Renee’s a portrait photographer and personal brand coach. She’s known as one of Brisbane’s most colourful and joy-filled headshot photographers. She’s worked with Australia’s favourite business coaches and bloggers to elevate their brands.
Additionally, she also holds a Masters Degree in Human Resources and is a self-confessed personality testing nerd. Her unique blend of these interests gave her the foundation to develop her one-of-a-kind Brand Archetype process. And she uses it with her clients to discover their personal brand.
In her words? “The passion that fuels me is the need to empower women. To help them develop an insight into their strengths and dreams to own the power of who they are. I want to hold up a mirror, so they can see what’s inside. So they can see they have what it takes to do the big work they dream of.”
“I am a big believer in being completely me. My business is all about personal branding, and I believe you are ‘enough’ right now to fulfil your dreams. Believing these things means I need to live them. I talk about my ‘weaknesses’ and how embracing them has made me who I am and how I show up. I talk about my divorce, my body issues and being a single mother. And working a day job as well as my biz. Being female and trying to find my way.”
Renee’s Podcast: You are enough
- Renee’s journey to embracing who she is
- Her custom Brand Archetype process and how she developed it
- Top do’s and don’ts for a brand photoshoot
- Colour and what it means to her
We’re gonna jump into talking to Renee now. So what is it that you do Renee, who is Renee Shea?
Oh, that’s a pretty cool question. I am all over the place. So predominantly, I am a brand photographer, and personal brand mentor. I’m very open and happy side hustler. So I work also part time in a human resources and learning and development type role. So I have many hats. And they are the two biggest ones that I have, apart from the life ones like parenting and all of that kind of stuff, the grown up stuff. But it’s a really good mix. And it’s a mix I quite enjoy because it challenges my brain in a couple of different ways.
I feel like so often we get lumped under a career title. And that’s it. One of the things I really hope for this next generation, you start to see it coming through, is that I really hope that they can have more of a definition of defining their own careers and their own career paths. And finding that cross section between things they really love doing and things they have a natural affinity for. I feel like I broke away from that traditional career path that was graphic designers do this and this and this. So many of this next generation are going to be able to define that from a much younger age.
All of the research and all of the trends that are coming out of the whole human resources and the future workforce space, says that there is no necessary career paths anymore. Because we don’t know the types of careers that people, like my kids who are late primary school, there’s no idea what kind of jobs they’re going to have, by the time they actually reach employment age. The flexibility of what careers could one day be is pretty amazing. And I’m hoping you know, when you talk about and like we our personal branding, I’m really hopeful that what we have is a generation of folks who really can shape their careers around who they are and what their natural strengths are and what their passions are, rather than actually trying to take who they are and mold it into a box which so many of us have done for so long. And there’s so many ways that it’s not good for you.
When I think back to when I was a teenager, we were forced into some pretty rigid boxes. It takes a lot to break those back down again, when they’ve been built up so firmly around you for your whole life.
And I feel like that’s why a lot of women in business often struggle with the concept of being truly themselves and their business. Now, this is something that you do amazingly, you’re real and raw. You talk about everything from divorce to body issues to single motherhood and what it means to be female in today’s crazy world. Where does that come from?
A couple of things, right? One is that I’ve always been a sharer. So now having a very open platform, like social media is just another channel for a big extrovert to share. So I’m not going to say that that’s not my personality trait, right? But at the same time, and I do openly talk about this, a lot of my growth or my self understanding that has shaped who I am in business came from a whole lot of self reflection, and in figuring out who I am, and that kind of happened at the same time as I was really setting up the brand for my business. So the two things just became intrinsically entwined because as I was creating my business and what I stood for and what I did, I was really finding these things in me. Because it was post divorce, post my world shattering, so to speak and changing, and redefining who I was, it became almost like a visual verbal journal, if you want to call it that, as I was finding things about myself, that I was learning and I was developing, I was also having conversations with my clients, and discussing those things and seeing the challenges that others were going through and having conversations with women in business at different points in their journey. It’s a place of vulnerability when you’re getting your photo taken. So people always say things to me that they are uncomfortable with, right? And so the conversation was, would just automatically just go to this deep shit. And we would be talking about life and, and worries and all of this kind of stuff. And it became very clear that the things that I was going through were the same was what everyone was going through, it became very obvious to me what why would you hide it? So a, I was always a sharer be I was at an age where I was nearly 40, and learning a lot of things about myself that others might have done at an early age. And then three, having these experiences with other women that said that they were going through it too and didn’t have people who they were openly comfortable talking about it. And so it’s like, Oh, hell, I’m just gonna share this stuff.
The power of a me too moment?
You do empower a lot of people to follow their dreams. But the biggest thing is that you are enough, right? Now, tell us a little bit about that.
The whole idea of being enough, was the challenge that I or the mental space that I found myself in after my separation. Now, I’d been with this man for 20 years. And so we had established a life, right? A lot of my growing up as an adult was with this person. Now he and I, like it’s no disrespect. For him, this was not a bad person in any stretch. But when that relationship broke down the messages and the stories that I took on about myself were that I wasn’t good enough to sustain this marriage. And I wasn’t good enough to be a good mother, I wasn’t good enough to keep him happy, to keep a nice house, to have a good body, whatever the thing, when you’re in that kind of a mental space, everything seems like you’re not good enough. And I had some key points and ones that we’ve talked about one, like your body image, which is always a trigger, for me, has always been another one is about my intellect. So there’s a couple of trigger points and my value was a woman, there’s three big ones for me. And so when I was going through this process, it was like this forcing myself to learn that I was okay. And that the decisions that I was making were okay. And that I was enough as I was because this relationship was failing was not a failing on who I was. And that was really hard to deal with. But it was so incredibly empowering. Because again, once you start looking at that, you start looking at a lot of the ideas that you’ve got going, in that way you just assume. We grow up with all of these expectations about how we should behave. And like I was saying before, the kind of career that you go into, or what you should look like, or what is the appropriate way a woman dresses or acts or all of the shit, right? Without even realising it we take on all of these expectations. And we think, and no person that I’ve ever, no woman that I’ve ever met has ever felt that she meets those expectations. We’ve gone, Okay, well, I can’t do that then because I’m not good enough at this or I can’t do that then because I’m not good enough at that. And it’s just freakin bullshit. I can’t think of an, you know, probably a more articulate less cursing word way to say it. But seriously, it is just bullshit. And it stops us from doing so much. We hold ourselves back. Now, I’m not going to say that there is not a whole whack of great big freakin systems out there. The patriarchy, social justice issues, like just the whole socio economic, there’s so many issues that impact on our success. But one of the biggest is ourselves, a story that we tell ourselves that we’re not fucking good enough. And it’s a lie. I was good enough to start my business. I was good enough the way I was to take a photo of myself to put on my social media stream. I was good enough to say I’m struggling with this particular part of me. And that’s okay because we’re all frickin human. And we’re all doing our best the way we are. There’s this expectation that we should be something else and we should be another way and it really, it breaks my heart seeing other people struggle, these women struggle with this idea. I’m in no way through that myself. Man. I fucking got it tattooed on my hand so that I could look at it and go, that’s right. I’ve got to remind myself it’s so ingrained in us, and it’s such a constant need to to try and remind people.
And you must have to do that a lot in the photography space. I know from my own personal experience that there’s no other word for it, if we’re already on the cursing train, it was a total mindfuck. Like, it just surfaced so many things. And it was things I thought I’d dealt with, or things that I’d just glazed over in the past, all of these insecurities, all of the self doubt just came up, when I thought I was doing fine. And then the big photoshoot popped up in my calendar, as a reminder, hey, you have to be in front of a camera. And suddenly, all this stuff just came bubbling to the surface, it was a freaking process, man.
It is the ultimate and visibility, right? We want to hide in so many ways we go, Okay, I’m fat, I’m going to wear black. So I can’t be seen, or I don’t like my such and such, I’m going to stand at the back of the crowd. Or I’m not going to raise my hand to show that I know the answer to the question, or I’m going to let that person take credit for the work that I’m contributing to, or I’ve done. In so many ways we hide. Getting your photo taken is like I say it’s the ultimate visibility, because not only is it the physical process of having a photo, right, and that just makes people go out, Ah I don’t look good enough. So there’s the whole physical appearance stuff. But I genuinely believe it also puts front of mind so many of our other vulnerabilities about well, do I deserve to have photos taken, am I a wanker for wanting to have photos to put of myself to put out online? I mean, who do I think I am? The whole train of thought about us being seen for who we are and what we’re doing or what we’re trying to achieve. It’s like, it’s this big slap in the face, like, Hello, show me all your vulnerabilities and let’s put it in front of a camera. It is it’s a mindfuck. And I think one of the things that I have found, and one of the things that I really try hard every shoot to do is show people that it’s normal, if we can take away the expectations that you have to be a supermodel, and that we’re having a glamour photo taken for a magazine. Like that’s not what we’re here for people. And so if we can start to move that away and making people go, Oh, no, this is a normal part of day, this is a normal thing to do. Start taking away some of those crazy ideas about whether or not you’re good enough to actually be seen, then hopefully we can start to change that
When you put this out there, what kinds of people are you attracting in return?
I get folks who are generally uncomfortable in some way with their body or with what they look like, have some self confidence issues around.T hey are generally women who are a little older 35+, not the Instagram generation, basically not the selfie generation. People who don’t want their photo taken and used to having their photo taken. But at the same time, what I get is people who go, I’m really uncomfortable, I don’t want someone to lie to me about this. I want to feel comfortable with somebody, and I know who you are because of how you show up. And I know that you will be the same as when you’re online.
You hold a mirror up to yourself and in tune you’re potentially reflecting back to other people that it’s okay.
Absolutely, absolutely. I’m not saying that I get people who are the same as me. So if we assume that I am very loud, I’m very bright and colourful. I swear a lot. There’s a whole lot of other outward expressions of who I am. I’ve had many, many clients who are very quiet, very introverted, wouldn’t swear. Do you know what I mean? But that doesn’t mean they still don’t need or feel drawn to the energy of somebody who is not going to pussyfoot around, but who is going to be honest and open, who they can feel is being just up front. Like many industries, people have this preconceived notion that photographers are cool, like they were black, and they’re like funky and shit like that is so not true. They want to feel comfortable.
So obviously, people are coming to you in the space of vulnerability. How do you take them through a process so that they go from this unsure space to some of the amazing photos you have taken where people just shine through as exactly who they are? Like, what’s the steps that you take someone through from beginning to getting that gorgeous shot?
Sure. And there’s a couple of different ways that I do this. Okay, I know we’ll talk a bit about the whole brand process, the branding archetype process, so I won’t go for that just yet. But what I think is really important is that and maybe it’s my background is to me, education is huge. It’s helping inform folks that the worries that they have are normal, that the concerns that they’ve got are not unique to them. When people know that they’re being seen that the experience and the nerves and the insecurities are being recognised, but not downplayed. They settle in, right, it’s like okay, I can take a deep breath, I can put that aside. I’ve also spend a lot of time, and I’m not saying that I’m perfect at this, but I’ve put a lot of time and energy in how I interact with people in that interaction in that shoot with the energy that I bring into it. One of the other parts of that, for me is about as a matter of putting people at ease. But that sounds a little trite. Do you know what I mean? It’s allowing people to be them and reading who they are. And if they are somebody who is quite introverted, who is a little bit shy, then I don’t want that to not come through in the pictures, because that’s who they are. I don’t want to make some one pretend. So it’s about talking with them. I do a lot of talking. If you haven’t noticed, and a lot of asking questions and a lot of discussing, you know, what do you do? Like, what do you love about your job, because once you start talking about things, or get your client to start talking about things, they go into their comfort spot, they go into their, oh, okay, I don’t have to worry about standing in front of a camera and smiling, I can talk to somebody about something that lights me up. And then for me, my job is then to be ready to go with the camera and the settings and just snap it. Because taking a photo is not hard. But taking a photo when somebody is being themselves, but also looking like a great version of themselves, is down to the interaction with the person and that smile coming out. That personality coming out, the eyes lighting up all of those things. It’s not about the camera, it’s not about the setting. And that’s the bit that I can geek out on.
You’ve built a process, that’s a cross section between your day job, and what is fast becoming more than a side hustle, you found a nice cross section between the two through a process that you’ve developed. Could you tell us a little bit about how this works and how you came up with it?
It’s a really weird story. And like you’re, you’re completely right, it is like this overlap of all of the different parts of me, like from being a Cosmo quiz lover, as a teenager, and then kind of really getting into the whole idea of astrology and all that kind of stuff, where you learn what your star sign is. And it made me fascinated by the idea of what is archetypes, but it’s this collection of knowledge about people. And when I was in my day job, which like I mentioned is in learning and development, one of the things that we would often do is these team building exercises where we would do various personality profiling tools, like the Myers Briggs Indicator, or what else, there’s the big five that we have done, and a couple of others like that. They’re all various tools that help to, at its basis, categorise personality traits. Now, many of these tools are based on what is a body of work by a personality psychologist named Carl Jung, which is a long time ago, and he came up with these archetype types. Now, these types are everywhere. And that’s the beauty of them. The science or the study behind archetypes is like there’s this collection of specific behaviours and traits that are often associated with each other. And some people believe that there is a collective unconscious, we know that we recognise that type. So it makes sense to us, right? These collections of personality traits. Now, when I was working with clients to try and help understand what their brands were, oftentimes, I would start the process by going, you know, what do you do? What kind of brand, what kind of message do you want to shape or send and they lay on? No, I’m an accountant. I work with numbers. And I’m like, Okay, well, that’s great, but so 7000 other people here. So what makes you stand out? And it started us through this process. Or it reminded me of the personality tools, when I started saying things like, what are you good at? What are your strengths? How do people relate to you, it started reminding me of this whole body of knowledge that I use to work with in my day job. And so I started building in the use of things like Myers Briggs, into my branding process. And if nothing else, it gives myself and my client a language to use to start to help describe. And so when I started looking at these behaviour traits, I’ve always been interested in the whole archetype stuff. But when I started looking at it, I started seeing correlations between these groups of traits. And I’m like, oh, wow, this is fun. There’s something here. And so the archetype process that I’ve come up with is, I don’t know what you would call it. It’s a mixing pot. I feel like a witch’s brew. You know, sometimes I feel like that cackling old crone hanging over again, a bit of this and a bit of that. In goes, the Myers Briggs type assessment in goes… Oh, that’s Oh, and I haven’t mentioned this to you, but my clients, I put them through what is effectively based on the idea of a performance review in the workplace as a 360 review. So my clients go through a process where they get them to ask a number of their peers and colleagues feedback on how they show up. So we would go to Rowena is good at, and they would list all these traits. So we put all of these traits into this witch’s brew, we find the ones, that gel, and we go, or these are the main core ones of you. And then we go and have a look at the archetype and go where that aligns to that type. And we then have a personality type. Then I went, Oh, this could be fun if we have a look at colour and how that relates to archetype. And there’s another body of work. And this is may being a geek and having just so many different interests in so many different things. I’ve been doing some reading about colour theory, and colour psychology, particularly the work of Dr. Angela Wright, she has done this work that is not just about blue makes you calm and green makes you think of nature, whatever, during yellow makes you happy, and red can make you hungry, or angry, which can be a bit of a conflict, that’s probably where hangry came from. I can tell you why, though, red is a stimulus colour. So the colour, the energy wave, the light wave of red, is a stimulant, which is why a little bit can make you a bit hungry, but a lot of it can make you angry. It’s why it’s also the colour of sexy lingerie, too, because it gets you going. But her work was not just about individual colours. But it was about the combination of colours. And when you combine certain colours together. And I thought that was fascinating. And then I’m like, Oh, I wonder if I can lay that on top of some of the personality profiling, and some of the archetypes. And that’s kind of how it all happened. It was just serendipitous little layering of bodies of knowledge, these different ideas, what it came down to was me making stuff up, basically, because I couldn’t actually find any one thing that did everything that I wanted it to. And I’m like, Okay, well, I’m going to take a bit of this. And I’m going to take a bit of that. And I’m going to take a bit of this. And I’m going to put it together. And I’ve come up with what I’ve got, I work with four archetypes, because they’re very driven by the four seasonal colour palette, I also find that people want something that’s familiar and easy to understand. That’s the point of an archetype. Do you know what I mean? It’s like a collection of familiar ideas. Yeah, when there’s 16 of them, or something. That’s just too too much, too much for folks. And for me.
And if it’s anything like the Cosmo quiz, you want to go back and see and get a different answer.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. And there, there’s definitely times that I’ve had debates with clients I’ve gotten No, you might want to be that type. But you’re not.
You put people through this Brand Archetype process, and so many different parts of this just fascinate me. Like, I really only started to embrace a lot of these personality things, when I need so comfortable with myself in a lot of ways I found that a lot of these things really spoke to me. And so what comes from this, what sorts of physical outcomes come from putting people through this Brand Archetype process?
It’s interesting you say about how you needed to be comfortable with who you were to actually do it. And one of the challenges I was finding was that a lot of my clients weren’t. Where a lot of you know, I was joking before, but I want to be this type of but I’m really that comes from right, is that we have this idea of who we want to be, but it’s not actually who we are. That’s where I’ve had clients, situations that have gone wrong, because their results have been one thing they’ve wanted another we’ve shot and that’s the photos just not right. And so what we do is we take your personality strength, we take some of the skills and abilities that you’ve got, we align you to an archetype. But as part of that archetype, we also do a couple of things. We create what I call a signature statement, which is like, an elevator pitch, for lack of a better word. And it’s drawing on all of these things that are your traits, technically, my signature statement, which is what I could have introduced myself with at the beginning, when you say what do you do, I could say, you know, I’m Renee, and I’m all about stylish and expressive communication, because fundamentally, that’s where my skillset lies, but it’s all about expression. And it’s all about doing that expression with a flair. Now, if that’s my day job, whether my boss likes it or not, that’s how I show up. And in my business, that’s how I show up. So we create a signature statement that becomes like an elevator pitch. And then we align some of the core values and traits that come out of your archetype with a colour palette. So using myself for example, again, some of the core traits that would come out of my type are around nurturing, are around joy are around, I use the word love, but it’s, it’s more about compassion. So what we do is then Okay, we go okay, so these are your top three traits. And we then go to the palettes, the colour psychology, and go Okay, if joy is one of your key values, then we’re going to use yellow as part of your brand. If love, compassion and nurturing are part of your who you are, then we’re going to use pinks in your brand. As a designer, I’m sure you know, there is a whole wide world of pink. So then we go, what the fuck? What pink do I use? Right, and that’s where the next layer that archetype comes in. Because by having a look at my type, my personality traits, how I show up, I am a Creator brand. That’s the type I am I’m a creative type. So if I go to my Creator brand palette, what is aligned to the spring, colour palette, bright, bold, clear, warm colours. So I would go and pick a bright, bold, clear yellow and pink. If I’d come out the other end as a Sage brand, for example, which is somebody who can still be joyful can still be nurturing and loving, but does so in a much more timeless, gentle way, I would go to a summer palette, which is all of those cool, soft, almost pastel grey undertones. So I would be looking at a soft pink, and softer yellows, not necessarily insipid, they’ve got a cool undertone, they’ve got a little bit more muted than the warm vibrant of my brand. So then we have this colour palette, and along with the colours of an archetype I also have overlaid that, again, with a whole lot of and you probably know this stuff better than I do, but design aesthetics. So, you know, circles are related to joy, for example. So in my branding, I would have, or in a Creator brand we would talk about, you know, the use of confetti, or other circle shapes as props as part of the imagery because it helps to transfer that message of joy and lightheartedness and fun into the brand. So we’ve come through, we’ve identified our strengths, which by the way, is a huge step, because a lot of my clients have never spent that much time self reflecting, we live for our families, our jobs and everything else. That’s the whole idea of thinking about ourselves is like down the list. So the very process of thinking about ourselves, what we’re good at getting feedback from others about we’re good at what we’re good at, is a real strengthening to the confidence, then we go Okay, my my core values of this, what I’m good at is this. And that leads me to being this brand, with this particular colour palette that’s sharing those core values. So it’s not just because I think pink is pretty, but that pink is meaningful to me. And not just any pink, but a specific pink that shares my vibrancy. And then I go like, full.
Woo-woo, is woo-woo the word your looking for here?
No, I don’t know. But I just I throw a lot of stuff together. And that’s where my shoot styling comes in. So that first half of it is a lot, a lot of the coaching stuff that we do. But then we go to wardrobe styling, styling in line with those things. My Creator brand would have sequins or bold colours, obviously in clothes that are a bit not edgy isn’t cool, but a bit left of centre, quirky slogans, interesting shapes, probably things that are a bit more contemporary or modern, but not necessarily sleek and minimalist. Whereas if I had been that Sage brand that we mentioned earlier, I would probably be in jeans and a white button down shirt, right, I’ve got a more timeless look. Or I might have the classic pinstripes would be my style. My whole look is a lot more, my creative side wants to say subdued, but it’s a lot more timeless. It’s a lot more classic, clients get a wardrobe, they get a whole lot of ideas for backdrops, props, things that they can use in the shoot styling, to help bring that brand out. And so the idea is at the other end, not only do they have photos, because that’s what I do as a photographer, but they have photos that are really flippin intentional. They’re not just pretty photos of somebody walking down the beach at dawn, because it’s pretty, they’ve got a set of photos that are a genuine marketing asset, that share a whole lot of information about who they are. And then, for extra shits and giggles. I’ll give them guides as to you know, tips for how you would do copywriting, the kind of words that you can put in your copy because brand voice should be consistent along those lines. I would give recommendations for I’m not a designer, basically. And while I’ve had clients who ask me that, I’ll say look, I’ll give you some ideas. And I’ll give you information for you to take to a designer or a web designer to work with. So there is a very distinct line there because a lot of people think that when I start talking colour palettes and I start talking things like Like that they’re like, Okay, well, this is the next step. But I’m like, No, there’s a whole different skill set to that. But you know, here’s the kind of vibe you want to take to it. So a whole lot of documents at the other end.
Fellow creative to fellow creative, but even though we’re in, you know, in different parts of the same branding industry, the overall importance always seems to come through of helping your client to have ownership and a part of the process. So often, I feel like people get told, and this again, comes into like stepping up and owning your space, when you take a person through a process and really invest in the person, not just the purpose comes from an education space that comes from a learning space, it means that, you know, you’re actually creating a skill set that this person didn’t have before. But not only that, it is so empowering. And it gives you so much confidence to have a brand at any stage. But you don’t anyone can be given a brand, I could jump off and give you one now. But the realisation is, is that if you’re not invested in it, it’s not going to do anything for you.
And I would also argue it’s not even just about being invested in it. It’s about having me in it. You know, unlike many entrepreneurs, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to trying to attempt a small business. This is like my fourth attempt at a small business. And I’m very fortunate that I’ve got a graphic designer who is a brother. And so my very first versions he did for me, and none of them were me, because the jobs weren’t me the work that I was trying to do wasn’t me, I think my first photography logo was very soft and pretty, a bit of watercolour here and a bit of a nice script font, because that’s what they did. And it’s like, but it’s also not me, I’m very clear when I work with clients that I work with personal brands, business brands, you know, there is a backwards and forwards and we’ll talk a lot about that beforehand, as in going well Am I the right fit for somebody, but I genuinely want to bring the person into the brand that we’re creating. So solopreneurs, creatives, all of that kind of stuff, is my jam.
You know the really funny thing about this is that I was a graphic designer was brand shame, you work in corporate, and you just think you know it all. And then you go on your own realise, you know, jack shit, I had to put myself through my own branding process. This is what I mean by our processes seem to align so strongly is that I had to name my brand values, I had to really figure out what my business was going to be. But also, those things had to align with who I was because it was just me couldn’t just go out with these big generic terms, because I’m not generic. That’s one thing I’m definitely not. So what you do in your process I did for myself, and I actually started doing it for my clients. So for instance, my brand values, and I’m always of the thought that it’s okay for your brand values to change as you grow in a business. And I feel like so often people feel like this locked in stone, but mine are bold, and I assigned a colour to it. So black, for me was bold, energetic, and that’s yellow, confident, and aqua blue. And it’s not necessarily got too much psychology behind it, but it’s how I felt about it. When I thought of a colour that represented that word. That’s what it meant to me. And I have gone through, even in just 2.5 years, I’ve gone through different iterations of my business, but they have stayed the same. It’s a really strong foundation to build for yourself to have that knowledge as a business owner of what you stand for and what the image looks like. And you know how to present yourself, in a way that’s you.
And it’s really interesting that you say it should evolve, this point last year, right? I love this time of the year where I get all excited about the year to come. And I was reflecting on and I try and often do that kind of process where I look back and I go, Well, what was the year before? Like, what am I going to do this year. And it really became clear to me that some of the things that I was doing or wanted to do just didn’t align anymore. And so I was very much in the will I need to redo this. And so I did I took myself through that process, like you say and I mean, I actually shared myself going through that process in my stories on Instagram going okay, so today I’m looking at and this is what I found. And this is the conversation and what I found is that as I was doing that, whereas once I was in my system, a solid Creator brand, I had a whole lot of Hero brand undertones now in the end of 2019 I wasn’t feeling really aligned to what my brand was because it didn’t have the depth that I was feeling that was coming in from my Hero brand. So even though I haven’t changed, somewhat I have because you do you grow up, but I still felt the need to evolve that. But the core, things are still the same. It just either right? That’s pretty cool because we’re human and when you are you’re brand, it makes sense to do that, the biggest message that I have to my clients, if you are your business, unless you just have the joy of having somebody running your social media for you, and writing your copy for you, and all of that kind of stuff, you are doing it all, which means that you are in that. So your copy needs to be consistent with you. And if you have a visual persona, or a brand that is not consistent with you, when somebody looks at what was my pretty logo with the pretty flowers and stuff like that, and then heard me talking or read my posts, and there is a disconnect, and disconnect, or inconsistency leads to distrust. And when we’re in a world where our trust is what is most important in order to lead to sales, having an online presence in however you want to shape that. And you know, we can talk about Instagram, because it’s easy, because it’s got words and pictures, right, having a consistent brand message in everything that you do is really freakin important. Because every time you don’t have consistency, it’s just like that little drop drop about oh, maybe she’s not, you know what I mean, it’s just that little tiny bit of inconsistency, a little bit of distrust, not enough for you to leave just yet. But you know, you keep watching. But if you are the person who is running your business, if you don’t have the ability to stay on brand all the time, that’s going to be the outcome. You can do. And I’m sure that there’s been situations in the past where you know, you get someone can create your brand. And they could even potentially outline what your brand voices right and say, you know, you’re this type of person, and you share this kind of colours to try and keep up with that. When you posting daily on Instagram is freaking exhausting. Because you’re not being authentic, you are having to always put on a show. And that’s why people burn out. That’s why people hate places like Instagram and so forth. It’s not just that they might not like the tool, but it’s like, oh, I feel like I have to be fake or I feel like I have to put this on. And that to me is like alarm bells that your brand is not you if you feel like it to work. As in. It’s not natural. Like I mean, no one likes to do stuff every day, I still have days and months, where I struggle to do it. But that that’s for different reasons. But if you feel that you’ve got to put on something, then chances are to me your brand is not resonant to who you are.
It really can hold you back. And that’s the thing. So when people are in this space where they’re kind of going, Okay, well, cool. I’ve done the work, got the outfits. Now I have to do it. What are some of the tips that you have finding the right photographer making sure that you have a connection with that person?
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And that’s kind of why I was saying before about the importance for me of just showing up as me because people are, and it’s not just the fact that they’re investing a chunk of money in you. It’s not just because they’re uncomfortable, right? But it’s this whole combination, you want somebody who’s going to enjoy working with you who is going to be put at ease. You know, I’m talking from the photographer perspective, it goes both ways, right? You want someone who you’re going to feel like you can relax with someone who is going to guide you if you need to be guided through that process, whatever it is that you need. Absolutely, I would research the photographer, I mean, who doesn’t check out people’s social media feeds and so forth these days, but have a look and actually have a look who the person is not just the photos. Because if you don’t gel with the person, then the photos are going to be so much harder to make happen. But overall, I would say wise is be prepared. Go Boy Scout have a shot list have a very strategic shot list. So think about what is it that you want to do in your business in the next 6-12 months? Are you launching a new product? Or is there a part of your business that you want to highlight, think about the components of your business, as a business, not as a person that you want to highlight and that you want to get in photos. One of my early clients, so to get past the fear, she had to start thinking of herself as a commodity. To go out of the This is a photo of me. No, this is a photo of Renee, the business person. And making it very clear that this is what the photos were for. They’re not for print up lovely and hanging a pretty frame on the wall. Or they’re not to go into a magazine somewhere these photos have a specific purpose. And when you start to think about these for what they are, it helps remove some of the other ridiculous anxieties that you have about needing to be a flawless model, about needing to be perfect, like on a wedding day. These before when were the only times where people get their photos taken. And so there’s this idea that this is when what you need to do but it’s not at all and it’s going okay I need to have photos for this launch. What kind of photos do I need for this lunch, then go to our best friend Pinterest and start looking. Because if you can come armed with a shot list to your photographer, it helps them understand what you want also helps you feel more prepared for what you’ve got to do. So it takes away some of the unknown. any situation that is nerve wracking, limiting the unknown is beneficial.
Now we’ve already talked a lot about how colour plays a big part in your life, plays a big part in your business and it’s a big part of the journey that you take your clients through. So in this little section clearly, this is the colour issue of Brand You Magazine. What is your earliest colour based memory that you have?
Oh, man, a couple of things spring to mind. One is probably one of my earliest childhood bedrooms and the colours that were in that room. I was very fortunate because mom and dad always let me pick the colours that we’ve painted on our walls. One of the memories that I have was this amazing room that my mom painted, but she was also a bit of a sign writer and mural artist. So she painted this amazing mural of a toadstool and all of these little woodland creatures on my wall. And when I think about that now the one thing that that’s really strikes me and was very, very cool.
Explains a lot of why your home is full of colour now, doesn’t it?
It’s pretty insane. It’s pretty insane. But maybe my my lack of fear about painting on a wall came from her. Yeah.
And that’s the thing like if you love it, why not? What is your favourite colour?
It is a tough battle, I tell my kids that my favourite colour is blue. And that’s because both of their names are of different shades of blue. And so I have an Indigo and I have an Azura which is from the Italian word azure, but probably secretly is to yellow because it’s just so freakin happy and who doesn’t need more happy in their life, right?
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