Now that you have worked on your photography or personal brand, how do you know it’s working? If you read the first few tutorials of this branding series, you would have been working on your niche, style, promotions and first impression.
Missed this month’s Building Your Brand series? Start at the beginning:
Here are some ways you can tell your photography business branding is working!
1. You get asked “What does your company do?” or “Who designed your logo?”
When I first started my design firm in 1999, my company name and branding was meh… nothing memorable. I started my business fast and was too busy working on client’s brands to even think about my own brand!
About a year later, I did an entire re-brand with a name change and new website with examples of the kind of work that I wanted to attract. I knew it was working when I would tell people my business name, they would ask me what my company did and seem generally interested. From there, I had a chance to pitch my services and hand out business cards. That year, I went from 5 clients to around 25 because I had a brand strategy!
2. You are getting contacted about jobs in your niche.
If you trimmed down your portfolio to show only newborns instead of families, you are probably getting more jobs for that niche. Narrowing your services and products to a specific niche and using your niche’s key words on your website for SEO will also help bring more potential clients to you from the internet.
With or without a watermark, I can always recognize Susan Keller’s lifestyle niche and laid back photography style.
3. Clients are coming back and referring you to their friends.
It’s a given that your business is working when clients are coming back and telling their friends! Word of mouth marketing is a wonderful tool within the photography industry. Photography is very personal and if you use your brand to advertise your services well with current clients, then THEY do all the rest.
Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman, a member of the IHF Creative team and from JellyBean Pictures says, “I’m almost all word of mouth with some of it coming from my editorial work and Facebook (which really is word of mouth anyway).”
Don’t miss out on chances to build your brand with your clients!
Follow up and make your clients your community. Give clients cards to pass out, make sure your watermark looks classy so they will want to share photos, start a referral program, create packaging and a website that is memorable.
Hilary Camilleri of One for the Wall Photography says “I’m proud to say that the majority of my business comes from the same families each and every year.”
4. You are getting noticed for your distinct style.
Because you have been working on your distinct style, your photos are probably very consistent. The key is to have a recognizable look about your photos. Think about your favorite photographers… such as Annie Leibovitz’s intimate portraits or Sue Bryce‘s before and after glamour portraits.
Angie Arthur (co-founder of I Heart Faces) has a unique family photo style.
5. Others are copying you.
Your branding is working when others begin to copy you. There must be a reason they are copying you right? What you are doing is inspiring others! It’s often very frustrating when you work so hard to create something original, just to have someone else do the same thing. The best you can do in that situation is think of it as a compliment, because it means something is working!
Sue Bryce has brought back glamour photography and become hugely successful. Sue inspires others by her brand and style. She now teaches people exactly how she does what she does! Photographers all over the world are copying her style, but nobody can copy the personality and talent of Sue herself.
People might copy your work, but nobody can copy YOU.
YOU are an original and that’s what your clients and readers love about you!
These are just a few ways to know your branding is working. There is always a new way to build your brand. As long as you stay true to you and what you love, your branding should work.
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.