Here we are, the belated week 8 of the photographer series. I wanted to take this final round to speak to something a little less technical and a lot more social/emotional. Brand beyond the logo.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the concept of “brand” or “branding”, but did you know that brand goes beyond your logo, color palette, website and work? Everything that we have talked about for the last 7 weeks has to do with parts of BEING a brand and a business owner. As solopreneurs brand is WHO we are in our businesses. How we show up. How we conduct ourselves. How we speak. How we run our businesses on the back end. How we keep a level of professionalism along with keeping it real. Let’s dive in.
HOW WE SHOW UP
When you are embodying your brand, how you physically show up to your weddings and portrait sessions is a representation of your brand. Are you early? Are you late? Are you well put together? Did you come prepared? When you walk into the room, do you LOOK like you own a business?
When you think of yourself as a business owner, what do you see? How would the best version of that vision show up to work? It’s very easy as solopreneurs to not always pay attention to these things because (for most of us) we work from home without the corporate dress code (hallelujah!). However, that can mean we sometimes show up looking…a mess. As you enter into this next season, I want you to really meditate on the best version of you that you want to present to the world, then make adjustments accordingly.
Do you show up to your sessions fully prepared? Have you scouted your venue or location? Are you familiar with everyone who will be in attendance? Do you know how to quickly pivot if needed for any circumstance? As my Kindergarten teacher once asked, “Did we come with our thinking caps on?”. An easy way to do this is to use your CRM to auto send a questionnaire full of questions that you’ll need to be answered in order to be fully versed in what you’re walking into. Yay for automations! You can also easily show up 30 mins prior to start time to get a lay of the land. Google stalking is also a great tool.
HOW WE SPEAK
How we speak in both our copy and in real life is another representation of our brand. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you can only have a rated G level of vocabulary, BUT I moreso want you to start writing and talking the way you normally would to a friend (maybe a little more polished). It’s really interesting when you meet someone in person and they are happy-go-lucky, silly, maybe even drop an F-bomb…and then you get to their emails and their formality with “Hello ma’am, I had a lovely evening last night”, is a 180 flip. Don’t do that.
I want you guys to show up and speak in your emails, correspondence, website copy, Instagram captions, the way you NORMALLY WOULD TALK! Be you. That’s the best part of being your own brand.
HOW WE RUN OUR BUSINESSES
This is a big one! The way we run our businesses is a direct representation of our brand. All this work we have been doing on the back end to update CRMs, email templates, our finances etc, have been to better how we show up in our business. When we have our ish together, we can provide a top-notch experience to our couples and continue to gain their trust.
I love analogies, so let me give you one. Have you ever needed to speed clean before guests arrive? Did you ever throw everything into a closet or a bin so that you could just “deal with it later”? Being a business owner that does not have their organization figured out is much like the person who throws all of it into a closet while they go shoot their sessions. That mess is still going to be there when you get back. And if you KEEP doing that every time, that closet is going to burst open with all the issues you keep putting aside.
Making sure that you have all the little stuff figured out in the back end of your business, lets you stand confidently in front of your clients with the ease that “yes, we got this”.
As you review, revise, and refresh your business this season, remember that your brand goes beyond your logo. It’s how you show up, how you speak, and how you run your business. Embodying your brand with professionalism, realism, and integrity will always steer you in the right direction. You’ll attract the level of client and business that you want, and feel confident in who you are as a business owner.
No worksheets this week but I do want you to take a second to meditate on the question “Who am I as a brand and as a business owner?”
Drop your answers below!
p.s. If this is your first time reading the photographer series, head over to Week 1 Photo Workflow and start from the top!