4 PILLARS OF SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY BRANDING
This year I had the pleasure of running a Masterclass at the SWPP convention focused on branding and what photographers should consider to make their brand stand out. I thought it might be useful for me to share some of the key messages from the presentation so you can start to consider which of these you could work on in 2019.
I hope you find these of use!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRANDING & MARKETING?
In it’s simplest terms:
- Your brand is WHO you are & WHAT you stand for
- Marketing is what you COMMUNICATE (online, in marketing materials etc)
” In today’s crowded photography market a STRONG BRAND will DIFFERENTIATE you & make your clients LOYAL”
PILLAR 1: HAVE A CLEAR MISSION & DIFFERENTIATE
When I started writing this presentation I looked to photography brands that I felt had a clear mission. Two that stood out were Sue Bryce and Brooke Shaden. Both photographers have a clear vision – Sue focuses on education and empowerment and Brooke speaks about creativity, storytelling and philanthropy.
Finding your mission can help you to understand how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. That said, it’s not always easy to know this when you are early into your photography career. A great place to start is to ask yourself some of the questions below:
- What inspired you to build your business?
- Why do you want to offer your products or services to your target audience?
- What do you want to come to mind when someone hears your name?
- How do you shoot differently to your competition? And if you don’t what could you do to develop this difference?
- Where do you shoot compared to other photographers?
- What’s included in your product offering that could be unique and differentiating?
- How do you communicate? How could you do this in ways that differ from other photographers? Think Video, facebook lives, Q&A, youtube?
- What do you blog about that’s unique and special to you?
PILLAR 2: HAVE A RECOGNISABLE IMAGE
Logos, colours & fonts help create a recognisable image for your business and you need to be consistent across all of your platforms.
One way to review how successfully you are doing this is to take 10 minutes to complete a visual audit. Ask yourself are your logos the same across all platforms and are you sharing the same style of imagery?
To test this I placed all of my marketing visuals alongside one another and immediately spotted a couple of improvements that I could make.
PILLAR 3: DELIVER CONSISTENTLY
The 3rd pillar is focused around delivering consistently. This includes your photography, how you interact and respond on social messengers and email (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter), ad your product packaging.
Consistency in communication can be challenging, especially in very busy periods. Think about how you can streamline your responses and could you move some of your booking processes online for example?
PILLAR 4: TRUST & LOYALTY
Trust creates brand loyalty and is incredibly important in any business or service. In its simplest terms, you should always deliver when you say you will. I also believe you should have clear and honest pricing (see my tips below on what to consider when setting your pricing) and always remain positive!
There will always be times when things don’t go to plan but negativity and blame can quickly erode client trust. Businesses today can be made or destroyed with reviews so tackling issues with a problem-solving attitude really can go a long way!
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING YOUR PRICING?
Finally in the Q&A section of my SWPP Masterclass pricing was very hot topic. Sadly there is no magic formula when it comes to pricing your photography but there certainly is a relationship between your brand and pricing.
Below I have listed the factors I take into consideration when reviewing mine or one of my mentorees pricing.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I would love to hear your comments or questions around this subject. I will be speaking at more events in the next few months and running small group workshops, You can find all details here.