How I Rebranded My Photography Business | Part 2: DO IT

How I Rebranded My Photography Business

Hello lovers,
Welcome to part 2 of 4 of how I rebranded my business! This week is DO IT.

If you’re diligent, branding a business can take as little as 3 weeks, but to really make sure you love it – I’d give yourself at least 2 months to make sure everything is perfect. So I already posted about the concept of your brand – basically the framework of how you want to look and feel. So now let’s break it down into the entities of a brand.

A logo: every good brand has a logo – a recognizable symbol. A logo is one small picture that represents your whole brand. You can go simple, fancy, modern, nature inspired, anything. But it needs to fit your brand because it’s going to be literally everywhere. Along with a logo, you should pick 2 fonts that compliment each other to use in your publications, website, etc.

Materials: you need materials even if your brand is 100% online. You should always have business cards on hand. Moreover, you can create catalogues (digital or physical) for any industry, flyers, pamphlets, packaging, etc. I have business cards with my logo and lots of white space – they’re simple with my name, industry, and contact information. They reflect my brand and are consistent with my other materials. I have an online catalogue linked to my site and I also have physical copies of the same catalogue, too. I have a way I package my deliverables and I even have custom stickers with my logo to seal envelopes and boxes when I mail things. If you sell a product, consider product stock photos on your social media feeds for a uniform look. If you’ve got a storefront, consider uniform displays that reflect your brand. 

Vibe: a business vibe is SO important. It’s what makes your business yours. My vibe is personal – all my written materials are typed the way I speak so people feel like I’m talking to them in person. The way I set up my website was outlining it: home, about, blog, contact, catalogue. Then I wrote out a paragraph for each tab: the home page welcomes people to my site, the about page was about me, the contact page is about my ideal client and working relationship, and the catalogue is a beast of its own, and you’re on the blog page now and it’s just a collection of my thoughts. Then I added photos and videos to make the site pop and showcase my work. More importantly, my vibe continues into my interaction with the client AFTER they’ve contacted me. My correspondence with them is personal and tailored to their event. My booking process is exactly the same across the board according to my policies and processes I made for myself. Every client fills out the same information and pays at the same stage as everyone else. In short, every client has the same experience that's also personal to them at the same time.

Lets get down to the timeline:

Before doing ANYTHING make sure you have a logo and photo and/or video content. These things can take months to get from professionals or to make yourself. So don’t promise a timeline to yourself or others until you have these things. Once you have them, you’re in the 1 month window – let’s break things down week by week here:

Week 1: Visuals – Create a logo then create your marketing materials based on your logo

Week 2: Build your website based on your visuals

Write 1 paragraph per tab on your site and upload photos and videos to the right pages – I suggest hiring a professiona, but if that’s not in your budget use Wordpress or SquareSpace to DIY.

Week 3: Nail down your business process – What’s your sales pitch? What’s your file organization? What do your clients need to do before you can start your end? Write down your process form start to finish along with how you want your client to feel. (P.S., be on the lookout for my e-course on small business administration that covers this topic as well! Coming in the Summer of 2017)

Week 4: finalize everything and I mean everything. Click on every link on your website, read every word on your site and printed materials to check for misspellings, write out your business processes, then launch!

On going: Tweak along the way – if it’s not working, change it - it's not the end of the world to make mistakes.  

Next week I’ll be posting on building hype around your brand launch and the week after that will be my most requested post: SEO and Digital Marketing.

Xoxo,

Sarah

How I Rebranded My Photography Business | Part 1/4: Concept

How I Rebranded My Photograpy Business

Hi there!
I recently re-branded and wanted to share my process with you! Maybe you’re reading because you’re interested in creating a brand for your business, or maybe you’re contemplating a re-brand – either way, I hope this series helps you! This is the first of a 4 part series on how I re-branded my photography business and what I learned. Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert, for that you need to check out Native State Design Co., but I wanted to share all I know.

So here we go – Part 1: The Concept.

A brand is an intangible thing – it’s a feeling, a look, the way someone recognizes you; It’s a concept, a notion, and recognition. Because a brand is such an intangible thing, it’s hard to imagine one sometimes. But it’s not impossible and there’s a lot of really great brands out there like: Starbucks, Target, and Anthropology. You get a feeling from all of these stores because of their brand. You look at a Starbucks and you know it’s a metro place you can go and hang out even if you’ve never been before. You look at a target and think it’s a clean, happy place to shop. You look at an Anthropology and you know its an urban, sophisticated clothing store. You’re able to deduce all these things because of the brand: a collection of colors, logos, pictures, surroundings, and vibes.

"When I began my re-branding process I was ready to establish Gold + Sage as a welcoming, ethereal, and simple creative studio. That was my concept and everything else flows from that."

To me simple colors are black and white, so I incorporated a lot of white space into my website, logo, and my printed materials. I avoid colored fonts and blocks so that I can achieve a simple, clean look. Next is my style: ethereal. My photography and video style is romantic and moody; I play on the shadows rather than the light and capture raw emotion instead of posing my couples. I’m slowly building a photography and video style that is recognizable without someone seeing my name on an image or video. Lastly, I wanted to be welcoming and personal. I’m not the business, the business is me. When you read my blog, it’s me talking – when you visit my website I want you to feel like you’re hearing from me personally. I’m not a formal person, I’m a real person and when someone books with me, they’re booking with me not a business. So I say the silly things that pop into my head and I don’t always use perfect punctuation so that my posts read the way I want them to (and all the English majors cringe).

All of these things make a brand and consistency is key. For me that’s the hardest part! It means I don’t always get to post the cute thing my dog did on instagram (which is why I also have a personal account – for the not professional dog photos), but it means that the things I am posting are consistent with my brand. BTW: branding your instagram feed is SO HARD. Once I figure it out, I’ll let you know (which will be never, fyi). So in summary, know your concept before you begin. Do your research and determine the vibe you want to project - a great way to do that is to create an inspiration board on Pinterest or a physical one. Once you've nailed down the direction you want to go, start building your visuals like your logos, print materials, website, and Instagram feed.

Stay Tuned for part 2 next week: “DO IT.”


xoxo,

Gossip Girl

(Jk, it’s Sarah)

Raleigh, NC // Headshot Lightening Round

Meet the beautiful business women and the handsome men of Raleigh, NC! I tried my hand at my first head-shot lightening round and all I can say is WOW! The turn out was amazing and I met so many beautiful, hardworking women, moms, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and wives.  I will definitely be making head-shot Lightening Rounds a quarterly event. Be on the look out for Spring Sessions if you’re looking to update your head-shots!