“Branding” is not your logo. It’s not your website. In fact, it’s not even your photography.
Branding is the “why” behind everything your business stands for; it’s the message that runs through everything you say and do. Once your client buys into that message, it’s the reason they choose to hire you.
I know, I know! That’s not what you want to hear after you spent so much time and energy on your logo and website, and we apologize for the buzz kill.
The message of your brand is critical to the success of your business because a) it differentiates you from other photographers in your market and b) helps you attract a clientele that will help you achieve both your personal and professional goals.
Creating a message (and building a brand) that clearly communicates what makes you uniquely awesome from everyone else starts by asking some tough questions: What makes you tick? What are you good at? Why would someone pick you over Joe Schmo who lives down the street and charges the same price? There’s a reason, (we’re all amazing in our own distinct way!) you just gotta identify and communicate it.
Two notes on this critical issue:
Branding that replicates another photographer is not branding…it’s copying. That’s THEIR message and it’s what makes THEM awesome. What makes YOU awesome? Find it, own it and communicate it boldly.
Some people should hate your brand. In fact, the only ones who should love your brand are your target audience. They are the people you want to work with and who will help you achieve your goals and build a business you love to run. If you don’t know who those people are, or what they love, do some research and find out.
So, are you ready to begin this process, learn about yourself, figure out your business and own your awesomeness?
The process is long, difficult, and you’ll probably cry at least once, but the end result is worth it. Start by answering a few of these questions:
- Why am I a photographer?
- What goals do I have for my business?
- What is a niche audience that I appeal to that no one else does?
- What’s crazy amazing about me that I can capitalize on?
- What are my goals (personally and for my business)?
We could talk about branding for HOURS (seriously, we’re kind of crazy like that), so this is just the beginning of a conversation about building a stronger brand.
We’d love it if you added your comments and questions to the conversation so we can address the issues that are most important to you. Up next in this series is a more detailed conversation on how to attract your ideal client.
Catch Gary & a whole bunch of other smart people in a panel about creating a client focused business at PartnerCon!
Written by Gary & Courtney Christenson
Gary and Courtney are destination wedding photographers and founders of B!G DEAL BRANDING. Their passion for photography and background in market research and design have been the perfect storm for bringing branding solutions to the photography community. They lead branding TH!NK TANKS for photographers with their team at B!G DEAL and work one-on-one with clients to build stronger, more sustainable brands.