Intro by Skip Cohen
I love this post from Sarah Petty because it hits on a topic people rarely talk about – what do I call my business? I’m literally talking about the name your business is going to be known by. Everyone likes something catchy and something that can quickly become top-of-mind awareness when a potential client is looking for a photographer.
Over the years, I’ve met so many photographers whose business names seem so sterile and unrelated to who they are and what they do for a living. There’s also a downfall when trying to find them, especially in your email address book.
But I want to add to Sarah’s post – the name is important, and so is your logo or whatever you use for the graphic design for your business. Take the time, using almost the same process below, to develop your visual brand. Most important of all, give it time once you launch. I worked with an artist many years ago who changed his logo three times over two years because he got tired of it – but his audience had barely seen it!
Last but not least, getting your name and visual brand recognized means nothing if you don’t have the reputation to back it up. We’re a word-of-mouth business, and you need to always stand for quality, integrity, great images, and on-time delivery (keeping your promises.)
Your goal is to make yourself habit-forming and exceed expectations.
A good name can make your photography business seem more credible, trustworthy, and established. But brainstorming the perfect name can be tough!! Where do you even start?
First things first, don’t worry! If you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect name for your photography business, I’ve got seven tips to help you out.
1. Start with a Brainstorming Session: Get a group of people together (maybe some fellow photographers, friends, or family members) and just turn on the faucet. It’s probably going to come out rusty at first, but don’t judge!
Just let it come out and write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how silly it might seem. You never know where the best ideas will come from.
Think about what sets you apart and makes your business unique. Try to highlight that in your name so you can stand out from the competition and be memorable!
2. Keep it Short and Sweet: You want your photography business name to be easy to remember, spell, and say out loud. That means you likely want to avoid anything that is too complicated or hard to pronounce.
Also, as boutique photographers, we deliver a high-quality product. So I prefer avoiding cutesy names. I don’t recommend abbreviations either, so stay away from words like “pics”, “snaps”, “clicks”, or “photos”. Instead, spell out “photography”.
3. Make it Personal to You: I don’t like cliché names because anybody could use them. I’d rather you push for something more personal to you!
I have a student who has been learning with me since 2005. She’s now a coach in my Peak Performance Coaching program! The name of her studio is Jookie Photography. Her name is Jill, and I always thought her nickname was Jookie Jill.
But after I got to know her, she explained, “No, that was my niece’s name for her guinea pig,” and she just liked it! So she named her studio Jookie Photography.
What a fun name that has a story!!
Also, think about a nickname or an endearing name that’s made from your name. When you use your name, it positions you as an artist. And people like working with artists, don’t they?
4. Have a Theme-Based Story: I have a student in my coaching program named Hildi, and her business is called “Crane Song Photography”. It’s special to her because cranes mate for life, and she wants her photography clients to select her for life! She uses origami cranes on every piece of branding she does.
You could also use a juxtaposition – I really love names that do this because there won’t be many other people doing it. So you can combine two different words that create a really cool visual, and then you have a graphic element for your branding.
5. Do some research: Before settling on a name, make sure to do some research online and on social media to see if anyone is using it or something similar. You don’t want to pick the perfect name, print everything, build your website, and get everything going… only to find out that someone else has already staked a claim and is using that name. That would create confusion or conflict.
Really do your homework. It’s also important to see if the website domain name is available.
6. Get Feedback From Others: Once you’ve come up with a few possible names, run them by family, friends, and other trusted advisors to get opinions on which one they like best. Hopefully, they’ll be helping you market and promote your business.
Starting to build those relationships now is important, and their input is invaluable!!
7. Be Willing to Change Course: If, after doing all of this work and soul-searching, you still can’t seem to settle on a name, it’s okay to change course and try a different direction with your name entirely!
Naming your photography business can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to coming up with a catchy, creative name that perfectly represents your business!