Running a successful photography business presents many challenges. When a photographer goes from hobbyist to professional they quickly learn that there is much more to master other than being technically adept at their craft. From learning how to organize a business to discovering the many hats we wear as business owners, it quickly becomes apparent that there is much more to running a successful photography business other than simply picking up a camera and snapping some great shots.
Marketing is one of those facets, chief among many, that demands a photographer’s attention in order for that photographer’s business to succeed. In the past, I’ve written about the importance of having a solid brand in photography. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure that your personality is part of the foundation of your brand. That is to say, your brand should be able to clearly convey to potential clients who you are as a person, what you’re passionate about, and what sets you apart from other photographers. When you dive into a profession like photography, knowing how oversaturated the market of professional photography has become, being able to set yourself apart is one of the most powerful tools you have.
How To Get Noticed By Potential Clients
When I started my photography business, the first thing I did was research other photographers to learn what they were doing, and then I emulated them. There is nothing wrong with researching your competition and peers, in fact, I highly recommend it. I even recommend emulating what your competition is doing right. However, where I went wrong when delving into learning about other photographer’s brands and emulating them was that I never personalized my brand. I saw what everyone else was doing and I tried to fit in.
That is exactly the opposite of what I should have been doing while building my brand. If I’d known then what I know now, I would have researched my competition, seen what they’re doing right, then incorporate it into my business practices while simultaneously building my own unique brand that showcased my strengths in order to stick out from the crowd.
Having a unique and well-thought-out brand is how you get noticed by potential clients. Making your brand personal by making sure your personality is infused throughout your brand is what makes clients feel connected to you from the get-go. So how do you infuse your personality with your brand?
Using Your "About Me" Page
I know it may be hard to consider shining a spotlight on yourself and your personality and how awkward that can feel. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera or with all eyes on you, it can seem very counterintuitive to infuse yourself into your brand. But let me say very frankly: if you’re not putting yourself out there as part of your brand you’re losing business. You’re losing business because whether clients know it or not, they’re looking for an experience and not just photos. As a photographer, it's important to understand that whatever experience we give our clients (from the moment they land on our website for the first time, until we deliver their photos to them) will have an effect on how our clients perceive the photos we’ve given them. That's why its important that your clients feel like they know you, and know what to expect from you when you interact with them.
One of the best ways to do this is with a strong “About Me” section on your website. Spending a good amount of time writing about yourself can be one of the best ways to help clients feel connected to you. Include a photo of yourself, and write in the first-person perspective. Your “About Me” section of your website is one of the most visited parts of your website, often visited even before your portfolio, so it makes sense that a good amount of time is invested in curating a great and engaging “About Me” page. If you have trouble thinking of something to write, consider talking about your past and how you came to be a professional photographer. Include any struggles you’ve had and what you did to overcome them.
Also, include a section mentioning any accolades. Although listing accolades may feel like bragging, it's a great way to build trust with your potential clients. You can also include fun facts about yourself that are quirky or funny.
Lastly, always include a section describing where you see yourself in the future and what your business goals are, both short and long-term. This also builds trust with potential clients and shows them that you have a solid plan for your business.
Get In Front of the Camera
Social media is a powerful and free tool that we should all be utilizing for our marketing and brand-building. Making sure that you’re also posting photos and videos of yourself is an important step in solidifying a personality-infused brand. It may feel uncomfortable at first, particularly if you’re not used to jumping in front of the camera, but the more you do it the better you’ll get. We don’t have the luxury of having instant trust with consumers like big brands like Target or Walmart have, so its important that people have a face to put with our business. Social media is one of the most natural ways we can get out from behind our cameras and introduce ourselves and our personality to clients.
A Few More Tips
In addition to making sure you’re posting photos and videos of yourself often, you can also include any behind the scenes media that give insight into your personality and process while working. Not only is this a great way to help infuse personality into your brand, but its educational for your clients and helps to set the right expectation as to how you work and what to expect when clients meet you.
Another great tip for infusing yourself within your brand is to make sure you’re building your brand around your personality. Choose colors, fonts, and designs for your brand that match your personality. Not only will this help you to stand out, but it will help your brand be fluid across all platforms and more recognizable to current and future clients.
One of the biggest mistakes I see when photographers are starting out is a generic website that looks like any other photography website, and an about me section that is vague, has no photos of the actual photographer, and gives me very little insight as to who the photographer is and why they’re different. When building our brand, we want to include incentives as to why a client should hire us over another photographer. Including our own personality, our strengths, and our quirks is an incentive that will help set us apart from everyone else.
What are some ways you’ve been able to include your personality in your brand? Let us know in the comments.
Lead Image by gratisography.com via Pexels