When you’re creating content, here’s the honest truth: a lot of your success will depend upon the visuals you use with your posts.
As a beauty professional, this is even truer because I’ve learned that beauty consumers are especially drawn to your visuals and aesthetics!
The other truth that I have discovered in building an audience online is that you need to have great photos of yourself.
Yes, you will always want to show photos of your work, but the point of social media is to be social with your audience, and this includes letting them get to know you.
People nowadays want to know and see the person behind the brand!
One of the questions I am often asked is, “Nicole, how do you get your branding and images of yourself to look so cohesive?”
First, I’m super grateful when you all share kind words with me! Thank you, friends! ?
Second, I truly believe that anyone can create cohesive visuals on your social feeds and digital platforms. I’m going to break down how I create cohesive visuals and pictures of myself for my content.
Here are the three easy steps that have worked for me:
1. Choose your brand color palette
2. Purchase clothing items and accessories to match your color palette
3. Create an at-home studio for headshots and brand images
Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Choose Your Brand Color Palette
The first thing I want you to do is to get clear about what color palette you want for your online brand.
Your color palette will determine what look and feel you use across your content. Note that your color palette does not initially have to be “literal.” Meaning, you don’t need exact Pantone codes or RGB numbers here. All I want you to have is a general color palette that you LOVE and want to see across your brand. Then, you can add inspiration photos that also show your color palette in action:
For example, here is the exact color palette I made for Beauty Content Studio back in 2017:
I made this quick palette using screenshots that I had collected from around the web and Instagram. I created the circles with the color swatches using Adobe Photoshop.
As I began to use my new color palette for flyers, images, and content, my Instagram grid and branding began to look like this!
Step 2: Purchase Clothing Items and Accessories to Match Your Color Palette
Whenever I’m shooting for my content, I make SURE that my attire matches my color palette!
Here’s a snapshot of some of my brand shoots over the years for example:
I love shades of coral, so whenever I see clothes while I’m out and about, I scoop them up right then and there!
For example, I had those coral pants in my closet for over a year before I finally got around to wearing them in one of my content shoots. And as a bonus… they are thrifted! #win You can totally “shop your brand” on a budget, friends!
As another example, before I launched Beauty Content Pro, I knew that I wanted it to feel similar to my brand… but not identical.
So instead of my typical business casual (as pictured in the images above)… I wanted this product to feel more playful and fun since my audience always tells me that content and digital media feels overwhelming for them. I knew my images needed to convey the exact opposite of corporate or “buttoned up.”
Here are some of the images for Beauty Content Pro for example. Notice that these colors still match my original color palette for Beauty Content Studio above!
Step 3. Create an At-Home Studio for Headshots and Brand Images
This one is really important! Once you have your colors and some cute outfits to match your color scheme, it’s time to create some images you can use throughout your content!
You also don’t have to run around town looking for cute offices or coffee shops or pro photo studios to shoot your content. You can totally set up a quick shoot right in your own home!
The best and easiest way to DIY this is to purchase some background paper, get some inexpensive softboxes and set up shop right in your living room or garage.
Here are the essential supplies I recommend that you purchase to get started. Everything here is less than $50 bucks!
You can totally ask a friend to help you shoot these images. You can also find a photographer in your area that fits your budget and see if they will be willing to work with you.
When I was on a budget, my sister came to my house, I handed her my Nikon DSLR and we spent a few hours shooting literally hundreds of stock photos for my branding.
Then, I did this same thing with a friend who attends my church and works on the photography team. She came to my apartment and we had a few hours of shooting and creating images.
*Note* As of March 2020, we are social distancing due to COVID-19, so it’s best to get someone in your household to help. If you live alone, another option is to use a camera with a self-timer. Here’s the camera and tripod that I use when I have to shoot by myself.
Here are some examples from my at-home photo shoot!
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
And even my baby boy jumped into the shoot!
View this post on Instagram
These images above are the pretty cropped images… but here’s what you’d see behind-the-scenes! LOL
When I’m cropping or adding text on top of my images, I’m a die-hard user of Adobe Photoshop. If you’re just starting out with Photoshop, I recommend starting with Adobe Photoshop Elements which is like a “lite” version of PS that’s perrrrrfect for beginners.
Wrapping This All Up
So there you have it, friends! I really encourage you to include YOU in your content, and the best part is, you do NOT have to break the bank to get started.
I hope this post was helpful!
If you need more advice about how to create content consistently, I wrote a blog entry on 5 places to look for content when you don’t know what to post.
You can also download your free Beauty Content Planner below! This 8-page roadmap shares the exact process and docs I use to create a content calendar for social media.