Business, Photography

July 19, 2017

Behind the Lens: Being Authentic Online

The past few weeks I’ve seen post after post about being authentic online. I suppose it’s more of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon and not an actual increase in posts about authenticity, but I felt compelled to share my heart on this new subject.

I guess for me there are two types of authenticity: being real about my business and then being real about my personal life. Sometimes they overlap, but a lot of the time they are separate which is why I’ve created Her Heart Is Glad. HHIG is a way for me to be more authentic with not only Karyn Johnson Photography’s wedding clients, but also Karyn Johnson’s friends and family (who are often the same!) who live near and far. In my opinion, that area covered quite well with my new site.

But it’s the business side that I sometimes struggle with. As someone with a degree in marketing, I often wonder what makes a brand “authentic” and “real”. What would allow my business to stand out as a more genuine, sincere entity in a sea of other photography businesses?

As much as I can, I try to be totally honest online sharing the good and bad of business. However, that honesty is always coated in a positive filter. I never want to spread negativity because that doesn’t do anyone any good, including myself!

So, what are ways that I try to keep stay authentic online?

The first is that I don’t schedule social media posts. I know scheduling can be super helpful when you’re going on vacation or have appointments and I’m not speaking to that. I choose not to schedule posts on a regular basis. I feel, for my brand, that it lacks authenticity. I enjoy scrolling through an old gallery and finding an image that I love and posting it with my thoughts. Or being in the moment and posting what I’m eating or where we’re traveling. It is a true snapshot of what is happening in my life right now and I’m inviting you to join along.

I also try to stay authentic in my emails. Maybe it’s less professional, but they are generally filled with exclamation marks and smiley faces. 🙂 Sometimes I wonder if it’s annoying, but I’ve had so many people say that they felt like they got to know me through our emails, and that makes it all worth it.

And finally, I base my brand around truth. The truth behind who I am, what I offer, and a consistent style. It’s the “what you see is what you get” approach! I don’t want anyone to visit and expect one thing but get another. I am all about being transparent and setting expectations. It may come off as over-communicating sometimes, but I want to let each of my KJP couples know exactly what’s coming. I 100% understand the importance of wedding photography both in the it’s-a-once-in-a-lifetime-no-do-over-day and in the holy-moly-this-is-an-expensive-service-we-better-like-you way. So I give each of my clients all the information upfront and let them make decisions from there. Maybe it’s not the most strategic sales strategy, but that’s how I want to run my business: truthfully!

For my clients, friends, and clients turned friends, do you have any ways your favorite brands are authentic online? And photographer friends, what are your tips and tricks? There is always room to improve and I genuinely love hearing what you all think. <3