Embracing new ideas, concepts and strategies helps us stay relevant as photographers and grow our businesses. One of the best ways to do this is to learn from those who have reached a certain level of success in their business, and when successful people in the industry open up about how they got so darn successful, well it’s time to listen up!
I recently reached out to several rock stars in the photography industry who are killing it in their businesses to get their take on my favorite topic – business branding.
I asked them this question:
“What has been the #1 thing that has helped you build your photography brand?”
And here’s what they said…
As I built my brand (and it’s still a work in progress!) I found that the less I looked at what other photographers were doing, and instead focused on how I wanted to shoot and how I wanted to do business, the clearer my vision, style and message became.
My business mantra: “Be you, everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde
One of the most important things that has helped build my brand is doing what I say I’m going to do, and always aiming to exceed people’s expectations. It sounds simple, right? But it’s always surprising to me just how many people don’t do what they promise to do.
Whether it’s having a couple’s big day images done on time (which means early) or emailing detail shots to other wedding professionals, it’s all important, and helps to cement core brand values of integrity and reliability. The things you do in your business whether they are intentional or not, will be what you become known for, and ultimately that is what will build your brand!
To me, branding is all about building relationships and cultivating two-way streets!
The relationships and mentorships that we have developed through our membership with PPA is by far one of the most important things that has helped us build our studio’s brand. Our brand is very important to us and we know that everything we do, say, post, print and promote must be relevant and maintain our brand. If we ever go off brand we risk creating confusion in the marketplace, which can ultimately lead to loss of clientele. One of my VERY favorite books on this subject is The Luxury Strategy by Vincent Bastien – I highly recommend it.
I’ve been in business for the last 36 years and my best advice would be to stay true to yourself. I believe this to be the foundation for our success. If you want to be different, unique and stand apart, look no further than at yourself. There is only one you and no one else can be you!
Also, know your audience. Identifying who your client is will narrow the marketing beam to a laser. In our case the audience were families that appreciate unique handcrafted works of art. I encourage each of you to dig deep inside to find the true you. There is wonderful joy in knowing the business you have created was built on the foundation of your own core desire. Communicating through this beautiful art form with your personal language is a gift to yourself and your audience.
I highly recommend going and checking out each of these amazing photographers for inspiration!!