Hey there, Bosslady! In honor of the new year, dreaming big dreams and living your passion, I’m introducing a new series here on the blog: ‘Finding Your Brand Voice.’ This is the first post in this series.
Do you know your Why?
But do you really know your Why?
Let me back up. Maybe you don’t even know what a Why is, or why you should have one. Maybe, like me, you started a wedding photography business because you became enamored with pretty photos you saw online and thought, Hey, I can do that!
So, that’s your Why, right? Wrong. The problem is that’s why every other pro photographer, semi-pro photographer and Uncle Bob is taking photos. It doesn’t set you apart. It doesn’t tell me why you’re unlike all those others. It’s not your real why.
Your Why is more than pretty photos. It’s more than making money. Your WHY is the driving force behind your brand and it determines the way in which you communicate with your audience.
Because you’re busy shooting, editing and drumming up business, you might not think you have time to figure out your Why. Or maybe you think you have a pretty good idea of your Why but don’t need to articulate it.
Stop everything you’re doing and figure out your Why first. It is the single most important thing you can do for your business. Don’t believe me? Watch this.
Life changing, right? Business changing for sure.
In my early twenties I went to beauty school because I loved styling my friends’ hair and thought I should be a hairstylist. While in school, I bought my first DSLR camera and began shooting weddings. I decided to become a wedding photographer because I thought I loved taking pretty pictures. After owning my own wedding photography business for a few years, I began to notice the importance of branding. I went back to school to become a graphic designer because I thought I loved beautifully designed things.
I still like styling hair. I still like taking pretty pictures. And I still like designing beautiful things. However, none of those reasons are my Why. I didn’t realize it at the time but they all have a common thread.
Growing up I was really hard on myself, especially about my physical appearance. I imagined “Beautiful” as a sort of elite club, and I was definitely an outsider. I never thought I was good enough because I never thought I was pretty enough. So it stings with a painful familiarity when I see other women who are struggling with their self-image.
Out of my personal pain I have found my personal calling. Yes, I still like styling hair, I like taking pretty pictures and I like designing beautiful things, but I LOVE making other women feel beautiful and powerful.
I became a hairstylist because it enabled me to help other women feel beautiful. I became a photographer because I loved the way my clients eyes lit up when they saw how gorgeous they looked in my images. And I became a graphic designer because I wanted to create branding for other female entrepreneurs so they could share their businesses with confidence.
Nothing brings me more joy than seeing the transformation that occurs when a woman gets a glimpse of the true beauty and power inside of her.
That is my Why.
From that realization I created my company’s vision statement:
I believe in harnessing the power of Love and Creativity to uplift and inspire other women. Specifically, I create experiences and products that infuse them with self-confidence. My art is a medium through which their unique beauty and intelligence can radiate. I am committed to a business and a life of integrity, compassion, creativity and growth.
That is my soul’s purpose and no matter how I express it (design, photography, writing, teaching, or anything else) my career will always be an expression of that Why.
Now it’s your turn. To be true to yourself and your clients, and to create an authentic brand you must find your own purpose, your own Why.
Think about what you do and the true reason behind your passion.
I implore you to express your own Why. Write it down. Frame it. Hang it over your desk. And on those hard days when you’re doubting yourself and wondering why you chose this path – read your Why.
So, I want to know, what is your Why? Tweet me or leave me a comment below.
If you enjoyed this post I’d be so happy if you’d share it! And I hope you’ll be back next week for the next installment of Finding Your Brand Voice.
Until then, Keep Hustling!
Moriah Riona is a Colorado Springs based graphic designer and photographer specializing in sophisticated branding and glamorous weddings.