5 Ways to Build Your Photography Brand
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”
– Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon
First, what is Branding and why is it important?
Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company, its products or services in the customer’s mind. Remember, your brand is not what you say it is, but what people say it is. Now, does this mean your photography brand’s image is entirely up to the people around you? No, of course not. This is where your efforts in branding comes in. Building this positive perception is a combination of various elements such as your logo, visual design, messaging, and consistent theme throughout all your marketing communications.
By carefully constructing your brand through these elements, as well as building good relationships and providing great customer experience, you have the opportunity of shaping your customers’ perception of your photography brand.
How to Build a Photography Brand
We believe in 5 specific and actionable ways to build your photography brand.
# 1 Have a Memorable Brand Identity
Your brand identity is what makes you unique; it defines your visuals, personality, positioning and competitive advantage. Make an impact on the people who come across your brand, and let them remember you! If you make your brand identity ‘just like everyone else’s’ then you’ll be easily forgotten. Don’t be afraid to be bold, unique, and unconventional.
In order to ensure your photography brand has the complete brand identity essentials, here’s a checklist to get your started:
Have you checked off these boxes? If you said ‘Yes’ then that’s great and proceed to item #2, if you said ‘No’ then feel free to download the checklist above so you won’t miss out on any important element of your brand identity!
# 2 Improve your Products / Services Through Brand Management
Brand Management is a branding component that involves maintaining and ultimately improving your products, services and brand perception.
Here are simple, but important steps, to ensure the brand you’re building is properly managed:
- Build relationships with the media
- It’s no secret that the media can help your brand overnight. Build good relationships with the media so they can help get the good word out there.
- Keep up with industry trends
- The photography industry is a highly competitive environment. In order to keep up, knowledge of consumers’ insights is a good way to stay ahead of the curve.
- Recommended Tool: Google Trends (Free) is a website by Google that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time.
- Manage and prevent crisis situations
- The best scenario is when you spot a potential crisis situation before it has spread across the internet.
- Recommended Tool: Google Alerts (Free) helps you keep up with what is going on in your industry and react fast! Simply choose keywords you want to track, and a customized report will be sent to your email.
- Find new promotional opportunities
- We live in a fast paced world and new communities and blogs constantly appear on the internet – take advantage of that! Joining a photography group, reading forums, and listening to your audience is the best way to find new promotional opportunities.’
- Another way is to check on your competitors and peers. You can research their past and current promotional activities, discover their best tactics and find new channels for distributing your content.
- Improve your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Get ahead of your competitors by ranking top on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Without getting too technical here, the best way to rank on SERP is to constantly update your website with relevant keywords to your brand. How? BLOGGING.
“Blogging is good for SEO because it helps with a number of things that are important ranking factors. When you have a blog that’s updated regularly with blog posts that are high quality and on topics relevant to your audience, it can make a huge difference to how your overall website performs in the search engines.” – Kristen Hicks of HostGator
If you want to learn more about how blogging is good for your brand’s SEO, check out HostGator’s article about it here.
# 3 Create a meaningful brand experience
Let’s talk about feelings. Brand experience is about creating a sensory experience in order to become memorable to your consumers. It’s all about the feelings you bring to your customers when they see, hear, or think about your photography brand.
Do they feel warm? Do they feel giggly? Do they feel trust? These are some things you need to think about. What is it that you want your audience to feel when they think of your photography brand. The follow up question to that is how will you evoke these feelings?
Some factors to consider to evoke the feelings you want your brand to be associated with:
- Choose colors that represent the feelings you want to evoke. Do you want to feel approachable or intimidating? Premium or affordable? Use your chosen color/s consistently on all your promotional content, advertisements, web content & design, and other marketing materials. Check out CoSchedule’s article on color psychology here for a more in depth look at colors for marketing.
- Be relatable to your audience. You can weave in your community’s stories, joys, and struggles into your branding. Maybe supporting movements your audience is supporting, and celebrating their holidays and important life milestones into your branding goes a long way.
- Have a well-trained customer service representative. When a customer reaches out to your brand, what’s their experience like? Make sure their every interaction with your brand is positive and memorable.
# 4 Identify Differentiation
What makes you unique? Differentiation is designing your product/service offering so that it has one or more unique qualities valued by the customer. Don’t let your photography brand be ‘just another photography brand’ – let your creative ideas flow and think of creative ways to shine.
To get you started, a few questions you may ask yourself:
- What is my competition lacking?
- What is the photography community looking for?
- What do I have that my competitors don’t?
- What is something I can do extremely well?
Answer these questions honestly and what makes your photography brand different will come through! Once you’ve identified that, you’re ready to communicate your value proposition (see #5).
# 5 Communicate Value Proposition
It’s important to note that you need to know what makes you different first before you can communicate your Value Proposition. A robust and unique Value Proposition is rooted in Differentiation; it is the answer to the question of why the customer should buy your product / avail of your service and not from your competitor.
Create a statement that is clear and concise – Your statement should be specific and developed with key target audiences in mind.
Key Takeaway & Summary:
Your brand is what people perceive it to be, so make sure you do your best to lead them towards a good perception. The top 5 ways to build your photography brand is to:
- Have a memorable brand identity
- Have proper brand management
- Create a meaningful brand experience
- Differentiate your identity
- Communicate your value proposition.