When you think about your photography branding, are you sending the right message to clients? If your brand message is confusing or misleading, you may miss out on booking clients who are ideal for your business. Because you are so busy, and there are various aspects of your business to focus on, it could be possible there are branding mistakes you are making and you do not know it.
Outside of our wedding photo edit services, we connect with industry leaders to bring you valuable information that can be used in your photography business. In our 5 Branding Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making Webinar, Ben Hartley of Style & Story Creative shared 5 branding mistakes photographers often make, as well as quick ways to fix them.
We’ve put together the top 5 tips from Ben’s webinar to help you identify and fix branding mistakes from your business.
1. Sharing Non-Branded Headshots
As ideal clients view your website, after the homepage, one of the next pages they see is your About Page. Are the photos you sharing on your About Page the best you have of you? If you share an image of yourself which does not represent your brand, how can clients know you will create stunning photos from the wedding day?
Because your headshot is vital to your brand, take the time to create one with the perfect lighting, posing, and representation of your personality. When you showcase a professional headshot on your About Page, ideal clients can put a face to your brand and get to know you more.
Not every shot of you needs to be serious, either. Even if that is not exactly your brand, it showcases your personality so clients can get to know you. You can include photos of your family, pets, or something that is really important to you. Having both the professional and personality elements on your About Page is crucial to showing who you are as a person and a photographer.
2. Using an Inconsistent Writing Style
When a couple is looking for a photographer for their wedding day, chances are they look at other websites besides yours. In addition to featuring the best photos on your Homepage, are you adding text to enhance the experience? If you are only featuring photos on your Homepage and nothing else, how can ideal clients know your brand is different than others?
If your client only sees images on your Homepage, the only way for them to compare you to another photographer is simply on images alone. The way you can quickly communicate your value is through copywriting. Words can tell stories in a way that photographs sometimes cannot.” – Ben Hartley
The words you use to reflect your brand are crucial to your success and should be the same on every platform you have. Think about the text you use on your website, emails, contracts, and other pieces of content.
In your email text, focus on your signature so it showcases your brand. Ben recommends showing where your work has been published, as those brands help influence your own. Plus, add in your photography business logo so they keep your unique style in mind.
3. Focusing on a Designer Role
Whether you have been in business for a long time, or just getting started, creating a brand often includes a specific design plan. Since most of your time is dedicated to honing your craft, are you qualified to create the design for your platforms? If you are not an expert in designing, you risk creating a confusing and unrecognizable brand message for ideal clients.
Ben recommends hiring a professional designer who can create a specific and branded design for your business. Just like you can outsource some of your post production to a wedding photo editing company, it can also benefit you to outsource your brand design. If you do not have the budget to hire a professional designer, you can use websites such as 99 Designs and Creative Market to get you started.
4. Managing Conflict Unprofessionally
As a wedding photographer, you work with various people throughout the year. Have you ever run into conflict with them throughout the wedding process? How did you handle the issue? If you handle conflict unprofessionally at any point, you risk your reputation and brand.
Avoid posting about conflicts with clients on any platform, especially social media. When a client has an issue and it needs to be resolved, reach out to them quickly. Instead of using communication methods such as email, text, or social media, call your clients on the phone.
You can control the way the conversation goes over the phone, rather than risking a misinterpretation of an email or text. It also shows your clients how invested you are in solving the conflict, and you are acting in a professional manner which reflects your brand.
5. Showcasing Too Many Specialties
As Lee Atwater said, “perception is reality.” In your photography business, finding your specialty is crucial to attracting and booking ideal clients. How can clients know if you are a perfect fit for them if you offer too many services on your website? Even if you love shooting pet and newborn photography, if it is not your specialty, be cautious about including it on your wedding photography website.
If you are having trouble narrowing down your specialty, ask yourself “why” questions. Why do you shoot? Why are you a photographer? Why have you gone into business? You can also ask yourself if you are connected to the photography you are drawn to as your specialty.
These questions can help direct you to what you should be shooting. Once you decide on a specialty, you can represent it on your website and clients may start recognizing your brand. Branding for photographers is an important area to focus on, so it is crucial to understand how to identify and fix branding photography mistakes in your business. When ideal clients know who you are through your brand message, you can more easily build a connection with them.