This article was originally written by me and published on the Rising Tide Blog during their branding week. Now I’m sharing with my own audience 🙂
Many small business owners hear the word “brand” and automatically assume that if you have your logo and a website, you’re set for branding. However, logos, fonts, and website design are really just a small fraction of what your brand is.
As marketing guru Seth Godin has said:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
So, while your logo, fonts, and colors are a portion of it, your story and the images and words you use to convey those stories are really what make a brand.
With the surge of Instagram and the sheer amount of images people consume through social media in 2018, the normal public (i.e. our potential client base) has grown accustomed to mentally weeding out poor-quality images in search for higher-quality images, especially ones that convey a story. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it, but if you’re using just so-so-quality images, you’re not being noticed.
In 2019, the images you use to showcase your brand and yourself has become a top priority if you want to create the connection and interest that makes folks stop scrolling.
After all, we’re creatives in a crowded market. There are a lot of people jumping into the creative entrepreneur world, and that’s amazing. But the last thing you want to do is blend into the noise along with everyone else—that’s a fast way to burn out.
Jump out front with quality photography of you—yes, YOU—on your website and in your social media feed. Show people who you are, and not just the stuff you create. Welcome people in and make them feel at home, and they will stick around and eventually end up buying your product or service. And the best way to do that is to give them access to you through great photos.
So, what kind of photos help your brand?
- Your headshot
- Goofy photos of you joking around (if you have a lighthearted, casual brand)
- Things you love that your client base does, too (this creates connection!)
- Behind-the-scenes shots of you creating—everyone loves to see how things work
- Your products
- Images conveying the stories you tell in your business—use these images with a great caption and you’ll create connection and engagement
The easiest way to do this is to find a branding photographer that works with small businesses—extra bonus points if they understand the creative industry.
Don’t just go out and take a couple of photos and think you’re good—think about what you are photographing and how that will connect with your audience.
Think about the stories you can share that will also tie into your images and make those clients think, “me too!” or “I want that!” or “I love her!”
For those just starting out who can’t afford the investment in a quality photographer yet, you can still do this! Start by being strategic about the images you share. While you don’t have to become an amazing photographer right away, it’s easy to learn a little about light, cropping, and composition. Do this, and your photos will start to shine.
You can learn a bit more about how to take beautiful photos with the phone in your pocket here iPhone Photography Field Guide