How branding photos can transform your coaching business

Clients will connect with you on a deeper level (aka your values)

One of the number one reasons why you became a coach is to transform people’s lives. With around 64,438 Business Coaching businesses in the US as of January 2023 according to ibisworld, your business feels like the proverbial needle in the haystack. How are clients supposed to find you? Let’s take a look at how branding photos can transform your coaching business.

Lifestyle branding photos that help your potential coaching clients connect with you on a deeper level are the magnet that will help you stand out and be found. So how do you show your expertise and values in your photos on your website, newsletter or LinkedIn posts?

As a coach, choosing and living by strong values is possibly the most important thing you can do to build a powerful, trustworthy personal brand.

(excerpt from an article on Evercoach)

The process of planning your session will help you tell your story

You deserve to have images that are more than your typical cookie-cutter stock photography without personality, avoid of your brand voice and aesthetic.

Branded lifestyle portraits of a mature woman in a light-filled kitchen at Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia
Life Transition Coach Judith Kurnick included the color teal for a cohesive look across all of her marketing.

An in-depth planning session with your branding photographer will help you tell your story with intention and integrity. I can see your mind spinning trying to figure out how to translate your values into images. Let’s take a look at what happens during the planning so that you can enter into your own photoshoot with ease and confidence.

How to translate your values into images

Visualize where you see yourself in the next year or two (where are you going)?

Before we start visualizing where you see yourself in the next year or two or five during the planning session, I like to hear your business story. Here are a few questions I ask my clients:

  • How did you get started?
  • What made you choose a career as a coach?
  • What do you love about coaching?

Only then do we head into the future YOU.

  • Do you see yourself coaching mainly 1:1?
  • Do you hope to facilitate workshops?
  • Are you ready to hit the stage to become a keynote speaker or host your own podcast?

Your goals will shape the direction the personal branding photoshoot will take and the images needed to get you there. Projecting who you are now and where you see yourself in the future in all of your marketing images will bring focus and clarity to your messages.

What feeds your passion in the work you do – what gives you energy to do your best work?

As a leadership, business or fitness coach you have to feed your own passion to have the energy you will need to serve your clients well. What does that look like? Do you attend silent retreats or take a day each month to focus on your own inner work? What books do you read to feed your soul? Are you a runner or yogi who gets rejuvenated by exercising and finding focus by clearing your mind?

Your clients will understand so much better the path they may take themselves to improve their own lives if they see you doing the work as well. Wading in a creek may not be what you imagined when thinking about professional images, but with the right message this image can be incredibly powerful.

A woman is splashing water wading in a creek in Lancaster County, PA.
Life coach Susan Wallace believes everything is rooted in nature and healing starts there.

What are the values that you share with the clients who hire you?

As a values based coach, you should have three to five core values that are interwoven into every action. Take a look at the values list below and pull out the ones that align with you and lets your audience see what you stand for and belief in.

word cloud with list of values

It takes listening skills on your photographers part to hear and understand the underlying thoughts that shape who you are and how you connect and transform your clients lives.

Let me show you how I’ve used my own value of curiosity to ask the right questions, dig deep with my clients to create the intentional visual stories you see below.

Examples of Lifestyle Branding Sessions for Coaches

Kae – Marketing Coach

Kae Wagner is the owner of North Star Marketing, an author, podcast host, workshop facilitator and keynote speaker across the United States and beyond. The first time Kae and I worked together, she was looking for a set of images that would allow her to create marketing graphics for upcoming workshops. To give her variety we created several sets on a white background so it would be easy to embed her images into the graphics she needed for her ongoing marketing campaigns.

Some of the props used for her sessions over the past years included:

  • laptop
  • podcasting microphone and headset
  • stacks of her new book
  • microphone
  • whiteboard

Kae is known for being a great listener, engaged speaker and willing to share her expert knowledge with leaders who are ready to level up. Her signature laugh is contagious.

Janis – Real Estate Coach

Janis Benstock is passionate about teaching all things real estate with a mindset that you can accomplish anything. Her students have come to love her energy and wisdom. For her new website, Janis wanted images that would show her teaching students at her real estate academy in Philadelphia, Pa, coaching 1:1 and her love of showing up online to help people break through mindset barriers.

Janis called me with happy tears in her voice when she received her image gallery, “I finally have images that let the world see who I really am.”

Theresa – Boxing Fitness Coach

As a fitness coach in her 50’s, Theresa Fackler is very conscious of helping others find what fitness may look like for them. At her business, EnVision Train in Lancaster, PA, she teaches boxing fitness while creating a community where everyone feels like they belong.

Theresa shows up in her images and keeps challenging and encouraging her followers in her daily social media posts to believe in themselves and know that they matter.

Props and locations for Theresa included:

  • boxing gloves
  • fitness equipment at her gym
  • her favorite shirt with the motto she lives by “Inhale Confidence, Exhale Doubt”
  • A lamp to indicate the importance of letting your inner light shine

You can read more about Theresa’s personal story in my coffee table book “Owning Our Game: Female athlete stories of strength, beauty and athleticism.”

Kristen – Leadership Coach

Kristen Albert believes that every person is a leader in their own spheres of influence. Growing her leadership coaching business over the past several years required creating multiple sets of lifestyle branding images to keep up with the changes. Kristen coaches 1:1, offers a leadership community, is a speaker and podcast host, as well as social justice activist.

Her laughter, listening skills and ability to make the person next to her feel comfortable are just a few of the images we created for her. You can see a fuller set of images and how she is using them in her marketing in her Branding Gallery.

I hope this post has given you some ideas in what branding photos could look like for your own coaching business. To keep the ideas flowing and learn more about how a Branding Photography Experience can help you stand out, I invite you to schedule a discovery appointment with me.

When is the last time you felt seen?

As one of the top headshot and personal branding photographers in Lancaster, PA, I specialize in helping business owners, entrepreneurs and creatives magnetize their brands with intentional, eye-catching images they actually love. It’s an experience that will transform how you see yourself.

I invite you to experience the power of feeling seen, so you can book your dream clients!

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    1. Thank you so much, Hayley-Ann. Every coaching photography session is so different from each other, so I’m glad that the examples are helpful.

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