Photography, Perception and Pricing

Photography Branding

The most important thing you can do for your branding BEFORE you even think about your website.

Hey, guys! I want to chat with you about something that can propel your business and help you get noticed (and paid) –  whether you’re just starting out of well on your way. Today, let’s discuss how Photography, Perception and Pricing work together to create a strong brand story that helps make you money without having to defend your pricing.

Let’s talk photos. What is the number one investment (along with a professional design, of course) that you should make with for your business branding?

Professional photography.

I frequently have potential clients come to me ready to jump into a new site, new branding, new everything…but their photos are lacking or non-existent. If we don’t have great photos, it doesn’t matter how good all your branding looks – it will fall flat and you will be disappointed. In these cases, I advise clients to wait on the website investment and instead take that money and get great photos. If your images aren’t telling your audience WHO you are and WHAT you do in the way you to be perceived, your pricing will be the main casualty. If your prices are on the higher end, yet your photography looks like your cousin came over one day and took a few quick pics, your customers will have a hard time connecting their visual perception to the reality of your value. It’s like going to a casual place for lunch only to find they are charging white tablecloth, steakhouse prices. You don’t want to have to defend your pricing to customers. Beautiful photography helps you put it all out there and goes a long way in attracting the right type of person to your business – one who won’t hesitate to hire you and “gets you” from the beginning.

My number one piece of advice to business owners looking to rebrand? Focus on getting the right type of imagery for your brand before you focus on your website. I know, not what you usually hear from a web designer! Find a designer or photographer that will help you figure out the style and shot list first.

A couple of tips:

  • always get a mix of layout orientations – with plenty of horizontals for your website.
  • make sure to get plenty of “detail shots” to blend in to help tell your story. These could be shots of your desk, your favorite flowers, your tools, even your dog if it helps tell your audience more about you. You don’t just want a shot of you smiling directly into the camera on every page of your site. Detail shots help fill in the blanks.
  • Find a photographer with the right style. Don’t just look for “headshots” or “business photographer,” branch out and connect with wedding, family and lifestyle photographers who shoot with natural light and focus on candid, non posed shots.
  • Create a shot list: Write out a list of shots you MUST get. This not only helps your photographer understand what you want, it also helps you think through the shoot as a whole. A shot list is just a plan! Don’t get intimidated.
  • Use some photos from your shoot on your IG feed to help create some consistency and connection.

Your website is like setting the stage for your pricing. Your work is stunning (and you are, too) so make sure to show it in the best light! A little time upfront makes a huge difference when your clients are hovering over that “contact” page.

Exciting news!

We are offering a brand new service in 2018 to help you with this exact small business problem. Brand strategy, customer insight, and a super focused creative direction tailor-made for your business – all before you jump into that big design investment. Sounds good, right? Sign up here to be the first to know when we open the doors on this one. There will be limited availability per month. You can’t afford to miss it!

Designers: Are you wanting to put some strategy behind your design work? Tired of feeling like you have to follow trends and keep up with the pack? Join my email list just for designers and learn more about how I deliver beautiful design work that really connects with my clients.



The Overlap: The Key To Your Brand Story

Ok, we’ve covered Being You in Business and Customer Personas. Now it’s time to talk about where those two concepts meet. It’s what I like to call The Overlap. The sweet spot that exists between your brand’s personality and your customer’s personality.  It’s also where I start weaving a brand story. Let’s take a quick dive in! For the purposes of this blog post, let’s focus on creative businesses.

Do you see similarities in both personas (brand and customer)? It’s likely that there are lots of things you have in common with them. That is great! It means you don’t have to try to appeal to someone you know nothing about. Yay for not being uncomfortable, right? So, ditch the marketing speak and explain things in a clear, friendly way. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Why? Because your ideal customer wants to like you. They already do like you. Make it easy on them. People like to talk with other people, not “brands.” 

Now — think about your brand as an experience. 

I suggest making a list of the similarities you’re finding. For example, most of my customers seem to be women with established businesses who’ve found me on Pinterest. Who are your customers and where did they find you? Share more about yourself and your process.Use your unique voice and experience to create a brand that has its own personality, not just another cookie cutter business that blends in. You don’t have to try so hard to appeal to your truly ideal customer. Are you a photographer trying to attract more big-budget brides? What are you showing them that could attract them to you and show them that you understand what they’re looking for? Are you sharing your penchant for fancy silk ribbons in your client welcome gifts? What about sharing a whole series of photos of beautiful, expensive flower arrangements from weddings you’ve already photographed? Are your brand materials tasteful and beautifully produced – letterpress, silk, foil, all that good stuff? Use your own tastes and knowledge to pepper in your personality and create a stronger story. You can get as deep as you want with this strategic type of thinking. It not only gives you a path but it also gives you a narrative to guide you. I could talk about this stuff all day so if you’d like to chat more about brand strategy, say hello! This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a brand in more strategic way. 

Now that you’re thinking about some of the things you both have in common, we can start to think about overlaps in style and aesthetics.