One of the biggest complaints that I hear from photographers is how hard it is to stand out in such a saturated market. In case you didn’t know, there are a TON of photographers out there! Now that nice cameras are so accessible, it’s much easier for people to start a photography business, hence the huge surge of them over the past several years! So the best way to stand out in this industry is YOU!
Having a personal brand that allows people to really get to know you will help you to stand out from other photographers. Your work might look almost identical to the person next to you, so allowing people to get to know the person behind the camera is what will set you apart!
But what’s even more important than setting you apart from others is allowing people to create a personal connection with you! People crave connection, it’s human nature. Especially nowadays where people are exposed to so many people and businesses through social media, they are going to cling to whoever they feel they have a personal connection with. And on top of that, people are more likely to inquire with and hire people that they feel a connection with!
The biggest mistake I see people making is neglecting to incorporate their personal life into their brand. A brand isn’t just fonts and colors, it’s a representation of you and your business and is what people remember you for! So here are some ways to make your brand more personal!
The first step to adding a personal touch to your brand is putting your face everywhere! You want people to see your business as the person behind it and not just another photography business. So by putting pictures of yourself all throughout your online presence, you are allowing people to make a connection with you! So all your social media profile pictures should be a picture of your face- not your logo, not one of your clients- YOU! And the front page of your website should not only have a picture of you, but a picture of you looking at the camera! As creepy as it sounds, if the user is able to create eye contact with you through the picture, it will create a greater sense of trustworthiness!
If you’ve been to my workshop or have ever heard me teach, then you’ve probably heard me talk about ‘shticks’. These are the unique things about you that people remember you for. You may think that you don’t have any unique traits, but I promise you do. What may seem normal and uninteresting to you, may be very interesting to others! For example, when we got our first corgi, Henry, I had no idea how popular corgis were. But then as I started sharing pictures of him, I noticed that people were obsessed! And now, 5 years later, corgis are a huge part of my brand! I get tagged in corgis videos and posts everyday and brides get me corgi gifts because when people think of corgis, they think of me! So that is definitely one of my shticks! Some of my other shticks are my house, my love of neutral colors and my husband’s journey to become a doctor.
So if you’re in a place where you don’t know what your shticks are, all you really have to do is pay attention to what people are saying about you! When I run into people in person, I noticed they were saying a lot of the same things to me – “Your dogs are so cute!”, “Your house is gorgeous!”, “How’s Branden liking residency?” Hearing this same things over and over from people told me that this is what people are interested in seeing more of! You could also try sharing different aspects of your life on social media and just see what people respond to the most!
And then once you know what your shticks are, utilize them! Share them on social media, blog about them and incorporate them into your brand! Soon people will be able to create a connection with you through these things and they will make you more memorable!
Social media and blogging gives us the opportunity to showcase our personality without actually having to meet people! So you should be utilizing that! When you write captions for posts, you should be letting your personality shine through! If you are an upbeat bubbly person, then you’ll probably want to include exclamation points and emojis in your posts. Whereas if you are a more quiet reserved person, then you would probably want to avoid the use of exclamation points. By doing this, people will be able to get a sense of your personality just through your online presence!
And while this post is more about the non-aesthetic parts of your brand, there’s also ways to personalize your brand through the aesthetics. When choosing your color palette, look to your life for inspiration. Your wardrobe, your home decor, the brands you love. That was what lead me to choose neutral colors for my brand- my entire wardrobe and home decor was neutral! If your personal style is dark and moody, but then your brand is light and airy, it will send an inconsistent message to your followers. You can also incorporate other little personal elements into branding to make it more unique. Another one of my ‘shticks’ is magnolia trees. I have one in my front yard, there are magnolia wreaths all throughout my house and I use the leaves in my client packaging! So when I was rebranding a few years ago, I worked with my designer to create a custom magnolia flower graphic to use throughout my branding. And since magnolia trees are something I’m already known for, I can use just that graphic and people will know it’s me!
So I hope these tips not only help you to personalize your brand, but also convince you of the importance of having a personal brand!
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