Why You Need to Brand Your Photography Business

Alright-- you know it, I know it, we all know it: photography is a really competitive, saturated market. In all reality, most creative fields are. I see so many people hustling and bustling every single day to build their business but there’s one foundational piece missing that is really going to set them apart from their competition in such a competitive market…

A strong brand.

Let me be clear here: this doesn’t just mean a strong logo. That’s a piece of the puzzle but that’s not the entire puzzle. A brand is your message, your core values, your editing style, your typefaces, your colors, your client experience, your favorite things, your personal style, the way your home looks, it’s a combination of everything that makes you, you, butttt then taking it a step above the rest to show it in a cohesive way through you website, logo, and collateral pieces.

Here are  five reasons every photographer needs to brand their business:

1. It separates you from your competition.

My favorite way of defining branding is by saying that it is the feeling that your images, copy, colors, typefaces, and photos evoke. At the end of the day, all of your potential clients are trying to find the photographer who’s style and personality resonates with them the most (I mean, you will be spending some of the most important days of your life with them, so it makes sense.)

Having a strong brand not only makes you look like the expert in your field to potential clients, but also to potential referrals as well.

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2. It shows them your personality.

Good branding is authentic to who you really are. Clients are people, just like you and me, and you know what we are all craving in this world? Authenticity and the ability to relate to others. SO many people focus on the standard “creative entrepreneur bio.” Trust me, we’ve all seen it, the bio that says, “Hi, I’m Sally, I’m a photographer who loves coffee, yoga pants, messy buns, and capturing life's special moments behind a lens.”

Well duh, you’re a photographer, obviously you love capturing moments, but who are YOU?! Tell them the things that make you, you. Tell them you order shrimp and grits at brunch every sunday, that you love soy chai lattes and that you live in spanx yoga pants Monday-Friday and sometimes forget to shower (guilty). Just being more true to yourself and adding those details gives your potential clients the ability to REALLY connect with you and your message instead of just another cookie-cutter bio they see. This will give clients the ability to automatically connect with you. People always want to connect with you, like you, love you, trust you, and THEN they will buy from you.

3. It makes you look like the pro you are.

When hiring someone to capture some of the most special memories on the biggest day of my life, I want to make sure they are a PRO! Photography costs a pretty penny (and is worth every dime) and you want to make sure your clients see that.

I went to a wedding in California last week, and I was talking to the bride in the car a few days after about how she found her wedding photographer. She said (and I quote) “Everyone has a friend who has a friend who is a photographer, and at the end of the day- I know that most photographers could give me photos that I liked. BUT, I wanted to hire someone who I loved. I wanted to know who I was working with, the experience I would get, how long I was going to wait and how comfortable I’d feel with that person. So I did research, followed photographers on social media for a while, then figured out who I trusted the most with my wedding day.”

She continued to rave about her photographer and said she chose her because she fell in love with her through social media-- her work, her life, how real she is and the humor behind her captions and the fact she knows she struggles with post-pregnancy body issues and would help her feel confident on her big day. She even added she paid way more for her than others she saw online, because she knew that her personality was a total match for hers (just through social media!)

4.People will remember you.

Let’s be honest… most photographers brands are their names. And when searching for the right photographer, all of those names can be pretty dang confusing. “I really liked Sally Susans style, but Sara Smiles is cheaper. Or wait, was it Sara Smiles? Was it Sara Susan?” That’s an extreme example of course but without a brand- what is going to make someone truly remember who you are? People don’t want to see a slapped together portfolio and website, they want to see that you’ve invested time, money, and energy into your work.

Don’t think it matters? Think of it from a perspective of online dating. How are you going to differentiate the multiple people you see on a site to figure out who the right one is for you? You’ll judge them off their bio, their photos, how they carry themselves, and the type of person they seem like. If you logged off of the dating app after getting 10 emails, you’d remember the one who seemed like they were really there for the right reasons, showing up, dedicated, and had good intentions. Business is the same way, guys.

5. You’ll feel less lost with… well, with everything

Trust me,  I’ve been there. DIYing your website, not knowing what font to choose (What is the one that girl used? Wait, what’s a serif font? Holy-shit-what-fonts-go-together-someone-help?) Then moving along to choosing the colors. (Uhm, this blush will do, hey I’ve seen this shade of taupe somewhere so I’ll do that too).

These little decisions that aren’t set in stone with brand guidelines make you exert so much energy on the wrong things, when all of your energy should be on getting clients. Consistency goes along way. Knowing your style, your voice, your brand personality, your value proposition and your overall brand hierarchy will make it SO easy to not only know what your brand is at the core, but being able to execute that and show that to others as well.

My advice to all entrepreneurs in the world is this: focus on your zone of genius. My zone of genius is branding. The first business purchase I made was hiring an accountant, before I even made money. Why? Because that’s not my zone of genius. I know I would exert wayyyyyy more energy trying to do it myself, and go back and fix it all later, than I would by just investing into my own business. The time I freed up from not having to focus on accounting gave me the ability to find new clients and focus on my area of genius. Same with being a photographer.

Ready to elevate your brand and take things to the next level so you can focus on working with your dream clients?


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Ready to elevate your brand and take things to the next level so you can focus on working with your dream clients?

Karima Neghmouche