No matter the fear or anxiety you might feel toward social media, we live in a world now where we must use it. I’m here to break down my thought process on social media—how I use it to inspire others and create new opportunities.
Branding sucks. It’s annoying. It pigeonholes us. And if we don’t have a distinct brand, we may as well have started photographing yesterday. Or, more annoyingly, photographers who literally just started photographing yesterday can have better branding/presence/awareness than you, and you’ve been at this forever. Hopefully these tips will make the process a little less painful.
In May, I started a journey to improve and stabilize my portrait business, and to mark my territory as an industry leader. I told myself if I completed the 90-day checklist and fully gave in to the process, I would reward myself by investing in the production of a branding video. Four key elements were necessary for organizing and shooting a project of this magnitude while keeping our studio operating during the busiest time of the year. I think these four things are necessary in everything we do.
Imagine this: clarity in your marketing and throughout the experience you provide clients, and clarity of vision among your employees. We entrepreneurs talk a lot about the importance of brand clarity, but the definition of this common phrase remains ironically unclear. If that is true for you, your businesses may struggle to stand out in the marketplace and eventually fail. But there’s good news. Allow me to guide you through some practical strategies that will help you clarify your brand message to increase your bookings and sales.
Your brand is your identity. It defines your value proposition, the promise of value to be delivered. In other words, it sets the clients’ expectations and gives them a sense of security, trust and hope. Branding doesn’t have to be confusing or convoluted. Let’s keep it simple. Here are six questions to help you develop an intentional, cohesive brand identity that sets you apart.
I hope you realize that your brand and the perception of your brand can directly influence how much money consumers are willing to spend with you. It’s amazing how many photographers and business owners in general don’t grasp this seemingly simple idea. No one cares how good of a photographer you are. Process that for a second. Let that settle in. It just doesn’t matter. Business is at the core of your success. Here are some things you can do now to get your house in order so that you and your brand are seen as trusted and valued.
Here are the five things that define your brand: logo, imagery, website, social media presence and totality of your past client experiences. Let that sink in. These are all of the things you have to pay attention to when you are building your brand. Let’s dive into each of them and figure out exactly how important they are to your success.
Our mission at So Many Angels is to use photography to transform children battling cancer into whatever they want to be when they grow up. We are still in the launch phase, and I want to share some of the steps we have taken to hopefully become a brand that is recognized for being the best at what we do. This article is not about the legal stuff you need to do to be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. These are just some thoughts that are fresh on my mind since the year I started sharing my dreams of this organization with others. Hopefully something here will help start you on your way.
We have spent countless hours working on our brand—everything from identifying our purpose, to networking and building relationships, to becoming a recognizable symbol in our community. Before our organization took flight, we had to establish every detail, including behind-the-scenes administrative aspects of running a charity and then photo style, color scheme and everything in between. We were laser-focused on the concept of giving through the art of photography. Whether you want to give by creating your own nonprofit or by aligning your business with an existing cause, we’d like to share with you some insights based on our experiences.
One aspect of photography that has come into play in recent years is much more prevalent to photographers than it used to be. In fact, it’s now a crucial element for all businesses, big and small. It’s the brand. While most consumers don’t know the difference between good and great photography when looking at a single image, they now instinctively know it when looking at a collection of images. Thanks to social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest, most consumers have been passively trained to appreciate a good, consistent brand image—and recognize a bad one.