Creating a Brand for Your Photography Business can be hard for busy working photographers or creative parents wanting to turn their hobby into a photography career. We hope you enjoy this new Building Your Brand Series!
This month’s photography tutorial series comes from co-founder of I Heart Faces, publisher of Living Locurto and professional designer, Amy Locurto. Come back each week in March as Amy provides great more tips on branding your photography business!
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Hi all, it’s Amy here and I’m so excited to write for I Heart Faces this month!
I have been a graphic designer for nearly 20 years, working on numerous brands from a one person shop to Fortune 500 companies. I’m happy to bring you this month’s photography tutorial series about branding your business!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before ever beginning to build the brand of your photography business.
1. What is your niche?
Finding a niche in any industry is the best way to build a business and focus on a brand strategy.
Do you specialize in children, seniors, weddings, food, fashion, commercial, or landscape photography? When you find your niche, figure out what works the best within that niche. Focus on that particular area and become an expert in the field.
Target your niche even further by having a niche within a niche.
I Heart Faces is a perfect example of a niche within a photography niche. We even named our company based on our photography niche… faces! Our brand has grown as our business has grown. It now extends beyond just photo challenges that include faces, but is still focused on photography and people.
If you are just starting out, try several types of photography to figure out what you love to do and what you are making a profit doing. Make that your niche!
For example, you might be a family photographer who loves taking photos of all types of children, but you make the most money from newborn photography. Consider focusing only on this niche and becoming an expert in your field.
Branding your business after you have established your niche will help you focus on details and keep your brand consistent for years to come.
2. What is your style?
Having a style within your niche will help develop your brand and to stand out from all the rest.
When I was doing professional photography work, I focused only on newborns. As you can see from my photos, my style has a vintage look, and mostly outdoors with natural light. I also put babies inside of objects.
If a client was looking through my portfolio, they could easily see my style and know what type of photos they were going to get from me. If a potential client didn’t like my style, they wouldn’t hire me and I wouldn’t have had to photograph a baby in a style that I didn’t like or feel comfortable doing.
Even though I was just starting out in this niche, I was developing my style with each job.
3. How will I promote my products and services?
Before you spend time and money developing your brand, it is important to create a brand strategy. You don’t want to focus your time and energy creating a portfolio of products and services for the wrong audience.
Having a plan on how you will promote yourself, your products and services will help build a stronger brand.
Decide if you want to promote your business locally or nationally. Then come up with a plan that works with how you envision for your brand. Then you can move onto designing marketing materials and more.
Focus on your talents and strengths.
When it comes to promotions to build your brand, think of your talents and strengths.
Do you love photographing children’s birthday parties? Promoting yourself to local event planners, businesses who host parties and mom’s groups would be a smart way to build your brand. As a blogger who talks about party ideas for kids, I would love if a local photographer approached me to work on a project together or to advertise their business!
Are you comfortable speaking in public and love teaching about photography? Then you might want to focus your brand more on public speaking and teaching other than your photography services?
There are numerous ways to promote your brand. Focus on a few!
Just like focusing on a niche and style, focusing on a specific promotion strategy will help build your brand with the correct audience.
4. Should I hire a designer?
Spending money on a good designer to help develop your brand is money well spent. But only hire a designer if you are ready for that next step and know exactly what you want. Otherwise, you will most likely be wasting your money.
For example, a long time ago, I helped my partner Angie with her photography business. At the time, she wasn’t sure of her niche yet. She wanted to create a brand that would attract moms of teenage girls, small children and babies. She was also shooting weddings and needed a look that would work for brides as well.
A few months later, Angie discovered her true passion for photographing stylized family sessions and all seniors (including boys). She did not want to shoot weddings or newborns at all. Luckily this was her birthday present from me or she would have spent a lot of money on my design time and marketing materials.
Take your time before spending money on a logo and marketing materials.
I’m an avid believer in taking time to develop your brand strategy before investing a lot of money on a designer. You want to make sure what you name your business and what type of products and services you provide are unique to you.
When you are first starting out, you can find a clean font for your name, an inexpensive blog template for a website and use your photos for marketing materials. Form a legal company and research trademarking, etc. This might take a few months or a few years.
I have seen many photographers purchase a ready-made logo design a few weeks after starting a business. They think having a logo makes them look professional. When in reality, that logo was not designed for their specific niche or style because they had not developed that area of their business yet. Heck, it might even be the same as another photographer’s logo!
If you have established your niche, style and know how you want to promote your business, then you are ready to work with a designer to help develop your brand.
I hope these 4 questions will help you develop a better brand for your photography business!
Are you currently working on any of these areas? What trials and triumphs have you had in your journey?
Amy Locurto, Co-Founder of I Heart Faces, is a graphic designer and entrepreneur. She publishes LivingLocurto.com, a lifestyle blog focused on crafts and parties along with designing party collections in her shop, Printables by Amy.
Amy recently launched a new signature product line Party with Amy Locurto. Her collections include paper products and embellishments for parties, card making, crafts and scrapbooking.
Amy collaborates with companies on creative content, working with brands as Matthew Mead Productions, Michaels Stores, FedEx Office, Reader’s Digest, Disney, Parents Magazine, The Pioneer Woman, American Crafts, Best Buy and more.