As a photographer, have you thought much about how to craft your brand? Have you worked hard to serve in unique ways, have your voice and heart heard, and spent time putting your BEST branding foot forward?
I think when we all start out, we are working hard to learn the gear and tech pieces, the editing workflow, the back end office systems, our offers and pricing tiers, our logo and colors, website, you know… ALL THE THINGS that come with building a photography business.
In doing all of those necessary things, we spend a lot of time looking at other people’s businesses and how they are doing things. We consume all their free content, we take courses, we learn from the BEST in the industry….
but in the end, I want to ask you a really important question….
Are you spending time creating YOUR brand or someone else’s?
I believe in education. I believe in courses…heck, I have one. I believe in learning from others. We need to learn all the things!! And being a lifelong learners gives us the ability to grow our businesses as our lives and the world change.
But once you get in your groove with a firm foundation, are you putting your blinders on and crafting your own brand that truly reflects YOU and how you want to serve clients in your current season?
Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. It’s how you make people FEEL when they see your work AND when they work WITH YOU!!! I think we often spend a lot of time on the visual presentation of our work that we forget that there’s so much more to creating our brand.
I work with all kinds of business owners…from therapists to interior designers to other photographers. And we work really hard to create gorgeous brand visuals…but the words they write in their content, the client journey, the offers they have in their businesses, and the way people feel when they work with them are all important components to their brand as well!
In coaching other photographers, I’ve found that giving them permission to serve clients in ways that work for them is like a breath of fresh air!!! Everyone’s so busy telling you HOW to do it, WHAT to do, WHEN to do it…that when someone asks you what’s working for you and your family and gives you permission to take off the things that aren’t working for you…it’s like you can breathe again.
If you were my coaching client, this is what I’d say to you, “You can craft your brand and your business in a way that works best for you and your family in the current season you are living in.”
It’s easy to hear photographers say this is how they built their business when they are 20-somethings and don’t have children at home. I started my business with three kiddos and a husband who was deployed to Afghanistan…so what worked for the 20-somethings was not possible for me in the season I was building in.
And my business today in my current season looks completely different from when my kiddos were little because they are now all grown and in college. I’ve given myself permission to allow the ebb and flow and seasonality of life to help me grow and pivot my business. When something wasn’t working like shooting with clients on the weekend, I looked at how I could change that. I began working with more Senior Clients and would only shoot during the weekday evenings. I didn’t have to close my doors…in fact, it all exploded with growth and profit even with new boundaries.
So again, I’m giving you permission to craft a brand and a business that works for you. Take the best that you’ve learned from others and tweak and implement it into your own business. But don’t hold yourself to exactly replicating what others are doing. There are too many factors at play that may not work when you try to run your business exactly like someone else’s.
Here are a few things you may want to look when building your brand or doing a re-brand:
1- What is your current season in life…personally and w/ your family?
You may not be able to book 40 weddings in a year (exaggerating here) because you have kiddos that are playing travel ball and you don’t want to miss out on these sweet weekends.
2- What are your income goals and needs?
Some photographers I’ve coached need to replace their 9-5 income, while others are using it as supplemental income while staying home with their little ones. Those are vastly different needs…and the businesses they build may look very different.
3- What type of clients do you LOVE working with?
Show what you want to shoot more of. I’m currently not working with as many High School Seniors in 2023…so I’m not showing a ton of Senior work, even though I am still doing Senior Shoots. I have mostly Brand Photography as my showcased work because those are the clients I’m interested in working with more and more. It’s a subtle pivot and it’s worked for me and can work for you as well.
4- Does your current brand feel cohesive and does it make sense to your community?
Do you make it easy for people to work with you or is it confusing and we all know that confused people don’t buy. So make it clear WHO you are for, WHAT you do to serve your ideal client, and HOW to work with you.
5- I don’t think we say this enough…but learn to TRUST YOURSELF.
Look inward on how things feel in your business. What are you enjoying, what feels really hard, where is your heart calling you? I know that “feeling” isn’t a business strategy…but it can be a guiding light as to where you should focus your strategic approach in branding your business.
As photographers, it is important that we carefully build our brands so that our businesses work for us and our families instead of just doing what we see working for someone else’s business. Let others inspire and inform you…but stay in your lane and learn to trust yourself as you craft your own brand.
Speaking of Branding, if you are looking to make an addition or a pivot into this genre of photography as your business grows and changes…my Brand Photography Roadmap has opened its Waitlist. Doors open in March and we begin our 8 weeks of group coaching in April 2023. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to mold your business with new offerings and growth!!!
Brand Photography Roadmap Wait list: https://bit.ly/3XYepxv
Cheering for you always,