Photography Business Branding Essentials | Who Do You Think You Are? – Six Questions To Ask Before Branding Your Photography Business
Photography Business Branding Essentials | There’s no denying that the competition in the photography industry is getting tougher with each passing day thanks to countless photographers joining the industry and launching their own businesses. And with that comes the challenge of standing out from the crowd of other shooters in your area or niche. But just because it’s challenging, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With the right branding strategy and a bit of creativity, you can build a brand that not only stands out from the crowd, but turns potential clients into loyal fans for life!
Many photographers we helped brand their businesses didn’t initially think branding was for small businesses. However, unlike what most branding agencies would have you believe, branding is not reserved just for multi-million budgets. In fact, if you’re willing to put in some time and effort, you can build a brand that stands out for all the right reasons, regardless of the size of your budget! Not sure where to begin? We have the answers to help you get your brand off the ground!
What Is A Brand? | Photography Business Branding Essentials
Let’s get this straight – a brand is so much more than just your logo! Sure, the logo will oftentimes be the starting point when building a brand, and it will remain its backbone, but every way you reach your existing and potential clients from your logo to your marketing efforts, the services you provide and your customer service is your brand. Everything, every vehicle, every communication should have a purpose and send a clear message of who and what you are.
Who Is Your Target Audience? | Photography Business Branding Essentials
Just like it affected the equipment you had to get, your target audience will affect what kind of a brand you build for your photography business. If you still haven’t, you need to clearly define your ideal client in terms of gender, age, location, and even finances. It is only when you know who your target audience is that you will be able to build a brand that appeals to them. After all, a brand that appeals to a middle-aged owner of a stock photography agency will never resonate with a bride-to-be or a new mom.
What’s Your Name? | Photography Business Branding Essentials
Once you define your target audience, you will have a much better idea how to sort out the rest of your brand! First thing you’ll need to take care of is the name of your business. You can either use your own name, or come up with a unique name – either way you go, make sure it’s something you can live with, because changing the name later on can do more damage than you think by confusing potential clients and alienating the existing ones.
Then, you’ll need to sort out a logo. There are three rather broad categories of logos – typographic, icons, and a combination of the two. While there are business that are using just a graphic, such as Twitter and Starbucks, we usually advise our clients to go either with a typographic logo or a combination of a typographic and an iconic logo when we’re designing their visual identity for them. Twitter and Starbucks already spent millions of dollars on branding and marketing to build enough recognition to be able to drop the name out of their logo, and you probably can’t afford to spend that much money on branding (just yet)!
What Does Your Brand Look Like? | Photography Business Branding Essentials
You probably already have a unique creative vision or a particular style of photography that ties together all of your images, but what if we told you that you can convey a sense of that style in your marketing materials even without using photography? Sure, you’ll want to use each opportunity to showcase your pictures, but in situations that prevent you from using pictures, you can achieve the same effect by using a trick or two with colors and graphics.
After you define your target audience and design a logo that you know will appeal to them, you’ll want to clearly define your branding guidelines. This means choosing a simple color scheme that matches the mood of your pictures and that you’re going to use throughout your materials, both digital and printed, as well as fonts and graphics. By using the same element throughout your materials, you’ll ensure they look and feel like they came from the same source, and boost brand awareness.
What Does Your Brand Sound Like? | Photography Business Branding Essentials
What you say is important – it’s your brand message after all, your promise to your potential clients. However, don’t overlook how you say it either! Just like with the visual consistency, you’ll want to make sure you use the same voice throughout your materials, both online and off. The voice is the language and the tone you use when engaging your potential clients, whether you’re composing a new tweet, writing a new blog post on your website, answering the phone, or greeting potential clients. If you use a laid back tone of voice on social media and a formal one on your website, it will only confuse your potential clients and make you sound unreliable.
Are You Playing? | Photography Business Branding Essentials
It doesn’t really matter what you say your brand is all about – it all comes down to what your existing and potential clients think of you! This is why it’s important that you not only meet, but actually exceed client expectations. Don’t say you’re something you’re not – there’s nothing more damaging to a brand than unkept promises! Don’t market yourself as a luxury brand if you’re targeting budget-conscious customers.