how to up-level your brand as a wedding industry professional

How to up-level your brand.. It’s such a buzz phrase in the creative industry.

Building a strong brand is so much more important to run a successful business than people realize. 

When we first started, we were CONFIDENT in our photos and thought couples would fall in love and want to hire us. 

SPOILER ALERT: That wasn’t the case. It wasn’t until we identified who we were as a brand, and how we needed to connect with people, that we saw success.

We want to give you five practical steps you can use today to up-level your brand:

1. Identify your target audience  

You can’t photograph everyone’s wedding. That might sound obvious, but it took us a LONG time to truly come to terms with that fact. We’re only two people, and there are only so many wedding days in the year! 

While you wish you could, instead of talking to every couple who gets engaged, we need to create an “ideal client” or a target audience.

What kind of weddings do you want to shoot? How does the couple enjoy their time? Can you identify their style? Those are the kinds of people we need to tailor our brand, imagery, voice, and website toward.

up-level your brand

2. Determine 3 brand words 

While there are many different types of wedding photography out there, there are also different emotions one might feel on a wedding day.

Couples think they want to book a photographer based on style, but what they’re really looking for is a feeling. 

What feelings do your photos bring out in your clients? Find three words that resonate with you, your work, and your brand. Do everything you can to continue to foster those emotions through your brand.

Start using these words on social media, on your website, and in conversations with clients and inquiries. Every time you share a photo online, make sure it reflects those three words.

up-level your brand

3. Identify your tone and voice

Think about the way you talk to your parents. Now think about the way you talk to your friends. Different, right?

We reach for different tones and moods within ourselves depending on who we’re talking to. We suggest creatives adopt a specific brand tone to use on social media, their your website, and in business-related conversations. 

Now there are DEFINITELY times to be relaxed and show a more vulnerable side of you – people love to see the face behind businesses – but you should aim to write the majority of your communications in your brand voice.

4. Implement stunning design 

These days it’s pretty easy to get a basic brand for a pretty good price. It’s also easy to tell which businesses went the basic route and which ones care enough about their brand to get it designed professionally.

When you have a full brand – logos, colors, fonts, graphic elements – crafted by a professional brand designer- your overall look, feel, and cohesiveness of your brand will outshine competitors. 

Your images can be the best in the world, but if the aesthetics of your brand are disjointed and piecemeal, so will your business.

5. Constant Curation

The biggest mistake you can make when deciding which images to share on your website or social media is to share something that isn’t representative of your best work. Remember – you’re only as good as the worst image you’re showing publicly. 

All it takes is one image of subpar quality for a potential client to wonder if their images will look like THAT, or like the better work you’ve posted.

(Even though we know that on wedding days locations, indoor lighting conditions, and dark churches are out of your hands!)

In this case, the best way to do this is to keep a “For Public” folder of your best images. After each session, add only the best photos you took to this folder – and remove anything that shouldn’t be in there. Only use images from this folder for anything public facing.

While overhauling your brand can be a long-game, we hope that these tips help you up-level your brand today!

Related: How to Grow on Instagram

5 Ways To Level-Up Your Brand

for photographers

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@JORDANBARHORST

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