Branding: Define Your Brand
Defining that brand will help you create a product mix that is uniquely you and you uniquely your business let's discuss what branding is okay james heat and said this branding is not a push you don't push your clients to do anything you pull them in you draw them in branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization product or service or artist okay the essential truth what is an essential truth to find out what's essential to truth we've been talking about it this whole day and a half here your purpose what you believe your essential truth is what you believe branding is the expression of what you believe or the value of what you believe of an artist okay it's the communication of characteristics, values and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not so when you communicate your brand it's just characteristics it's a personality okay marketing is what you do branding is who you are marketing is what you do to talk about yourself brandi...
ng is who you are is a business so imagine your businesses you okay? James hit against a branding is strategic marketing is tactical that makes sense that resonate branding is strategic strategy marking its tactical action so think about for lack of a better analogy going toward someone when I can think of a negative but when general is trying to figure out how to goto war he straps prestige his strategic say that five times fast he strategic he thinks about who they are as an army and what their qualities are tactical is the method in which they're going to attack does that make sense? So I read this quote to marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort that resonate the brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room that's a good one, isn't it it's what sticks in your mind associated with a product service organization or artist whether or not at that particular moment you bought or did not buy it's the feeling associated with the company marketing on earth and activates buyers branding makes loyal customers advocates even evangelists of those who by is it all sinking in now? It's kind of putting into more perspective what marketing and branding is and people confuse the two terms of constantly but they're very, very different. So think of your brand as the face of your business, its personality okay, your logo is the eyes, nose and ears and mouth don't go changing it every thirty seconds because imagine if you had plastic surgery every minute people wouldn't trust you they'd be like, you know, nose job and I job whatever you change your logo a thousand times, people will be like that person's weird they won't want to do it because there won't be any trust involved but when your logo the actual face of your business it stays the same and it's timeless and elegant and purposeful that trust starts right there and the logo is not your brand it's a teeny tiny piece a little pc part of it okay but it is your faith every time someone sees your logo they should think of your brand okay let's start naming logos nike you think the grand rite adidas get brand nordstrom simple elegant logo thank the brand pottery barn all these companies have very simple timeless logos I hate my logo I'm so sick of it I've had it since two thousand six it's the first logo ever did and I'm like oh well maybe they'll start a second longer I change my lover one month into my business so I've had the same logo for so many years and you just a minute you're sick of it everyone else knows it okay so don't change it if you can't stick to something and then meld that into your brand and think of your local as the face don't be doing plastic surgery every year people won't trust you okay so how do you develop a brand? It starts with you the artist as we've been discussing discovering your sense of style your artist's inner voice will help you to find your brand for me I had a real hard time with us it took me a couple of years a really good strategy is to make a pinterest board okay, so go I mean, I'm sure most of you know what pinterest is and it's kind of an online a lot of women are on their way, but men are too and it's you can just kind of pin things from the internet it's like a bulletin board and you could make separate bulletin boards and if you want to go to my printer sport, you can kind of take a look at mine and you'll definitely see my brand under the board that I have that says branding inspiration and I just pin things in there that I really feel speaks my brand fonts images of the ocean, clothing, textures, furniture anything that I really feel is kind of me and the way I want my studio to look anything does that just calls my name and you'll find that as things call your name over and over and over again there is a unique thread that ties them all together, okay? And that thread is your brand starting to develop then eventually you'll discover yourself being drawn to certain colors all time can you tell what my colors are? You know what color they are? Brown gray cream neutral I'm a neutral girl occasionally with a public color here and there look, look at the images around here things are pretty neutral, okay? I love that timeless neutral against and overtime is you start to pair these things together and make that board you'll discover okay, I like break covers. Wow that's me that resonates with me I like clean lines but thoughts with a little surprise and all these things started coming together and when you make it I mean even do images like I love the ocean and the breeze I have this fascination with the wind fascination with the wind I think the wind is the most beautiful thing ever, especially with the way it makes things flow. So what is that that's a flow that's a journey that's in a serial quality? All those things are babies, they lend themselves to babies and I'm bringing that into babies so a pinterest board is a really good exercise, too kind of makeup ran and one of your homework assignments tonight is going to be make a pinterest board that's all about your brand if you really have one great go search pinterest and kind of look for things search for landscapes, scenes or just type in a color on pinterest images with blue teal blue is like one of my favorite colors in the whole world okay, so do that and that will help you kind of really determine some things about yourself aesthetically emotionally and ask yourself I'm keeping drawn to images that have the wind in them what is that about the wind that I love what qualities is the wind possess that sink make my heart sing the wind wind wind outside blowing weather you know whether big must come from there you know long ago fascination maybe when I was a kid I got blown over something who knows? So once you have it do not deviate from it that's the thing and it may take you a couple of years it took me about two years to find my brand three years my sister had the same issue she rebranded last year and it took her seven months to define her brand after she was re branding I mean she had had a brand and now she's redoing it okay, so this is not something that just happens overnight you really have to explore deeply inside who you are, what you love what you're about, what your values are and your purpose your why? Okay so I know this is and it's released things people just want the answer there's what's what is it it's more work than that you have to be patient with yourself and let it evolve crushed the inner critic crushed the inner critic he's evil he's evil okay, but once again once you know you have it and you'll know in your heart you know it don't you there's things you love and they just speak to you just oh, I know I love that it's a gut feeling it's that inner brain that's responsible for all decisions in our head the emotional brain something just tells me I love this I don't know what it is but I love it follow that voice okay for further reading in studies style statement bye mccarthy and report is a wonderful book for discovering your sense of style and your inner voice there's a lot of exercise is in that book I highly highly recommend doing it it's for anyone this is not for photographers this's for any person discovering their own personal style but since you're an artist and your business is you this is a fantastic book for really discovering who you are as a person and what your style statement is the day designer by winnie english I just bought this is actually a yearlong planner it's like a calendar planner but in the front she has this huge questions section air section questionnaire section yeah try to talk clearly but sometimes it just doesn't come out can I call that a blonde moment scott that blonde moment anyway okay, so the data is guarded by winning that she has a wonderful questionnaire section in the front that asks you to really consider your style in your brand and it's you know it's a nice little day designer you can kind of keep appointment schedules and things like that and as well, but I really enjoyed that front section and help me out a lot, so I'm going to recommend it just cause I think it's a neat book and these are not photography things I'm a big advocate of going outside the photography industry for inspiration for not only in business but in your work as well guys feel better or you feel overwhelmed like it sounds like fun so glad I thought I'd overwhelm people think only god really oh anyway good that's good to know so I'm happy I think people know they know that they know what's in their heart yeah and just people lack the confidence to really sing that and go yes this is it and it comes back to that whole question of self worth you don't think you're good enough the whole world around you like these three ladies were telling me about their friends and family are so supportive you do it it's you who's telling your little inner critic over here george is a pain in the boot shut him up. Okay, yeah, I will say in all of the credit life workshops have posted in all the photographers I've met, the branding and who you are your statement about yourself people are always questioning it always want to change it everyone always want to change their website and we talked about this and workshops of forward people they give you your car and with your website and they're like but it's really bad right now it's my website it's terrible I know it's just it's like the thing that you say when you tell people to go to your website yeah, I do it all the time so I mean it's just interesting how people very few people I know are just solid with their branding and I wasn't either it took me years to get solid and to have that confidence is that's why I want to encourage people by saying don't expect this to happen overnight but do put your heart and soul into it because you need to do it and let the process of all behalf alicia really like hits home for me with the new studio I want people to walk in and know what business at my colors or black red and silver so like everything I buy for the studio and like doesn't fit my brand can I shoot with yeah, I make money with it too if I wanted to walk in and like oh my everything I do all my marketing stuffs like those colors and I just want people to know where they're out when they get there what's your businesses personality um I like really crisp clean I don't like the soft focus stuff like that so I like bold bright colors chris clean lines um I don't want you to say anything aesthetic fun yes people have fun or take pictures yes don't stay away from the aesthetics tell me what your personality is in your business so fun good keep going give me an adjective uh who are you alicia you're fine you're sweet you're soft I can tell right away from meeting you you are quiet and I know there's a strong beautiful blond woman in there and I love that you said that so bring that into your brand bring that into india and everything that you do and the colors and the aesthetics just just support that it's like what we said yesterday when simon cynic said people don't buy what you believe that but we do it's the same with your rant okay your brand is who you are the aesthetic or what it looks like does that make sense your brand is who you are deep down in your why the how how your brand looks is purely aesthetic sit just supports the who and the why cynthia stephanie well I have a moment because I actually do like my website I redid it I think it's beautiful I like my logo I like my colors you know my studio matches it but what was missing I realizing is the connection to the y and my how that will influence products for instance, there's no connection between, you know what I'm feeling I can see you in your products, I can see you and your why in your products, but I can't see it in mine, and so now I think that taking it the next step, I just wrote down a transformation studio and that just said suddenly, like, oh my gosh, that's it, dad, you and that's it! And so now if I can apply that to products and my message and how I'm presenting myself to clients in the pre consultation everything it's all connected, why connects it all? I totally see it everything we do it's really, really excited it's cool. I like all of a sudden it's, like becomes a little easier because if you just find the wise like, oh, well, that's incident of my wife so I'm not gonna do it. Oh that's perfect! They where's my I don't know if I have it here. I don't know if I brought it. I don't think I did. I just developed a new product like last week I went to a company called craft and juice sarah petty lead me over there and I fell over their stuff I'm like, oh my gosh so me and I immediately ordered one of their barn wood boxes they have these beautiful little handmade boxes from reclaimed barn wood I mean, that is so me so us immediately can picture it. And so I put twelve matted campus is inside the box and that's a new product my calluses perfect elevated high end and it only cost me eighty dollars to produce and I'm charging seven hundred for it okay, so the product development sometimes just come spontaneously oh yes my brand that's me let's get it let's try it let's test it, you'll see what it's going to work but then sometimes products you'll have them in your studio over time you realize they're not selling and then you'll go is this really who I am? Maybe we should cut a few things, so be willing to go both directions. Okay let's, talk about mission for a second should you ultra specialize? Okay, I do believe in teaching however, I think it highly depend on the market you're in some towns if you're in a little town I know I called bend podunk yesterday and the other people on the internet were saying no, I live in such a such a it's a really potent I agree in smaller towns you can't necessarily specialize there's not enough business but in a town I mean and I'm in a pretty small town eighty eight thousand my entire demographic area has about two to three hundred thousand including all three counties but the you know I mean I'm just big enough of a town where I can actually specialize ok in a large city you betcha all you folks in large cities you are more than more than possible to specialize matter of fact you probably should okay when I need I've been doing newborns forever my first new my first newborn was actually my first paying client her name was melanie wing go and she was an anchor at the television station that I was working at the time and I had just been demoted in my job I have been working the problem with television tv news is one of those weird things it's it's kind of for lack of a better word slave labor full negative years constantly with negative news rapes murders child abductions every day I mean who wants to do with that kind of negative and we used to joke about things that you shouldn't joke about I mean just to survive mentally that's what we would dio and so I was doing the morning show and a new news director came in and he decided to switch things up and they have the power to do that they can't literally pay you less but they can put you on a different show and kind of demote you that way so I was doing mornings five days a week and I got moved to what's called the iron man shift on the weekends okay, so you do all shows all days I went to work at three in the morning on saturday left at nine a m came back at three in the three in the afternoon work till midnight came back sunday morning at three am work till nine am went back to work a two three pm and got off at midnight the iron man shift so you can see how I was really depressed I was like this suck and that was when I decided to be a photographer I have been shooting since I was fifteen years old. My dad got me a nikon eight thousand eight film camera from my birth fifteenth birthday and I really wanted to be a photojournalist that was kind of my thing and I went to syracuse university in journalism and got sucked into the broadcast world because I love the combination of emotion and I felt like video could tell could give emotion more than a still image could and boy was I wrong I was so wrong but it took becoming a broadcaster and going through that process to really discover what I what my why was and what I really wanted to do so my first client was a baby anywhere maybe it was terrible she loves the images to this day she would probably you know, she still tells me how much she loves her kids like eight years old now, but I I look back on this image then like, how could issue that? Oh, you know the feeling you've all done it I should I wish I could dig it up I don't even know where it is but I would show you guys you would see how terrible it is anyway, so I've been shooting newborns for awhile, but it wasn't until I had my own baby that I decided tto ultra specialize, okay? Leah rimmel it said when you try to be everyone's photographer, you end up being no one's first choice isn't that powerful wording she runs go for pro photographers go for pro dot com I think and she said I have her little email newsletter and she sent us out with this quote mint I thought, oh my gosh, that is so brilliant when you try to be everyone's photographer you end up being no one's first choice so true if you do babies family's weddings, seniors commercial headshots yada yada yada why would a baby photographer come to you when someone else down the streets specializing in it's just like the german automaker excuse me? The less you say the mercedes guy, the guy who fixes mercedes. Okay, do you think someone who owns a bmw is going to take his car to the mercedes guy? Possibly he knows german automobiles, doesn't he? You think I get requests for seniors and weddings and all that all the time, especially on the holidays? Do I do if I want to? I actually get more requests for families now than I did when I was marketing, which is so strange to me, it's such an oxymoron, it seems like it shouldn't make sense, right? But when you alter specialize all of a sudden the community thinks she must be so good she could do one thing that cool that's truly what they think my client's kind of like, oh, you're the new born photographer that's, why we come to you? And then of course, you get the newborn world is wonderful because then you just keep getting them as they come back and they get older. You know, I'm waiting for the day when I get to shoot my first senior, who I actually photographed as a newborn that would be just super cool, but a few years down the road to wait for that. So when you generalize when you try to be everyone's photographer, you end up being no one's first choice in a small town, I don't agree in a teeny tiny town to survive, you may have to be a generalist, so keep that in mind it's really market dependent but when you specialize you are low volume, you are highly skilled in one or two areas you put me on a wedding and I croak I don't touch that with a ten foot pole I would be awful if he should be terrible I mean remember I'm going to make her I'm not a taker and weddings are all about taking okay it's easier to market to do you see why you're only marketing to one thing it's much easier when you only have to focus on one thing it's easier to brand when you brand for seniors and babies and weddings oh whoa that's a complicated endeavor so focusing your efforts on a niche like that can really be useful. It could be really helpful and easier to cope with generalizing if you're in a smaller, tiny market or your high volume you need to you need to spend you need to generalize okay? There are times to generalize and obviously I'm speaking from a bit of a bias position I do shoot newborns okay, so keep keep in the back your head take it with a grain of salt it's harder to market it's more expensive to market okay, because you have to have three different areas of look and feel that all that all go into the same brand which is complicated. Okay, your your business we need to be highly highly organized to generalize you got to keep everybody in place you have the same sales systems have been talking about, but all that branding marketing, it can get a lot. I remember thinking I was overwhelmed when I was generalised. Then when I specialize, often everything being easier and my business doubled. Like I said, I don't recommend it for everybody. It just depends on what marker you in. So those in the chat rooms kind of evaluate what your what your market is and if you could do that or not and if you want to if you have something that you really love to shoot, I loved babies now you guys can tell baby just made my heart see I hold a baby then, like so if you feel that way about a specific subject, if when you go to a wedding it just makes your day and you even care that it's saturday night in your weekend that's a good sign you should specialize in weddings, okay? Questions before we move on internet questions, anybody want a chat or talk or kind of feel out what their brand is about? Yeah, so what if you are I'm a trained fine artist as well. What if you are working on a gallery career separate or alongside doing weddings or something more through marshall? Yeah, even if I mean, I do love weddings and I love people, so I loved doing that, but I don't want to give up yeah, the that's, the bane of the beginning, a person who's trying to specialize I mean, that's, like your biggest challenge is trying to say, okay, I need to make money, but I really want to go this route it goes like this, I'm saying I mean, I know that's really big, but just watch my hands, I'll explain everything know what I mean? Is it first, you know, you're doing a ton of weddings and very little commercial, but then eventually it's going to start going like this, the commercial is going to increase commercial, you're going to start to take fewer wedding's going, you're gonna grow like this and eventually the commercial's gonna take off and you can leave this behind. Does that make sense? Because you have to survive, you got to pay your bills, right? So I'm not advocating just go do it without any regard for recklessness, even though I am a pretty reckless business bring jump off the cliff swim so what do you know what I'm saying? Eventually? The you'll not have to do the weddings anymore but always keep in the back here in mind that focus I want to do commercial focus on commercial don't let weddings get in the way of your dream shoot them to survive but give yourself the time to pursue those interest that you love that follow I know it's really hard to do it it's not easy I'm not I don't want to say it's easy help at all you're like you know this is overwhelming I just say it let's talk about it some more a little bit later on dino lots people have the same question and there's really no easy answer I wish I could just say I do this and you'll be fine I can't I don't I wouldn't wantto lead you astray that way it's not easy tio start to specialize and I couldn't do it at first but what I did wass is I just all my marketing materials I changed to be babies website everything if you look at my website, there aren't any families on my website there's no seniors if you dig deep you might find a senior side of mine but it's not really online anymore I don't market, I'd hide it, so change all your materials to be this is what I do people will still know thatyou do weddings but you have to grow that commercial side of your business in order to do it right so it's going to be a bit of a growing pain but you're gonna have to make decisions and calculate what you need versus what you khun leave behind that makes sense so any other questions yeah I know there's some internet stuff yeah I wanted to get more into this conversation amanda sees question really resonated with me she said how do you decide what to specialize in I know it has to do with your why but what if you don't know what that is yet and I know you said you know if you love if you love to be at weddings that's what you need to do that's what you should do but I personally you know in the last five years I wanted to be a wedding photographer I want to be a pet photographer like I've gone down every path so did I what you want teo so did I so I kind of just want to talk about it's okay to not know and the only way that you necessarily are going to find out is if you go down a path exactly you can point you have to decide you hit the nail on the head susan I mean that was perfect I kind of said it better myself you have to try every route you know if you love it if you think you might love it go do it for a little bit you might not know until you do it and then I don't actually love this exactly I have know newborns forever but it took me four years four and a half years to really decide yeah that's what I want teo of being in business of being a pro so it takes a while sometimes and some people know right away and some people need a little more time to figure it out but yeah try that just made me think about the people in high school that knew they wanted to be doctors when they like eighth grade and you're looking at them like what billy we're in eighth grade and then they get to college and they change their major like ten times before they graduate something elmo and some people need to go down every branch of the tree before they want when they're trying to be who you are and don't knock yourself for that is what you need to do teo to figure it out everybody has a different path everybody has different needs everybody needs teo experiment and come to their answer in their own terms okay ready for one more? Yeah course julia can you is there any way you can break down the actual physical components of a brand like colors logo except it's a really good question thank you whoever who who who said that well that was that was you champion jim I'll answer you yes I know brand has an aesthetic but has a look it has a color has the texture it has a logo it has a design it has marketing materials that has a look I mean like here I'll go pull over my market materials you can kind of see what my brandis very textural birth announcements here products postcards okay there's a feminine there's a femininity to it there's color tone to it don't you think I lack of color okay very neutral very clean the textural a lot of organic quality to it when you open this up this is our under market that by the way if you buy the class this is you get this plus our studio butcher and all that good stuff so when you open this things are printed on canvas so when we tell you what we could do for you as a business this is all print on campus so when you pick it up and touch it it has a very textural quality to it and a very fine art feel right it's much different than just putting a photograph of their what I'm saying is I don't shoot pictures I photograph art I'm gonna make your baby art so yes there is an aesthetic to it but deeper down that aesthetic exudes the y it exudes thie who it exudes the emotion I mean if you don't know me and you haven't seen my work you look at my branding materials and you you feel something right? You feel fresh, you feel pure you feel a sense of innocents you feel a sense of earthy organic texture you feel something write a brand is who you are the aesthetic describes it so yes, it is things like color and texture and logo and lines and graphic design and all that but all that explains the who almost like dealing almost like a recipe. Yeah, it's not chicken soup is that's the brand and the the ingredients go in how it tastes right at the end of the day yeah, and how it makes you feel when you suck it in when you're second got a cold and feels so good good job, jim. You nailed it. Can I just say he makes the best chicken soup? Oh, I think that sounds like a challenge, jim, I want you to know, but you really have such a good analogy. I'm totally stealing and using it. Thank you. It is like a recipe. You have the noodles, you have the broth, you have the carrots, you have the chicken, they all get melded together to create this thing that smells and looks and makes you feel good