WATCH THIS EPISODE OF MWAH TV ABOUT HOW A BRAND EVOLVES
If you’re in the midst of narrowing down your focus as part of how you want your brand to evolve, then today’s episode is going to be enormously helpful for you. Join me as I talk about how a Brand Evolves with my client, Victoria Fleming, let’s go!
Before we get going on Victoria’s story today I want to remind you to subscribe to Mwah TV. Especially if you identify as somebody who’s on a brand evolution journey with your business right now.
As well as sharing shoot results like we’re going to do in a second, I go into the science and methodology that goes with really good brand strategy.
So by subscribing, you’re going to make sure that you’re getting regular updates on that so that you’re going to be able to navigate your journey into brand evolution a lot easier.
BREAK IT DOWN AGAINI’ve just seen @laurapcreative #MwahTV episode feat. @BuzztasticLtd #Brand Evolution. WOWSER! Click To Tweet
HOW A BRAND EVOLVES
We’ve featured Victoria Fleming on this show a couple of times already over the years. I really want to give you a bit more information so that you get the context to see where she’s come from to fully understand where she wants to go with her business next.
Victoria was actually one of my pioneering clients. So back in 2016, she was like the second or the third person who went for the Full Sch-Whammy photoshoot service that I had just developed.
We then shot more photography together. But this time it was speaker photography. Victoria had a gig where she was talking at a business expo here in the northeast of the UK.
So she asked me to come along and do some speaker photography for her. Then flash forward three years to 2019 Victoria was booked to talk on the ATOMICON stage.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT VICTORIA IN THIS TIME
Now over this time and the time that I’ve known Victoria what you need to know about her is that she is a real go-getter.
She’s full of energy, she describes herself as an energetic sales trainer and she really is a bundle of energy. But what a lot of people don’t know about Victoria is that she is very methodical at testing lots of different avenues.
In the whole time that I’ve known her when we’ve worked together or when we’ve been networking or just hanging out, Victoria has been actively exploring different avenues for her business.
OVER TO VICTORIA & HER LIST OF AREAS EXPLORED
- Mortgage Advisors,
- Business Travel,
- Retail Banking,
- Marketing Agencies,
- Education Technology,
- Cleaning Companies,
- Genuinely someone who crochets tablecloths,
- Bits that go on diggers,
- Logistics software,
- BIM software,
- IT services.
WHEN YOU’RE IN SALES
As a really skilled sales expert, you can imagine that when Victoria sets her mind to it she’s really good at selling stuff to new people. I think this is something that a lot of business owners struggle with, actually the sales process. That comes natural to her. This idea of focusing down felt quite restrictive to her over this period of time. But then something happened didn’t it, Victoria?
OVER TO VICTORIA
So the big realisation that I eventually had was that, I love doing what I do. So if someone says to me,
“Can you help me sell insert item here?”
Then I would say, “Yes”, because I can and I love it.
The challenge with that is it means that every single time I was doing any work I was constantly reinventing the wheel. Coming up with new ideas, new approaches, which while it was really exciting for me actually meant that I was spreading myself really thin.
Actually, when I got right down to it what I realised was that probably 80 to 90% of my work in any given year was always in software and tech because actually that’s what I’m really good at. And it’s what I get super excited about as well. Like genuinely, I get really excited about pressing buttons and go, “Oh, my God it’s amazing, imagine what you could do with.”
Yeah, I’m bit annoying like that.
So the irony was it wasn’t so much of something that happened that actually made me think about where I wanted to position myself. It was more a recognition and realisation of something I was doing already but actually, nobody knew that I really was. Everyone saw me as are really general sales trainer and consultant.
And while that was a lot of fun, actually what that meant was that some of the people who I’d really love to work with didn’t really know that that was what I did. And that was why I knew that this was the time to start to really reposition and hone in and actually tell people,
“See, you know what I’m amazing at and you should totally talk to me about it because actually I’m not a generalist, I’m a specialist in software and technology sales.” And then that was a really big thing because then I realised that:
- I needed to look at my brand.
- Then I needed to look at my website.
- I needed to look at how I was showing up actually.
Then I needed to stop being so general and just generally helpful to people and actually show the people who I really want to show up for that I was exactly the person that they needed to speak to and illustrate the results that I could deliver. I already had great photography, but my great photography was quite general.
And actually, it was representing a brand that I felt that I’ve moved on from. That was really why I started to look for new photography, a brand repositioning, and new website.
The Buzztastic name remained, but instead, things evolved as a result of working with Anna Brand. So Victoria used to have this burst of energy that was all in very feminine colours. Anna recommended that Victoria evolves this into something a little bit more sophisticated that sat really well in the world of tech. To fit with the updated brand we agreed that going with a green screen set up for their session, was probably a really good idea.
PLANNING THE SHOOT
We wanted to make sure that we could have a controlled environment in December, notoriously the weather’s terrible here in the UK.
So shooting indoors was a great shout, step one.
And then we wanted to make sure that we could social distance and still get some really good photographs as a result. So going with a green screen environment with the right amount of space that fitted as well.
But most importantly, I wanted to give Victoria and the rest of her team, a really diverse set of flexible images that they could use as they needed on her social media feeds, on the new website and on and on and on. So she was going to get real bang for her buck this time.
Let’s take a look at shoot day!
SHOOT DAY ON INSTA-STORIES
Shoot day before Christmas, little bit nervous actually. This was the first socially distant shoot I’ve done. I’ve been really scared about the whole thing oh yes, so I’ve where possible pushed people back or just refused work.
I’ve got my mask.
We’ve made sure that neither of us have any symptoms and I’ve got my zoom lens.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes, but I’m on it honestly I’m a little bit nervous.
I usually get nervous before shoots anyway. I think that’s a really good sign that you care a lot about what you do. But this is with Victoria we’ve worked a lot together over the years so I’m really pleased that it’s not somebody I’m working with for the first time.
So yeah, stay tuned.
We’ve just finished outfit one, then I’m having a little breather off my mask. I thought I’d show you the setup. This is another green screen background shoot that I’m doing. These are still uber trendy. Victoria has this green wall. This saves us a lot with equipment hire and general faffing about.
THE SET UP
Let’s take a look at the setup. Low-level soft box on one side and then a slightly higher-level soft box. Then we’ve got a Soft box above the camera and the camera’s on the tripod.
The reason we have these soft boxes like this is to make this green wall as flat as possible. So this means no shadows, which is a godsend when you’re cutting somebody out. Especially like Victoria with spiky hair or like special features that she has on her shoes.
It just makes your life much easier in post-production.
Let’s take a look at these images in situ on Victoria’s fresh and new updated website.
VICTORIA’S TOUR OF HER NEW WEBSITE
V: So this is the new site.
Now remember you have to say it’s amazing. There are some great things going on here. I’m super excited about the brand. I was never really sure that I could get away from my pink and purple brand.
And here, we are with like this really bright in your face. This teal green and this really dark navy.
Actually, I love it, I really love it.
The fact that we did the photos on the green screen has meant that we’ve been able to do some really cool stuff with them on the website and Design Box who did the website was so great at really listening and understanding like where I was going with it and who I am and who the business is. So I always say, we’re not boring, boring coconut flooring and we are exciting, energising, we’re really innovative and how would you get that across with a brand palette and some images.
What the website guys really did was work with everyone to bring that together into a cohesive look and feel. And they did an amazing job I think.
One of the great things as well with the photography is being the way that it’s really kind of like popping out of the screen as well. And that’s really nice because I like to think that I pop out the screen a bit. (laughs) So you should totally come and check out Laura’s photography.
SEE THE NEW SITE
And actually the brand, the way that we’re now presenting that I feel is really showing the people that I want to speak to, that I’m here and that I’m showing up for them. Then come across, visit the website, it’s www.buzztastic.co.uk.
AFTERCARE BEYOND THE SHOOT
Now, I’ve never really taken the time to talk about how I try and support my clients with rebranding and the launching part of how that looks for a lot of businesses.
I’m definitely not the type of photographer that is in and out, I do my photos, you’ve got your images, see you later.
I’ve never been that kind of photographer. I like to really go into the consultancy side before the shoot, but I also really like to support my clients on the other side as well. And for some reason, I’ve never talked about that before.
Let’s do that now.
Now as Victoria is one of my pioneering clients and she’s a really loyal client as well. I wanted to make sure that I could do as much as possible to help her launch this rebrand message with her audience.
HOW I SUPPORTED VICTORIA’S BRAND EVOLUTION
Now, it was important to me that I help and work well with the team that she already has to talk about how the photography played a role in that, but most importantly, hammer home why she’s updated her brand, so that people understand why she’s making this brand evolution decision. As well as drip-feeding and testing out her new brand look on social media posts.
I suggested we do something together in a collaborative way to talk about how photography played a role in the evolution of Victoria’s brand. This resulted in Victoria hosting a LinkedIn live show that I was a guest on.
And together we gave some of our shared connections a little bit of a live crit, like an off the top of the head life crit about their profile images.
But then we also made sure we talked about how we just worked together again and why the brand was evolving. People were getting a couple of little bonuses as well as understanding Victoria’s key message.
THE LINKEDiN LIVE FOOTAGE
If you’re using this lens to take a selfie which is obviously the easiest way to do it as opposed to…
You can do it that way but you’d be setting it up on a tripod.
When you’re doing it it’s really hard and it’s like, when you do a live you want to look at your own face.
Like, that’s me looking into the camera now but I know as we’re talking, I’m sometimes looking down here ’cause that’s where my face is. That’s what you’re doing, Michael so you might be looking at your face and you’re like, “I’ve definitely got it in shot,” but you need to take that moment to look right into the little lens just to get your eyes right.
V: And actually there’s a couple of questions in the chat before this.
So I’m actually just going to pop a couple up, I’m doing so well with the technology here. (laughs) Here we go, so this is from Gudrun.
L: Hi Gudrun.
V: I think this is so relevant, like at this precise moment in time because right now, you know, we are in the pandemic, a lot of us are working from home.
And I think it’s a real question about like, how smart do you actually need to be in your business headshots?
You know, it does seem that as an increasingly fine line between the professional and the off-the-clock. Which I think we all identify with, but how should that represent, like actually in your profile picture and what your thoughts around that?
L: Authenticity is important but it’s also it’s very misinterpreted. So the way that I like to explain this, I have a slide actually, when I’m doing talks and this is how I do it in a visual way.
Your business headshot, so your official headshot or official brand profile picture should be you in your most polished best self. So if you were going to think about that as a pyramid, the business headshot would be at the top of the pyramid.
I’m really passionate about people sharing selfies
And I think that even if you have a professional business headshot you should still be documenting your day-to-day with selfies.
The less professional, more like,
“I’m in lockdown, I’m wearing my PJ bottoms,”
or “I’m walking the dog”,
or “I’ve got no makeup on.”
All those things that you would associate with this awful temp authenticity would go underneath the pyramid.
So when somebody comes to find you, it’s all about them by the way, this isn’t as much about you.
MY TIPS FOR GUDRUN
So if someone was going to come and look for you, Gudrun, the top of your pyramid is the headshot that we’ve got here.
Then if I go on your social media and I know what you’re going to say at this ’cause I know you well Gudrun, when I go on your social media I would then expect to see a day-to-day account of what’s going on in Gudrun’s world.
Gudrun shares lots of pictures of wine and cheese which I’m also a big advocate of. But I know she on purpose dodges doing selfies.
So I would say Gudrun I want to see those amazing selfies of when you’re in France or when you’re out walking your dog. That’s what goes here. And this is what rounds out the explanation that should be beautifully concisely explained in the top image.
V: You know what I’m always really conscious about is your headshot’s sometimes quite static, isn’t it?
You know, your profile.
L: Right, yeah.
V: You know, it’s something that I don’t really change my profile picture very much because I almost want people to go, “Oh, it’s her”, like in a nice way.
L: It’s recognizability, yeah.
V: Like, “Oh, it’s Victoria,” you know? So it’s almost like that is something that for me I’ve always tried to keep a little bit more static so that I’m a little bit more recognisable, like out and about around the place.
YOUR PROFILE PICTURE TIP
L: It’s about search actually if you were to meet somebody at a conference and you’re hitting it off with them over coffee, you’re going to say,
“Yeah, let’s connect.”
You probably not as likely these days to say
“Here’s my business card.”
You going to go look at them on LinkedIn.
And while I’m doing that in between talking with someone else or getting another coffee I’ll be like, “Oh yeah, there she is,” so it’s recognizability. But then, because I like to be on Instagram, I’d be over on Instagram.
If I can’t see the exact same photo that I’ve now got in my memory next to your name, it’s going to make it harder for me to find you and connect with you.
KEEPING IT THE SAME FOR SEARCH
This an important, extra little tip.
Your profile picture should be the same across all social media. And that’s not about you. It’s not about the mood of your content on social it’s for other people to be able to find you.
- Let’s talk about your business strategy.
- And let’s talk about who you’re selling to.
- Let’s talk about what’s going to appeal to them.
USE YOUR 1000 WORDS
And then let’s try and tell that in a story that’s in an image. So I always say a picture has a thousand words. Let’s make those 1000 words about your brand.
Don’t forget you can meet more of my clients and see more of me on photoshoots by visiting this playlist next.
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