Choosing how you position your photography studio and creating a strong brand experience to support that position is difficult. We all know it's a competitive market. So how do you hold your position and make your brand perform? There's a lot of "what to do" for your photography business, but let's chat about the things that can sabotage your brand.
We're breaking down the 5 biggest branding mistakes you can make as a photographer.
1. Brand Disconnect
When a potential client visits your website, they should get a complete picture of who you are, the kind of imagery you shoot, and what your professional and personal style is. The information you present should work together to tell a professional narrative of who you are as a photographer and a person. So your branding, (your logo, colors, and fonts you use to construct your story) should enhance, support, and sync with the style of photography you produce.
If you shoot light, airy, and romantic imagery but your logo is dark, heavy, or simply unpolished, you're sending a confusing message about what kind of experience you'd provide for clients. If there's a disconnect between your brand identity and your photo aesthetic, potential clients will struggle to get an accurate sense of who you are and what you do.
Having an amateur logo that you made yourself (or scored on fiver.com) might seem like a good idea at the time, but it could give the wrong first impression if it doesn't feel professional. A logo is vital for brand recognition, so if you can, procure a stellar logo that either a. encapsulates your essence or b. iconically presents the name of your studio.
If you need some help to better correlate your photo style with your branding, check out our Brand Design Themes. These template collections get your brand aesthetic tight and cohesive while enhancing your photo style. Grab a Brand Design Theme style guide for FREE.
2. Lack of New Content
You may be shooting new clients every week, but if you're not keeping all your channels updated with new content, no one will know. If a client comes across your Instagram and last time you posted was over six months ago, it's going to look like you're not shooting. This might make them hesitant to reach out, thus losing a potential client.
It can be difficult to take the time to blog every session after you've spent hours culling and editing your images. We get it. Writing the perfect Instagram caption can be daunting or sometimes you just get so wrapped up in everything else you need to get done on your to-do list you keep putting it off. We feel ya.
Staying active online is important to keep yourself relevant in your field, stand out from your competition, and will show your strong brand with consistent imagery over time. If you don't want to spend a ton of time planning out your posts each day, set aside some time to plan your posts and automate them with a program like Planoly, where you can plan your grid and set them to auto-post so you don't even have to think about it!
3. Quantity over Quality
We understand you're proud of your work—and you should be! But that doesn't mean you have to share every image from each shoot. No one wants to scroll through hundreds of images on your site. You want to give clients a taste of the kind of work you'd be able to provide for them. Select only the best of the best, leave them wanting more!
Additionally, show the kind of work you want to be doing more of. Do you have a bunch of your old work on your site from when you first began? Maybe you started photographing senior portraits but moved to intimate weddings. If that's the work you really want to be doing, consolidate the work on your site to show only your best and newest.
4. Delayed Responses
Client communication should be one of your top priorities. Taking days to respond to a message from a potential client sends the wrong signals. You want to be perceived as attentive, available, and ready to answer any questions or concerns. Responding in a timely manner is simply a show of professionalism. We suggest taking no longer than 24-48 hours to respond to a client.
When you do respond, take the time to respond with care. Make sure you are answering all the questions thoroughly, check for typos and make sure your responses aren't too relaxed. You want to sound friendly, approachable, and professional. Remember—even if your clients seem like friends, you're still running a business and you should strive to sound like a pro at all times!
5. Inconsistent Branding
Have you ever visited a photographer's website and tried to find them on Facebook or Instagram but you weren't sure if it was the same person because the profile avatars didn't jive?
Keep it easy to be discovered on all social channels by trying to keep the same handles (if they're available), using the same profile avatar (we suggest using your logo), and keep your personal headshots current. If people are searching for you across multiple platforms this ensures them that they've got the right person.
We also recommend using a branded email signature that contains all your contact information and links to your website and all your social channels so that you are easily discoverable. If you need help creating a custom HTML signature, read our how-to blog here.