When people think about unique brands, they often think about large retail corporations like Nike, Apple, and other multinational corporations.  Massive marketing campaigns with elite PR companies give them the ability to deliver consistent, reinforced messages across multiple platforms to achieve their goals.  However, creating a unique brand with loyal customers isn’t reserved for large businesses.  In fact, small businesses like photography studios can build a solid brand that consistently attracts loyal customers.  We can still speak to our target audience, build hype, and stand out in our local markets; and in this branding for photographers article, we’ll review how.

branding in photography

A powerful brand comprises of multiple ingredients – a unique and attractive logo, a catchy tag line, an unforgettable personality, a distinct voice, and more. You can use the same ingredients and build a unique brand for your photography business.

1. Identify What Makes You Special

One of the most important things that you need for your brand is the “X” factor. It’s one thing (or even a couple of things) that makes you special. For instance, it could be a certain photography style that’s unlike any other style out there, or just a unique perspective on taking photos that others lack. If you can identify this unique factor, then you can make it your tagline, incorporate the message in your blogs and social media posts, etc. to build a big brand over time.  The key is reinforcing this unique characteristic throughout all of your web presence.  If you’re having a hard time thinking of your “X” factor,  ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What makes my photography style different from my competition?
  • What makes my client experience different from my competition?
Slide from the Photography Business Training System

From these answers, come up with the following:

  • A set of core values
  • A mission statement/tagline
  • Your “about us” story

Effective branding for photographers means consistently including these messages these around on your website, your other business and social media profiles, and any print material you might create for your business.

2. Create a Unique logo for effective branding for photographers

photography logo

The next step to branding for photographers if having a unique and attractive logo that allows you to stand out from the competition. When your customers see your logo in ads, social media content, videos, etc. then it helps in building brand loyalty. Plus, people take your company more seriously when it has a premium logo.

When I started photography, getting a unique logo was difficult and costly because the best option was to hire a professional designer.  These days, it’s much more easy to create a logo, with plenty of low cost options or free options. You can learn all about creating a beautiful photography logo online and create some of the best designs yourself!

3. Identify Your Ideal Client

Slide from the Photography Business Training System

A business is all about selling, right? But do you know who are you selling to? If you don’t have a clear mental image of your ideal client, then your marketing and branding efforts will be weak. This is because all decisions you take- which social media platforms to focus on, what local events to attend, what tone and messaging to use online, etc. are influenced by the target audience. For instance, if you want to do wildlife photography, then your message should contain a sense of adventure and a hunger for risks. Similarly, if you want to be a professional wedding photographer, then you want to develop a brand that’s pleasing, comforting, and understands the beauty of relationships.

The key takeaway is to specialize and avoid trying to serve every single client.  Identify your audience and cater your website, your social media, your newsletter, and every other public facing aspect of your business to that audience.  Consider specializing in styles, such as “Light and Airy” or “Moody” or “Editorial.” Or consider focusing in on marketing to a specific demographic like culture/ethnicity or age group to create effective branding for photographers.

4. Develop a Strong Personality

The next step in branding for photographers is to understand that brands have personalities just like humans. They have a certain way of speaking and communicating. They can give good or bad first impressions.  They can seem confident or insecure. They can also feel strongly for certain causes and emotions.

For instance, Nike is all about pushing yourself to the limit and “just doing it”, and Apple has a personality of an elite entity that always seeks the most premium entertainment experience. Take away point: If you want to develop a strong photography brand, then you must develop a strong personality for your brand first.

The key takeaway is consistency.  For example, if you’re going for quirky and fun, then that vibe and communication style should be present in your images, on your about us page, and on your social media profiles and content.  If you’re going for “Luxury,” then that theme needs to stay consistent in all of your content as well.

5. Keep it simple when branding for photographers

An important rule in branding for photographers is simplicity. You don’t want to create a website that’s replete with all kinds of fonts and colors, or use too much jargon in your social media posts, blog posts, etc. to the point at which you sound too technical and high brow. What you need is simplicity- simplicity in messaging, style, and just about everything.

A viewer should be able to tell what you do and why you’re different within 5 seconds of viewing your website or social media profile.  If it takes multiple clicks, scrolls, or paragraphs to come to that conclusion, consider revisiting your website layout or overall brand presentation.

6. Connect emotionally

The end goal of all brands, for most businesses, is generating a lot of revenue. However, emotions sit at the core of every major brand. This is because a brand works only if it connects with a person on an emotional level. Otherwise, it’s just another business in one trade industry or another.

Some of the main attributes that your photography brand should have are charisma, passion, and reliance. Use these emotions to build stronger bonds with your customers. You will see that this approach will help you create more regular customers than ever.

7. Build a Spectacular Website

Photography is all about presentation and visuals. So, when you build a website for your photography brand, then the website should be vivid, attractive, and simply captivating. You can also consider it a platform to show off your photography skills as you can publish your portfolio in all kinds of creative ways. So, whether you are taking help from a professional or creating your photography website yourself, make sure that the final result manifests creativity and passion.

So, there you have it- 7 simple steps to build a unique brand for your photography business. The question is- when are you going to start?