Whether you’re just getting your photography business off the ground, or revisiting your branding, it is important to make sure you’ve put into place the key pieces that can help your business stand out and attract clients.
Here are 7 essential things that every photography business should have in order to achieve success in their market:
1. Memorable Name
One of the most important things that a business owner can do is to come up with a name for their business. After all, the two things you want customers to remember most about you is your name and how awesome your products or services are, so they can pass that info on to other potential clients.
Make sure to choose a name that isn’t just memorable, it’s also easy for people to spell and search for. There is no bigger brand mistake than making it impossible for your customers to find you online because you’ve spelled your company name in a way that isn’t intuitive and phonetic. The last thing you want to be doing is spending time telling your customers how to say and spell your business name.
Also, make sure to do some web research prior to choosing a name. Are there other photographers out there that have the same name? Is there content online related to that name that you wouldn’t want your potential clients to accidentally affiliate or associate with your brand? Are there solid domain names and social media handles associated with your name that are still available? These are all questions you’ll want to answer before you decide what to call your photography business.
Put your potential business name into ABN Lookup and see what's there before registering.
2. Strong Logo
Once you’ve got a solid name in place, the next thing you’ll want to focus on is your logo. This is something I strongly suggest that business owners invest in because unless you’re a trained designer, you’re just going to end up having to pay someone down the line to rework your logo anyway.
Invest upfront to establish a logo that you love and that resonates with potential clients. There are so many great designers and low-cost ways to get a logo today through sites like Fiverr and 99 designs, or work with a local designer. They will discuss the use of colour and what part it takes in connecting with your audience. Take the time and spend the money at the start and you won’t have to rebrand down the track when you should be focusing on growing your business.
3. Clear Target Audience
When formulating the vision for your business branding, it’s important that you filter your ideas through the lens of your target audience. After all, everything you build and do in your business should be done and designed in a manner to attract the types of people you aim to serve. So who is that audience? You can figure it out by asking yourself questions like:
- Who benefits most from my products or services?
- What is the need or pain point that drives someone to seek out a business like mine?
- What events or experiences make clients move forward with a purchasing decision?
- Where would clients go to search for or seek out my products?
- What type of person is most likely to recommend me to other potential clients?
These are just a few of the types of questions you can dig into to explore and understand the type of people you aim to attract. Once you have a clear idea of who they are, you can amplify your ability to connect with the clients you want through your marketing.
4. Marketing Plan
With your target audience in place, the next piece to tackle is building a marketing plan that is focused on getting your products and services in front of those types of people and converting them into clients. Every marketing plan should start with a clear goal in mind. Maybe yours would be to double your business revenue, or to sign up 20 new shoots a month, or sell more of a certain line of products. Whatever that goal is, outline it clearly and then develop a marketing plan with the intention of achieving it.
There are lots of great ways to structure a marketing plan. You should have at least 12 months mapped out ahead of you.
5. Optimised Website
Having a website is pretty much a no brainer in today’s era of online businesses, but it is important to note that not all websites are created equal. In order to maximise your search engine exposure, it’s key to develop a site that is well optimised to show up when people look for you online.
Some website hosts, such as Squarespace, offer automated and natively built optimisation whereas other platforms, like WordPress, require that you go through additional steps to make sure your landing pages are search ready. Make sure, when evaluating where you’ll build your site and who is going to build it, it will properly optimise your brand online.
In addition to optimising your site for search purposes, it’s also critical to optimise your site around whatever actions you want your customers to take within it. Research shows that 90 percent of customers visit a website as a first action, so it’s important to think about what you want them to do next when they get there—this is likely to be where they commence their ‘client journey’ with you.
Do you want them to sign up for a digital download? Make sure that your site can integrate seamlessly with an email marketing platform and your CRM.
Do you want your clients to be able to book online appointments? Make sure it’s easy for you to build in a calendar scheduling link.
Should people be able to view an online gallery and purchase directly through your site? Make sure it’s set up with streamlined eCommerce functionalities.
Whatever action you want your clients to be able to take online, make sure to build a site that’s designed around them so that you can provide an optimised web experience to your clients.
6. Performance Analytics
When building your business, it’s important that you make sure to put into place some key measures that you can reflect on to make sure your business is on the right track.
In the case of your branding, you’re going to want to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that help you evaluate if you’re resonating with your target audience and converting them into clients. You should be able to work out things like the number of inbound leads or inquiries, the number of new clients, where your leads originated from, your sales conversion rates, and the volume of website traffic to name a few.
Brand building is all about making your photography business memorable and accessible to the clients you aim to connect with.
Set yourself up to make meaningful first impressions making your brand shine to the audience you want to attract. With clear business goals and these elements in alignment, you’re sure to stand out in your space and establish a client base that feels truly connected to the brand you’ve built.
7. Be Consistent
Stick to a few things you know and do them well.
Defining your brand is so important. If you are creating a photography business that sells high-end wall art, for example, know that’s the area you need to know. Stick to content and messaging around what you do, and stick to a few topics. You might never even talk about digital files on a USB, and that’s okay.
Don’t water your brand down with too many awesome services and promises. The brands that build authentic brand loyalty over time do one or two things, but they do them better than anyone!