Creating a consistent photography brand is key when building brand recognition and creating a connection with our dream clients. Keep reading to find out how…
Have you ever hired anyone that has broken your trust? Did you finally take the plunge and hire a Virtual Assistant and they let you down? Maybe it was a private editor that just didn’t knock out the editing you were looking for? Or heck, it could be a sitter that you were counting on so you could have some kid-free work time. I am sure at some point you have been let down in some way while growing your business.
How did you feel? Hurt, angry, disillusioned? You probably needed a break from them right? Heck, maybe you just ended the relationship altogether and moved on or took the responsibilities back on yourself.
You don’t want to be the person or photographer that is letting down anyone else right? Things come up and life happens, the same thing happens between photographers and their potential clients every single day.
Inconsistent branding breaks the connection a potential client has in their mind with your brand.
When something you say or share doesn’t match up with the client’s expectation of your brand in their mind, it breaks a connection and also kind of damages any trust that has been established.
It may be subtle, but subconsciously they begin to question if there are other expectations you won’t meet.
Trust is a huge element of the decision-making process for your potential clients.
As trust and a positive connection with your brand is broken, so is the loyalty of that potential client. Ouch.
It’s not pleasant to think about, but it’s even more unpleasant when it happens and you don’t even realize it might be happening.
The good news is that there is an easy fix.
Consistent branding builds trust for you as a photographer!
Consistency is KEY when it comes to building brand recognition and creating a connection that we all long for with our dream clients.
So how do you maintain that oh-so-important consistency? Well, let’s work through it one step at a time. Sound good?
Then, I am going to share with you how to create your own brand guideline book so you know exactly how to use your brand and keep it consistent moving forward. A brand guidebook is your secret weapon. It is a set of rules and guidelines to help you use your new brand assets effectively and cohesively.
Alright, so let’s talk about how to keep your brand consistent and then we’ll say hello to the brand guidebook and unpack it.
4 First Steps to Creating a Consistent Photography Brand
Step 01. The Moodboard
A moodboard is where it all begins. Gathering visual inspiration makes it so much easier when you start to build your photography brand, because you have already put in the thought behind the visuals you love and how you want potential clients to feel when they come in contact with your brand.
When you start building a visual identity, it helps you define your style and your color palette. It helps create a clearer path. Be sure to gather inspiration that works seamlessly together because this is the baseline of your brand visually.
Step 02. The Fonts
Fonts are a necessary component of your branding, but unfortunately, many business owners frequently overlook the importance of typography in their business. They make the all too common error of using every new font they come across on Creative Market (I know, I know they are all so pretty!), which creates confusion within their branding.
The right font can elevate a brand’s status to high end and exclusive. The wrong font can make it feel cheap and undesirable (hello, comic sans!).
Great typography will take a message (the words) and elevate it to a higher level of understanding and significance. Bad typography will confuse or lose the message altogether.
Too many fonts can be distracting. I suggest you choose a max of three complementary fonts and stick to them.
This is a big one. Especially if you are in the DIY phase of your business. I know people can get a little gung-ho when selecting fonts. They’re all so pretty — so more fonts equals more pretty, right? Wrong.
By being consistent with your brand’s typography (i.e. the fonts you use and how you use them) you are building trust with your audience.
They start to notice your consistent brand aesthetic and know what to expect. It’s comforting and reassuring.
When DIYing brands, many people will choose fun/pretty fonts simply because they like them. But this can damage the brand if the ornateness of the font becomes overwhelming or the words become hard to read. When that happens, the message gets lost.
Your brand’s typography should be flawless and it should feel effortless. But I am sure, we all know that great design isn’t effortless at all!
Once you have selected your fonts, take note and use them for everything, like social media templates, your website, and promotional materials (if you’ve had professional branding completed by a graphic designer, this information should be provided in your brand style guide).
My clients receive all of the font information and guidance on how to use these fonts moving forward in their brand style guides. During their Branding Experience, I select their brand fonts and show them how these fonts should be used across all brand communications.
Step 03. The Colors
Have you ever stopped to think about the power your brand colors hold? Or considered the meaning each color gives to your customers?
When it comes to choosing the best brand colors, there is more to it than picking ones you like! Research has shown that 85% of consumers use color as their biggest motivator on whether or not to purchase a product. This means as a business owner, the colors you pick for your brand matter.
With all of that in mind, here’s what I believe to be true: you must go beyond what you like, but you also should follow your gut and choose colors that align with the essence of who you are and your brand personality.
I really believe that when you are designing a brand that is connected with you and who you want to serve it all aligns perfectly. If you want to dive deeper into this, I have a really helpful and in-depth blog post entitled How to Properly Choose Brand Colors for Your Brand, which you can read by clicking on the title.
Step 04. The Patterns
Patterns are one of my favorite branding elements! They can play a vital role in brand recognition, bringing life to simple logos and helping create strong, memorable brand expressions. In some cases, patterns can become even more recognizable than their actual logo! Because patterns are so fun in branding, I wanted to share a few ways that patterns can be used in your photography brand.
You can use your pattern to help keep the consistency of your brand with your company stationery. Every time you hand out a business card, send out your welcome packet, mail a thank you card, or print out an invoice, etc. your audience develops a deeper sense of brand recognition when they see the pattern applied.
If you create packaging for gifts for your clients or when you deliver their physical prints or tangible goods, you have lots of potential to incorporate your brand patterns. Think custom boxes, tissue paper, printed bags, stickers, honestly, there are so many possibilities. This is a simple way to build brand recognition and it keeps your branding cohesive.
To use patterns on your website, you can easily overlay text on your pattern or use it as a background on your website or blog. This makes it super simple to create a cohesive brand and feel across all media.
Once all of these foundational pieces are in place and you have a solid brand designed and developed, you will need to be intentional when designing any promotional pieces or advertisements so that you keep the same look. Don’t go off on a new whim because the mood strikes you.
Again, keeping a consistent brand is SO important to create a connection with dream clients through visual recognition.
Your Secret Weapon: The Brand Style Guide
When I custom design brands for clients, I provide a brand style guide that shows you exactly how to create a consistent photography brand. It details things such as where the best place to use your logo with a transparent background is; how often and where to use your primary, secondary, and additional brand colors; how to apply your branding in your newsletters and more.
The brand style guide truly is your secret weapon to creating a consistent photography brand every single place a customer may see, hear, or experience your brand.
It saves you time and it informs you and anyone who works with you how to apply your branding the same way Fortune 500 companies (and those indie boutique businesses you adore) do to become top-of-mind brands that win customers’ hearts (and wallets!).
If you know you need to be more consistent with your branding…
If you feel a nudge in your heart and mind that you may not be creating a strong connection with your potential clients due to a lack of consistency…
I’ve created a super simple way that you can achieve brand consistency without having to invest in a bespoke experience that may not fit into your budget during this season of your photography business.
You can an Off-The-Shelf Brand Collection that comes complete with your very own brand style guide.
You select the brand you want and send me your very own personal inspiration and I do the work.
You fill out a quick questionnaire and prepare a Pinterest Brand Board. Then, I customize the branding for you and provide all of the files you need including the brand guide so you can confidently use your new brand moving forward.
Each brand collection you have to choose from is just $199. Check out the Off-The-Shelf Brand Collections below!
P.S. If you have something more specific in mind but can’t seem to bring it to life on your own, check out this done with you service. We will work together to create make the brand of your dreams your actual reality!