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Brand Your Creative Business

Lesson 17 of 22

Brand Photography & How to Protect It

Megan Auman

Brand Your Creative Business

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

17. Brand Photography & How to Protect It

Lesson Info

Brand Photography & How to Protect It

So let's, take a look at some of the photography and see what's working cathy, we're gonna start by taking a look at some of your product photography, and I see you have these here, but is it easier for us? You think to look in your etsy shop? Yeah, look, I probably then you know how I feel right now. So, you know the first thing, actually, before we do that, the first thing I notice is that, you know, there's a lot of different kind of layouts happening here, right? So there doesn't seem to quite be that consistency that maybe you could have if you were keeping everything the same, but let's, look at some of your styled shots, okay? So talk to me about you know why you've made some of the decisions that you made. Um, I wanted a clean background, but also to show as if somebody was going to just put it on their desk, got her office, based her in the room and then it's, like I wanted to add crystals because I'm really into, like, the whole energy and everything. And then just kind of it...

reminds you of a little bit of on alter space to personal space, so I wanted to incorporate something like that, and then obviously, the crystals the big so the one thing I know is that I actually noticed it more strongly on your website was I was immediately drawn to the text of the book and so that actually becomes distracting because the first thing I saw was like oh shit no uh which isn't while not being a you know it's not an unpopped tive association but it is distracting yeah so I think in your case you know, setting the stage is really important but the cropping needs to be more strategic so the product itself needs to become the focal point and these things need to come in as little glimpses so you know, if we were to crop it well I guess you could actually see my mouse if we were to crop it in here you know where you still get like a hint of that and maybe you're you're moving you know, a shelf above this so that you get a little bit of that purple coming in or something you know, playing around with actually the arrangement and maybe this is a case where even though you want them to think it's on the desk if you want those little pops maybe you you laid on a table and you style a few elements around it and then crop it in really tight so that you get because the other thing with your images they're very bottom heavy right? Everything sinks down here and so it you know, you don't quite get that sense of, like, fun because actually, the bottom heaviness drags the mood of the image down, right? Yeah. You actually lose some of that sense of happiness. A cappie is exploding right all around. So you could actually solve that just by putting it on the table, styling props around it and shooting straight down. Well, it's not a one hundred percent accurate reflection of how it's gonna be in someone's home things would give you that mood so much more that I think some people in the chatroom was saying so they just immediately thought you were selling the stones, right? The painting is the last thing that I actually saw, the number shots that I took let's. See which ones are new, like, be the boss of your day if you go up a little bit. This one? Yeah, let's, take a look at that because some of those that I did in the past and I was really inspired by fashion so it actually use current trends from, like, the current to, like, incorporate into my artwork, which is why I did like a lot of the chanel and write things like that because it was high, it was something that inspired me. Most at that time and then so now it's just more see I kind of see what it's like with the crystal eyes you've got a little bit coming in that's a little more cropped yeah so that's what I was kind of trying to transition into was just minimalize ng a lot of the stuff around it and just doing bits of the side like on this guide and so the frame is in here is that a frame that comes with it or it's just a frame that you're using as a as a tool I'm using and then I stayed at the bottom got it gets in from so you know that a might be something that's a little bit confusing but b I also think if we're talking about you know going from your mood board to your photography I don't think this frame is the best choice you know it it's kind of matt it it actually looks a little bit almost dingy compared to I think that the pops that you have in your mood board so maybe it's black gloss you know maybe it's it's got to be something I think I got a little more you know what? Yeah gold something it's got a little bit more pop to it and and I think I love that you said gold because I think here's the thing where you can't necessarily use gold in your case you don't get the glimmer if you're trying to steal that as a color but you do in your photography right it's going to come through is a little bit more shimmery so you know can you put that in there and use it that way as well? Okay, it's a question and then I think that one other thing that is just a little kind of photo point that gets disconcerting is either straight on or really intentionally skewed the leg partially skewed actually just comes across as a little sloppy so if you're going to skew something and make it look like you really wanted to shoot it at an angle which I don't think it's necessary for you I think it can be absolutely straight on you know better pop in the frame there's just those little edges of the styling coming through and I think that's really gonna support the brand image is that you showed on the mood board they're probably just being able to set up I mean, using a tripod you know whom and rather than just kind of yes, yeah through and manipulating kind of the light that's focused on it so you don't get that shadows and sometimes because I'm I'm photographing it myself, then sometimes shadows get in the way and then it's kind of like eliminating that's just manipulating the area that you're right photograph yeah are you shooting with natural letter you using like a like a natural light and then I sometimes I cool it down, okay? You know yeah tested to cool down but and not something to where you know, the best investment I ever made for my business as I bought one of those octagon light boxes yeah, I know if you're gonna get an apartment it's a little bit big in a little bit cumbersome and I actually in that photo resource is guide, I have links to a couple that I would recommend if you're really serious about getting good photography waiting for the light to shift is the most annoying thing ever it's like you turn on the light box, you're good to go right and and that's the beauty of kind of once you've made these conscious decisions is once you get that set up it's set up shoot true true true true true true true true just get it all done so once you kind of figure out what's working, you know you should be able to do it all together and then they're all gonna look really consistent to because that's I'm guessing the other thing is maybe you've shot them a kind of different times and you don't have the tripod it's the angle changes a little and a question for you quick when you do your product shots for you know we were talking earlier about like up close and then you want to do a high rez, and they're against a white background. Do you do all those shots at one time? Or I would dio I would do all the same styled shot and keep swapping out the product so I would do all white background highrise shots on one day and switch product product product. And then I would do the style shot switch, product, product, product product. I wouldn't try to shoot the same product three different ways in one session. Okay, yeah. That's a great question, though, so yeah, keep the backgrounds the same in every like photo shoot that you're doing. So when I do a model shoot, you know, I don't do like I'm gonna shoot it on the table on them. I'm a shooter in the model it's we do the model shoot, we pick an outfit and then we might do a couple different neck, different necklaces on the same outfit, so will shoot all of that one outfit, and then we'll go to the next one, okay, awesome. Are we getting anything else from online? Yeah, there was some feedback there from people saying that they didn't see where the glimmer of gold came into the that what you were actually showing and they also felt that maybe some of props that actually sort of show what a boss woz like a desk name played or a gavel is just something that showed up because I think they all felt like exactly is meghan is saying it's been cropped very tight a little bit of expansion but not so much the previous picture looks like something right there's like a sweet spot and how you're cropping yeah awesome that's thank you okay let's take a look at um monica so where are the best kind of ways to look we go into the shot okay so you've got two different products let's start with the diaper clutch and so you've got this view and then you've got until loads thing you've got this view so those were the two main ones that you're doing right um how do you feel about it? We'll start there it doesn't want me um I feel like he's just up there um but I struggled with how else to show the product open and closed without having to try to get a child on there each time I get what I want but then after this I'm thinking maybe what I need to do is even take a picture of like a cropped up of it on a woman in a bag yes poking out of a bag um and then um we did it for another web site that we're selling on where we laid it out, and then had the same diaper clutch folded and on the pad so you could see the open and great together. I think that that was hopeful, yeah, but, yeah, I think the opening close together, it also gives you a sense of, like, the scale closed versus the scale open. He, uh, you know, I think the first thing when I look at an image like this, I agree with you, they don't wow me, and I think, is you're trying to up the brand like, you want a little bit more of that, that visceral reaction, right? So you're you're trying to communicate the kind of that behavioral aspect use factor, but you also had people that have this, like, good gut reaction because that's the point it's supposed to be more stylish and and better looking and better design than anything else they found out there. So if you take a look at something like a safe site, like amazon compared to a site like maybe nordstrom's website or something, the first difference is the amount of white space that you see around a product, so this to me, is very amazon this is the way that amazon is going to style a product, right? It's gonna have ah pretty decent of white space and it's going to be really full on if you go to a website like nordstrom, neiman marcus it's cropped in way tighter ah ha! So the image fill the product, fills the frame and that's the first thing that I would do with you because it's also just going tio give you a little bit more, you know, this image actually appears pretty small, and so you start to lose kind of even what it isthe so if we can just and this is a simp that's a simple fix because all you do is you take your photo and you crop it were night, so that suddenly appears bigger. So that's the first trick that I would use. And then I think, um, me, come back to this other other image, you know, this one's a little bit better and that you see a little more. But now, as we blow it up, I can see there's still a lot of white space, right? So again, if I can kind of crop in and I think the other thing that you could do that would really help is some nice details. Almost like some sexier details so we looked at the way that apple shows the apple watch where it's like it's meant to be that even though it's a product that's about its functionality, those details are meant to give you this sense of it's a really like you want that object it's that visceral reaction right? So what are some nice kind of areas? I realize it's a diaper clutch it's not awhile, right? But I think there's still probably some areas where you could pull out a detail that makes a little bit more sense of right and then you also might decide till you're done with the whole brand upscale decision maybe the white background isn't the best two background I was thinking that while you were showing some of the other examples like even if I just went and got like slabs of tile from like a hardware store and maybe set right like so this sat on or maybe that's what was so this stylish fashionable mom like what? What lives in her bathroom or like, how are they doing the bathroom of like the fancy trendy restaurant that she's at right that could really help kind of set the stage? And obviously again, you still need this type of product photography whether it's dealing with like your e commerce merchants that you're working with are sending depress you still do need this white background but on your website you have the opportunity to tell any visual story you want with your product and this might I don't think is the most compelling story alright yeah, some cushy couch I mean, where do people use it? You know they use it all over the place, right? Uh, yeah, I mean, primarily, like, on a changing table in a public restroom yeah, I worked, I went back to their car, I wouldn't shoot it on a couch because I found that it for things other than pillows, couch images tend to look unprofessional for some reason it just never translates well, but I think taking cues from, like, right, I'm in the really I'm in the fancy bathroom of the swanky restaurant we went out to dinner and and but we still to bring the kids along because we couldn't get a sitter, right? Right? And so you want to kind of you want to make a mess in that fancy bathroom that's kind of the picture that you want to portray totally what we're getting from the online audience what's really interesting and ellie be jewellery is just suggested how out of pretty dresser in a child's bedroom that's another place records where most diaper changing gets taken, but a lot of comments of people saying that look at your website there's complete absence of babies stylish moms, too, for that matter thing, that same warehouse, you know, put a mama in a cool urban setting with a sheet bag on putting the product away with ease that yeah, you know, you mentioned, like in the purse for sure, but I do. I think lifestyle photography is so important for you. And actually someone shared an image in the in the gallery that we were looking at on the brake that is this, I believe it's, a baby sling, but it was this beautiful herb and setting with the super striking, like the coolest mom it's, probably a little more urban than your brain needs to go, but whoever's, prop photograph it was kudos to you because it was fantastic s o that was someone who really understood like that the mom wants to feel a certain way. So I think in your case, the absence of babies is actually less problematic than the absence of the stylish mom and also they're saying, though, the counteraction to the breast of dresses thing because people are saying this isn't on the go product is not think the bag is more important than the dresser, they say. How about a picture of a mom with any items sticking out of her back, who's, walking past a high end museum or getting into a high end car? Yeah, I think that's the next step for sure is that there needs to be more of that lifestyle photography on and I would venture a guess that you have an entire group of stylish mom friends. In addition to yourself, I d'oh. So I think in your case, the model problems should be solved fairly easily. Yeah, and it's probably worth working with a professional photographer on this one. Yeah, you get a bunch of your old friends together, pick a day, pick a couple of a kind of very upscale settings, right in front of the fancy restaurant in front of the nice museum near the nice cars, you know, pick the upscale locations were this stylish mom wants to go anywhere she wants to go, but she's thinking she can't because she's got the kids in tow, so making her feel like yes, with this product, I can go anywhere totally anything else from our online group, they're still sharing different ideas, et cetera, yeah, it's interesting, they've got lots of different ideas, but I think we've covered most of them great and then also probably change it so that it's not black to mask, but it has, like, a fun uh, yes, change the names that they're a little more fun, right, and I mean maybe in the case of these color ways they're not actually descriptive of the pattern at all but they're reflective of like urban locations or like things that names that you expect to hear well a swanky restaurant or you know something that again gives that name a little more pizazz something that's not relevant necessary to this but it just it did strike me is also the last time you were here for megan's previous course the elastic looks makes the product looked cheap and it is I was one of you thought about you know, fancy elastic your scrunches or something like that that would be a little bit more stars so the elastic is really the functionality piece to it the reason why we've gone with the elastic in that one in particular is because it's so durable and a mom can put a load while we don't recommend it because you're going to be carrying around something that feels like a cinder block in your purse but you could put in a stack of sixty four count wipes in it and it'll hold it and you don't have to worry about it falling out or you could do something with as little as eight on dh it would be fine it's going to totally stay put and not move so and and it works with any brand that's the other thing is that the flaps the plastic flaps on all the wipes very um, so it's finding something that would I kind of wondered, teo, you know, maybe it's a case where you can't be the only brand who needs to use elastic for something in a way that in a product that you're trying to make feel a little more upscale, so maybe it's like a contrast ing stitching or, you know, maybe do a little bit of looking just to see if anyone else in a completely unrelated field using something like elastic that could maybe help me figure out upscale it a little bit, totally awesome. All right, let's, take a look at sarah. So do you have you just have the one the one image for each right right now and tell us what you're thinking, kind of with what you've got right now. I was thinking, just get it up there because, uh, it's the opposite of conscious decision making. Yeah, honestly, photography has been a huge problem for me in a block, and, um, I'm just taking them with my my phone, just teo, yeah, because I haven't been able to figure out well, I mean, I'm just actually getting to my the whole brand here just kind of starting there now, anyway, so so if you were going to kind of based on all those questions that I presented to you now if you're gonna come back and redo this what do you thinking you want to do like what's your what's your vision for the way that you would photo the products I like the um is it for shortening where it's gotta showed up the field so it's kind of blurry in the back you see the front but then maybe you seymour of the chain right out of focus in the background right? How did you what kind of props to use? I mean rings air fine because they proper right on their own but necklaces and earrings and you don't need props, props or an option you don't need to use them, so in your case it might be more about the background. For instance, if you're shooting on that kind of warm grey as opposed to this sort of red, I think that's going to make the red papa maurin the piece so that's something I think right now it's sort of like this is fighting this and you don't get the sense when you see them in person that red really pops but on the red they just fight each other so making sure so maybe it's you know it's either on that gray or it's on and talked about the chocolate brown no thinking about that and I think in your case too deciding what the background color is gonna be of your website is probably gonna influence the background color of the photos because you might decide that what you actually really want to dio is make the entire website color a warm grey and the products also on a warm grace that the backgrounds just blend and you get the product you just see product, or maybe you decide, you know, the background color of the website needs to be a little deeper, and the product sits on a lighter background. I don't think that's quite right, I think with the silver you need a darker background still, but not something that fights with the red and then definitely model shots for you. Yes, so what do you thinking in terms of that? Well, the the shopify sight that I've I got a template for has the entire top of it. The photograph right goes there's no border and I so I have a vision of a model with a collection of, you know, necklaces, earrings, cuffs, and I was thinking of it being sexy. I don't know if that's quite right, but not do not not I haven't garishly, but what you're saying because you have these people that have come through this transition and they still want to feel right like a woman, sexy and beautiful and yeah, the fire is fire. There's access that it that fire? Yeah. So, yeah, I want I want her to be strong and in touch with that sensual sensual is a better word. I like that that's. Perfect sensual. Yes, I think that's great. And so that's an invention that you're thinking it's just gonna be on the home page that's the front of the page and then the images I was thinking of, um, maybe three with if a necklace section yes. So close ups on a model, right? And then as you click on that, then you just get a plane photography shots, not on models. I do think it with your product it's useful to have both a plane shot and a model shot on every product page if you can make that happen because what happens is people more and more and more don't come into your website through the front door through the home page right there, coming into a spin isaac product page that's, particularly the case with something like it with pinterest where they're coming over, but even off of facebook, if you're trying to promote something specific, you're not going to send them to the home page, you're going to send them to that product, right? So people are coming into particular product pages and they may never actually get to the home page, so if you're relying on too much information on the home page, they're never going to see that. So I think it's really key to at least have a cropped model shot of of the pendant so that people can see the scale. Now the beauty of something like your product is that if you shoot any of your penance that are the same size, you shoot them on a model, you can use that same photo and you can actually just swap out the design in the photo, let me actually show you, since we're on since we're on the internet, I'm to show you what I mean, and jake, do we have some comments coming in from doing that? Megan megan is online and she's saying, could you just let us know what are the good jape excises to use the photos on a website? And do you ever use video? Do you think somebody of video wearing the product might actually be helpful as well? So for something like someone, something with jewelry, I don't think video is super supermen necessary, I think it's one hundred percent necessary for someone like monica, where you've got a really demonstrably product, right? That's what they always say that video is best when it's a demonstrable when you can demonstrate something so now for someone just wearing a necklace it's not going to tell you anything that something that's been on my to do list is you like I have these bracelets that I designed were talking about them earlier that slip on and off your wrist in a really interesting way that's the perfect case for video because I can't communicate that I can I can try to tell you, but it's so much easier when I could just show you look, it slips on and it's really easy, right? So that's a perfect example for video. Yeah, and do you feel about how about rotating images on the home page people? Megan again is saying that some people have told her that a static pages much more success. Issel but what have you found? Static is a rotating isn't like the images flip through. I haven't found again much difference that because I don't think that many people are as many people are coming to our home page as you think they are. I think they're coming in again from other places on that said even if you're using a static page, change up the products on your home page from time to time that's really important partly because of people do come to your home page and it's always the same they start to wonder, is anybody home? Right? So especially with our small businesses there's a lot of trust that has to come in right? You know, if you order something off of amazon or anthropology it's going to show up right? If you're ordering something from a small independent designer, you hope it's going to show up but you don't actually know that one hundred percent for certain and if the website hasn't changed in months and months and months and you flip over to the blogging the last post is from seven months ago, you're probably not going to order right because you're going to be really nervous that the product is never going to show up so just simple things like switching out the products on your home page could make it a big difference there, so I want to show you really quick just what I'm talking about uh so I mentioned this idea that you can go ahead and switch out a necklace so I actually shot this necklace on this model using, you know opposed? I was really happy with and I after them session happened. I thought I wish I had shot a couple other necklaces on this set up because it was really good, so what I actually did was I went in and I photoshopped those other necklaces and now I know that's probably not something in your skill set sara, but any good photographer could do that very quickly for you so in your case this one's actually a little funky and needs a little touch up but you can see it again if we go in you know? So this is a very different scale in this necklace but I used the same shop right? So I don't have to shoot it over and over again um so yeah so you could shoot one product you know, one model and then all of your penance that air that same size you just full of those out and that's actually much easier job than even doing what I did there so so okay, so that's the product page that we're looking at right now that you're saying so you think that there should always be a model shot plus the product ideo alone? Okay, I think on every product page of something that's wearable there should be a product highlighted by itself and a model shot because otherwise people don't know scale and again you can write dimensions they're not going to read them and even if they read them, they're not actually going to know what they mean. You say it's an inch and a half people who don't make things cannot visualize what an inch and a half is and they probably don't have a ruler laying around and they're not going to check right? So they can't visualize that the same thing you know with you monica you khun list dimensions what's way more useful is to see it in the context of a purse, right? I don't care how big it is I care how big it is in my purse so that tells such a stronger story, taking images in locations, upscale restaurants, things like that that will really help your your your brandy. But do you need releases for all of that orgy? Just asking, trying way with it? I am not a lawyer, we'll start there. I am not a lawyer, but what I would say is if you're going to have any ones name or logo appear yes, you probably need a release, and if you're going to shoot on someone else's property, you should ask permission. So again, I'm not a lawyer, but those air, then there's a pretty good advice guidelines to live by melissa ross that question awesome. So I would love our studio audience to share maybe what changes they need to make in their brands photography so how you mentioned that we should probably get permission? What about for the ones that were doing just like on social media? If we're going to post something on instagram like yesterday, we referenced me doing like per shots and, you know, looking in my purse with a clutch and all that what I need to get releases on every purse that ever know. So it sounds like instagram there's enough of the culture that you could probably just take that image and you'd be fine now that said, I would tag that other brand, okay, so that, you know, I mean, if you're going to shoot with a kate spade purse, why not tide kate spade? First of all, there's a chance that kate spade might repost it right? That's that would be amazing, right? But even if not, then at least you're you're being respectful of the fact that I'm showcasing other people's products, too. You know, if someone was showing their person your diaper clutch, you want them to tag you totally give you credit so that's what I would do there? Yeah, ninja dog design is saying I need to invest in a light box for sure that they've identified from following along. Lisa efforts aimed for my fine art prints. I really need to do lifestyle shots national marsh mueller is saying exactly the same thing. I need more lifestyle shots with models for her mummers and babies um, time capsule old may be in the same business line because they're saying we need to show a bag of diapers or white next to our baby. Time capsule to show a scale or size that they picked up on the same thing they're on lisa for same for my graphic design work as the new brand develops our hope to use shots of how people have used the graphics um and I think too, you know, for the person who said light box is important, one of those bonuses that die photography resource I have some actual resource is on both buying light boxes but also making your own. So if you wanted really die, why that that resource is in there as well? Awesome. Now rose want to through the same we are switching from primarily action photos, too, in studio shots we were from all around the world, so we need a formula that's easily replicated fashion focus instead of action location focused. We have invested in studio lights and backdrops in our headquarters so they can have these images. Awesome, yeah, and that's a great point. Any time you can actually set up a designated space, it makes it so much easier to photograph. I have a table that just when I'm not piling stuff on it and being bad that's my photography table and things just live there so that's a really, really helpful tool as well on what simply everybody is recognizing what you're saying, meghan is that consistency is really impor yes the kids and that's again where if you khun batch the photography it's easier to be consistent take all of your product and shoot it one way at the same time so if you have to do those three different types of shots if you want todo no a background, a white background and a model shoot all the background at once with all the different products then shoot all the white background then shoot all the model stuff so as much as you can match that together really helps awesome so you shoot on a white background um yes there there was a service that will you send them and within twenty four hours they'll send it back to you they take the white is that oh yeah I would absolutely recommend yeah that's totally fine to use the service that's a great question don't feel like you have to die why any of this and there's a lot of companies that are popping up now that will do really quick, efficient at least white background product photography and particularly in jewelry there's amazing photographers you could work with to do any of those other background pieces so don't be afraid to use them for sure I happen to like photography it's just something that's always been an interest of mine so makes total sense for me to shoot myself but if that's not your skill set farm it out that is more than ok just remember to have the conversations about those conscious decisions because you don't want them to just do what they're doing for everyone else because it's the way they're used to working all right so now we want to talk just a little bit about protecting your brand right? So now we're building all of these visual pieces and we really want to make sure now that we feel okay you know that we're gonna put them out in the world and we have to worry that something it was gonna happen that people are gonna rip us off first of all, don't worry about it you can't control everything and it's not worth stress point that's why we're not goingto really belabor this we're going to go over a few basics here so first of all the best defense is a good offense be the visionary be the creative if you're constantly innovating with your brand if you're constantly creating designs that people know is yours instead of copying someone else to begin with or modifying someone else that's the best way to protect your brand is too be as distinctive as possible because what happens then is that if someone does copy you you're going to hear about it from six, ten, twelve, fifty other people hey this person is copying you so that's the best defense in terms of protecting your brand do you also want to hide your brand because you fear being copied that is so old thinking you have to get over that it is yeah we're in a new time the internet is not going away if you want to sell things, you have to put your product out there plain and simple you have to put stuff out there I know this is particularly scary for our photographers, right? Because there's a lot of image sharing happening you know, one great thing that I actually saw someone talking about a reference to pinterest I think it's a really fun strategy for all photographers is you know, if you have bigger images crop for details and post those online, so for those of you who are trying to sell a photography service or sell photographs you maybe don't have to share the whole piece and that could kind of give you that little bit of protection but obviously for our product people get the product out there fishing one from many people do you have that fear? People do have that here for sure, andi just unfortunately you have to get over it right? And, you know, we're talking about things like logos and stuff, so I know that people are probably also asking questions about water marking I don't recommend it because it it what a watermark especially a big water mark across your image says is I'm scared it's a huge banner that says I'm scared of the internet and that is not I think the brand image that anyone wants to portray and last your target audience is those dudes that drop out and hide in the woods then water mark like crazy right? Those guys are also scared of the internet right but everybody else we don't want that banner but this has been an issue from time immemorial I mean from the very first days of retail you could put a very expensive dress in your window and two days later cheap copies in somebody exactly it's you know it's not something you can get away from so you might as well just embrace the fact that I rather promote and we're on the risk of getting copied than not promote and not make money so also your images when you post them it's all recorded so right and that's what we're going to talk about here is a little bit of that legal protection so in terms of protecting you have the two areas that we talk about our copyright and trademark uh we don't really have time to get in a patents now that might be an area that is important for you because okay perfect great so the difference having a copyright in a trademark is that copyright protects original works of authorship so that includes things like music books, movies, artistic works you know poetry, novels, songs, computer software, architecture copyright does not protect fax ideas systems methods of operation so it doesn't cover a patent so copyright does not cover the way that monica's diaper clutch functions copyright also protects all original works of authorship on your website so your website design both the entire package and the individual elements are actually protected by copyright so the whole the whole thing someone can copy your website and re create it that's copyright infringement they also can't take your text on your website copy that and put it on their website copyright protection does does cover that on your website as well it is important to know the copyright rarely protects fashion and accessories design if your piece of fashion if your jewellery if your accessory has a very very sculptural quality if it starts to fall more into that art realm than functional fashion then it could be covered under coffee right but for the most part you have a hard time protecting that kind of area under copyright now the images that you take of your products those air one hundred percent productive under copyright but the product itself that design may not be it's the way it is there's a movement to change that but I just want to kind of point that out copyright is automatic at the time of creation you make a creative work you take the picture you paint the painting you know you publish your design on your website copyrights automatic but if you want to pursue legal protection, you have to register with the u s copyright office and again I apologize for our international viewers for most of you it's probably very similar to what we're talking about here but I can't speak to us specifically also I'm not a lawyer just so we're clear on that and this is not legal advice uh so if you need to sue someone for copyright infringement you have to file first and that wives tale about you put it in an envelope and sent it to yourself it's just that it's a wives tale the on ly way to have that official protection is to register through the copyright office now the other option is a trademark a trademark protects words, phrases, symbols or designs so a trademark can protect your logo it can protect your business name it can protect your tag line and it can protect various combinations of those so you khun trademark your tag line the way it's written anywhere anyplace or the same thing with your business name but then you went also trademark your business name as always represented in a specific fun as your logo so there's a lot of nuance there this is one of those or if you really want teo officially register something you should absolutely work with ah lawyer who's versed in type which is intellectual property but you can actually common law trademark things just by using the tm symbol right so that I am you don't have to register anywhere but what it says is I own the rights to use this so I put tm behind my tagline make a statement every day what I'm saying is I came up with this phrase I trade market I owned it I have the exclusive right to use it you don't now the thing with trademarks is they must be constantly defended or they could be lost so I better be paying attention and if I see someone else using the phrase make a statement every day in that same way as a tagline I better be calling and saying no no no no you can't do this because if it just starts popping up everywhere and I don't do anything about it a trademark judge is going to say you didn't protect it it's gone you always hear this story a lot with clean next right? So you're not supposed to call it the tissue the kleenex it's kleenex brand tissue because if you call something kleenex and it becomes part of the common vernacular language it loses its power is a trademark so that makes all this kind of a pain in the butt right? Because there is no I p police there's no one out there making sure that no one else is using your logo or using your copyrighted images there's no one there's there's no law enforcement branch that does that they have better things to do in their time you have to be the eyes and ears paying attention that's why that best? You know the best you know often very best events is a good offense because if people are paying attention for you, you're going to know if someone's ripping you off now that said, there are just a couple of basic brand protection things that you guys khun dio to at least make people aware that you're serious about protecting your brand place the copyright notice at the bottom of all of your websites the nice thing is that if you're using a premade theme it's probably already there right? That's my shopify shop, that little thing at the bottom that just happens automatically thank you theme designer so a lot of times you don't even have to worry about it right? It's also a good idea if you're really concerned to post a use policy on your website so this is a good one especially for you photographers now this is going to vary if you're a product person, you might say please use my images with attribution you might want people to post your products on blog's and you might not want every blogger tohave to email you before they d'oh but if you have content that you're worried that people are going to share in a way, that's not appropriate you can put a use policy on so no part of this web site, including the images or blogged pose just maybe were reproduced without our consent for him. Permission please contact us it's not a huge legal ground to go on, but it at least says to someone, hey, I'm paying attention to this stuff maybe go rip off somebody else instead write it says I'm a little more serious, but it's pretty subtle this is not like this is we've scroll down my sidebar it's at the bottom so it doesn't scream I'm afraid of the internet, but it says, hey, I pay attention and then the last one is to add the tm to your low blows and taglines and I know because I got this question from someone before, if I use my logo on a lot of that's, a lot of effort, right, I have to change like a million versions of my logo. Yes, you d'oh! We're not gonna lie to you if you want to put it on there. Yes, you d'oh! So you have to decide how important is it for you to have that ground to defend that, right? So that is at least the basics that I would do in terms of your copyright protection again don't freak out about all this we're gonna put our brands out there, we're gonna build great brands and I just want you to know all of this in the back of your head in case you have to do something about it and what you should do what should you do if someone copies you? You should call a lawyer at the end of the day you should call a lawyer who's versed in I p you can certainly send the person a cease and desist letter you can ask them to stop, but all of that is going to be stronger if it comes from a lawyer who knows what they're doing. I would call a lawyer I wouldn't try to do the internet shaming route again that just doesn't look well on your brand hire a lawyer to deal with it behind the scenes that's the best thing that you can do in terms of that so I know that was a really quick introduction to that we have any questions on that as we head into the break, people have been really engaged with this eye xander's saying thank you, megan, I feel very empowered. I can't stop saying to my boyfriend how much I'm glad I've taken this class and how amazing you are I think this particular segment is really resonated people because this is really the nuts and bolts of what you need to do absolutely yeah you know, woodland was just saying. I was just redesigning my website. And this segment just made me realize. I really didn't put any thought into the background. So, thanks, man.

Class Description

Every small business owner shares two common goals: increasing sales and marketing more effectively. One of the most powerful ways to achieve these goals is to define and tell the story of who you are as a creator. That story is your brand, and a strong understanding of how to tell that story to your customers will take your business to new heights.

In Brand Your Creative Business, you’ll explore what makes your business a unique brand and find ways to share it. You’ll learn about implementing a brand strategy and growing and protecting it. Megan Auman will teach:

  • Why branding matters
  • How to define your brand
  • Storytelling to promote your business
  • How to develop a strategy to implement your plans

You’ll leave this course equipped and energized to create a strong, consistent presence in every aspect of your company – from packaging to customer interaction and beyond. You’ll also develop the confidence use colors, logos, and fonts to reflect your style - even if you’re not a designer

Whether you’re an Etsy seller looking to grow or an occasional crafter trying to build a full-time business, this course will give you the tools you need to connect with customers and sell more products.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Resources.pdf

Megan Auman - Branding Bibliography.pdf

Megan Auman - DIY Photography Resources.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Syllabus.pdf

Megan Auman - Brand Your Creative Business Workbook.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

I was drawn in immediately. Megan's ability to tender precise, goal-oriented, and REAL life experience-infused information is what captivated me the most...AND...I logged in 30 minutes late on the first day of her class. I am excited to know that her course is STILL available, and on sale a couple of days after it aired live. TY CreativeLive for this opportunity; it is truly a gift to myself which will keep on giving...I have often used storytelling to build my brand, but Megan's guidance has given me a structured approach, which I really needed. Paying it forward, and sharing her amazing course with others will be a joy, as I feel an obligation to others I know, and those I have yet to know, all who will benefit from her plethora of carefully cultivated information. Her use of emotional connections to build a brand, and to reach a solid audience based on one's authentic voice is clear, clean, and easy to follow. Thank You Megan Aumen!


This is such a great class! Great content, great advice, great examples...great, great, great!! I'm so happy that I have a clear path to create a great brand for my business. Very empowering! I especially love the bonus information, especially the video on how to make your own logo in Illustrator. Exactly the information I've been looking for. Great job, Megan!

Laura Captain Photography

I'm in the process of launching a creative business and this class was what I was looking for. With procrastination and indecision cast aside, I will now confidently plan and carry out a productive and well organized branding strategy of my own. Before this class I felt somewhat confused and overwhelmed by all the miscellaneous branding information I had been trying to piece together. Even though I already knew some of the information she covered in the class, she put her own spin on it, gave some great examples and put it in an easy to follow plan. I particularly liked the segments related to naming your business and social media branding because I had a lot of questions on those topics. I'm very excited to get started with branding my business and I'm so glad I took the time to go through Megan's class, it will be so worth it in the long run. A big shout out to Megan, I love your business branding, your jewelry and your teaching style, great work!