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This post is part of the series, The Ultimate Guide To Being A Wedding Photographer — advice for running a successful wedding photography biz. Click here to view a list of all the posts in this series.
I know why you started your business. It’s because you absolutely LOVE what you do. And what’s better than making a living doing that thing you love??
But guess what… making money, well, making goooood money as a photographer (or any type of creative) has a lot less to do with your product (gorgeous photographs), and a lot MORE to do with your brand experience.
If you want to shoot weddings you love, with clients who are just dying to work with you — you might think you have to be an amazing photographer. But you don’t. Decent to good, would suffice… if you have an epic brand experience.
The thing is, I know you’re creeping all over other photographers’ websites and Instagrams (hey, I did it too!) and you’ve probably come across Photographer A, who is so crazy talented, you kind of die a little every time you see her work. But her business? Well, she’s actually not doing a ton of business… which is surprising, right? Because she is so amazing!
And then there’s Photographer B, and you kind of die a little every time you see her her work… because you think to yourself, “my work is better than that….” But she is booked. Booked solid. With the perfect clients, who always have that “Photographer B Style” (I mean, #PhotographerBBride, am I right??). And more than that, she charges a lot — way more than you think you could ever charge.
What. The. Heck???
Here’s the thing, friend — for better or worse, people willing to spend $$$ on luxury services care about one thing, first and foremost: The service. Not the product.
They are going to book you because of the epic experience (service) they know they’ll get with you, not the epic photographs (product).
Your brand experience is the amalgamation of every single client touchpoint a consumer will have while they interact with your brand — before, during, and after their service with you.
And don’t confuse “interact” to mean face-to-face. If you remember this post where I spilled my secrets on killer client consultations, I started to talk about client touchpoints, and how it might look something like this:
And this is just the beginning of your overall brand experience.
Your brand experience is everything, from the language you use in your emails and blog posts to your perfectly designed, one-of-a-kind website, that they keep visiting over and over again, because they just can’t wait to be one of YOUR brides.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know one of my favorite phrases is “your brand is not a logo.”
Because it’s not. Your logo is a part of your brand. It’s a very vital part — but on it’s own, it doesn’t mean much.
You can’t just buy a pretty pre-made logo, slap it on a template website, and hope to be crushing it, like Photographer B.
Now you’re starting to see how your brand is much more than a logo. Yay!
I’m going to go one step further and break down your brand experience into, what I consider, it’s fundamental building blocks:
So, let’s talk about each one of these building blocks:
This is my area of expertise. As a graphic designer, and visual branding specialist, I create the visuals to brilliantly communicate your brand.
A successful brand experience includes a comprehensive system of visual elements that consistently reinforce the brand. Examples of visual client touchpoints include:
I’ve talked about your brand environment before, in this post about client consultations. Some photographers have studios or store fronts, which are ideal because you can decorate and style them to be a visual representation of your brand, in the real world.
But not everyone can afford (or even wants) a studio or storefront. And that’s okay. Regardless of whether or not you own your space, consider the following, to make sure your environment aligns with your brand:
Not to be confused with your overall brand experience, I use the term client experience for your actual interactions with the client. These interactions will determine how the client feels about working with you. And here are some things to think about:
As a solopreneur and artist, you are your brand. Your face, your style, your attitude all become a part of your client’s brand experience. So embrace who you are, and share it proudly with your audience. Just make sure you are consistent.
How weird would it be to land on a bright and cheerful website, only to meet with the photographer, who is actually pretty dull, or even grumpy in person?? That’s an extreme example, but you want to make sure that YOU (and they way you present yourself) are consistent with your brand.
This may seem a bit overwhelming right now — like there are so many moving parts to a successful brand.
And yeah, that is true.
But when you know (really and truly understand) the foundation of your brand, fostering a consistent and flawless brand experience starts to becomes like second nature. You’re no longer making decisions based on what you “should be doing.”
Instead, everything you do in your brand, you do for a reason. You don’t have a website “just like Photographer B, because she is so successful, so you need a website exactly like hers…”
No, you understand that it’s not about the website, or the logo, or the photographs, or any one single touchpoint, on it’s own. It’s about the overall brand experience — and that’s something you just can’t copy.
It needs to be absolutely authentic to you.
And guess what? That’s what I do.
I help creative female entrepreneurs (just like you!) build powerful and authentic brands by creating the visuals (logos, websites, etc.) along with a solid brand strategy.
It’s one thing to design a pretty website. But it takes strategy to understand your why, your ideal client and your brand values — then design the visual branding and website to perfectly communicate that brand.
From there you can ensure that every client touchpoint is inline with your brand.
You’re not worried about Photographer B anymore, girl. You’re doing your own thing.
And you’re, ahem, kickin’ some serious booty.
You go girl!
So, if you’re ready to seriously dive in, and create the brand you’ve always dreamed about — to rock the biz and live the life you’ve always dreamed about — then go fill out my contact form.
And don’t be shy. Tell me about those big dreams, girl. And I’ll tell you how we can make them happen.