For this edition of I Love Photography, PhotoShelter's CEO Andrew…
It’s no secret that competition in the photography industry has gotten fierce. But what makes your photography business stand out from the crowd?
First and foremost, it starts with a distinct and impressive brand that speaks to your target market and makes you the obvious choice for clients seeking your work or services.
As we start a new year, make it your 2013 resolution to build a brand unique to your personality and photography business. Take time to think about your photographic style, your voice, your aesthetic, and most importantly, the feeling that you leave with clients when they work with you. Then use these 10 secrets to build a brand that attracts your ideal market, accurately communicates your specialty, and creates one-of-a-kind experiences.
1. Look through your previous work.
Lucky for you, you already have the creative and visual assets needed to determine the foundation of your brand. Take a look back at your strongest work which has, in the past, brought you the most business.
Think about the reasons those clients choose you over other photographers and why you enjoyed shooting those assignments. It’s these images, the clients, the aesthetic, and the why, that will begin to reveal the essence of your brand. While your photos speak volumes, they are only part of what makes up your brand. The stories and decisions behind each play an equal part.
2. Provide something different.
Setting yourself and your services apart from photographers in your field can help attract interest from a bigger pool of potential clients. Whether your specialty is weddings, photojournalism, portraits, or fashion, you can’t solely rely on your specialty to make you stand out.
Instead, focus on the services you provide that separate your business from the other photographers shooting the same subject matter. What do you offer that’s different? How do you go above and beyond to provide great customer support for these services and products? How do you provide a truly unique experience for your clients while on the job? Also think about how you can differentiate your brand by who you target, or your location.
Wedding photographer Hunter Harrison differentiates himself by both location and his brand experience, seeking out specific untapped neighborhoods and making sure he conveys the feeling of the “neighborhood photographer.”
3. Evoke a feeling.
Brands are like people – they have personality, and that personality has a direct effect on customers and potential clients. When you’re developing your brand, decide what type of “person” it’s going to be.
Important attributes for photography brands include: passion, reliability, approachability, and charisma. What other characteristics describe your brand? Fun? Adventurous? Spunky? Hyper professional?
All of your messaging should center around this feeling. Over the years your work might evolve and vary, but your brand should always remain the same.
4. Develop a strong name, logo, and aesthetic.
Now comes the fun part. You get to (or, you get to hire someone to) completely design the look of your brand. The aesthetic of your brand is a major part of what communicates your standout traits and personality. This includes naming your business, creating a logo, and having a consistent aesthetic across your website.
This part is fun, but can also be tricky. Many brand essences get lost in the collateral. If one of the words you use to describe your brand is “hyper professional,” don’t make your logo look handwritten and homemade. Clean, sharp lines can better communicate your professional demeanor.
Colors also say a lot about your brand as we often associate colors with particular feelings. Here are a few
- White – pure, clean, youthful, mild
- Black – sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery
- Gold – prestige, expensive
- Silver – prestige, cold, scientific
5. Create an About page that shows off your brand.
The personality you convey on your website’s About page is most likely the first time potential clients are “meeting” you. Many photographers rely on their images to do all the talking, and forget that their written voice is a powerful tool and one of the best representations of their brand. What you decide to say – and how you decide to say it – can reveal a lot about your brand and the way you do business.
The About page will set the tone for all written communication with your clients, so it’s important for
it to be honest, true to your vision, and on-brand. Travel photographer Gavin Gough chooses to talk about his camera gear in his About section. This showcases his technical know-how and sets the tone for his work, which has appeared in publications such as Vogue and National Geographic.