Branding is a HUGE passion of mine.
It took me several years working as a photographer before I finally understood that my photography brand wasn’t just my logo… It took years to realise that when it comes to carving out a successful and rewarding business, there is literally NOTHING more important than your brand. As soon as I twigged what branding actually is and how crucial it is, I made it my mission to learn as much about it as possible.
Over many years I spent huge amounts of time and money completing online branding courses and diplomas, and devoured branding books and resources. It’s hands down the best thing I’ve ever done for my business.
WHY AM I SO PASSIONATE ABOUT BRANDING?
In life, I’m passionate about personality, character, honesty, energy, stories, dreams, values… All the powerful, incredibly personal stuff that makes one person different to the next, what makes them unique and magnetic. For me, the joy of photography has always been capturing exactly this.
DEVELOPING A BUSINESS THAT’S AS UNIQUE AS YOU ARE
Branding is, quite simply, all of this applied to your business. I’m passionate about helping individuals connect their business with their own unique personality, stories and values. From this, they develop a photography brand whose character is as unique as they are. As a result I see them magnetise likeminded people to work with and see them enjoy the huge rewards and satisfaction that come with that. Personality is, and always has been, the thing that interests me the most about other people and it’s the thing that I always look for in my photography. and so branding – finding, developing and enjoying your business’ unique personality – just goes hand in hand with all that.
GIVING YOUR BUSINESS DEPTH, MEANING AND PURPOSE
For myself and for others, I don’t just want a business that’s a bill-payer, a menu of products… I want it to matter, to have depth and meaning and purpose, I want it to bring joy to people, to serve them. I want my business to make a difference. Getting clear on your branding is how you achieve all this.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A BRAND THEN?
WHAT ISN’T A BRAND?
There are SO many misconceptions about branding. It’s not a logo, it’s not a font, it’s not a colour scheme, a pattern, your website or your business cards. Those are just the VISUAL aspects of your brand, the tip of the iceberg, the tangible aspects people can actually see. They’re of course extremely important as they’ll be responsible for a huge proportion of people’s first impressions of your business. But if you think of your business as like a person, they are just the clothing… and clearly we’re so much more than the clothes we wear.
So many people just concern themselves with the ‘clothing’ and forget to look at what’s inside – and end up ‘dressing’ their business in clothes that don’t suit them and that don’t reflect the personality underneath. This leads them to inadvertently attract the wrong clients and put out confusing messages about what their business is all about. Many even neglect to look at what’s ‘inside’ at all. This just creates a business that’s like an empty person, dressed nicely but with no discernible personality (and who’s going to be drawn towards someone like that?)
WHAT IS A BRAND?
The vast majority of your brand is the ‘rest’ of the iceberg under the surface, the personality under the ‘clothes’. Most of your brand is invisible and conceptual, what’s going on INSIDE, in the heart and head of your business. Your brand IS your business, its life-force, its identity. It’s how clients and potential clients connect with you, it’s why they love you, it’s what they hold in their minds when they think of you. It’s what makes you unique, it’s what sets you apart from others. It’s what makes others look at your business and say YES! THIS IS THE ONE FOR ME.
IS IT EASY TO DEVELOP MY PHOTOGRAPHY BRAND?
To find and develop your photography brand is to commit to understanding and developing the true value of your business – done properly, it’s a transformational process of self-discovery, it’s emotional and meaningful at the same time as being powerfully strategic and purposeful. It’s all about finding your ‘legacy’, what you’ll leave behind. As such, it’s not always easy and can require a huge amount of soul-searching and rethinking… but there’ll never be anything more rewarding and positive you can do for your business – it’s worth every second. If this sounds like a lot of work and you’d like help doing it all, I have a huge amount of step-by-step resources to lead you through developing your own brand in The Shutterhood – I’d love to make it a lot easier for you to find your own unique magic!
WHERE DO I FIND MY PHOTOGRAPHY BRAND?
So many people look OUTWARD when designing their business and photography brand – what are others doing? What are industry norms? Who in your industry do you admire? But for your business to truly succeed and flourish, you need to look INWARDS.
You must root it in your own genuine personal strengths, passions, values and purpose. YOU are your brand, and your brand must grow from YOU. Your brand is your business’ personality. Just as you can’t look to other people to tell you what your personality should be, neither should you look to other businesses to tell you what your brand should be.
WHAT DO I NEED TO ASK MYSELF TO FIND MY BRAND?
You need to examine your own ambitions, dreams, beliefs, values, desires and passions. Look at the forces that drive you and your goals, things that propel you to work late into the evening, things that light you up when you talk about them. You need to figure out what is unique and special about you – and I guarantee there WILL be things that are. What will others love about you? What will make them connect with you?
When you start to root your photography brand in your own life, personality and stories, your business starts to really come alive and become so much more than just a ‘business’. Grow your brand from YOU.
✨ FREE GUIDE FOR YOU ✨
6 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO LAUNCH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
In the early days of setting up your photography business it can be SO hard to know where to start! There are heaps of resources on the internet but it can be overwhelming not knowing which to do, what order to do them in or how on earth you’re supposed to find the time for even a fraction of them. This free pdf strips it right back, cut out the optional, more complex stuff that you can tackle later, and covers the absolutely-must-not-miss essential steps you need to launch your new photography business, in the exact order you need to do them.
✨ WORK WITH ME ✨
JOIN THE SHUTTERHOOD
Everything you need to ditch the overwhelm and get your photography business growing and thriving!
Come and join The Shutterhood for heaps more support with developing your brand as well as mountains of business, mindset and creativity training, plus a supportive community, image critiques, planning sessions and weekly coaching calls… Let’s make this your best year yet!
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Take care and have fun growing that wonderful business of yours!