Gone are the days where you can take a beautiful picture and instantly stand out from the crowd. It seems like every photographer has access to the same preset or editing style, and you’re quickly learning that it’s time to do something different to stand out. So stay tuned, and we’ll talk through how to brand your photography business!
What is a brand?
When we typically hear the word “brand” in our photography business we think of logos, choosing the perfect colors, and photos. However, it takes more than that to create a brand that not only gets noticed but gets your photography business remembered.
Your brand is an experience your customer has with you. When you get down to the nitty-gritty details, your brand should make your clients feel different and cause them to remember you in a unique way so that they can tell all their friends and family about their experience (we all love referrals am I right?)
Before you start brainstorming what your brand looks like, you’ll need to define your business purpose.
When writing your business purpose you’ll want to consider the following:
- Why did you start your business?
- Who does your business serve?
- What does your business stand for?
- What makes your business unique?
Once you determine your business purpose, you’ll be able to formulate a mission statement using the following as an example:
I help [your ideal client]…
to [insert problem you solve]…
so they can [insert the life-changing result that happens when they work with you].
This will give you a feel of who your audience is and how your photography can help them remember you. It also sets the stage for who you serve and more importantly, who you don’t serve. It’s ok to be polarizing!
How do I brand my photography business?
There are 4 key elements that will help you build your brand:
- Knowing your ideal client
- Creating a marketing strategy
- Writing copy that connects
- Creating a visual brand
How do I find my ideal client?
The easiest way to find your ideal client is to do what some like to call “reverse niching.” With reverse niching, you’ll start backward and will ultimately unearth who you want to work with.
Here’s an example: When I started my photography journey, I wanted to photograph everything and everyone. The problem with this is that I wasn’t speaking to a specific audience. So, I worked backwards. I wrote down all the clients and types of sessions I did not want to do till I landed on what type of sessions and clients I loved working with.
How do I create a marketing strategy?
Great question! There are many ways we can market to our ideal clients, and sometimes we’ll use more than one.
Some examples of a marketing strategy include:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
Content Marketing: Creating content marketing was listed as #1 for a reason. Creating valuable, entertaining, enriching content – blog posts, photos, videos, podcasts, etc. – that people love to engage with. Think of content marketing as a gift to your future self. If you stay consistent, the blogs you write today will reward you in years to come. As you establish yourself as a photographer, you also establish an audience and a reputation that brings people your way.
Email Marketing: When we think about email marketing, think about it as a way to connect with your clients outside of social media. You don’t want to send generic emails like “Hey, I’m offering mini sessions next month” instead you’ll speak to their pain points and how you can help solve it for them. Every so often you’ll have a service offering but the goal is for your ideal clients to hear from you often. One of the ways is to start with a lead magnet to get them in your inbox.
Social Media Marketing: Social media is all about building relationships with your audience and offering them an easy way to find your content. You don’t need all social media channels like (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.) to reach your ideal audience. Instead, use one or two social media avenues that you’re comfortable with and begin sharing your message with your ideal audience.
Networking: As photographers we know that the majority of our clients still come in the best way: word of mouth referrals. Whether it’s former clients referring you or colleagues passing your name along, word of mouth referrals are worth more than their weight in gold.
From the list above, I recommend starting with two you are comfortable with for your photography business and then growing your marketing strategy from there.
How do I write copy that connects?
The most important part of your brand and website has nothing to do with fonts and colors, it’s your witten content.
When writing your copy, it should include these five core questions:
- Who do you serve?
- What problem do you solve or what value do you provide?
- Why are you the best person for the job?
- What are the “WOW!” results people can expect from working with you?
- How do they get started?
Everything on your website should expand on these five core elements.
Some tips to writing your copy include: writing like you talk, using specific detail as much as possible, asking ”yes” questions, using “imagine” statements, and using the word “you” more than “we”.
We have an entire podcast episode on copywriting here!
How do I create my visual brand design?
This is the fun part! When you begin your brand design the content you use will create a visual experience for your ideal audience.
You’ll want to rate if anything is a fit for your brand by asking yourself the following two questions:
- How do you want people to feel when they interact with your brand?
- How do you want your brand to be remembered?
Once you have these two questions in mind, you’ll be able to follow the following steps to creating your visual brand:
- Your fonts & colors: Your fonts and colors have the task of bringing your message to life. They are your visual messengers telling your story and calling attention to the most important elements on your website.
- Your photography: Your photography will give your audience a visual of the memories you will capture for them. Do make sure you select your best photos, and bonus if you could make your website diverse so your ideal audience feels seen and heard.
- Your logo & style guide: Your logo and style guide will help you create a consistent brand look & feel in every content you create going forward.
Building a solid brand is not an easy task. It’s something that will take a lot of time, money, and planning.
If you want to build a career as a photographer and not burn yourself out, investing in your brand will be the best thing you can do for your business.
I hope that implementing these tips will help you identify your brand and help grow your business. If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it with a friend or on your social media channel. You never know how else this could help!
For more on brand and website design, check out this amazing podcast by our friends at ShootProof!