Top Branding Secrets | The Photographer’s Guide To The Art Of Branding, Standing Out, And Booking More Clients
Top Branding Secrets | Focusing on the way you brand yourself and your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever take – at the end of the day, a well established brand can be the critical difference between turning your passion for photography into a profitable business and closing it down after a few months of trying to make the ends meet. Think about it – we’ve all seen incredibly talented photographers close down their businesses while other not as talented photographers get all the attention in the marketplace. The best part, you don’t have to have an unlimited budget to stand out!
When a potential client is researching photographers, they are looking at the pictures, for sure, but they’re looking for the entire package – talents, personality, results. The catch is that they want to see all of it the moment they stumble upon your website, not just samples of your portfolio. Every photographer has access to similar equipment and pretty much the same locations, so it’s your job to differentiate yourself. Unlike what many branding agencies will have you believe, branding your photography business doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. What it does need to be is creative in order to be effective. Here’s what you need to know!
What Branding Is, And What It Is NOT | Top Branding Secrets
Before we dive into the topic of branding, let’s get one thing straight – your brand is not your logo! Sure, your logo plays a critical role in your brand, but there are other things that need to fall into place in order to build a cohesive brand. Your brand, essentially, is the total sum of experiences your clients have of your business – whether they’re just seeing your logo for the very first time, reading your blog, talking to you over the phone, or getting images in the mail after the session. Your brand, in other words, is the way you business looks and acts!
Looks Aren’t Everything, But They Are Important | Top Branding Secrets
Controversial, perhaps, but true nonetheless. We’ve all been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but we’re constantly making decisions based on our first impression – whether you’re picking a movie on your favorite streaming service and you choose the one with the most interesting cover, or you choose to do business with a company with a prettier logo. The same goes for your potential clients and it’s your job that the visual identity of your photography business is able to stand out and grab their attention.
Start with your logo and go from there! Is there a particular color that’s dominant in your logo? Use it in your website, stationery items, heck, use it while decorating your studio! This seemingly small detail will tie together all of your materials, both online and off, and present a consistent image, turning your brand into a memorable visual experience. Keep in mind, however, that each color has a different meaning, so you’ll want to do your research before ordering a complete stationery package. Similarly, use the same fonts, graphics, and everything else that can represent your business.
Create A Voice For Your Photography Business | Top Branding Secrets
Photography is incredibly visual, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a consistent voice when engaging your potential and existing clients over the phone, in person, in writing, or online! Is your brand playful or formal? Is it laid back or strictly professional? Your brand’s voice is the language and the tone you use, and it’s your job to keep it consistent. Many photographers will mistakenly use a laid back voice on social media, and a formal tone of voice on their website. This, however, can do more damage than good in the long run, as your potential clients might start doubting your authenticity – and no one likes fakes!
Photographers hold a great deal of trust, so let your personality shine, both online and off. For example, if you have a blog on your website (if you don’t, stop reading and go set it up right now!), don’t share random shots from your latest shoot – instead, talk about the funny situations behind the camera, share bits about yourself, and let your personality shine through your posts. This way, your clients will have a feeling that they already know you, long before they actually hire you, which will make the entire shoot a lot more enjoyable, both for you and for them!
Deliver Amazing Experience Your Clients Can’t Stop Raving About | Top Branding Secrets
As mentioned before, there are countless photographers using similar equipment and offering similar services, and new ones are joining the industry on a daily basis, so it’s your job to stand out – and the experience your clients have working with you is a major part of that. Just because you’re behind the camera doesn’t mean you don’t have to smile. Smile, talk your clients through the process, and keep in mind that you’re doing this every day, but they do it only a few times in a lifetime, so don’t assume they know what to expect!
At the end of the day, even the most charming photographer is never going to attract repeat business unless they deliver on their promise. Don’t promise anything you can’t make happen, deliver the images when promised (or even earlier) and send a handwritten thank you note or a couple of free prints to show your appreciation. Going out of your way to make the experience enjoyable and memorable will result in your clients going out of their way to send you more business by recommending you to their friends and family!