Professional Photographers need a personal brand just like many other entrepreneurs do. Unfortunately, many photographers assume their beautiful work will speak for itself, and that couldn’t be more wrong.
With thousands of photographers in every geographic area, what is it that sets your business apart from the masses? Easy answer: It’s YOU!
Photography is a personality-driven business. By showing your personality in your marketing and on your website, you’ll create a base of loyal fans that want to work with you. The messaging you share out there will help qualify clients, attracting those clients that want what you deliver, and repelling those that want something different.
An example of how your personal brand can set you apart from other photographers
You and another local photographer (let’s call her Kara) are both newborn photographers. You’ve been a photographer for 20 years, Kara 8 years, and you both have beautiful newborn images on your websites.
Kara’s website not only shows newborn images, though. She has images of herself, too – on her home and about pages, and also has “action” images of her. She’s there posing a baby, chatting with the mother, and even at an antique store fueling her newborn prop obsession. You know from her site that she’s an avid runner and has a first grade daughter. The images of her on her site show her approachability and you get the idea that she has a calming effect on the babies she photographs.
Now, you’re looking at your own website. While you do have one image of you on your site, it’s a ten year old image, and it’s in black and white. It doesn’t really reflect your style, though, since you love lots of color in your client images. You’ve never gotten around to updating your branding images, and you don’t have any action images or video. Now that you think of it, there really isn’t any interesting information about you at all. In fact, your website doesn’t really reflect your brand at all because it’s been years since you had anyone update your site.
Finally, put yourself in the shoes of an expectant mother who is looking for a newborn photographer. You and Kara both have lovely portfolios, but Kara’s personality is really present on her site. An anxious mama sees the image of Kara gently posing the baby and immediately feels like Kara would be a natural at posing the baby she’s about to have. “Oh, and Kara is a runner!” The expectant mother has been wanting to start running after the baby is born. Your site, on the other hand, doesn’t have much that can really speak to this expectant mother.
This is a great but simplified example of why it’s so important to build a personal brand to set yourself apart! To stand out from the masses, you need to stand out. Photographers need a personal brand – and they also need to be sure the various visual elements of the brand works, too.
This post is the first of many to come for professional photographers. I feel so strongly that both new and seasoned photographers need to focus on building a brand so they can attract the clients they want!