Have you ever wondered what the most memorable impression you leave in your customers’ minds? Once a photo assignment or commission is complete? That’s your brand. Whether it is on a personal level or a more structured business environment, a brand, like a person, can be viewed as dependable or undependable; principled or opportunistic; caring or capricious. That indelible impression you leave on customers after the work is complete and delivered is the most important to have.
The personification of your services and product on behalf of your photography business is important. Whether you interact with your customer in person or remotely, delivering your photographic assets in digital or printed format, you must create a unique and personal experience for them.
Let’s be clear. Not all business experiences are the same. At the end and while many in the photographic business may offer the same product, the service experiences a customer receives during the first contact, the follow up call or during the contract negotiation, studio time and delivery are crucial. How your final product and service are perceived will determine whether you retain a loyal and returning customer.
Branding, like in our personas, has a character, a unique personality, an individual signature and stands by the reputation you create. So, it is quite important to always maintain these key business characteristics in check and avoid performing and delivering a dull business customer experience. All of which must be favorable and most important, memorable.
So, how do you maintain a favorable perception of your personal business brand? It’s all in the details. In the photography business, the starting point of identification among the rest is your brand signature, whether it is in the form of an icon or a logo, a color selection that will be carried out and applied to most of your business essentials, digital or print. Also, other non-physical details, like character and dependability are measured by customers in the form of the time you took to answer an inquiry, the ‘tone of voice’ you deliver in the communications, the ability to deliver in the agreeable timeframe, your performance. All these, at the end, create the integrity of your business, your personal brand.
Here are some examples on how to personalize your photography business to help you stand out among the rest. The principle is, anything your customer or potential customer views, touches, reads or perceives about your business is maintained consistently cohesive. Some require no cost on your part, placing no dent in your budget.
Common branded items permit you to individualize your business starting with the traditional ones, digital or printed stationery to the design of your invoicing and writing materials. Your logo embedded as a watermark in your digital photography (if any,) carries a lot of weight as well; the aesthetic appearance of your website, your profile and headshot, your e-mail signature, etc.
One of the most underutilized of all is creating a branded background image for your monitor display, tablet or even your mobile device. Since you interact daily with digital devices, these create a relevance while conversing with new clients or during a business pitch presentation. More important, generating these have no cost to you.
Moreover, your blog or social media channels. As important as these are, they are firm direct extensions of your brand, and not only by the content you display but the tone of voice and how you express yourself. And this is key, since character and business reputation in this medium, are all out in the eyes of the general public, our most tough critics.
If you have a physical business, do areas of your studio has some resemblance relating to your brand? It should. Does the environment represented by its interior aspect, signage, sounds, scents, colors, even employee behavior match what you expressed about yourself to consumers via your website?
Here, small and modest details are valuable, especially when applied correctly. Some are obvious, others subtle in essence but at the end of the day, they create an impact. These formulate a perception that can go either way, favorable or not. So, the effort here is for you to maintain the habit of preserving a positive and engaging brand experience. After all, your photographic business is the one that matters.