The Photographer’s Branding
Definition: This is the process of creating a distinct identity for a business in the mind of your target audience and consumers. This is what it truly is. You’re making an identity in the mind of your targeted consumer/customer. What do they immediately think about when they see you, your service/product, or your ad? That is branding.
Therefore — branding isn’t about logos, software, pricing, or fonts, not even your cameras. Branding is carving a message in the mind of your consumer.
When we think of MTN, we think, “everywhere you go.” This mantra is eternal. This was their best-ever ad and we still think of this when we hear MTN and not “Y’ello.” When we think of Nike, we think of athletics and empowerment. This is the message they have carved in the minds and hearts of the world or their targeted audience.
Questions For YOU
When people hear the name of your brand, what do they think of it?
What message are you communicating? What are you saying to them?
As a photographer how are you communicating this message?
They say a photograph is worth a thousand words, right, but a photograph with the right message (text) is everlasting. — Clement Eastwood
What does a brand say?
Here is how I can help you.
When people think of your brand they’re quickly thinking, what problem can you solve? In Ghana, it is common to believe MTN is the best network. I do not know about Nigeria. Is it Glo? Help me out.
They are also thinking, how will it make me feel in the end when I get it?
Why do people buy Nikes?
Why do people purchase iPhones? — Because it’s certainly not the overall best phone in the world.
The work of a photographer is vast. So the question is, how does your niche help anyone?
Now craft a message with it, not only with words but your portfolio as well.
Wedding photographer? — You shoot luxury? Then sell status!
Fine art photographer? — Sell aesthetics and meaning.
Celebrity photographer? — Sell style.
You’re in control of your work. Direct it.
Now, the last one — how does your brand (service as a photographer improve the life of your buyer?)
There’s nothing more difficult than selling a service. It is easier to sell a product than to sell a service. Services need to be presented as a product. How? Provide physical evidence!
Provide how it affects the life of the individual who purchased your services, and how it transformed them. You might ask, how can photography transform my audience? This is where social proof comes in. Especially, testimonials. Let them do the talking about how important your service is to them and how it helped them. No matter what. Let them communicate how they felt before, during and after your service.
This makes me think about the school system. The school is a service-based business. How do they sell? Think about it.
As a photographer, you’re a problem solver.
Wedding photographer — You’re recording the most beautiful moment (probably) in the life of (especially) the bride. And it’s also evidence that they’re married, not witnesses alone. A photograph is evidence of proof.
Documentary photographer — You’re bringing to life the good, bad and ugly sides of the world. You’re reporting events. Without you, we’ll not know what is happening in some parts of the world. The work you do is important.
Celebrity photographer — You’re recording an event so they can look back and smile. Also, you’re creating for them some kind of portfolio THEY NEED. Whatever celebrity you photograph is also eager to get his hands on the photos so they share them with their audience. So you see?
Are you getting the point? You’re a problem solver. You solve problems. So, communicate the problem you’re solving, not the photos they’re getting necessarily.
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