How to create a brand for your business
Creating a brand for your business is the first big decision you have to make. This will be the side of your business that people first interact with. In the ever expanding world of internet, the attention span of your audience is getting shorter by the minute. This is why branding has become the most important aspect of any business. A good brand, can help you lift of the ground, but a bad brand can stick you six feet under. To avoid making mistakes from the get-go, you need to plan out every aspect of your business, and implement everything in the correct order.
The three main aspects that you have to consider are:
And these have to be considered in exactly that order.
When creating a business, many people start out with things like the business name, the website layout or some other design feature. No matter how good you make your website’s name sound, it will not matter if it does not reflect your niche or communicate a message to your audience.
When competition is fierce - and this is true for any kind of business online - the single, most ground breaking step you will take is finding your niche. Endless Facebook feeds and countless hours on the internet has exposed people to the top of the line professionals in every field. Gone are the days when having a strong portfolio alone would land you the job. Now, people look for character and a unique set of eyes above anything else.
When starting a photography business, you need to figure out what is unique about you. Ask yourself, what will set you out in the crowd? Why should people choose your services above someone else’s? If you are struggling with the answer - and most of us are - try and look at your competitors or even at other fields. What makes YouTubers connect with their audience? Why do people follow blogs? If you cannot answer this question, how can you expect your audience to?
You will often hear things online like “content is king” or that “the most important thing on your website is strong content”. But a good niche is a cornerstone of any business, and only when you set yourself apart from the crowd will you be able to produce content that will benefit you, and you alone. Everything needs a good foundation first. After all, there is a reason why we don’t build houses straight onto a soggy ground.
Once you figure out what makes your business unique, it is time to consider how you will communicate that to your audience. Your message should be reflected everywhere throughout your business. This will go into your design, your logo, your business card, content, and even on your t-shirt. The moment you know your message, you have to spread it everywhere.
Consider what kind of audience you are going to target. You don’t want to use slang understood only by teenagers if your business is aimed at retirees. Work out your ideal audience and then set a tone that will connect with them on a more personal level.
Most common and most dangerous mistake that people make when deciding on their tone is that they try to be someone they are not. Be honest and represent your true self, not a person you image you should be. After all, the reason you are in this business is because you love it. You need to communicate that love and passion to your audience. If you will create a fictitious persona, eventually you will come to hate it yourself.
Designing your image is probably best left to professionals. I know you think it’s a pretty easy job that you can do yourself, but there is a reason people spend years studying design. Instead, make sure that your niche and message is clear - a good designer will need these to reflect your style. Then, make a list of some design features that you would like to see.
Here is a quick reference to questions you might want to have answers to before reaching out to a designer:
- Do you have a logo in mind?
- What is the color scheme going to be? (Trust your designer - shades might have to be changed to reflect and capture your business better)
- Do you have any examples that you like?
Becoming an established brand
Now that you have your brand all worked out, here are some bad news - you still have a long way to go before you become an established brand. Your work at making yourself known has only just begun.
You have your key audience worked out, and your website looks nice and shinny. But how do you become an authority in your niche, and make sure that every time someone thinks about it, they have your brand in their mind?
A good start would be to make sure that you are represented only by your best work. Again, this is something that works well not only in professional photography, but in other fields as well. You don’t want people coming to your website only to see poorly shot pictures. In the world that is over saturated with quality photography, this will be one of your hardest fights.
Perseverance is key
There are more ways to build up your brand than we could name in only one article. That’s why we created a whole other post focusing on How To Market Your Brand.
However, information written here is a good starting point. Keep in mind, that you have to spread your name as wide as you can. You should constantly be thinking of new creative ways to market yourself, and most importantly, you will have to persevere. Establishing a brand is not an easy task. It can take months before you start seeing any results. But don’t let it get to you, no company was made successful overnight.
Hope this article will help you put your mindset in the correct thinking space. And if you have any other good suggestions or advice, make sure to leave it in the comments below. Knowledge is power, so share it around!