by Jen Basford
I often get asked about branding and why it is so important when it comes to marketing. Many photographers feel that a logo and some pretty colors are all it takes to create a brand. And while a well designed logo is very important to your identity, it is only one part of your brand image. Your brand is how people feel about you, and how they recognize your business. In short, your brand is the face of your photography business.
To successfully reach your target client, you must incorporate your brand into every facet of your marketing. If you overlook the details, you risk alienating your audience (many times without even realizing it).
Here are 3 easy things you can focus on in your marketing to strengthen your brand:
1. Your email address
A while ago I ordered some shoes from Zappos (one of my favorite online retailers). For some reason that escapes me now, I needed to contact them about my order before it shipped. Once I completed their online contact form I received an email from one of their super-friendly employees at a zappos.com email address.
But what if I’d received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org? How would that have changed my impression of the customer service, the experience, and Zappos in general?
While it may seem extremely insignificant, your email address says a lot about your business. Having an email address at your own business website domain establishes you as a professional, and makes a powerful and positive impression with your client.
2. Business cards
I have to admit that I hadn’t given business cards much thought over the past few years because I simply assumed that everyone had them. However, earlier this year I was at an event where I had to collect business cards from over 500 photographers.
Less than half of them had business cards.
And several who did were missing key details on the card itself.
Your business card is meant to do two things – communicate your contact information and make a powerful brand impression with the recipient.
What it isn’t meant to do is be a complete display of your entire body of work. In fact, some of the strongest business cards I’ve received from photographers do not even have an image on them.
Make sure that you always have business cards on hand, and keep them simple. Include all forms of contact, and create a strong brand identity with the design. Stick to the basics and you’ll leave a more positive impression with your target market.
3. Your website
Your website is arguably the most important piece of your marketing mix. You absolutely must get this right. Unlike social media, this is the one marketing avenue that you control singlehandedly. You are the one in charge of the look, the content, and the message that is displayed to those who visit your site.
Your website will be visited by almost all of your clients at one point or another, and most often it is one of the first things potential clients seek out before they book. Whether clients find you through a Google search, seek you out, or stumble upon your site, that first impression sets the stage for how they view your photography business.
Make sure that the look and feel of your website is completely in line with the look and feel of your brand. If your image is clean and simple, and centered around bold bright colors, then a website designed with flourishes and muted tones will create a disconnect with your audience. Invest the time and money up front to create a strong first impression with your target market, and you will be on your way to building a loyal and engaged client base.
Check out Seniors Ignite for more information on how to create a strong brand for your senior portrait business, and let us help you take your business to the next level.