The Upside

How to make an impact with visual branding

This interview by Rebecca Ryan originally appeared on Serving Up Social.
You’ve worked so hard to build something amazing and now need a strategy to help you get noticed, build trust and grow your customer base…quickly.
Although there are several building blocks that contribute to growing a business, I avoided this one for way too long.
I used to see entrepreneurs and consultants splashing their personal images all over their websites and social feeds, and originally thought these people were salesy, self-absorbed and conceited. I mean, who puts up pictures of themselves all over the place?
But then I learned why: visual branding grows businesses.
In this interview with Rebecca Ryan of Serving Up Social, I answer questions about the impact that visual branding has had on my business and the importance of being authentic.
Rebecca: Tell me about The Upside and the services you provide.

Erin: The Upside helps consultants advance their business and thrive. We provide unmatched tools, online events and networking that propel consultants forward in a fraction of the time it would take on their own.


We are launching our signature course in Q4 2020…so aspiring consultants, be on the lookout!


Rebecca: What do you love most about running your own business and The Upside, in particular?


Erin: There is nothing like being my own boss, including having control of my own schedule, having total flexibility to work when and how I want, and the feeling that I’m creating high-impact work!  What I love most about The Upside is that regardless of how we evolve and grow over the years, we continue to pursue our original mission of helping professionals launch and grow consultancies that bring a new sense of purpose and motivation to their lives. 


Rebecca: Can you describe some of the top benefits your members experience being part of The Upside?


Erin: Without a doubt, the main benefit is advancing your consultancy forward in a fraction of the time it would take if you tried to build it without The Upside by your side. Between the high-caliber membership base, targeted programming, proprietary tools and limitless networking opportunities, we’ve become the go-to place for those consulting out on their own.


Rebecca: I know your background is in marketing.  How did you become interested in that field?


Erin: As a kid, I used to study cereal box designs and copy, just because it fascinated me. I used to watch commercials for fun and read AdAge every chance I got. I think that marketing has always been in my blood because I’m obsessed with human behavior, and especially buying behaviors. The fact that we can manipulate the choices consumers make based on colors, fonts, photos and a well-crafted string of words, absolutely blows my mind and keeps me wanting to learn more.


Rebecca: How has your visual branding, including photography, evolved over the years?


Erin: When I was first starting The Upside, I had no visual direction. I had never even taken a professional photo, except at my wedding. When you compare my first set of professional photos to the ones you recently created for me, the difference is staggering. Those early photos have me smiling big, looking straight into the camera, with no real context or message. Today my photos are professionally styled and my message is easygoing and confident, which is a much better reflection of the spirit of The Upside.

Rebecca: Why did you decide to invest in visual branding for your business at this time?


Erin: Knowing what I know now about personal branding, it’s impossible not to invest in visual branding. One great photo can be used time and time again in various contexts, helping to grow my audience and build brand trust. The fact is, any time I use photos of myself versus stock images, my engagement skyrockets and customers convert. It’s a no-brainer.


Rebecca: For our readers who are just discovering the power of visual branding, what would you like them to know about the importance of the right photography?


Erin: Visual branding is not an area where you want to be penny wise pound foolish. 3 – 5 spot-on, professional photos can not only provide you a longer runway for content creation, but they will sell and convert with much higher success than cheaper, amateur photos. This is one area you want to get right from day one.


Rebecca: As a marketing expert, could you share your number one business branding tip?


Erin: Just be you. Trying to copy someone else’s look, brand or copy will bring you much less success than being authentic to who you are as a human being, both inside and out. This goes for brands as well.

Rebecca: If you could take a selfie with anyone in the world, who would it be and why? 


Erin: For SURE Oprah Winfrey. She has always been someone who has provided joy, entertainment, learning and growing to my life. 


Rebecca: What is the best way for someone to contact you to find out more about The Upside membership or your 1:1 advisory sessions?


Erin: Follow along on our Instagram account @BeTheUpside and visit us at to learn more!

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