When it comes to running a successful photography business, many photographers focus on capturing stunning images but often overlook the power of branding. Branding isn’t just about a logo and a font; it’s about creating a unique identity and a strong connection with your target audience.
In this excellent video, LA-based boudoir photographer Michael Sasser walks you through a few questions that you need to be able to answer to get your photography business on the right track.
So, if branding isn’t about just a fancy logo and website, then what is it about? Let’s have a closer look at what Michael has to say.
Define Your Brand
One of the first steps to effective branding is to understand what kind of brand you want to build. Are you aiming for a luxury and exclusive image, or do you want your photography services to be accessible to a broader audience? This decision influences every aspect of your business, from the clients you target to the language you use in your marketing.
Sasser emphasizes that he chose the exclusive route, not in the sense of excluding people but by being very specific about the qualities his clients should possess. This level of specificity helps him stand out and appeal to a particular clientele.
Understanding Your Photography Style
Your brand should be a reflection of your unique style as a photographer. Think about the characteristics that define your images. Are they timeless, artistic, or intimate? Do you shoot in elaborate locations, or do you prefer simplicity with a focus on your subjects? Your style should resonate with your target audience and set you apart from the competition.
Defining Your Target Client
Understanding your target client is pivotal to effective branding. Think about their age, their motivation for hiring you, and their preferences. Are they seeking a personal experience, do they appreciate luxury, or are they looking for something unique? The more you know about your ideal clients, the better you can tailor your brand to their needs.
Sasser shares his experience with clients who are seeking acceptance through his photography. He has honed his language and marketing materials to resonate with this desire for self-acceptance, making the connection with his brand more profound.
Of course, it can feel scary to target such a small niche. However, that is the whole point of having branding that will speak to that particular person.
Analyzing Other Brands
Looking at established brands can provide valuable insights. Study brands you admire and examine their marketing strategies, branding elements, and the language they use. Are they more simple or extravagant? What do owning their products say about their customers? Learning from successful brands can help you incorporate effective strategies into your own brand.
Three Words That Define Your Brand
Simplifying your brand message into three powerful words can be a game-changer. For Sasser, one of these words is “authenticity.” It reflects his commitment to showing people as they are, without excessive retouching. These three words guide his communication with clients, his content creation, and his brand’s identity.
Your three defining words should capture the essence of your brand and be used consistently throughout your marketing efforts.
Of course, this sort of exercise is easier to do if you have a non-commercial photography business, such as portrait, wedding or boudoir. However, it is still possible to do for commercial businesses and is still a very worthwhile exercise.
Branding your photography business isn’t just about the visual elements; it’s about the identity and message you convey to your audience. Effective branding can differentiate you from the competition, attract your ideal clients, and allow you to charge premium prices.