Segment 6 - Visual Branding Tips for Websites & Blogs
website tips. Grab a teen's attention with your beautiful images that the first thing they're gonna see, they don't see it. They're moving on. Teenagers have very short attention spans. So you gotta grab him either by your website or by your great word of mouth. Or however they're hearing about you. You got to grab him. And beautiful imagery is the way to do it with them. They want to see something that attracts their aesthetic. Um, clean, crisp design. Uh, why did Why do teenagers your love things like apple? They you go in an apple store. This is full of teenagers and Apple stores air clean, white, Chris, right, And that attracts them. So don't overwhelm them with a whole lot of stuff, you know, if your colorful use it in the strategic ways. So it's not like, you know, domain like Flores. Uh, think about that. Include important info. This is a must must must. I can't tell you how many people I go to their Web sites to check. Like maybe they've submitted something or whatever and like...
they only have a contact form. Drive me insane. I want to see the email address. Maybe I want to email them specifically. Maybe your senior wants to email you and doesn't want to use your contact for things like that. These air simple things that have on your website that you need to have important information, contact info, how to book and about you so they can find out. You know, they connect with you your portfolio, and then you may or may not choose pricing pricing. It's kind of your own personal preference. I do not have a pricing on mine, but it says, you know, stuff like if you want to know more about pricing, contact me in this that the other. So it's, you know, a way to find out about pricing. So those important things on your website are must, because the teenagers like they have a short attention span. They want to know what they want to know. Fast, quick done, um, and display your portfolio with your best images that show off your style. If you're new and you're still portfolio building, you know, put five images on there, but make sure those five images really showcase who you are. Don't feel like you gotta put 10 but five of them are really you and five of them are just okay. Wait. Do you have a ton of good stuff to put out there and build your put a Fill your portfolio on your website with those good images that Onley speak to your style and only speak to what it is you're trying. Teoh, you know your client again. Don't throw a newborn in there. You don't want to shoot newborns because the minute you do, they're going to call you for that. You can actually ask you a question about that, Leslie. A lot of people are asking a lot of votes on these questions about when you have different genres. So from after dark, how do you handle the branding When you shoot completely different genres, I shoot boudoir, shoot weddings. I shoot families and I shoot years, right? My thing is to make sure all of those air separate. Okay, So when I still before, I have the website that I have now I had to a page that came up and it had seniors and it had portrait's. So therefore seniors could click on seniors and they never had to see all this other stuff that I did, and then anybody else could click on Portrait's and see that stuff. So I think it's important to make a very clear distinction, because again, seniors don't really want to see all that other stuff for them. Ajami There's an exception to every rule, but for the majority they want to see what you do. So if you do, a bunch of other genres have it set up to where they seniors can get strictly to the senior section and see what it is you do. I know that, like show it has plus sites, and then you can have, like a main website and then a plus site, and I'm not super familiar with it, But I know what you know. But you're Plus, I could just be about seniors, and then they would go there and never really see the rest. If you're shooting boudoir, you really probably don't want your seniors looking at that. I don't think, um, that's just me. Personally, um, I want, you know, in 18 17 euro girl. Not necessarily. Not that you're showing a lot of stuff, I don't know, but I would keep those separate. I would keep newborn separate because high school girls air, hopefully thinking about babies. Yeah, that's the way around. It is. Just make sure you try set up where separate. Maybe you could have a home page that comes up that has a square for every genre. And then they simply click on that and go to that page. And then they wanted to see the rest of it. They would click on the rest of it. That's what I would do, definitely have separate portfolios, that foreshore do not have a bunch of different stuff all in one portfolio, because it's just going to get confusing, and they're gonna have to weed through things they don't necessarily want to see. That would be my suggestion. Great. And just a further question on that from JB P with all eight votes. Awesome. I love the I love to shoot seniors, but I do weddings and families as well. Do you think that that watermark and the logo should actually also be varied for the different avenues? Or would you? Well, definitely a debate, really. Andi again, when I was doing a little bit of everything, I was using that childish logo for my seniors. Frankly, because I wasn't ready to rebrand, I couldn't afford to rebrand. Didn't quite know. Why would I wanted. So I used the same logo if you are going to continue. My thing was, I knew I wasn't gonna continue to do everything. So I knew I could come up with one new logo that worked for seniors. However, my new logo could very much work for other genres because it is just it's actually an L on a k together as like the this part of the K goes into this part of the L. So it looks just like okay, but it's on l. Okay, so it would go with anything. So my view of that is to stay consistent. I definitely think there are people of different opinions where, yes, you would have a different logo. Or maybe you would be, You know, Leslie Kerrigan seniors as opposed Leslie Kerrigan photography, And it would be consistent but a little bit different. Do you know what I mean? Like, I think that would be a better way to go than a bunch of different logos. I personally I don't want to keep up that many. I don't want to have that many different things. I don't want people. And here's the other thing. Families might refer seniors. So if you, you know, are being referred by word of mouth or something like that, you see a certain logo, you see a certain whatever, and then you're trying to find the senior section is totally different. We're gonna wonder if this is same person. You know, that kind thing. So my thing would be is to maybe either try to have a logo that could attract all of these different genres or vary it just a touch toe where it still recognizable as the same person. Maybe you would have lovely Kerrigan photography versus lovely Kerrigan seniors. And maybe the Leslie Carrigan is the same. But the senior part of the logo is different things like that. So that would be my answer to thank you. Yeah, OK, so website tips. So we talked about that. Let's move on to block tip. Okay. So I get this question all the time. Blogging isn't necessary. Most people hate it. I blogged every day. I kind of hate it sometimes myself with neurology. I have to and I'll be honest with you. I do a much better job blogging for C neurology than I do for Leslie Kerrigan photography. Unfortunately, it's just the nature of the beast. I don't have anybody helping me, so I don't. I like hearing photography sometimes gets the shove aside because he neurology is, you know, takes up a little bit more time. But blogging is important because it showcases your personality. I think, um, your website people can come and look and it's all beautiful or whatever, but do they get a sense of who you are? Maybe not so much, because they're not hearing your voice like they would by reading a block post. That's your voice that you and I get all the time. People saying, Well, I don't know how to write or I'm not a good writer. My gosh, don't worry about it. Just right with who you are. You have your own voice. It may not be Pulitzer Prize winning writing, but neither is mine. And I went to school for journalism numbers your mind. Not like I write how I talk and that's my writing style, and that shows off my personality. So whether it's technically correct, I mean, it's been years since I was in journalism school. I'm pretty sure I forgot everything that that I learned. But it still shows my personality, and it is a great way to educate your clients. Earlier we were talking about how do you get clients to book in the fall? Maybe do a block coast that talks about fall fashion and how great that is in a senior Fed a session. Maybe you do a block post about why here makeup is important because maybe you're trying to educate your clients. You know, maybe you're somebody that's just started out and get a lot of clients are like, I don't know. I don't really want the hair and makeup. We'll do a block post and tell him why it's born it show the difference. You know, blogging is an educational tool that helps do a block post on the difference between your photos and the yearbook photo. I've done that in fact, that chart that I showed you guys earlier that had the differences, the columns that's in my welcome, guys that I send out. So people see this is why she is different right off the bat. I lay it out there for him. Blogging can do that for them. Visually. Your broad needs to fit in line with your website. Your other visual aspects of your your brand. It needs to be consistent. We've talked about that. Um, stick with your writing style like I mentioned. You need to be you. You don't need to try to be funny. If you're not naturally funny, teenage girls will see right through that. Um, you don't need to be cool and hip. Try to be like what you think they think is cool and hip. You just need to be you. And that will attract. And but it, Like I say, it's gonna show more of your personality. Then even your website and all that stuff did. And that stuff is great. And it does showcase your brain, and it does showcase you. But your voice can only come through in your writing or when you're on social media and things like that. So determined how often you will block. This is a big thing. So instead of just blogging on the fly every now and then, it's much easier if you say okay, you know what? I'm just starting out. I'm a blood once a week, and I'm a blogger on Mondays, and that's it. Okay, then that starts to grow within. Maybe you're going to start doing three days a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I think doing three days a week is a great way. And just do always Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You don't worry about it on the weekend thinking of specific things that you're gonna blogger on Monday or that you're gonna block on a Friday fashion Friday what to wear Wednesday? Those will help you be consistent with your blogging because you don't always have to think of something completely new to write about and then obviously showcasing photo shoots, um, you know, sneak peeks could be a blogger on its own is but one picture of you know, Amy's photo session. Check it out. We'll have more calm, and then your next block session could be Amy's full session or not the full session. You don't put too many pictures on there, but you know more than just the one, stretch it out over several block post. That way, your brain does not have to constantly think of something new to block about that is key. So any time I can do three block post off one person, I am golden because that's three block post I think about. So maybe you do a block post with a sneak peek of Amy's photo session. Maybe do a block post on what? Amy War on her session for a fashion Friday feature. A me is that I'm just eso you feature what somebody wore in her session. You talk about why it was great. And then she's excited because you have given her this compliment that she did such a great job with her wardrobe, and then all her friends are gonna come to your block and see it. So did you have a question, agent? Well, an idea, I think is on that ASIO creativelive that was last. Remember what he was saying? Like you could learn. Yeah, that was amazing. And he was just talking about how you could use your previous photos for a block post. Like maybe for seniors, you could dio like an article about accessorizing or something. Any use your old photos from different shoots. They're, like, re featuring your word and your what they exactly. That's awesome. and it would start the trend of all these clients of yours wanting to be on your block. So that's important. Yeah. I mean, anything you can stretch out and use is a key, because I think what trips people up a lot of times is trying to come up with new content. But do the same thing every week. Do a fashion Friday every single week. Go to Polyvore dot com and create an inspiration board and block it and talk about why these outfits that you picked out our great first in your photo session springtime ball, you know, everything homecoming, you know, talk about what they can wearing homecoming and talk about how they can wear their homecoming outfit in a photo shoot. Because it was will be great. All of these things, you know, there's so many topics with girls on. Do you know, every now and then you can throw in a personal block post. Why not? They want to get a glimpse into who you are. I think I mean, I think mine do So what to wear Wednesday? I talk about what I wore, and they love it. So anything like that that you can do to really showcase your personality. Also going to say if you're working with the boutique, have them featured on your on your on your blogger as well as of what to wear in. You know, it works well for both your on their side. And we just did. I just didn't want a couple of weeks ago because all my girls going to Clinton, North Carolina, which are the two schools Boo Collinson. Yeah, but they're all going to school. So fabric, which is the boutique that I work with, just texted me a picture of a Carolina outfit Clemson outfit. So we got an orange and purple and we gotta Garnett in black, and I put him on the block. I was like, and it was more for seniors that I already graduated because I'm continuing that relationship because they can Intel younger classmates or their siblings or whatever. So it doesn't always have to be attracted to that year. Seniors. So, like I say, I did a fashion post. It was all about What are you gonna wear to your first college game? Because we dress up in South Carolina? You don't wear sweatshirts. Still game. We were way talked about that. And we, you know, like I say and all they did was text me a picture. It was not some I didn't even have to go in there and take it Now, granted, if you have the time and you want to go take a great fabulous photo, do it. But for the purposes of what I was doing, then texting it it was on a mannequin on day. Just took it with her phone and I said, OK, girls, here's what I would suggest for your first game So excited. I know you are, because football is huge in South Carolina or in the South in general, and these were some great options. And so my passengers that are going to college are still looking at my log, which is also so think about ways like that, back to school fashions that you can showcase, you know, home come in football games for high schoolers. It doesn't always have to be about a specifics in your session to attract that client again, I said earlier, it doesn't have to be over the head. Marketing can be more subtle and continue in that relationship what I wear. I mean, they probably won't wear it, but they do think it's cool to see and they're always commenting on it. So it builds that relationship. It continues that relationship girls have photographed four years ago are still looking and texting me, and you know, it's all about that. So a block can really help you communicate and different way on and really educate your clients to stretch out. And then the calendar. That's the last thing about this is a calendar. In my office, I have white boards that I made a calendar with the dry erase marker, and I write down what I'm gonna post about. Um, so I know I don't think about it. You know, this week I'm gonna post about fashion next week. I'm gonna post the senior session this week. I'm gonna do whatever have a calendar, so you can. You don't stress about it. It makes it easier. And then also, what's the great ideas on the Sunday Maybe when you aren't busy or a Saturday afternoon or something blogged for a week, blogged for a month if you want to, and then you have to worry about it again. I do that a lot with neurology because I am blogging every day. And if I have to get up every morning and go do that in my day is shot pretty much, you know. So sometimes I'll sit there and I'll block a week at a time or two weeks at a time or whatever, but that will keep you consistent with blogging. And that is another key with blogging is if you only block every now and then you're not really gonna get the viewers that you will if you if your clients start to see well, yeah, she blog's every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Log your senior rents, Uh, who they are with suffragette food. Uh, you know, what's your favorite music? Asking these questions and just showcase. Now, Seo, Today you're gonna meet Caitlyn. Caitlin loves this, that and the other. And she's my baby sitter, and she's just at the other and you'll check around, you know, use that questionnaire, which we will talk about in a little bit to put that information in a block post about your singer. That's key, because people, I mean they want to know about them. We can't be anything too personal, obviously. But you know what? There, what are they worth? Their favorite food is not personal, but it's fun, and it's fun little tidbit about this person, and people are starting to get to know this person as well as you. So blogging is key. And, um, I think it is important we're going to ask the team panel if they read blog's, because I think that is an important question, because I really I'm not. I don't know. I know that I get comments from my seniors, but I don't know. Do they read the majority of teenagers? Re block. There's a whole lot of teenage fashion blog's out there, So that's something that you can also look Teoh four and maybe connect with one of them and have one of them blogger on your block, Things like that. Maybe one of your teenagers or your clients is really in the fashion, and we'll do a guest blogger for you about what she thinks is great toe wear. That's awesome, but we will talk to the team panel and find out their V. Maybe their parents are the ones checking out the box. That's fine totally fine. You still need it because it helps. Like I say, uh, it makes you sing professional number one along with the Web site, but also it shows your personality. So maybe the moms air coming to see Okay, is this person total wackjob? Erxi like normal or whatever you know made, So that's important. But we have a number of votes for Michelle Cursi. Photography's question based upon what you were just talking about. Do you market to the senior or to their parents? Or both? And there was also a question about Are you creating that logo and that brand look for the Who are you creating for the scene or for the parents? Totally and again? I think it goes back to researching your market a little bit, because in my market the parents are involved. For sure, the moms are calling me. Sometimes the seniors are calling me, but a lot of times it's the moms. So I am trying to find that line between attracting the senior and the mom. But maybe in other areas, the seniors or super independent and they're the ones you know. If you know that about your market, then you know how to how to attract that with me. It is it is both. I am having to constantly right post or pick a logo or our show, a product that attracts both the senior and the mom. Or I have to separate products that the mom goes for and the senior goes for and they buy both. So I know that I have to involve the mostly. The mom is very rarely the dad in my case, but it could be, in your case again, knowing your market is really going to help you determine that. But for me, it's a combination of both. I have to pick a logo that looks, um, you know, that attracts both, and I think mine does because it is clean and the logo part of my brain ing is very clean and simple. I can adding color and player, and this that and the other with other aspects, which may be more attractive to the senior. But that clean logo that it's really a monogram and I'm from the South and monograms are huge. So I know, and even the teenagers have monogram shoes, monogram stickers on their car. Oh, it's huge. It's huge. I mean, flip flip flops Have the monogram right here. Oh, yeah, Seriously, on the Pacific Northwest, I you got you know, your you know, your market. They have stickers on the back of their car where almost every girl in in the South has a sticker on the back of their car. It has their initials. So my logo is somewhat of a monogram. It's a modern version of a monogram. It's not the curly Q, whatever. But it attracts. And then my mom still wears monogram stuff. So hey, Mom, she doesn't know I'm on here, but she still wears monogram. So you know, like you gotta try. Mine attracts both because of that reason. So it's a great question, but I think the answer to that lies in that particular persons market and knowing that I have to try both, learn something new everyday here on a gram. Roger shoes. You'll go home and look up. Jack Roger shoes. I don't do a thing. Your federal Cheston, where the girl doesn't bring Jack Roger. She's Jack Rogers. Every single girl. Where's Jack Rogers? So whoever Jack is doing a good job marketing to the girls, let me tell you. Cool. Can we take a few more questions? Yeah, fantastic. Any over here. All right, let's go back to the Internets. Okay. This is another one about branding and names. So, um, Sasha says, how do you feel about branding with your actual name? I personally chosen name that represent represents me and who I am, but it isn't my first name and last name, right? There's so much debate about this. But I feel like my clients find me just fine and also identify with the name that I've chosen and I'm not sure what Sasha's business name is, but it is passion with blue. Is it blue lip you? Hey, let us now. I mean, if that's what it is. I mean, there could be other Stashes out there. You know her? I think again it goes with what speaks to you and who you are. Me? I didn't really connect with any other name than myself. You know, to me, like I couldn't write quite figure out a name that really spoke to who I am. I know you're years. Is your daughter right? And that speaks to you. You are so I think that's great to use. There is a huge debate on whether you should use your name or whatever. I do think it tends to be a tiny bit easier to find somebody's name. Definitely. Um, but that doesn't mean you can't market your yourself, as you know. Well, Jenny has pink al photography. Everybody knows her is pink Al Photography. But now she probably has done a lot of work making sure that name gets out there and they know her by that name. So whatever you choose, I think you just got it. Really? Get it out there. That that's who you are. And I do think it needs to mean something to you personally and kind of think it needs to have some sort of story because you're inevitably going to get asked. Well, why is it pink outfit, Harvey, You know why is it my premises in Dallas? Pink fly? Why is it pink fly? I know why she told me, and I'm sure her seniors know why you know me. And they know her. Is that does it take maybe a tiny bit more work to get that out there? Probably because I mean people know my name, so that's a little bit easier to find me. But as long as you have a name that means something to you, I've speaks to your brand. You don't have to have it be your personal name. That's in my opinion. Granted, I am not a branding guru. I know what works for me on. You know what has worked for me. And you know, I know what's good about raining when it comes to senior photography, but I'm sure there's some, you know, branding expert out there that might have a different opinion. But I personally feel like as long as you have a reason why it's a start name and you can speak to that and it tells who you are, that's what's important. So hopefully that answers that question. If it is Sasha, I mean, her personality fits with that. That brand name it is blue lips. You nailed it. Thanks for joining us. Another thing that we sometimes talk about is also thinking about like senior ology is not your name. Eventually, if there were other people that were involved in it, it's yes, it could be done. So you are trying to build something that is you want to sell or what have you? You gotta think about that as well. Yeah, totally. Totally. Yeah, exactly. So this is an interesting one, or we've talked to this whole segment about finding that ideal client. Have you experienced having people come to you who are completely not your ideal client and sequins asks, Do you ever did Nike clients If you do not feel that they fit your ideal client mold, and if so, what do you do? How do you tell them that? Yeah, I mean, definitely had I mean, when you're in the beginning, you take anybody and everybody, so that means you're going to get people that don't mesh. Well, you're going to get people that maybe don't want to spend the money. You're going to get people that you know don't really fit your your style or whatever. Um, and in the beginning, I think you know that happens because you are trying to get out there, and you are trying to get clients. So sometimes maybe you take clients that aren't perfect for you, But eventually you start to grow. You start to educate, you start to do all these things that will start to Maura tracked your ideal client. Now, I have had people, for instance, come to me. And maybe I didn't educate them on the front end about the cost. And so they got there, they got the session and I went through the whole thing. And then they were like, Oh, well, we can't afford you. So then about anything that's the worst. So educate them beforehand. I would rather put everything out there and have somebody say no. Then they go through the process and then they say, No, you know, pain. Like I would rather get it all out there. So when it comes to pricing, may I tell him everything they wanted? This is how much it calls the thes air. The collections these were this, that and the other. That way they can. They're not wasting my time. I'm not wasting their time. They can't afford it. They don't call me right now. I'm not so much in senior photography, but have been another, you know, John Rose. And then, even before that, I actually used to design invitations at an invitation company in those businesses, I sometimes realize that the money is not always worth it. Um, you know, like there, those clients that, you know, they just you have to bend over backwards, forward. You have to. They keep warning and warning and warning and warning. And you're like, at some point, I have to say, No, I I have done that where I'm just like, you know what? It's probably not a good fit, and that's okay to say, because in the end was her, you know, $200 session figure, whatever it is really worth all the all the trouble. And is she really going to even be happy? You know? Do you really want to waste your time with him? Is not gonna be happy. No, you really don't. You really don't. So I think pricing weeds people out a lot of times that that is fine with me because I do not want to spend time away from my family to do a session that's going to result in an ape at 10. Like that is a waste of my time. A zoo, much as I love it and feel for the girl, you know, domain. But then, on the flip side, I've had. I've had a client who really couldn't pay, but she just waited and waited and waited and waited until she could pay. And I was OK with that because she really valued it. And that was important to me. So while she made, um, we had the session and then we I don't think we did the ordering session for months later. And that was okay because eventually she was able to afford it. N g, you know, bought what she wanted. And it worked out great. So I definitely think that especially in the beginning, But the more and more you shoot and the more and more you educate, you really are going to start to get those clients. They're more suited, so just be patient. I guess it doesn't happen overnight. It definitely does. None of this happens overnight. It might look that way for millions of photographers out there that look like they're banging it up. But it doesn't happen overnight. And building that ideal client and getting that ideal client doesn't happen overnight. You are gonna sometimes get maybe somebody that wasn't your ideal client at first. So hopefully that answers, that's great. That's very. How do you attract male seniors that aren't just football players? I think that there would be a strong market in my area. So you're We've been talking about branding as you when you're trying to target the males. What is it? A female trying to talk target mail? Exactly. And I was kind of thinking that it was a female trying to right. That's why that angle. So if you're a female and you want to get into the mail photography, um, or you want to track male clients, I think you really need to start showcasing males that, to me is gonna get males more than anything else, because I think most males don't necessarily think of having their photos take it now. Granted, there's an exception to every rule, but for the most part, guys aren't thinking about that. So you've got to start showing that it's cool. I mean, on a day like they don't want to do something that's cheesy or whatever. They want to do something so that you have to showcase some guys in order to attract those guys, or the other aspect of that is to attract the mom of a guy because the very few guys that I do shoot, the guys aren't wanting the photo session. The mom is. And so, you know, with my branding and things like that, even though I am nor focusing on senior girls, I still can attract a mom for sure. And moms of senior girls talk to moms of senior guys. And that's how I get maybe the few clients that I have their mail. I remember the sweet guy that I had. His name's Clay. He plays. Look across, I think in college now, Um, he was so sweet. He totally didn't want his photo taken. He was jock, you know, played sports, you know, super cool guy, but not in the having his photo taken. But his mom wanted him taking his mom knew imam of a girl that had photos taken by me. And I just remember taking this photo and I was like, You're doing so great. He was that Wells for my mom. She wanted it was just so sweet because he was there. He could have cared less about being there, But he knew his mom one of those photos, and he was doing it for his mom, and I thought, That is the sweetest thing ever. So moms are a great way to get into that. If you're a guy trying to attract guys and maybe you played football, or maybe you, you know, whatever and you're wanting those type of clients and contact the football coach or contact, you know whatever and try to get in that way. I think that's a good a good way to get into, um, taking those photos.