Segment 5 - Branding: Define It
The next step in building your brand is to define it. You done a lot of discovery. Self discovery, ideal client discovery. Gotten all these notes down. Now you've got a plan. You got to define it. So how are you going to do that? The first step is to define your style and then build your portfolio. Those are two things that could start attracting the right client to your brand. So define your style. And I mean photographically Are you somebody that likes the moody? You know, black and wide imagery. That's great. That's your style. And you're gonna attract the kind of client that likes that style. Are you? Somebody likes loud color, bright colors and and all that good stuff. Well, that's your style. Are you somebody that's more vintage? Maybe you would attract photo girls thrift shop shopper because you've got more of a vintage feel, and that takes time to do. I mean, you have to shoot quite a lot, and it takes, and it's always evolving. Your photographic style is always evolving. I rem...
ember when I first started, I thought I had to put texture on everything because that was the truth. That wasn't me, but I was like, Oh, I guess that's what I gotta do, know, Do your style. You like texture, Do it. But don't do it because it's the trendy thing to do. Do it because And then also, when I first started, I thought you had to turn everything in black and white. I thought I had to give everybody a color version of black and white version. You don't have to. I never turned anything in black and white anymore because it's not me, not my style. Every now and then, I'll get a get a photo that's emotional. And that is when I think of black and white is good. That's me. And that's my opinion, and that's my style. So figure out your style and start showing that so that you can can really attract the right client. Now. Building your portfolio according to your style, is important because you've got to show what it is. That's your style so you can attract those girls. If a girl wants, you know, like I say a vintage photo and they start looking at my portfolio well, they're not going to see vintage, so most likely they're not my ideal client. My brand is not for them, right? And that is fine. I've got plenty of girls that, like the style, so it works. Um, So how do you build your portfolio if you don't know any seniors? We talked about this a little bit earlier. You start shooting anybody you confined that fits that age group. You've got to start showing what you want to shoot. I like to take this quote from I think it's a league of their own. No, it's baseball movie, though. Shoot. What does it feel to dream dreams? Builder dreams? I've never watched the movie, but I know the quotes in the movie. If you build it, they will come right. If you build it, they will come. If you show it, they will come. If you show that portfolio, show your style, then you're going to start to see those senior clients come to you. You can't really expect a book a lot if you're not showing it. That is really important. Once you kind of shoot a lot and you figure out, you know, you figure out your style, start to be consistent with that style and start to show that style through your portfolio. So I got a couple of pictures. My portfolio. As you can see, I like color. Um, Hannah, shout out the hand that she's watching on this. This was a girl in Vegas at ah Sey Neurology Shootout that we did. We do one every year. So So that was there. And we did some a little more glamorous with her outfit that what that shows to my actual clients is they can do something more. Blamer is that they want Teoh on. The majority of my portfolio is not full of this kind of stuff, but it's nice to show that it's an option on and they do really think it's cool. So that's nice. Track them that way. Um, so what is your style? Like? I say, style is always evolving, and none of us really know exactly what our style is. When I first started out, I mean, like I said, I was putting texture on stuff like doing all the things I thought was the trendy thing to do. And I was like, really like this, but I think I got to do it right, But no, you don't have to do it. You have to do what's right for you. And it may take you shooting a little while to figure it out. You may change it over the years, like I say. I mean, I started out thinking I had to do everything black and white and color. I don't do that anymore. And it's okay because I've evolved and figured out that you know what I'm gonna put out there, What I want to put out there and people are gonna come because of that. So again, your ideal client will be attracted to your style. Don't follow the trends, bu. That's super important. Um, look at your portfolio. What stands out to you? Things you've shot so far? Even if they're not seniors, go back through some old work and say What's consistent here? What is what's standing out to me? Color stood out. Um, so and I also used to get a lot of comments about like, I love your color. So I started listening to people and said, Okay, well, people are commenting on this there, obviously liking it. I like it. I looked in my closet in my home. It's full of color. That's who I am. So that's where that's what my photos ended up. Being is a reflection of of me in all aspects of May. You go into my closet. There is no black. There is only bright orange, coral, turquoise, yellow stuff, my house. Same thing. There's gray. That's the only non color. But then there's pops of Shar truce and turquoise and coral on all these different colors. So, you know, that kind of seeped into my photography. And I look back at my portfolio no matter what. I was shooting and I kept seeing the same thing and I thought, Okay, well, I got to go with this. Clearly. I'm doing it. Said this is what I'm gonna make my style. So do that Take the time to look back at your photos. You learn a lot from looking at how you've grown over time and seeing how you know what has stayed consistent, what has changed and that becomes your style. Has anybody started out with one certain style and going a different way? Can you tell me, Leah? Yeah. Last year I had a mat, finished everything right? Trendy everything. I took all of that off this year, and, um, just kind of went with more of a clean at it. And I got so much more feedback from it. So obviously I was doing something right. But it was also, even though I was doing the matte finish last year, I kind of would look at other photographers work and be attracted to the the clean at it, right for contrast. Yeah, and I, like, clean at it with a pop of color. That although Matt finished, Yeah, absolutely. Photographers would only do that. Yeah, but that's their style. And it was a little trendy at the time. Of course you tried it, and it's okay to try it and figure out exactly what did you figured out It maybe wasn't for you. And that's the key. You didn't keep trying to do something that wasn't, You know. That's awesome. Yeah, that's a good example. I got good feedback. So good that change was good. Change. Exactly. Have anything you change. Do you like, um, actions? A lot of a shopping now even used for the shopping Lea's late room? Because I like very clean. Very really? Yeah, It's not kind of I've found recently like I like light and airy. Just clean some bull, right that if you look at my house, that's how are on my exactly. A reflection of your decor is a reflection of your fashion is a reflection of you. And all of this stuff can be incorporated into your brand so that you can attract the client. That is like the lightning, every feta, you know. Or if you didn't keep Matt, maybe you would attract a point that, like Matt, I think Matt is a little vintage e looking. I think that kind of client would would be attracted to to that that kind of photographer would be attracted to that. So did you have anything, anything from out there? And then we do. We dook in the chat rooms. Michelle Kersey photography says. The most consistent thing for me is that my images always have to be clean. I love natural, clean and timeless images, and that's what I've stuck to producing. Yes, what I love yeah, on. Here's the thing. You're seeing your photographer. Do you really want that senior to look back two years from now and be like cash that the unit a vein like like I did with my lasers. I needed to bring that photo. Oh, my gosh. My mom will send it to me because you all die hilarious of huge bangs and the lasers, and it's all going on. Okay, but yeah, seriously, though, you know, figuring out your style is the way to get Don't do anything just for trends sake, because then you're gonna You're not going to be consistent that way. And you want your ideal client to relate to your brand, which should be consistent and cohesive. So, yeah, that's great. Um, OK, soon. Next is to, um build your senior Rand with your visuals. Okay, so now we're going to start to create your visuals. Um, things like your portfolio we've talked a little bit about, But your logo, your website, your packaging, your printed materials or social media, everything that goes along with running a business, your personality online, your the way you interact with people online. All of that should be consistent with who you are. Who will who you're a deal client is and your brand. Okay, So when you're thinking about, um, you know, maybe maybe you want to rebrand. Or maybe, you know, doing your visuals and working with the graphic artist. Maybe you start a Pinterest board that talks about all these things that you love because your brand should be a reflection of who you are, and therefore your visual materials should showcase that. So, like we said earlier, somebody wrote in and said, You know, I want them to have fun. I want it to be fun. Well, then her website should be fun. Her logo should be Bond should catch the eye of somebody that wants to have a good time. Right? Um, her. The way she talks to people online should be fun. She should interact with them and have a good time. Um, maybe, you know, you see, some people sometimes have make negative comments just in their personal life. Well, guess what your seniors air your potential clients might be on your personal Facebook. They might be friends or friends of friends or whatever. So you want to always be thinking about your brand Onda. How you interact with people is a reflection of that. Your packaging, how you package up your products when you deliver them, how you even go about delivering them to you, shift them or do you personally deliver them? I deliver him. Guess what? Because that's part of my brand. I I want that personal connection. Eso I will either deliver it or they will pick it up. But it's a personal thing. It's not a shipping thing. I want to see him when they get those products. You know, domain. And I want that packaging to be a visual reflection of my brand, which is bright and colorful, you know, with Leslie Kerrigan photography. I used coral. I used kind of a bluish turquoise color Brandi color. All these things remind me of the beach was just my favorite place in the world. So that's why I'm attracted to those colors. And so therefore, I use that in my brand because that's who I am, and that immediately attracts the girl that is on an outgoing. And I'm not using subdued colors that maybe attract more of a mood or whatever. You know, things to think about that it's a big process, but in a graphic artist can help you with all that. These are very important to make sure it's all consistent with who you are and who your ideal client is. That those two steps. You can't really create a brand andan again. Social media. Um, you want to constantly be you on social media. You want a glimpse into who you are, so people can start to relate to your brand. You don't always want to be posting photography stuff. Maybe you post something personal about you when I pose fashion stuff. Oh, my seniors comment on it because they had kind of gotten a glimpse into who I am. And that is marketing, but not over the top. Blatant marketing, you know, domain like I'm just letting them know who I am, and I am their friend and I want to talk to him, and I want to talk about fashion. I want to do all this stuff on. My social media personality is me. I am who I am, period. There is no personal here. So when I talk on social media, when I comment on somebody's photo, when I do this, that and the other when I post things personal or business wise, it is always a reflection of me. It is always just me putting it out there So that's part of your brands. And remember that. Okay, so now we're gonna go into tips or visual branding. First tip is to discover and define your style before you spend the money to pay a graphic artist. We've all been there. I'm quite certain there's a ton of stories out there where maybe you paid somebody thousands of dollars and then you ended up with this logo in this brand that didn't really didn't really like right. You've done it right. Maybe you're somebody that started out D a Y in your logo and your visuals and stuff like that. That's better than spending the money and regretting it. So a lot of times, you really need to start into your photography business before you figure out who you are before you define your portfolio so that you can then at that point, spend the money smart. You know, I'm a night you spend it when you know who you are when you know you're going to do seniors. When you know who your ideal client is, when you know what's gonna attract that ideal client, that's when you need to spend the money on, then find a graphic artist that can help you create that. The visuals for your brand. So Okay, so and like I said earlier, created inspiration board Teoh on Pinterest to talk about things you love because those are things that you can somehow incorporate into your branding and your visual aspect of your branding things that make you happy. Look in your closet. Look at your dick or in your home. These are all things that are a reflection of who you are, and your brand really should be who you are. Um, hire a professional that that's your style. You don't want to hire the it branding guru disperse for the sake of the fact that they're popular. You want to go with somebody that fits your brand and can can understand you and can interpret that into these things, like logo and colors and all that stuff. Um, maybe your background or your patterns or your watermark or all these things are aspects of branding. You need a graphic artist that can do that, but you need to make sure you know who you are before you spend the money, because I mean I did it, too. I started out with a D I Y logo that I did myself. It was so awful. It was all I have to say. Uh, like this, like, I don't know, like tile looking thing. The one thing I will say, though, that's been consistent with all of my logos and visuals. The color is all in the same family. So that's good. Somewhat knew what was clearly. But then I went from the D I Y one to the, um paid somebody, I think, $600 to make the logo. Andi, I just was like, Oh my gosh, I felt $ a crazy amount And then it was just like font, which is fine. But I was expecting something more, but I didn't miss, you know, I didn't clearly communicate that, but I did keep that for a long time, and it was really bright and colorful. But it was when I was really more into kids and families, so it attracted. So once I started figuring, okay, I'm really starting to build my business more towards seniors. This kiddie looking cute see logo is not it's not gonna track my ideal client. It's not the visual thing that my ideal client will be attracted to. So that's when I knew I had to then rebrand and rebrand to attract that ideal client. Yeah, which is super interesting because sequins in the chat room says, I'm going to have to redesign everything since I started with family and child photography. It definitely looks childish, and I'm excited about revamping everything. So people definitely are in the same scenario right now, which is a great place to be right now and again. You have to figure that out before you just go make a logo or whatever. So it's good that she's figuring that out. And I kept my child is logo for a little while. Um, when I was shooting singers, I didn't immediately get rid of it the minute I thought I wanted to shoot seniors because I had to figure out okay, well, who do I want to be a senior photographer? I know I want to shoot seniors, but, you know, I needed to build up some clientele and figure out whom ideal client was in my style on all this stuff before I actually took that childish logo and rebranded it to meet the needs of the 18 year old You know the name. So, Leslie, do you have any tips for folks about that? D I Y. And we have I built my own website because I'm part time photographer. I can't afford someone for me. What advice do you have for those on a budget? So are there any tools that you would you? I mean, I was in a budget to So I've been there. I understand it. That's why I did that. D I y logo. At first, there's so many great templates out there that you can customize, which is a much cheaper way to go, then completely custom website. And that's what I did. For a long time. I had a word put template blogger. I had a show it website, and I just, you know, worked it to where it incorporated. That childish logo that I had for a while is this. It's ju is super cute. It's like the circle, and it's got bright red on the outside, turquoise on the inside, and then it's got yellow, and it just was more like primary colors, which to me says childish, but I kept it for a long time and, um, you know, But the way you could get around custom is there are so many templates out there. Pro photo is awesome. They have a ton of different designs, some that actually come with or some that you can pay a little bit extra and get more of a A design. There's tons of designers. They have different designers, is not. One designer with all these templates is a bunch of different ones. So there's bound to be something that really fits with you. If you're clean and simple, get a clean and simple website or blawg block site. I like better now than the two separate. So for a long time I had to separate it with a lot to keep up with. So my suggestion is to try to get more of a block site s so that it is one place. WordPress is great on GoPro. Photo is great for that. So I would suggest that. And maybe she uses a D. I Y logo for a little while, but uses maybe a template site because that will give her a little bit more professionalism. Unless she's great. It designing websites with nothing about so I had to go with a template for a long, long time. I had a template also with the with the logo. I mean, it doesn't have to be like a logo, right? It could just be a font that using for your name or what they call that a logo, Mark or yeah, Watermark. Uh, not a watermark, but the market of just the name. Just simple, clean, simple. That's a great way to go. You don't have to have some. Like I say, I had that circle and I thought, Okay, I gotta have a thing, But you don't have to have a thing. But then again, a thing could be your your thing. Jenny being hate, Jenny being photography, Pink out Photography is Jenny Venus the photographer? She has an hour. That's her thing. It's almost as, um in emblematic as an apple for at for Apple products. You know, nothing like that was her. You know, she was thinking like, Okay, I want to think so. But that's her. That's her personality. That's her brain. But like Kenna said, you could simply just have your words. If you're a clean and simple kind of girl, and you want clean lines and you want, you know, straightforward, no color kind of thing. Just pick a find that works best with that. And fonts are huge because there's so many and and they themselves kind of say who you are. Are you Ah ah, you curls kind of girl. Or you, uh you know, Ariel, which is just straight straight letters or whatever. That also is an aspect. If you are on your graphic, artists should really be able to If you're going that route, your graphic artist should be able to help you with matching find out who you are and stuff like that. But if you're d I wire, think about that when you're looking at templates because it comes with a font and you need to make sure it's a font that you like. I mean, are you, ah, to mean typewriter type font? It's more of a vintage feel, you know, like a vintage typewriter. And that kind of housing urology started. Neurology was not about me. So it's branding isn't necessarily my personal taste. Do nothing. So that's a whole nother thing that I had to do was take myself out of it. Otherwise it would probably be bright and colorful and you know, all this stuff. But it was more about sharing knowledge for a bunch of people, so I needed it to be sort of more subdued, if you will. Onda we started out more vintage because ology study of makes you think anthropology and all these things make you think of something sort of vintage. So we did start out with a very vintage look on, and then I kind of figured out that it really, really was not may like vintage is very much not May I think it's beautiful, but it is not me. So I then rebranded to sort of come in between vintage and Ledley Kerrigan photography because it is me behind the scenes. I'm the girl behind the curtain. So I guess I do need to show that somewhat. Even though C neurology is not all about me, it's about sharing other photographers and stuff like that. But I'm still the one doing it. So I felt like I needed to now put my personality a little bit into it. You know the name. So yeah, but back to the to the question on the Internet. Definitely. Look at some template sites. I know there are a ton out there. I personally used pro photos, so that's why that one came to mind. But I know promised Tangeman is an awesome graphic designer. I truly want to be her when I grew up like I mean, she's younger than me. But I kind of want to be here because she says, thinking, cool looking well And you want her hair right? I just just her visual, all the whole package. She's super you to hang out. I really want to hang out with her, like secretly have a girl crush on her because I'm like, Oh my God, we would be friends, I think. But she has great stuff and she's got great template. So, you know, she's got a lot of different variety, but it is a very distinct style. Eso going with something like that, and I'm sure there are many other ones that I don't even know about. Do you have any that you want to mention real quick? Just people typing in? That's not mentioned. Somebody you have to go protect Professor. No, no, no. Yeah. No. People are sharing in the chat room. And also, people are saying you remember that once you are able to hire graphic designer, they're pros at what they dio like. We're pros at what we do with photography. Exactly. Certainly, once you're to the point that point that I mean anything like I say when you're still in the early stages of photography and you're still shooting a little bit of everything you're still trying to figure out who you are is of Tarver in your style. Don't spend that money. Go with maybe a template because you don't want to look back and think, Oh, my gosh, man. Thousands of dollars And this is not me. And then you feel like you have to keep it because you spent the money. So I would highly suggest, you know, figure in all of this out first and then yes, hiring a professional bottle me. And now I'm seeing some of these ones we've got, um, Wicks, W Y X is BP for you and ash designs. SmugMug, we have graph paper press, okay, have some great wordpress sites and themes. Squarespace. Okay, there's so much Yeah, there's time. So you you are inevitably going to find something that fits your style with all that out there. If you are somebody that still needs to get the template around. I think templates nowadays are great. Anyway, I don't think you know, I don't I don't think even if you do know your style, that you can still use a template that's maybe customized to your style. You know, nothing like they're very professional looking. They're great. So there's no reason you have to completely go the custom around, do what works for you on. And I just shout out to a couple of great graphic designers. I know I mentioned promise, but also my Leslie Caron and photography was designed by Salted Inc and she's super awesome. She's in North Carolina. So shout out to her, Serra! And then also see neurology was designed by Get brazen. Ashley is there, and she's great, so just, you know, and there's tons of other ones. But those were just who I used to, anyway. Okay, let's get back to the tips for visual branding like it's a higher professional pitcher style limit the amount of fonts used. It can get confusing on be cluttered if you've got a ton of different bonds and things like that. I remember when I was talking to Sarah about my personal website. I don't really like a lot of curls, which is weird because I've got this right. But in a fight I'm not. I don't like all these like curly cues. I think it's cute. It's more cute. Sea and I wasn't going for the cute see person anymore. My ideal client wasn't that was used, you know she still 18 year old, 17 year old girl. But she thinks she's, you know, modern and cool and older than she probably is. So you gotta, you know, use something like that currently thought, maybe like a really curly find. It may be more for kids in my nine, you know, So think about fine. Try not to use too many because you don't want to do look cluttered. You do want to. Still, no matter who you are, you do want it clean and easy to read and all of that stuff on. Then be consistent, cohesive again. Every aspect of your brand should all go together. You shouldn't be doing a logo that's vintage, but show on a bright, colorful photo in your portfolio. It all should be cohesive and consistent