Does your photography have a Brand?

If you think that Brand is just a logo then think again.  Brand is everything your customer thinks, believes, feels and imagines about your business.  If you want to build an awesome brand your brand message needs to be consistent and very customer focused.

You can’t build a brand that suits everyone its just impossible.  Too many photographers think they just want to take photographs for anyone who’ll pay for their services.  When this happens you don’t have a real brand, you aren’t unique and because there’s nothing special about what you do and you don’t particularly appeal to anyone, all you can do is sell on price alone which means you have to be cheap to win business.

To build a truly awesome brand you need to have your ideal customers in mind and focus your brand and your offering on what it is they really want.  You can’t brand yourself as a commercial photographer and be offering new born portraits on the same website, it just dilutes your brand and devalues your commercial photography.

For example, you may be a wedding photographer and brand your photography according.  Build a website and brand that appeals to women from 24-40 years old with a good disposable income in a 50 mile radius of your post code.  Start to think about your ideal client, what she does for a living, where she shops, what brands does she purchase.  Then look at how these major brands market to their ideal clients because their clients are your clients too.

Brands like Tiffany, Michael Kors, Mercedes, Miller & Carter, Jimmy Choo and many more, spend tens of thousands on market research and branding to attract their clients.  Its these brands you should be copying from, NOT another local photographer with a £100 marketing budget.

If you want to aim high end then your message needs to reflect that.  I’ve helped clients double and triple their prices over the course of a few phone calls and their bookings have increased.  The reason for this is if you increase your prices your brand and message need to reflect this throughout.  Its essential that the wording on your website and packages is strongly emotionally based, you need to portray the feeling of a quality and a premier service but in a way that is personal, friendly and approachable.  People buy from people they like, simple as that, come across as impersonal or someone you are not and your clients will see through you in an instant.

Look at the way premium brands word their packages and services, it’s all benefit related i.e. “what’s in it for the client”, how can they benefit from what you offer.  Sometimes it pays to spell out the benefit.   For example, don’t just say “fully edited high res images on a USB”, instead offer them “professionally edited, copyright free images they can share with their family and friends, all supplied on a luxury personalised USB key complete with a hand-crafted keepsake box”.

Try to prefix your words and services, it’s not wedding photography its beautifully bespoke wedding photography, its not a wedding album it’s a luxury Italian leather bound wedding story book.  Think like British retailer Marks & Spencer’s they never just sell “chocolate cake” -  they sell “extra special, rich and indulging, double layered, caramel topped chocolate cake”.  Get descriptive with your brand and use words to enhance and project your premium service.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.  Brand is something I’m very passionate about and I’m always happy to help and advise on.

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