Photography Branding Cheat Sheet | The Photographer’s Guide To Building A Brand That Captures Attention
Photography Branding Cheat Sheet | More business owners than ever, photographers included, realize the importance of branding, yet not so many know what it actually is. Pretty much everyone by now knows that it’s not having a logo designed, or writing a witty slogan. And while most know what it’s not, it’s only a handful of photographers that took the time to figure out how to turn their businesses into household names and build iconic brands. We’ve all heard of them – they’re touring the country, doing speeches and workshops, and kicking some serious behind! Their secret? It’s not luck. And it’s not talent alone! So, what is it?
In order to get a better idea of what the secret of effective branding is, you need to know what branding actually is. While your logo is a major part of it, your brand goes far beyond your logo. It covers your visual identity, as well as the client expectations, the interactions they have with your business, the memories and emotional relationship they have with your products and services, and their general perception of you – all of which will ultimately affect their decision whether to work with you or not. The good news is that your brand is something you can control – and no, it doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming!
Embark On A Journey Of Self-Discovery | Photography Branding Cheat Sheet
Before you can start building a brand that will stand out from the crowd, you need to do some prep work – winging it simply won’t cut it! What makes you unique in your area or your particular niche? In other words, why should potential clients choose you out of all the photographers out there? What values and beliefs do you want to your target audience to associate with your brand? Will your brand be formal, or friendly; high-end, or budget-friendly; traditional or edgy? All these, and many other similar questions will affect pretty much every aspect of your business, so take as much time as you need to sort figure them out before moving on.
Dress To Impress! | Photography Branding Cheat Sheet
Once you figure out the nature of your brand, you can move on to create a visual identity that will not only convey the nature and personality of your brand, but will also appeal to your target audience. Start with your logo and go from there! This will be the face of your business and the single most important point of recognition, so make sure you design a logo you’ll be able to live with for as long as you’re in business. Remember, while minor changes down the road are perfectly fine, major overhauls and redesigns will be more likely to confuse your potential clients and alienate existing ones, so aim for a timeless logo.
While designing your logo, you should also start working on your style guidelines. This document will serve as your guide when designing all marketing and branded materials, govern the way your logo is used, define font systems, color schemes, and even prescribe the brand-friendly layouts. As a result, all your materials will be a cohesive representation of your brand and a memorable visual experience!
Create A Voice For Your Business | Photography Branding Cheat Sheet
Your unique selling points and your sales messages in general are important, but don’t overlook the importance of the voice you use to deliver them. We’re talking about the language and the tone you use to engage your potential and existing clients. Remember, your voice has to be an accurate representation of the nature of your brand, and you’ll want to make sure you use it consistently, both online and off. Using a laid back tone of voice on social media, for example, and a formal tone throughout your website will make you sound inauthentic and will only turn off your potential clients interested in finding more about you, which is essentially the last thing you want to happen.
Be True To Yourself | Photography Branding Cheat Sheet
The ultimate goal of building a brand is to stand out in an increasingly saturated industry. New photographers are joining the industry on a daily basis, and the only way to stand out from the crowd is to be different, so you’ll definitely want to avoid copying, imitating, or even parodying what other photographers are doing. Your potential clients will sniff out if you’re not being authentic, so don’t try to be something you’re not! You’ll also want to focus on meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations – not even the world’s most charming photographer will succeed in bringing back clients unless the products and services live up to the hype.
Rinse And Repeat | Photography Branding Cheat Sheet
Branding doesn’t have to be expensive like many branding agencies would have you believe, nor does it have to be exhausting – but it is a consistent, continuous effort to build and maintain a powerful business identity, stand out and differentiate yourself from your competitors, and ultimately, grow your client base. What many photographers fail to understand, however, is that branding a business isn’t about a long, expensive meeting and calling it a day – instead, it’s an ongoing effort. In other words, you never stop branding your business.
Keep track of the results of your efforts and compare them to your goals and milestones, making sure you’re getting most out of each and every element. Keep an eye on the reactions of your target audience and the latest trends, and don’t be afraid to slightly tweak your approach when you see a certain effort failing to deliver the goods. While major brand overhauls aren’t the best idea, smaller tweaks are not only a good idea, but something you should be doing on a regular basis.