From time to time I like to write on branding. It is something that I am passionate about, something that intrigues me, and you might even say titillates me. (really I just wanted to use that word in a blog post).
But when it comes to business having a solid brand paired with a well thought out brand strategy is something that can set you apart from the competition.
Think about some of the biggest brands. Many of them have worked hard for years to position themselves within our minds. They spend millions of dollars a year on market research, focus groups, product testing, advertising, and marketing in order to control a large percentage of the market share.
All of these elements make up a brands strategy.
As photographers we have several struggles in business. But many of these struggles provide amazing opportunities for us to build our brands. One struggle is that we do not have the millions of dollars to spend on market research, or focus groups, but what we do have is a personal connection with past clients that we can utilize.
Your brand strategy will also encompass all of your communication touch points. What does this mean? It means that from your first email, to your contract, all the way to the final delivery and blog. Every time that you interact with your customers, you are communicating something to them, and if you don't have a solid brand strategy, you may end up communicating the wrong thing.
Other elements that play into developing a solid brand strategy are your purpose, the consistency of the brand, as well as what emotions the brand reaches within the customers and what emotions your brand invokes.
Another thing to be aware of when building your brand strategy is your competition. See where they are, what they are doing, and how you can set yourself apart.
What works for one person may not work for another. As a photographer that may come down to your personality, your region, your style, any number of things.
But knowing what your competition is up too is part of the game. Sports teams will watch videos of another teams to see how they work. Quarterbacks will study an opposing teams defensive line, to read how they move, to learn how they blitz. This helps them to act instead of react.
One of the hardest things to do in business is to blindly market yourself. It is alway helpful to get some outside eyes to assist in any sort of marketing. You know what you want to say, but the meaning may not come across as you envision it.
You may want to evoke a certain emotion, but your message may evoke a one that is opposite.
You may think that you know who your target market is, the client that you want to book consistently, but your targeting is off.
Marketing is a game, one that with a plan one can win. But you have to try things and fail, and then try again till you succeed.
If you need help. I am now offering Brand Strategy and Marketing Mentoring. Check it out here. For a Limited time I am offering 2 sessions for the price of 1!!!