How often have you heard a photographer say that they are “re-branding”? In a lot of online groups for photographers, especially ones who want to move into a new niche, it seems that everyone is doing it? But what does re-branding, or even branding in general actually mean? Being a photographer, a blogger and an educator, I’m lucky enough to cross paths with so many photographers. I get to meet so many amazing people, both in-person and online. When we start talking about business, one of the biggest frustrations I hear so many photographers talking about is that they aren’t attracting the types of clients they want to be working with. But why? Sometimes it has nothing to do with their work and everything to do with some very basic branding mistakes that they are making.
Today I want to look at some common branding mistakes that I see photographers making and highlight some examples of where they might be going wrong.
Are You Making These Branding Mistakes In Your Photography Business?
Mistake No. 1
Thinking that a new logo & website template = branding
So often when photographers are frustrated with where they are in their businesses, they decide it’s time to pay a graphic designer for a fancy new logo and they buy a cool new website template. Whilst your logo, website, typeface and colour scheme might contribute to your visual brand identity, these are only a small part of what it takes to create a brand.
Creating a stand-out brand is about many different elements. Your business name, your logo, your imagery and even more importantly the language and text you use all play a key role in creating a brand.
Mistake No. 2
Calling Yourself One Thing, But Showing Something Completely Different
Just because you label yourself in one way, it doesn’t mean other people will see you that way. If you want to be identified as a certain type of photographer, working in a particular style or genre, just giving yourself that title isn’t enough. I’ve lost count of how many people are calling themselves one thing, but look on their website and the images tell a different story.
Mistake No. 3
Not Being In Alignment With Your Brand
People identify with a brand when all the elements are consistent and in alignment. That means the visual elements, the images and the text all work together to give a clear message. Sometimes people forget that even the their “about me” section of their website should be written with your brand in mind.
Here Are Some Examples Of Things I’ve Actually Seen
The homepage says “I’m a documentary wedding photographer”
The images are all posed family formals & staged portraits
The photographer has paid to be listed as an Iceland Wedding Photographer on a directory
Their portfolio images are all from weddings that are clearly NOT in Iceland
The photographer is trying to market themselves as a nature-lover
Their personal branding images are all taken in cafes and urban areas
The photographer has a very edgy logo & modern website template
Their photography is light and airy
The photographer is trying to market themselves as an elopement photographer
Their blog posts are all on topics such as “how to choose a wedding venue” and “how to choose your bridal party”
If you are feeling stuck, and like you are not attracting the right kinds of clients, it’s definitely worth having a look at your website and looking at whether you are sending out mixed messages. If you are too close to it, you can even ask a friend or family member to take a look and ask them to describe you and your business based on what they see.
Or if you are looking for some input from someone who doesn’t know you or your business, I offer 1-on-1 mentoring sessions, where we can do a review of your website and your branding, and identify and areas where you can improve. You can find out more about mentoring sessions HERE.