November 2018 Inspirations: Best of Your Brand Inspiration can come when you least expect it. As photographers, we are visual artists. We express ourselves through our camera and the images we create. Inspirations represents a sampling of our industry and the vision of professional photographers from around the world. Congratulations…
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.
People who are willing to work for cheap are taking away jobs from the rest of us, goes the common wisdom. By offering their services for very little, they are hindering professional photographers from booking jobs. But are they really? The short answer is no, cheap photographers aren’t cheapening the field. They aren’t taking your job. Why? Because they don’t know how to do your job.
High-school seniors, especially girls, are thrilled to get the chance to be a model for a day with our studio. It’s not always about the pictures for our clients and their parents, however. The main reason our studio has been so successful with high-school seniors is the unforgettable experience we provide from beginning to end.
One of the goals on the vision board of a lot of wedding photographers is the high-end wedding. Depending on where you are in the world, this can have a very different connotation. I’m in the New Jersey and New York City area, one of the most expensive regions to have a wedding, where high-end means multimillion-dollar weddings at places like Cipriani and The Plaza. Whatever high-end means to you, you have to find a way to appeal to more luxurious clients. This isn’t easy, especially if you don’t run in those crowds yourself (I sure don’t). But there are ways to position yourself and your brand so you get in front of those clients and make them happy when you do.