Your brand identity is holding you back.
Hi, Thomas Ingersoll here. I'm a commercial and advertising photographer in Phoenix, Arizona. I am taking over Blok's blog this week and want to share something that has changed how I get clients, and how clients perceive me.
This week I want to talk about the importance of being a brand and having a strong identity. Now, this may seem like a no-brainer, but it is commonly overlooked in our industry. In today's climate, it is not enough to be a good photographer. The days of just having a strong portfolio are dead. A photographer must be a brand, an experience if you will. Our market praises brands that create an experience, consistent in their identity, and easily assessable on all platforms. This will garner trust and reliability with your audience; they know what they will get when they come to you. It also conveys that you are willing to put the time in to represent yourself and what you want to share with the world. So where do you start? I will break down the crucial aspects of developing a robust unified identity.
- Start with your work. Align your work with your brand's identity, make sure they compliment each other. If you are a lifestyle photographer, things like your design, font, color, logo, and voice should convey that message. This will help establish your persona before your audience even begins to browse your work.
- Establish what market you are after. Are you pursuing retail, commercial, editorial, etc.? You will want to articulate on your platforms who you are and the type of work you do. I market myself as an advertising and commercial photographer. I make sure on all platforms that I state that. I also make sure my SEO practices relate to those terms.
- Show people who you are. You're a photographer; you should have a beautiful photo of yourself. Keep a consistent biopic across all your platforms.
- Logo. This is usually people's first impression of the type of work you do. Spend some time and make sure your logo represents yourself well.
- Develop a brand color. This will help support your logo and design. People will start to associate your brand with a color, look at companies like H&R Block, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Air BnB.
After establishing your brand identity, apply this across your platforms.
First is your website. This is the staple of your identity. This is where you want to drive traffic to. All marketing attempts should funnel people to your site. Your website should be an experience for your audience, and make it a pleasant and memorable one. Your identity should sing through your site, and make it easy to navigate damnit.
Use this free form of marketing to establish your voice, identity and accessibility. Have a unified bio pic. Market yourself to a specific audience. Drive people to your website.
Consider what you post, make sure it relates to what you're photography.
Instagram is great for a personality. Share your BTS, technical info, and your portfolio. Don't be afraid to some personal experiences here.
This is a great space to share links and stories. Be involved in communities. Keep personal stuff to a personal account.
Great to find a network of professionals. Share your stories.
Use this platform to share BTS and links. Almost a mix of Instagram and Facebook.
Business cards and mailers
Don't ignore the world that exists outside of the internet. Print is still a very crucial aspect of marketing and identity. I love using leave behinds and business cards for more professional settings. Make sure that the design of your cards, print portfolio, and leave behinds are all an extension of your brand.
Throughout my presence I remain consistent. My branded color is a deep red white. My style is minimal with a slight modern touch. All my platforms look the same so my audience knows its me. I state that I'm an advertising/commercial photographer. Implementing a strong brand into my business structure has helped elevate the type of clients I get.
Take a look and ask yourself if you are a strong brand.
Website - Squarespace
Business Cards and Mailers - Moo
Also be sure to check out Agency Access. They have tons of insightful info on their blog, as well as a team of professionals that can help develop your brand.