Branding is one of my favorite things to talk/write about. Maybe it’s because it’s sort of a “personality” of your business and ya girl is a sucker for some personality tests. I love deep-diving into understanding what attracts and repels clients based off of what I, as a business owner, put out into the world and social media universe…and then tailoring that to attract my ideal client. However, it is super easy to go on autopilot when it comes to your brand, especially during the crazy busy spring and fall seasons for us photographers. Once the off-season approaches though, it’s great to re-visit your brand and give it a facelift (or makeover, depending on how much has changed for you that year). Here are a few tasks to do in the off-season to make sure your brand is still consistent with your client experience:
- Update your website with new images. Unless you didn’t shoot at all in the last year, you have new images with which you can update your portfolio/website. Your website is your online storefront, so you want it to represent you as accurately and as well as possible. Update the featured galleries and the banner images throughout your website, as well as your About Me images! I am guilty of this, but I don’t like it if ever I see someone in real life and they don’t match what they look like online. And for me, I change my hair pretty often…yea, it’s a whole thing.
- Evaluate your client gifts/experience. Make sure what you are gifting your clients sends the message that you want to send! If you are aiming for a higher-end brand, you don’t want to be sending items that seem thrifted. And conversely, you also don’t want to be sending higher-end gifts if you wish to have a more approachable brand. No type of brand or gift is right or wrong, but it needs to match your brand and the rest of your client experience.
- Ask for client reviews and feedback. At the end of each year, I email each of my clients that I’ve worked with throughout the year with links to a Google review, a Wedding Wire review, as well as a feedback form that I have created myself. Although not all clients fill out every portion, every little bit of feedback is helpful moving forward into the new year.
- Schedule a branding session. Keeping brand images fresh and updated is important! Like I said before, meeting someone different in person than what you see online is a little disconcerting…and to me, it begins the initial introduction process with a lesser degree of trust than if the images online are up-to-date! Scheduling and planning a branding session really makes you think through how you want to visually represent your brand and certain parts of the client process. I encourage you to do this at least once a year! It’s a true investment in marketing.
In case you can’t tell, I love actionable steps. None of these tasks are “intangibles.” They are real tasks from which you can see real outcomes once they are completed. Your brand should be cohesive across all platforms, interactions, and experiences. Doing these four tasks annually will ensure your clients receive consistent care across the board!