So, it’s half way through 2019. Have you taken a look at your goals you set way back in January? This time of year can be such an important check in to see where you are at, how your bookings are going, and if you are on schedule to hit your goals.
If you are, that’s awesome. Pop the champs.
If not. Now is the time to take a step back and take a look at your biz and what you are doing to see if you can make any shifts in your marketing to bring in the clients you want (and need!)
There is one thing that I would bet you are not yet doing that can really skyrocket your bookings. Ready to hear what it is?
Showing your face and your personality on your website and social feeds will separate you from the pack and skyrocket your bookings!
What does that even mean? It means you need to be photographed and get out there. Stop hiding behind your work. In 2019, people want to connect with YOU, and to do that, they have to feel like they know YOU.
Hiring a brand photographer to get you images that will connect. Create emotion and connection and bring the human reality back into the process.
But what is a brand photographer and why should you think about hiring one?
While brand photographer is a newer term; it’s an approach that has been around in advertising and marketing since the 1920s.
Now imagine you stop by your local Barnes and Noble.
As you grab a vanilla latte, you realize have some time to kill. You sip on your latte and find your way to the magazine section.
Looking around at the covers, you wan to see what grabs your eye. You pass right on by the Hot VWs with it’s 1972 VW Bug on the front. Since you are not a car person, so you are not interested.
As you keep browsing, and you see SELF magazine. A pretty gal is on the cover, looking confident and happy. She’s sitting there nearly naked, with her abs out on display. You glance through, but don’t want to think about workouts or protein shakes. And honestly don’t feel like being reminded of that 10 pounds you want to lose.
You keep browsing and then you see a photo of Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Marie Claire magazine. She’s looks beautiful and yet approachable. So, you pick it up and scan the cover.
She was great in the Hunger Games, and like that she seems to speak her mind. As you glance through the magazine and see that there are some other great articles in there too.
At this point, you haven’t read the articles. Browsing through the mag, you flip through pages seeing if an image or a headline captures your eye.
You sip your vanilla latte while you read the magazine.
All the images within the magazine, you have brands trying to get your attention. With the images on the covers they instantly attract or repel you right?
Hot VWs… no thanks, that’s obviously for a car guy.
SELF …. Naw. Not right now, I don’t want to think about exercise and in turn feel bad about the extra 10 pounds I want to lose right now. You may be their target audience, but your mood is not right for the moment.
Marie Claire? They hit the target. They showed an actress that you felt connected to. It’s a a beautiful image that caught your attention and made you want to see what the article is about.
All these actions you’ve taken and thoughts you’ve had are orchestrated. Companies want to get you to feel connected. They want you to look deeper and in the end buy something from them.
They do this with photography (and captions) that are either attracting or repelling you. This is essentially brand photography. It’s just on a larger scale, and has been known as advertising or commercial photography.
A commercial photographer is brand photographer on a larger scale. They have a large budget like the shoot that brought Jennifer Lawrence to the cover of Marie Claire.
A brand photographer works with smaller businesses like you. To showcase who you are, what your business is about, and why someone should hit that contact button. The goal is to attract or repel, like the cover of the magazines did.
Many commercial photography jobs for brands like Adidas or even Target have bills in the 5 to 6 figures.
Until recently, it was way out of the ability for a small business to be able afford photography like that. But now, that is no longer the case.
You don’t ever see a successful, profitable brand using shotty photography, and there is a reason for it. Professional images make your business appear more professional to your audience. .
Back in the day, small businesses relied on their local networks and communities for business. But with the advent of social media, and most notably, Instagram, this is no longer the case.
The internet lets a one person business in Seattle have clients in Australia. Google, Facebook and Instagram created an easy way to get your name out to the masses,. You no longer need the local community to bring in business.
While you can connect with clients all over the world, it also means you are competing with businesses for that attention.
Now it is that much more important as a small business to show up online. To have a presence and create a personal brand that will help people relate to you. Even if all they have is your website and a social feeds to browse.
As everyone began to realize the importance of how they show up online, “personal brand” became a buzz word.
Instagram made everyone need an extensive amount of images to share. Then in turn, personal brand photography became more popular.
Businesses pop up, and social feeds get even more crowded, it’s even more important to stand out with high quality photos.
So, yes… those poorly lit photos that look like random snapshots are hurting your brand. And your bottom line.
When customers only have images to look at, your face needs to be present to create connection. Show up and show in images what would conveyed through conversation if you had met in person.
Brand photographers help businesses create images that convey values and interests. This helps attract new clients.
Why Should You Hire a Brand Photographer?
You may be wondering if any photographer can take branding photos, and the answer is …. Yes but…
Unfortuntaely, not all photographers understand the strategy. It’s not just creating images. It’s creating images that will attract your ideal client.
Yes, a portrait photographer can take you out and create beautiful images for you. If those images are not strategic and going to visually convey your brand to the viewer, it’s a waste of your time. And a waste of your money.
I’m a brand photographer in Seattle. So, I spend time with my clients before the shoot strategizing about how to create images that will connect to their clients.
First, we figure out what will convey the emotion and connection you want your clients to feel when browsing your website and social feed.
Then, we plan out what to wear, how it fits in with your brand colors and aesthetic.
Next, we go over props and what we will shoot, and most importantly, we go over where you will use these images.
Imagine if your website theme has a long skinny horizontal image. You want to have a beautiful image that grabs attention on the homepage of your website. You wouldn’t want to have the perfect image just to realize you have a vertical image and really needed a long and skinny horizontal image. Right?
When I’m hired as a brand photographer, we not only go over how you want to use the images. We also go over where and how.
Who will be looking at the images and what they will feel about you and your brand after seeing those images.
We create an inspiration board to get ideas of the types of images you connect with.
Then, we create a specific shot list to ensure you get every and all the images you want during your shoot.
This way, you walk away with the exact images you need for updating your website. You end up with blog graphic images, and details of you working. You end up with a folder of Instagram content that will keep you posting all year long!
Who doesn’t want a large collection of beautiful , on brand images to share at their fingertips?? I know I do!
And, yes, even I have invested in a brand photographer! If you thought I somehow magically took all my own photos on my website, you’d be mistaken!!!
So there you go. Now you understand what a brand photographer is and you see how they are different than a portrait photographer. And why it’s like crazy important to start saving for your next shoot!
Your business will thank you for it!