The difference between the artist that makes it vs the ones that blend in, is how they represent themselves through their brand. What story they tell and how they can connect with the emotion of their buyers to want their art.
Branding Photoshoot for local Seattle Jeweler: Katie with Three Flames Silverworks
It’s the artist that are household names that can charge more, and have people come back, again and again, to purchase from them. This is true for painters, sculptors, and for jewelers as well.
Katie, from Three Flames Silverworks, came to me thinking she needed some new photos for her website. But after chatting, she understood that she had a lot more that she could do to level up her brand than just having some new photos.
She hired me first as her brand coach to understand how to tell the story behind the inspiration of her beautiful earrings and necklaces, and to set up a system in her business for pulling her stories for social media posts.
Because she was writing these beautiful pieces again and again from scratch. Telling the story via her Instagram posts, while her website sat untouched and storyless. She was tired of starting from scratch each time and feeling like she had to show up each and every day to tell the story, otherwise, her sales wouldn’t follow.
At the beginning of our coaching sessions, we determined what was most important to work on in our time together.
- Determine her brand stories
- Create a system to make social posting simpler/easier
- Her mission/vision/why
- Website upgrade to match price point
- How to improve photos, specifically selfies with her wearing the jewelry (so people can see scale)
Since Katie is local to the Seattle area, we knew she wanted to do a brand photoshoot as well to showcase her jewelry in a cohesive and on-brand way.
We got to work in our weekly coaching calls to determine how to tell the beautiful stories of her inspiration and how this speaks to the women who are attracted to her pieces.
Her inspiration comes from the myths and Goddesses from Greek lore.
We crafted the message that her jewelry is for the woman who finds strength and inspiration in whispers of ancient stories woven into talismans for a modern time.
“Talismans for a modern time”Katie with Three Flames Silverworks
As we dove into her brand and messaging, it became clear that her current website theme would not allow for the brand we were building.
Her Shopify theme was simple, showing photos and a checkout. Not giving the opportunity to add the stories we were crafting to the spaces by her photos. It also would not allow for her to showcase her pieces via collection.
And that was an important piece of her brand.
These collections and their inspiration go together. It was more important to have the collections together than to showcase them by earrings or necklaces.
Katie dove in, checking different Shopify themes to see what was available. She didn’t want to hire a designer if she had the opportunity to work within a theme of the platform she already knew.
She came up with a couple of theme options and we discussed which would be best and she landed on one that she could customize to showcase her pieces and tell her story.
We made sure she chose her template and became familiar with it before we planned her brand photoshoot.
Because when working with a theme, the size and aspect ratio of the photos, as well as where and how the text works can be limited.
You always want to know how to create the photos that will best fit the website so that your photos add to the design and don’t distract from it.
This was how we knew to create her hero photo (the big first photo of her site). It needed to have a clear space on the middle left so that the text would be readable, as you can see via the photos below:
Brand photos are meant to be strategic and useful to your business. This is why understanding your brand messaging and goals before creating your photos is key to having an unparalleled brand.
Her photos needed to reflect the beauty and uniqueness of her work, and not blend into the pack.
Katie already had a setup for creating photos in her studio. Since her work is all one of a kind, she knew that she needed to know how to create on brand and consistent images as she created new pieces.
So one of the things we did when I came in for her brand photoshoot was to show her how she could create the same style of photos for her listings.
She was concerned at first that her photos would be too dark. That what she sees online is all bright and airy with white backgrounds.
But bright and airy and light does not stand out from all the other options. The beauty of the darker backdrop and moodier light in her photos is that it helps the silver and color of her stones pop out.
And it looks different than what the rest of the people are doing.
While it can feel scary to do things differently than your competition, it’s usually a choice I recommend leaning into.
The difference stands out and helps grab attention, to bring people in.
So, we leaned into the darker look. The look aligns with the feel of the Greek mythology her inspiration comes from. And the look that makes her pieces pop.
Katie then updated her website to showcase the presence of the story of her inspiration.
When we created her photos, we focused on showcasing the full collections together. Since she was changing to a layout that allowed her collections to be shown together alongside their story.
We created the hero photo specifically with a blank space along the middle left side so that it would align with the text in her theme.
When you plan for your messaging and your photos together, you open up the opportunities to uplevel your brand and the perception of your website and business.
And perception is everything when people are deciding whether or not to buy from you. As well as how much they are willing to spend.
Now that Katie has the messaging that aligns with her collections and tells the stories of the inspiration, her website can do the heavy lifting for her. She doesn’t have to rely on social media alone to bring in her business. As people can learn the story, and fall in love with her inspiration and her work through her presence on her website.
As we wrapped up coaching and her photos were all delivered, we worked together on the framework she would need to make posting on social media easier.
You see, she has the knowledge of all these stories of these Goddesses and Titans of Norse times in her head. But crafting the stories for her posts was draining.
Now she has a Trello board of her stories and the meanings behind the stones that she can pull from when posting. She can craft each story through the pieces, or copy and paste what she has shared before, adjusting to align with the specific piece she is showing. In the end, making it easier to post on social media.
So now, whether she has the time or not, she knows her website is elevating her brand, and connecting with her audience. With the goal of bringing in more sales and transforming the casual looker into a devoted purchaser.