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Today Christina N Dickson explores the topic of branding a photography business.
The photography business world is cut throat competitive. There’s a great deal of talent out there that goes unnoticed by the world. And there are many photographers who “make it” for reasons other than photographic ability.
Without a doubt, getting an edge in the photographic market can be a lot harder than it sounds.
But there is hope. You just need a little bit of creativity and a lot of innovation and business smarts. With these two things, you will be able to build your business in a way few others do: Branding with emotion.
Branding plays an enormous role in the life of a successful business. After you have built your skills, completed your business filing, and identified your target market, there’s one more thing that needs to be done. Sit down with your favorite cup of coffee or tea, put yourself in your future client’s shoes, and consider these three branding ideas.
Every individual goes through life with tears, joys, pains, drama, fears, hopes and dreams. Every person has a desire for gain and a fear for loss. Use these emotions to relate to customers and clients.
In my senior portrait business I relate to the fact that many young people don’t like pictures of themselves because they believe they aren’t photogenic. Rejection, self-acceptance, and desire for personal beauty are all ideas that I too have dealt with. Thus, I can honestly take these emotions and create a marketing idea for high school senior portraits around it.
How can you relate to fine arts collectors? What emotions would they have? Desire for capital investment perhaps? How about parents in sports? Great pride in their son or daughters sports accomplishments? Find the emotion of your market, and then move on.
If emotions are common between all people, why not use them in business? If I use strong emotional ties in my marketing to draw clients I can easily create a bridge that connects me to my market base.
In my business, I take a positive spin on self-acceptance and personal beauty. “Celebrate Who You Are” is my campaign to break high school seniors free from the pressure of being one of the status quo, and encourage them to embrace their individuality.
Whatever emotional connection you may choose to use in your photography business, this will be largely determined by your audience. Will a retired art collector feel the same intense emotions as a high school senior? Not when relating to your business. Once you have found the emotional connection with your market, craft your business and it’s brand around it.
We all know that word of mouth can be the most powerful tool in marketing. This is the reason why a high school senior would choose my senior portraits services and not the business with the “portrait special” poster in the hall of their school. As I exude genuine care and concern for the seniors that I shoot, I will build strong emotional ties with future clients who will want the same experience their friends had.
Regardless of your photographic expertise, this principle remains the same across the board. Think about Starbucks or Nike, both are companies that create a brand from an “experience”. Whatever your price point, treat your clients as though they are more important than anything else. This experience will draw them to you time and again. Furthermore, it is the difference between simply hanging your picture on their wall, and referring all their friends to your business.
As I have applied these branding principles to my business, I’ve had extremely satisfied clients who refer business to me with great enthusiasm and excitement. But when I encourage my high school seniors to be themselves, not only do I get to build a strong business, I also get to be a part of something deeply rewarding.
It will be the same for you: Create a dynamic product through an unmatched emotional experience and you will never be out of jobs or clients.
If you want to read more about branding, check out the titles that helped me build my brand:
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