Friday 2nd April and Monday 5th April 2021 are public holidays in the UK, so we’ll be taking some time away from our desks on those days. Our regular email support will be available until 6pm BST on Thursday 1st April and will resume at 9am on Tuesday 6th April.
Brand Identity can seriously improve the success rate of your business efforts across the board, if it’s harnessed correctly.
It’s true, photography itself speaks volumes, but your branding will provide prospective clients with an indication of your price point, the experience you offer… and ultimately whether you are the right fit for them or not!
Having worked at a photography studio & agency for many years before focusing on his own Graphic & Web Design career – London based Graphic and Web designer Jason Miller has a unique perspective, as he’s been able to experience both sides of the process.
Jason has prepared the 6 tips below to help you; whether you’re looking to work with a professional and would like to get the most out of the process, or you’d like advice on making some DIY adjustments.
Tip 1: Perceived value & Positioning
Brand identity can completely change the perceived value of the service you offer.
Is your approach is to offer clients a great deal of personal attention, perhaps spending hours just getting to know each of them?
More hours spent attentively editing each image after a shoot?
MORE hours hosting a viewing session in person? (Or, via video these days!)
If so, what a mistake it could be to create branding that indicates a different approach.
Try to ensure your brand reflects creates the correct expectation; whether that’s for an attentive, high end experience – or no-thrills with unbeatable value – and everything in between. When this aligns correctly, clients will be delighted to have their expectations met; meaning more bookings.
If you’re struggling with this, try looking at brands from other industries. Does your brand fit in with other luxury brands? Boutiques? Or value brands?
When hiring a professional 👩💻
Try to provide your designer with examples of brands from different industries who are positioned as you would like to be. Be as clear as possible about your goals.
Tip 2: Who are you attracting?
Are YOU your own ideal client? That’s not always the case… A common mistake, especially for small business owners, is to create a brand they really like, when really, they needed to create a brand their ideal clients would really like!
The easiest way to identify this, is to look at the brands your ideal clients have already brought into emotionally. The clothes they wear, the restaurants or coffee shops they visit, all provide strong indications.
If clients love your images, but would never ‘wear’ your brand on an item of clothing; you need to change it! Create a brand your clients could proudly wear without feeling uncomfortable.
When hiring a professional 👩💻
Ensure the brand identity designer you hire can assist you in identifying and attracting the correct audience; not simply go by your personal preferences.
Tip 3: Personality
A photographer is often hired on the basis of their personality, as much as their work.
Hinting at your style or personality within your brand identity can be a powerful way to attract clients you’re likely to get along with.
However, don’t forget; the about page on your website, story shares on social media, and short behind the scenes videos are all technically part of your collective brand identity. These can be far more effective ways to express your personality than trying to ‘shoe-horn’ weird and wonderful pop-culture references (or dare I say hobbies) into your logo!
Tip 4: Keep it professional
It is 100 times better to have a simple, but professional logo – than a complex one that hasn’t come together properly. In this day and age, that’s the equivalent of bad photoshop.
If your brand looks unprofessional, it will raise alarm bells and prospective clients might assume that it reflects the quality of your work… even if the photography is great!
Keeping it simple can be a great way to do this. Don’t try to create something unique at the expense of creating something uniquely bad!
That said, it’s a skill to create simple, effective design. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, try to find a professional that fits your budget. The time (and therefore money) you save hiring them could free you up to focus on other areas of your business.
Tip 5: Don’t detract from your images!
It should go without saying, but overuse of bright, bold colours or patterns that detract from your images, could defeat the whole purpose of branding your photography business.
Try to create elements that compliment and enhance your work, rather than compete with it for attention.
Would you like someone to hire you because they spot a bright splash of their favorite colour across your branding? Or because they spot their new, favorite image – alongside a reassuringly professional logo?
If you just have to use a bright colour – try to employ it as an accent rather than background, especially alongside images.
Tip 6: Reflect your USP
Sometimes we panic when we hear the word USP (Unique Selling Point), because we wonder, how can I offer something unique among 1000s of other photographers?
Well, think of it instead as your Key Selling Point… What is it about your photography, style or personality that clients rave about most?
At times, it’s possible, and appropriate to hint at this within your brand identity – as was the case for this brand I created for Rivka Singer Photography. (Shown below.) She is renowned for creating beautiful, ornate floral backgrounds in her studio images, and so we tastefully decorated her logo in a floral wreath to reflect this key selling point:
Are your images clean and crisp? Do they tend to feature lots of negative space? Or are they ornate and elaborate? If appropriate, try to reflect this in the style of your logo.
Jason is a London based Graphic and Web designer who spent many years at a photography studio and agency before starting his own design studio – design being his true passion, having studied it at college. He now loves working with photographers among other business, to help them unlock the power of effective branding and web design. Be sure to check out his page just for photographers here.
020 7993 4375
We know that one of the most important parts of your business admin is being able to forecast accurately. Being able to know exactly what is happening in your business at any time helps you to plan for the future.
With Light Blue, you can run various reports to check your business finances, one very useful one is the ‘Income Forecast’ report. This uses the quotes function in Light Blue so will be really handy for wedding and commercial photographers (who often use quotes when confirming a booking with a client).
To run the report select Reports > ‘Custom Reports’ > ‘Income Forecast’ to create an income forecast. This will bring up all quotes with a status of “Accepted” or “Awaiting Invoicing”.
The information from these searches and reports is displayed in the list view, where you can see all of the records that meet your given criteria. The default view shows a list of all future income due grouped by the date the quote was created.
You may want to preview your projected income from a particular type of work over a given period. In that case, you can use Light Blue’s powerful querying tools to find the information that you need
Maybe there’s a month you’re not very busy with weddings and want to run a portrait promotion to fill the shortfall for that month? Without planning you don’t know where your income gaps are.
You can use the query function to search for your expected income over a particular period. In this example we have run a query for quotes where the shoot type is “Weddings” and the start date is “In Next Calendar Year” and the status is “Accepted”. This will show us all next year’s wedding where the client had accepted a quote.
You can adjust the columns within the list view to show whatever you find useful. By going to Window > “Customise List View” and you’ll see this dialog. To view the balance due each month, simply add the “Balance Due”, “Shoot Title” and “To Invoice” fields to the “Columns” section, then make sure they are grouped by “Balance Due Month”.
By using the “To Invoice” column it takes account of the booking fee already paid so this will give you a really clear idea of your monthly wedding income forecast for next year.
How do you use the reports in Light Blue? We’d love to hear how you find Light Blue helps you to keep track of your business!