I’d like to welcome Adam Hommerding, the designer and owner of The Modern Collective as my first guest blogger. Recently launched, The Modern Collective is a fantastic template resource for photographers who seek to provide an incredibly professional looking product for their clients. Granted, there are many template designers out there to choose from, but the designs at The Modern Collective are in my opinion, exceptional and the epitome of professional. Not only is Adam a gifted designer, creating high end, classy templates for photographers, but he is also the owner of Adam Hommerding Photography located in Minnesota, where he creates exquisite portraits that exude beauty and warmth.
Thank you Adam for your time, insights, and outstanding freebies that you’ve made available today.
Branding + Marketing – Two words that often cause hours of stress and maybe even a cold sweat for some people, but why? It really isn’t that scary! Trust me! Branding + marketing is simply a game of trial and error and can actually be a lot of fun. Follow the tips below, and you just might kick the fear of branding and marketing your business.
1. Know who you are + what you are trying to achieve.
Photography is a very personal business and often a studio’s brand is a reflection of the owner’s personal style and character. Get to know yourself and who you want to be. Are you classic, witty, playful, or down to earth? Is your style modern or traditional? Knowing answers to questions like these can help you move forward in creating consistency in your brand.
Not only do you need to know yourself, but also the goals of your business. What do you want your marketing efforts to achieve? Do you want it to create recognition, make people schedule a session, or do you simply want to start a conversation?
2. Create your image.
Take the answers to your questions and create a design that will help you achieve your goals and a design that will become an extension of your personality! Don’t know how? Hire a professional designer. The money you spend on your logo and marketing materials will pay for itself as your business grows. Your logo will become the face of your business. Make sure it’s a good representation of who you are.
Struggling to come up with all the designs for your marketing set? Check out the Modern Essentials Complete Marketing Set in The Modern Collective Shop! It includes all of the essential pieces to market your studio with one cohesive look!
3. Keep it consistent.
Think about it; if you were to change your hair color and the style of your clothes every day, it would be hard to recognize you. Your business isn’t any different. Use the same logo, colors, and patterns in all areas of client contact – marketing pieces, website, facebook page, and business cards. You name it; it should be the same.
Below are examples of a few pieces we use at Adam Hommerding Photography. As you can see, all of them include our logo and our gray and yellow color scheme. They each have their own look, but they all blend together as a cohesive brand.
4. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Having a consistent look is only the start of creating a brand. Your studio’s brand is also what you do as a business and how you are perceived in your community. Don’t be afraid to try new things when it comes to marketing your business. Get involved with local schools and non-profit organizations. Co-market with other local businesses that target the same target market. If the things you try are working, continue to build on the relationship! If you feel that the effort you’ve put in isn’t helping achieve the goals you set, direct your efforts to new marketing ideas and move on.
Below is an example of a simple marketing program that you could try with local schools in your area. We started our Photos 4 Education program last year with two private schools in our marketing area. We presented the program at their annual dinner auctions and sent the cards home with students in their weekly folders. The program was simple – book a session with Adam Hommerding Photography in 2011 and $25 goes back to your school. It created value in our work and gave us recognition in our community.
5. Be inspired by others.
Although we would love to continuously come up with new and creative ideas on our own, sometimes we have to look to others for inspiration. Try to look outside of the photography industry at businesses that shares your same target market. Look at clothing stores, local boutiques, and service businesses. Fan them on facebook, sign up for their mailing lists, and visit their stores. Look for creative ideas that you can use to market your studio. How are they creatively generating income? How are they interacting with their clients / customers? How are they making their client / customer experience memorable?
6. Be open to conversation.
Your clients and potential clients are interested in YOU! Open up your world to them on your facebook page or in your marketing pieces. Start conversation. Ask questions. Provide them with information that you thought was helpful. Being a resource for your clients gives them another reason to follow what you are doing. Word of mouth is still the best marketing you can have, so keep your clients happy and keep creating great photos for them to share with the people in their lives.
See, it’s not that scary! Give these things a try, and don’t be afraid to ask others for their help! There is always someone that will give you an honest opinion or to help you build your idea into something greater.