Get Up & Grow Girl - Leela J Sule
Leela started her blogger/influencer career over five years ago and throughout the years she has gained great experience both professionally and personally on how to run a business and how to serve her audience the best way possible.
In the past year, she has gone through an amazing transformation, turned her business around and dedicated all her time and knowledge to her clients. She has several qualifications under her belt, a wide variety of services such as personal and online training, group and 1:1 personal development coaching, a fun and informative podcast and last but not least an exciting social media presence which helps you to stay on track on daily basis.
This summer, Leela is pulling all of this amazingness under one brand, GET UP & GROW GIRL.
This was the point when she reached out to me and asked for my help on how to transform her look visually.
She knew her voice, she knew her services, she knew her clients but wasn't sure where to start with imagery and when it comes to implementing her new, beautifully designed branding identity and logo.
My first action was to go through her existing content and visual strategy and compare it to her answers to my questionnaire. Although Leela has a great catalogue of images due to her past on social media, the images aren't on-brand, colour, mood and editing wise and most importantly they are not reflecting her service-based business. It is the perfect example that having any kind of images of yourself isn't the same when you are working from your personalised visual strategy.
Once we have established all the services we needed to reflect with the images and the audience we were talking to, we turned our focus to the tone and atmosphere of the future photographs. When working with a freshly done brand identity, like in this scenario, the guidelines are much clearer and the shoot outline comes naturally.
The next step was to go over services, website pages and any marketing materials that might require photographic support and see what situation and settings are the most suitable to represent each topic . At this stage we ensure that each photograph has a purpose and the time and money invested in this process is maximised to its potential.
Based on Leela's soft, pastel colours and her fresh and uplifting branding we have looked for venues to her location that would give us lots of light and walls that would either reflect or let through light. During her wardrobe choices we stayed away from black and any bold colours which would draw the attention away from her message instead of supporting and complimenting it.
The images, the colours, the branding and the copy has to flow together like honey (I might have just made this up, but sounds good to me).
When we had the colours,tones and purposes pinned down, I have sent over Leela's shot-by-shot session plan with inspirational images, wardrobe and prop suggestions and any notes we might had regarding any set. This satisfies my type A personality and allows you to have a clear picture (literally) on what to expect for the photoshoot so there is less chance for those famous : 'we should've, we could've' .
This wasn't the first time I shot with Leela so the photoshoot went smoothly right from the beginning. If you think to yourself that you hate to have your photos taken or you are not photogenic, I must say, even with so much experience in front of the camera, Leela still gets self-aware if we are in public, so you are not alone. It's just the case of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and show up for your audience. I am also there to make the shoot feel as natural as possible, after all this is what I do daily. I am warning you my attitude is contagious and you will own your new role in front of my camera in no second.
When choosing the images from the contact sheet, our priority was to chose the most suitable photographs for Leela's new website and make sure she has photographic support to each section. As Leela is very used to select images of herself from an influencer point of you, it was important to make sure that the images are not only expressing her and her style but to be very inviting for the viewers. I advised Leela to select her go to favourites and pick a one 'too out there 'or 'cheesy' version of each photograph. I then created a second contact sheet which from she could narrow down her choices achieve the right balance. I always recommend to do a poll around your friends and family as what we sometimes feel too much so often just perfectly right. We are programmed to be afraid to be too much but you have to remember that when someone is looking at your profile or your website, they need your 'toomuchness' to reach them and encourage them to be brave enough to contact you. If you are friendly and have a casual approach to your business you need create uber-super-friendly images. Think about it the same way how you need more make-up for a photoshoot because the camera never captures make-up and colour in quite as much vibrancy as is visible in real life.
You need to over emphasise your uniqueness in order for it to come across to your potential clients. Don't be afraid to show yourself. You only need to think about the people you serve and who are happy to connect with you. After all, do you want to create content for your kind of people or the ones who are only there to criticise you?
The result speak for itself. Leela now has great imagery supporting her brand new website while still having alternative variations to the images in her pocket for future marketing and other editorial purposes.
During our follow up consultation where we usually discuss the purpose of the images and talk through any questions regarding the future marketing, Leela has mentioned that the company she's hired to create her website is failing to nail her style and design. ( FYI she wasn't aware of me taking on website building projects when she hired them) She had two options. Either loosing the money she had invested already and start from scratch with me or sign up for an extra visual strategy coaching session with me and let me help her to put things on track and take charge over the design part of the project. We've decided that the smartest option would be the second one.
After an intensive two hour session, Leela left with a clear strategy on how to use her colours and fonts and a mock-up version of her home page. Having these areas pinned down and her easy guide to follow allowed Leela to design the rest of the pages effortlessly. I can't believe what a great job she's done and I am so super happy that I was able to help her to pull everything together and make her feel empowered and confident about her online presence.
I always feel that this part is when your dreams literally come to life. When your new images and website are live you are able to physically look at who you are in the industry, how you run your business and what you represent to your audience.
Check out Leela's stunning website and all the great stuff she offers her clients. Give her a follow on Instagram if you feel you need someone who will apologetically be herself and show up to inspire you to be the best version of yourself.