Today we’re going to talk about branding because it is another crucial component of your wedding photography business, ESPECIALLY if you’re looking to get into the luxury market.
I’ll never forget walking into a Sakks Fifth Avenue store for the first time, as my husband and I walked through their doors we were immediately transported to a different world. The employees were dressed impeccably, the floors were squeaky shiny, and the glass cases housing all of the beautiful luxury goods inside were crystal clear and glistening.
Everything about that store exuded luxury to us and suddenly – someone telling us that a wallet was $800 didn’t seem insane. Had you told me that before we walked in, people pay $800 for a wallet, I would of coughed up my coffee. But not that day, that day I understood why. It’s a vibe, it’s a luxury and it’s about the quality.
That was 9 years ago and it was then that I was really first introduced to what luxury branding looks like…feels like. It was experiences like this, that made me realized how branding is SO important in any business, especially the photography industry.
What is branding anyway?
It’s more than a color or a logo – it’s a vibe, it’s the energy of the business – the impression that someone gets when they first come across it.
It’s your images, your consistency, the type of photos you show, what you stand for, how you talk, how you dress, how much you charge (or how little you charge), your client experience, and how you stand out in a saturated market.
Branding is what others say about your business when you’re not around.
Most importantly, it’s ultimately what makes a couple decide to inquire with you AND decide whether or not your services are worth what you are charging.
So hopefully we are locked in on how VERY important branding is.
Why Your Photography Branding Need A Major Overhaul
When clients come to me for coaching 9 times out of 10, I instantly say they need a branding overhaul because:
- They aren’t attracting inquiries – If you have the traffic coming to your Instagram, Website, or any other marketing medium and you’re not getting inquiries? You need a branding overhaul.
- They are photographing budget jobs – If you are getting inquiries, but everyone is scoffing at the price you are attempting to book or they refuse to get on a consultation call at all? You need a branding overhaul.
If either of those two sounds like something your dealing with right now, here are some tips for your brand refresh:
STEP 1: FIGURE OUT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
What I mean is it’s important before you simply dive in and start creating new branding that you are crystal clear on who it’s for. Take a look at Nike – very obvious who their audience is. Target – Moms. Mint Mobile – Families. In order to know what will attract your ideal client, you have to identify who that actually is.
Who are they? What do they value? Their pain points? What motivates them? Where do they hang out? Once you know who your target audience is, it will be easier to create a brand that resonates with them.
STEP 2: DEFINE YOUR BRAND PERSONALITY
Your brand personality is what sets you apart from your competition. It’s what makes you unique and memorable. Are you fun and playful? Sophisticated and elegant? Edgy and bold? Whatever it is, make sure it aligns with your target audience and reflects who you are as a business owner.
For example, here are two completely different brand personalities:
We immediately see one is more luxurious and sophisticated and the other is geared towards a younger market with bright and bold coloring and beaches.
STEP 3: CREATE A BRAND STORY
Your brand story is the narrative behind your brand. It’s what makes your business relatable and helps your audience connect with you on a deeper level. Your brand story should highlight your values, your mission, and your passion for what you do.
Here is a really good brand story by Honest Gain.
“I’m an easy-going family man who fought like crazy to design a life where I could work because I wanted to, not because I needed to.
BEFORE STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS, I HAD A COMFORTABLE 9-5 JOB IN THE WORLD OF CORPORATE FINANCE… AND I WAS MISERABLE.
I left for work every morning at the last possible second because I wanted to see my daughters when they woke up. I spent the entire day crunching numbers for a huge international bank, making no meaningful impact in the world. And I rushed home every night to see my beautiful girls for one hour before they went to bed.
Every Sunday afternoon I would get a sinking feeling in my chest because I knew the weekend was almost over and another long work week was about to start.
I felt unsettled.. unfulfilled.. lost. I was a shell of the man I wanted to be and I knew I was missing out on the most important things in life.
Something had to change.
THAT’S WHEN I STUMBLED UPON THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ONLINE BUSINESS…
AND MY LIFE HASN’T LOOKED THE SAME EVER SINCE.
Within four months of launching the business, my corporate salary was 10xed (and I quit!). In the first 12 months, the business hit $550k in sales. By the end of year two, automated sales systems were selling digital products on autopilot.
After a season of sacrifice, my life looked radically different:
1. I DIDN’T HAVE TO SPEND MY DAYS AWAY FROM MY FAMILY
2. I DIDN’T HAVE A BOSS OR SUPERVISOR TO REPORT TO
3. I HAD SPACE FINANCIALLY TO BREATHE AND GET AHEAD
4. I HAD IMPORTANT WORK TO DO IN THE WORLD
I finally found the freedom I had been craving for so long!”
STEP 4: DEVELOP A VISUAL IDENTITY
Your visual identity includes your logo, color palette, typography, and imagery. It’s important to create a cohesive look and feel that aligns with your brand personality and speaks to your target audience. Invest in professional design work and create a brand style guide to ensure consistency across all of your marketing materials.
Cheersbabe Photo has done a fantastic job at this and you can really see that her brand is an extension of who she is because the photographer actually has pink hair too! The name is fun, the colors are bold and fun and even the photos she’s choosing to show are bold and fun.
Your visual identity is so important because it is your work but also it lets the right people know – “OMG, this is the PERFECT photographer for me!”
STEP 5: COMMUNICATE YOUR BRAND
Once you have your branding in place, it’s important to communicate it effectively to your target audience. Use your website, social media, and other marketing materials to showcase your brand personality and tell your brand story. Consistency is key – make sure everything you do aligns with your brand and reinforces your messaging.
So now after reading through this post, take a sec and look at your brand and leave me a comment below…is it checking all the boxes? Do you need a major brand overhaul? And also, how exciting is it to know that you can literally start a rebrand today?!
As always, I’m over here cheering you on!