From Vision to Fruition with Melanie Anderson
These last few months, our studio has been busy creating for several commercial clients. The work includes logos, website design, marketing materials and social media branding. In this issue, I share several of our projects and how we got them, along with a very special project that came about through a true vision.
In the beginning stages of working with our commercial clients, our goal is to identify their needs and wants, along with realistic expectations of timelines and budgets. This can be a challenge for small businesses—not only in their branding and vision, but financially as well. A way to work around budget concerns is to offer a monthly payment plan.
We’ve recently taken on several clients as their marketing partner. We provide the materials for their branding and consistency throughout their branding. For some, this includes redesigning of their logo. For others, it’s taking an existing logo and incorporating it into new branding for a product and/or event.
One newer client is an indoor fitness company. We are updating their website and creating all the materials for a health and fitness expo scheduled for next summer. The designs began with their existing logo. We created a website from scratch with Zibster, a division of Photobiz. Zibster offers a template-based website tool that allows you to upload content easily, with incredible customer service, providing a branded design that is easy to use and streamlined. We also created a Facebook timeline cover, email signatures, letterhead and more. We secured their domain name through GoDaddy, and bought stock photos from iStock. We’ll attend the expo and take photos and video for use at future expos.
Here are some tips for finding commercial clients in need of branding.
- Post on your social media mentioning that you are looking to take on new clients. List specifics that you offer: logo and website design, social media, promotional materials, etc. You would be surprised how many will respond to you. Be realistic and optimistic. Chances are you will secure around 5 percent of those who respond.
- Look through local magazines. These are a great resource for finding commercial clients in desperate need of branding. As you look through the ads, do you see a consistency, a clear message, quality imagery? Reach out to those companies in need of branding. Tell them you would love to help rebrand their company, to provide updated materials to help them find their desired clientele.
- Use your local Chamber of Commerce directory on its website. Browse through their sites. Do they need a new logo or an updated website? Is their website mobile-friendly? Is their message clear on the services they provide? If not, contact them and ask for a meeting. There are so many companies in need of these services, but they do not know where to start. Seek them out.
Be persistent and follow through. Set up meetings where you showcase what you can provide. Offer payment plans to keep your services affordable.
Always include photography and videography in your services. Visuals are a vital part of branding. Branding of a small business should feel personal; photography and videography have a way of bringing their services to clients in a relatable manner that stresses trust and loyalty.
The Focus Tour
Over the past few years as an educator, I’ve seen an increasing need to motivate and inspire those attending my classes and mentorships. I found that so many photographers are feeling burned out and overwhelmed, have a lack of focus and don’t have a clear understanding of their purpose in the industry. So many want to give up and not fight for a business that could provide not only the resources they desire, but a higher purpose in their life.
Several months ago, I had an idea that I took to 17hats owner Donovan Janus about creating a tour and content to help entrepreneurs stay motivated and inspired to create a vision for their future. With the help of Ryan Groves, education director at 17hats, and several other key members of their team and mine, we saw the fruits of our labor over five days in September. We traveled to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco with several dear friends and influencers in the industry. We wanted to create a conversation, to gain a better understanding of the challenges others face and how they overcame those challenges.
The name “The Focus Tour” came about one afternoon while brainstorming. I sat down and started listing keywords that described what I wanted to say and do during this tour and beyond. It was therapeutic to write down all these ideas spinning in my head.
One word led to another, which led to another, which led to a message, which led to the tour name. It was an organic process. When you take the time to get the thoughts out of your head and put them on paper, there’s a better chance of them becoming reality. Our branding required a lot of back and forth between the two companies as we developed the logo, website, marketing materials, social media and more. It was a team effort.
We all have control of our own destiny. What is holding you back? For many of us it’s fear. Fear can destroy our dreams and opportunities. You never know what your potential is if you never try. It could take us 100 ideas to get to the one idea that changes our business and our lives. Without ever trying, how will we ever know?
- Post on social media your desire to brand local businesses.
- Look at local magazines and newspapers and the Chamber of Commerce website for leads. Seek out businesses that need new visual content and rebranding. Schedule meetings where you will discuss the company’s logo, website, social media, etc.
Take a look at your own branding. Is your message clear and consistent? If not, revise it immediately.