What is a brand?

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or feature that identifies your business.

Branding is the face of your business. It is the first impression your clients will receive when looking for a photographer. Your brand is more than just your marketing materials. Your brand will connect your client emotionally to your business. Ask yourself these questions when choosing a brand:

  • What do I want my clients to feel?
  • What products and packaging will I offer?
  • What is my target market?
  • What is unique about my business?
  • Where do I want my business to be in a year?

A good brand is essential to being successful and standing out from the crowd. How do you develop a strong brand? Here are 5 steps that are most important when doing so.

maternity picture with a dog by Erica Williams

1. What’s in a name?

Naming your business can be just as stressful as naming your first born child. It is something you are passionate about and poured your heart and soul into. Your business name and branding should go together like two peas in a pod. It should be strong and catchy. What are some popular names in the photography community? I can think of a few off the top of my head. Why? Because they have a strong brand. Chubby Cheek Photography is one. Her style, her work, her branding all go together like peanut butter and jelly.

2. What defines you and your style?

List 3-5 words that describe you or your style. This can be anything from the way you personally feel about your work to your personal style. Your style will be the base of your brand. Your brand is the way you dress, the way you interact with your customers, the way you decorate your studio. Your brand will be how your clients feel about your business when they see your work. Your style should connect you to your target clients. You are no different than Starbucks or Coca Cola. Why do so many people choose these companies over others? They have a strong brand and they are consistent.

3. What products and packaging will you offer?

Will you offer prints, albums, frames, canvases? What type of materials? Wood, glossy, or matte? Try to offer something original that your clients can only get at your business. I offer custom wood prints and products only to my clients. It is an exclusive offer that is custom to my brand. Packaging should be considered in the same manner. I offer recycled packaging that goes along with my products and branding. Do your research and offer a unique line of products with packaging that will wow them.

4. Who are my target clients?

Knowing your target clients is a great advantage when building a brand. What does the ideal client look like to you? How old are they? Where do they live? What is their annual income? If you are trying to target children and families, you will want to target moms. If you are trying to target wedding clients, you will be targeting women within a different age group. Being able to identify your target client allows you to establish a connection between you and potential clients. This is how you will attract them to your business. With that being said, you will want a more playful brand if you are targeting moms vs. wedding clients.

5. What sets you apart?

You! The product of your business is you; you are the artist. Whether it is your customer service and friendly face or your unique artwork that catches their eye, be original. Maybe it’s your company values? Maybe it’s your way of delivering your final products? Maybe it’s your unique, custom-made products? Maybe your service includes something not offered by others, like hair and make-up? You might include some tasty treats or something a little special as a thank you for being one of your customers. Make your business personable and custom to your style and brand.

If you have a strong brand, then you will have better chances of your business being successful. Branding is an important process in building your business in the direction you want it to go. Where do you want to be in a year from now? Five years from now? Maybe you want to have more bookings with your target clients. Maybe you want to do bigger and better things with your business. Make a goal and a business plan then watch your hard work pay off. I love this quote by Oscar Wilde, it is so true in any circumstance.

Be yourself, because everyone is already taken.