You know that saying…“You only get one chance to make a first impression.” With this statement in mind, I ask you…How do we see you? Do you present what you do as an occupation in a clean and organized manner or do you go to school with stains on your shirt? As a photographer, artist or designer what is your philosophy on how you show your skills to the world? This is where we begin to think about defining you brand for the web.
Let’s begin by defining the word brand, so there will be no question about how this concept works.
brand | brand |
1 a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name: a new brand of detergent.
• a brand name: the company will market computer software under its own brand.
• a particular identity or image regarded as an asset: you can still invent your own career, be your own brand | the Michael Jordan brand certainly hasn't hurt them.
• a particular type or kind of something: his incisive brand of intelligence.
Now let’s look at a couple of examples:
Lady GaGa is a musical performer. What do you think her brand is if we look through the above definition? She is a musical performer, but that is not her brand. Her brand is sexy. Her brand is beauty. Her brand is ever changing. We never know what she will look like or have on in the form of fashion at her next public appearance. We have come to expect the unexpected from her.
How about Apple, Inc.? Apple may be the most successful company when it comes to branding. What once started as a rainbow apple inlaid on an off creme colored computer has become the epitome of simple, modern, and quite frankly bold. They have more branding opportunities than anyone out there - Mac, Macbook, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and even Apple Music. All of these things that many have come to love are all part of the Apple brand. It doesn’t stop there though. They have software branded to them, and even their photography (devices and the scenics that they license) all look and feel “Apple”.
WHERE WE BEGIN WITH BRAND
Anyone that has a mission typically has a brand, even if they don’t know it yet. The question then becomes, “How can we as photographers brand ourselves to the viewing public?”
As photographers we are kind of lucky. Our style of photography becomes part of our brand. The way we process our images becomes part of our brand. And then finally, how we present what we do to the world becomes part of our brand. Some photographers succeed ten-fold here just like Apple and others fail miserably.
Have you even gone to the website of a photographer whom you have admired, only to think their website was the most disorganized train wreck you have ever seen? We are talking absolutely amazing work coupled with the absolute worst presentation EVER! That is not part of a successful photography brand. Or, how about the opposite?
A photographer who has good work, though not amazing work, but is organized and has a simple and clean means of communicating what he is all about? Do you come away with a better feeling? I most certainly do.
So as a photographer what should you attempt to conquer in regards to your own brand?
First and foremost, you begin by creating a unified vision and appearance for what you do. Then you need to figure out where to put the money in a limited budget. Unless you have all the money in the world, which is great because you can then focus in many other areas of branding your company.
We recommend beginning with your website though. Why? Because your website offers you up to potentially a good chunk of the planet. It will be the marketing tool that costs you the least to begin with, and it will allow you to continually grow your mantra from now until, well, hopefully the day you die.
Beyond your website though, comes some of the good stuff. Think about how all of the collateral advertising material - logo, business cards, letterhead, t-shirts, stickers and even what you photograph become how your “brand” starts to take shape in front of the eyes of the world. And don’t forget the potential for video now too.
While branding has typically been the purview of the big boys (think the bullseye for Target for example), as creative individuals we can bring that same level of choice home. You won’t need rooms full of marketing professionals at your beck and call, but you will need to seriously examine each and every choice you make while creating your promotion materials and thoroughly understand how they work as a whole...READ MORE ON Wp Photo Websites ~ Photographers Designing Websites for Photographers.