August 23rd, 2012
Lets face it, branding is a scary thing. Luckily, there are talented people out there like the heroes at B!G DEAL BRANDING who can help. B!G DEAL BRANDING offers brand strategy for new and used photographers. They make sure you own who you are, find your voice, attract the right clients, and create a surefire plan to get you where you want to go. After becoming fast friends with us on Twitter the good people at B!G DEAL offered to help the RadNation , our online community, conquer some of their biggest branding fears. Last week we set out to poll our community for their branding questions, and to choose one person to win a brand critique from B!G DEAL.
"What’s the biggest mistake photographers make when it comes to branding?" -Scott
“Photographers need to do THEIR thing. Right now, the industry trend is to copy one another, latch on to the latest trendy design and hope they will have the same success that some big deal photographer they admire has had. What they need to realize is that what works for the big deal photographer, works for them because it’s unique to who THEY are. No one will ever be able to full replicate that because everyone is different. We spend multiple sessions with clients helping them discover what’s unique to THEM and finding a custom formula that helps maximize those strengths as opposed to replicating what already exists. Our advise: own who you are.” -B!G DEAL BRANDING
"I’ve made my logo, but how do I translate that into a brand for my photography?" -Tony
“Unfortunately, your logo isn’t your brand. Our first question would be: Do you feel like your logo is communicating a clear message about who your photography business stands for and what drives you at the core? Design is just another vehicle to solve a communication problem. Without a strategy to back it, it won’t really translate into much long term. We would suggest focusing on a core message you’d like to communicate through your biz and displaying work you’re most proud of!” -B!G DEAL BRANDING
"I can’t afford to do all three right now; which of the following should be my top priority: new business cards (redesigned and printed in some unusual way), commissioning a short promo video for my website, or hiring someone to redesign my blog?"
” Foundation is key here. Like we’ve said in previous answers, if you don’t know what your values, goals, message or strategy is, then you really don’t have a brand. Trying to build a design around an empty message won’t solve any of the issues you’re hoping it’ll solve. This is where branding and marketing companies make a lot of money. They convince people that the solution is to just have a trendier design or more hip collateral. When that fails to produce the results you’re looking for, your only choice has been to redo it and drop more money into an empty conversation with your audience. We’d suggest spending some money first on building that message. Business cards are probably the last priority since most interaction is done through your online presence. ” -B!G DEAL BRANDING
"How much is too much branding? Specifically to packaging, if I use my logo on my shipping container, in two place on the outside of the actual packaging, and once on the inside card that holds the item in place is this too much? I also include a couple of business cards which also have the logo. I want all pieces to stand alone and also have a presentation, but I am afraid I have just over whelmed my customer with logos!" -Hillery
It’s all about intentionality. If you’re worried about overwhelming your clients, chances are you probably already are. Sometimes less is more. Is there a reason you’re putting your business cards in your packaging? These are clients who have already hired you, correct? If that’s the case, they already have all your information and can forward it on via email to any friend they may want to refer. We would also stick to one logo on the shipping container. There’s really no need for two. -B!G DEAL BRANDING
" At this point in my career I have to market to different target groups, the one I have and making money with and the one I want. How can I rebrand my business to get the clients I want without loosing the ones I have and need? Also, when I first started my business I thought that it was a clever idea to use different names for my photography business and my life as a filmmaker. Now that the two things seem to come together I need to merge them into one brand. But how? And how do I decide which brand to go for?" -Annette Olivia
” You probably aren’t going to like this answer, so we apologize in advance. Our philosophy is that your business should help you get the life you want. If you would rather be working with a specific set of clients as opposed to the ones you currently have, we would push you to build your brand solely around them. We understand the need to pay bills and be a responsible adult (which is likely where your need for keeping the old clients is coming from). We also know that running a business and GROWING a business requires risk and periods of discomfort. If you’re still putting work out there to appease/attract the clients you’ve had (but who are not ideal), you will have a difficult time attracting your ideal client. Your ideal client isn’t going to react as positively to the same message and content you’re putting out there for your existing clients because the message doesn’t resonate with them. We would argue that you can’t be everything to everyone under the same brand and be successful/not want to stab yourself in the eye. As for which brand you choose … you choose the one that you enjoy more and are more passionate about. Putting energy into anything less than that will only lead to burnout in the long run and you’ll realize your business is running you … not the other way around. ” -B!G DEAL BRANDING
Olivia Wahl is the lucky winner of a brand critique from the folks at B!G DEAL BRANDING! We do want to send out a BIG thank you to everyone who submitted their branding questions through social media!