5 Tips for Creating an Unforgettable Brand with Teri Fode
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Is your brand irresistible and unforgettable? Everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to be a photographer these days. We aren’t just competing with the pros, we’re competing with consumers who have smartphones with amazing cameras.
Everyone can produce great photography now. Don’t get me wrong, offering excellent photography skills is important, and I’m a huge supporter of learning new lighting techniques and improving your craft. But being a great photographer with an amazing portfolio doesn’t equate to being an unforgettable brand.
There are five major points to master if you want to be a brand that’s irresistible. Get these right, and you’re on your way to standing out in your marketplace, no matter how crowded it is.
As you read the following five points, think of the theme running through them.
- Create an irresistible attraction at the first point of contact (brand statement/elevator pitch, aka your “why”; brand tagline; brand visuals).
- Lead your marketing with an unforgettable purpose (your manifesto, belief system and the back story of your brand).
- Create an unforgettable connection by sharing your irresistible personality (the human behind the logo; your authentic voice).
- Share unforgettable experiences with clients, who in turn share your brand with their friends and social media, all based around how your brand makes a client feel when they’ve experienced it through your products and services.
- Throw an unforgettable after-party (to create an unforgettable continued relationship after the sale).
From the moment you first attract an ideal client all the way through to the sale and beyond, your brand must be unforgettable. Relationship building is the number-one priority in creating an unforgettable brand. It starts with the first contact, and basically never ends.
The sales are in the relationships you build, the connections you make and the transformation you offer to your clients through the experience of your products and services.
My 5 Branding Tips
1. Irresistible attraction
You must have a message to share that clearly defines your purpose and mission. My last two blog posts addressed this. Until you have a well-defined branding statement and tagline, your marketing will be lost in a noisy world online. It will basically be a mass of posts, one after the other, all without clear direction and purpose.
The few photographers who actually have a brand statement and a tagline rarely market with them. If they have one at all, their brand statement sits stoically on their website, never being used as the amazing marketing tool that it can be.
The unforgettable attraction might happen when someone sees your post on Instagram or Facebook for the first time, or it might be a blog post. Your visuals (logo, fonts, colors), combined with how you market your brand via a tagline and/or branding statement, will impact a potential client immediately.
If someone on Instagram clicks over to your profile for the first time, they will size up your brand in five seconds or less. What you’ve listed in your profile (who you are, what you do, what you’re about, what’s in it for them) combined with the aesthetics of your posts and branding will help them decide whether or not to follow you.
This happens constantly online—via your website and on social media. No matter where you are seen online, your brand must create an unforgettable, irresistible pull that attracts potential clients.
Spend time creating your business brand statement and a tagline. Use these on social media. Lead with them. Market with them. Use them to attract your tribe.
But don’t stop there, because you’ve only just begun.
2. Unforgettable purpose combined with an unforgettable story
Consumers are increasingly interested in the core values, beliefs, intentions and story of the brands they work with.
Do you have a manifesto? It declares you and your brand’s core belief system. When your brand’s core beliefs align with a clearly defined purpose and you combine that with the story of your brand, you have a winning combination that can take your potential client to the next level in the relationship.
A manifesto can be used to market the culture of your brand. Try it. You’ll be among the most successful and unforgettable brands: Apple, Levi Strauss, Google, Nike, Lulu Lemon, Martin Luther King Jr., the Holy Bible.
One of the standout differences of younger growing brands is that they stand strong on their core beliefs. These brands put their beliefs out into the world for all to see, as in the form of a manifesto.
3. Unforgettable connection based on your irresistible personality
Don’t throw your hands up and tell me you don’t have much of a personality or that you’re boring. You’re not boring. You have a personality. There are people only you can reach and connect with in this world. There are people who want to be around the authentic you.
Now that we’ve tough-loved through that, let’s talk about how it actually works in the world of marketing: You need to get out in front of the people you want to connect with on a personal, authentic, face-to-face level. You need to be yourself. Your true self. Not the one you hide behind.
Do you hate the thought of Facebook Live or video? No worries. You don’t have to do live streams or video to be successful. But it will take you 10 times longer to connect with people these days.
I’m guessing you don’t want to spend 10 times longer to build your online relationships, so more tough love here: Get over it and just do it if you are a business owner. Or you can find someone to be the face of your brand. That’s a perfect solution as well, but it needs to be consistent.
Here are some tips on how to share your personality to form an unforgettable connection.
- Your face. The fastest and easiest way to connect is to get your face on Facebook Live, Instagram and Instagram Stories, Twitter, Snapchat or a prerecorded video on your business Facebook page.
- Your voice. Stop overthinking what you post on social media. Write in your own voice. Talk to me on your Instagram post like you would if we were sitting in Starbucks together having a latte. I see too many photographers talking in a “I’m cool, this is how I talk on the Internet but not in real life”voice, and it’s a fake personality. It won’t work. At some point, you will be found out (especially when a client meets you face-to-face).
- Your social media habits. Invest your time in socializing on social media. Post and like and share on the Internet. Spend 15 minutes a day doing this with potential customers. Get your personality out there, and you will start connecting at an accelerated rate. Do this with your photography friends as well since interacting helps you in the algorithms.
People like to hang out with people like themselves. This is true in real life and it’s also true on social media. Once you start posting in your real voice, you’ll start connecting authentically with people. They’ll be attracted to you. They’ll feel connected to you and be open to learning more about you by simply hanging out with you on social media.
4. Unforgettable experiences
People tend to buy from brands based on the transformation they offer. They consider how they will feel if they hire you to photograph them. Unforgettable experiences are talked about. Written about. Shared.
One of the best ways to take charge of this is to pull back the curtain of your brand experience and share it via Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Facebook Live and video. This isn’t a new concept in 2017. Many photographers are doing it. The key is to become more creative, do it consistently and show up with your own face in those shared moments.
Client video testimonials offer an opportunity to share the unforgettable experience of your brand. Plan this after the shoot or after the sales presentation.
I’m guessing you have created an amazing experience for the client during the photo session. But are you consistently sharing it via the amazing opportunities available on social media platforms? Are you thinking outside the box and sharing the other experiences of your brand?
5. Unforgettable continued relationship
All of my “VIP Clients” are invited to the “after-party.” Anyone who spends money in my studio is a VIP Client.
Most photographers fall out of touch with clients after product delivery. Clients are forgotten two years down the road when a repeat-client opportunity arises, but the client chooses another photographer.
Here’s how to continue the relationship.
- Create a client email list that allows you to continue the relationship. Contact them a minimum of four times a year (more if possible, but no less than once every three months).
- Make your clients the heroes of your brand. Write about them on your blog. Share about them on your social media, even after the sale.
Do you want to remain unforgettable for life? Want a solid foundation for years to come? Create a system to keep in touch with every single person who spends money in your business.
So there you have it. What steps do you need to take to become unforgettable in a sea of sameness? Do you have your brand statement down to where it rolls off your tongue when someone asks what you do? Are you marketing with your tagline? Do you market with your overall manifesto?
That’s step one, and probably the step that takes the most investment of time and energy. You have to get it right. Nail that, and you’re on your way to being an unforgettable brand.
For a free download on how to create your own tagline and brand statement, check out the top header at VoiceYourBrand.com.