3 Common Branding Mistakes Photographers Often Make
Are you a photographer who feels like their branding is a bit all over the place? You know it could use a bit of work, but you’re not exactly sure where to start or how to make it better?
If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place.
Here are the 3 common branding mistakes I often see photographers make:
Trying to cater to everyone:
If you’re trying to sell to everyone and anyone, no one is really connecting with you. Your messaging isn’t clicking, because well, there’s nothing to click with.
Think about your favorite restaurant to get tacos. There’s a reason that place is your favorite, right? Because they make really good tacos. And instead of trying to offer everything imagined possible (tacos, burritos, fried rice, noodles, orange chicken, vegan food, fruit juices, pumpkin pie, etc.), they’re focused on selling really good tacos.
Well, the same thing applies to you and your photography business.
If you spend all your time and energy trying to do a million different things, why would someone come to you (other than maybe a lower price)? But you don’t want to underprice yourself, do you?
No, of course not. You don’t want that to be the only reason people come to you (and hopefully you don’t want that to be a reason why people come to you, period.)
That’s why having a niche and unique selling point is so important.
Who are you selling to, and what are you selling them?
Get super clear on who you are as a photographer and what sets you apart.
Are you focused on self-love? Empowering women and helping them feel comfortable and loved in their own bodies? If so, what have they struggled with in the past? What are they thinking? What have you struggled with in the past yourself? How can you share your story and connect with them?
Are you focused on branding? Helping entrepreneurs and business owners present themselves in a way that’s going to connect with their own community?
Who are your clients? Are they at the beginning of their business or are they a more seasoned business owner? What are they doing on the weekends? What do they do? Are they wedding planners, make up artists, florists, real estate agents, restaurant owners? (Remember don’t try to cater to everyone.) Are they working part-time on their business or have they gone full-time?
The more you know about yourself (as a photographer) and your ideal clients, the better you’ll be able to connect with them -- because then you’ll actually know how to connect with them.
And you’ll start to feel more confident about your brand too.
Don’t worry if you currently feel all over the place with your brand. It takes time. Learning to do business takes time, especially if you’ve never done it before. Trust me, I’ve been there.
If you need help with branding and/or marketing your photography business, check out my template shop. Intentionally designed for photographers just like you. My style is often described as chic, modern, and clean.
My goal as a designer is to not only to help you save time and money, but also help you present yourself like the professional photographer that you are while presenting your beautiful work in a way that wows them every time.
2. Lack of consistency:
Everything looks (and therefore feels) all over the place.
Have you ever gone on someone’s website and Instagram page and felt like you were in two completely different worlds? Yeah, me too.
Once you know who you’re catering to, make sure everything you do and put out is for them.
I cannot stress enough how important consistency is. And not just in your aesthetics or visuals, but your brand overall. Your brand persona, messaging, communication, tone, etc.
All of that is a part of your branding. Branding is all about how others perceive you.
The more consistent you are with your branding, the more reliable and professional you’ll look and be perceived as. And the more you show up, the more you’ll stay in their top frame of mind.
I cover more of how you can do this in the next point, where we’ll be talking about sharing things about yourself. Your life, story, interests, beliefs, etc. so that your community can connect with you (their future go to photographer).
3. Not sharing anything about yourself:
I don’t believe everyone has to have a personal brand, because well, it’s not for everyone.
However, if you’re a photographer, it’s important that your potential clients can connect with you, feel comfortable with you, know who you are, and most of all, trust you.
Unless your client is a model or someone who is already photogenic, chances are they’re going to feel awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera. They need to know they can trust you not to judge them, shame them, or make them feel even more uncomfortable than they already are.
You know it doesn’t have to be awkward and uncomfortable.
Instead, it can be empowering, uplifting, fun, and a great experience.
But you gotta tell them, or even better, show them that.
Tell people what kind of photographer you are (i.e. let them get to know you!), why you got into photography (share your passion with them), what they can expect when they book a photoshoot with you (assure them that you know what you’re doing and that they’ll be in good hands), etc.
Show them what it’s like to work with you behind-the-scenes. Have someone record you for a day while you’re out with a client (if it’s cool with that client, of course) so that others can see for themselves what it’s like hiring a photographer. Put them and their fears and doubts at ease.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality online. In fact, it’s the most important thing you can do. That’s how we attract people into our lives, right? By being ourselves.
Attract your dream clients to your photography business by being yourself. And show them that it’s okay for them to be themselves around you, too!
Just like how you wouldn’t want to become friends with someone you don’t vibe with or really get, your ideal clients don’t want a photographer they don’t vibe with either.
By being yourself, you’re going to attract the right people and turn away the wrong ones.
And if you’re worried about losing potential clients (that aren’t a good fit), let me ask you this:
Do you want to work with clients you don’t really get and who also don’t get you, or do you know want to work with clients you know you’ll connect with instantly? It’s like trying to force a friendship — not fun or something you want to do.
Your ideal clients are looking for a photographer they vibe with. Someone they can resonate with, talk to, laugh with, connect with. Someone who gets them. You could be that person, but you gotta show them first.
I’d love to hear what you think!
Are you making any of these branding mistakes as a photographer? If so, how do you plan on resolving it? Let me know in the comments below!
Molly Ho is a branding and graphic designer for photographers and creative entrepreneurs. Her mission is to help you create a brand that will give your dream clients the confidence and clarity they need to hire you.
She believes in being (and becoming) the kind of person you want to see more of in the world, because change starts with you. And you have the power and capacity to become the person you want to be.
On the blog, she talks about topics including branding, marketing, social media, body image, and personal development.