At the past two Creative at Heart conferences, I have had the privilege of hearing Natalie Franke present her talk on the brain behind the business. If you have yet to hear this talk, and have any opportunity to do so, I can’t recommend it enough. I have heard it twice, and would gladly learn from it again, as each time I walked away with powerful realizations about my brand and business- and the things that I needed to let change.
Even in the smallest summary, I couldn’t do her brilliant content justice. But one part has stuck out to me the most, and that is the importance of consistently showing your face in your brand, and it’s direct correlation to how it builds trust with your potential clients. How it builds community. How it creates loyalty. How it makes others feel a part of something.
Now, there are definitely different opinions of this when it comes to the creative industry- because not every successful photographer has a “personal brand”. There are many photographers that I follow who never show their face, or incredibly personal posts with the world. They keep it only about their art, and keep their profile a bit mysterious. I guess you can say I tried to land somewhere in between. As an extreme introvert, sharing my face all the time is a struggle for me, but I also feel a sense of community the most when I share my heart and personal thoughts throughout my brand and social media presence.
And while I never stop working to be more skilled in the art I create as a photographer, my vision IS very personal. I create from my own story and how I see the world. I love building personal relationships with my clients, and always want to to see them as a family and not human transactions. And not to say keeping everything about my work is the opposite of any of that, it’s just the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was trying to have a personal brand..without the person. So often it was creating a disconnect.
I sat in the back of the Creative at Heart Conference last November in Charleston, so tired from a weary season, and the beautiful Krista Jones sat beside me. Of course, I knew who she was, having followed her work for quite some time and having been involved in the Rising Tide Society the few months prior.
“Are you Tiffany Farley?” She asked. After replying Yes with nod, she responded with a statement I can still hear in my head, “Oh, ok, Hi! I wasn’t sure what you looked like.”
Why am I sharing all of this? I have felt challenged for months now to put more of me in my brand, without compromising my integrity and values as an artist. To share more personally, without it taking away, but instead adding to my brand. So I am sharing this post for accountability, and to maybe challenge someone else out there. The beautiful thing about the creative industry, is that there is no one right way to make decisions for your business. I hope you never find me sharing from a place that makes you feel like you need to change something, when things are absolutely beautiful the way they are. But I do hope that if you were struggling with this idea, that it inspires you to let change happen where you need it. To like myself, put insecurities aside, and let people in a bit more.
I’m off to dive into a busy Wednesday in the office, and preparing for an online mentoring session for another photographer who is just getting started. I LOVE to help others and share the lessons I have learned the hard way over the years!
Here’s to letting small changes happen where they need to.