ever-changing is essential to holding their attention and delivering a message they’ll remember.

Even more damaging than becoming boring to your market, however, is confusing them (insert crowd gasping again!).

So many business owners commit this marketing sin by posting text with a particular message and pairing it with an image that conveys a totally different one. We could all scroll through our news feeds right now and find the unfortunate examples littered throughout…

An inspiring story of a business owner’s hardship coupled with a photo of them laughing with the camera. An important educational post paired with an image designed to show their novel or playful side. The list can go on infinitely – and unfortunately, so can the confusion.

Before and after personal branding photography session with Jo Westaway Photography

This is why it’s so important to have a wide range of branding photos in your image arsenal.

Not just so you can discuss a wide range of topics with your market, but because to try to do so without the right associated image leads to boredom and confusion. Its marketing misery at its finest.

So take the time to assess your personal branding photo library. If you want to be the authority in your market, how many images do you have expressing that side of you? If you want to educate your market, how many images could you pair with those posts right now? What about when you want to tell a story? Lighten the mood with something humorous? How about selling a new service or program?

The boredom and confusion of your market is the last thing anyone wants – especially them.

If you’ve fallen for the trap (promise, we won’t tell anyone…) and it’s time to ditch the image recycling bin in replacement of your own versatile image library, then let’s connect and see how we can make that work for you. Call us on 0412 965 537 to make it happen today.


Jo Westaway is Brisbane’s leading personal brand photographer. She loves helping amazing and talented business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals, like yourself, stand out and become the brand their ideal clients love. By combining photography, brand strategy, design skills and a love of making people look amazing, she works closely with her clients to create stunning on-brand photos designed to help them confidently be more visible, have an incredible brand presence and win more customers.
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