It does not matter if you're a seasoned pro or a newbie, it is a must for photographers to have their own personal brand. We can all agree that it is nice to work with people who actually want to work with you because they believe in your work and not just people who chose you because you're the "cheapest" in the market. Potential clients look at your portfolio and how you present yourself before they decide to book you for their events or for photography sessions and that is where your personal branding comes in.
Here are 3 reasons why it is important for photographers to have his or her own personal branding: 1. There is only one you. Personal Branding is PERSONAL. It is tailor made for YOU and you alone. It is about your philosophy and perspective, your aesthetic, your style and most importantly it is your own personal narrative of your own personal story. By building your own brand you can have the opportunity to share who you are as a person, -- topics like "why did I become a photographer?" or sharing your hobbies and other interests, by making yourself repeatable to potential clients and most especially have that unique touch to your outputs. These things slowly build intimate connections to your current and future clients thus making you and your work trustworthy. 2. You get to charge what you deserve Did it come to a point where you entertain every inquiry that pops on your inbox? What's great if you have a personal brand is that your brand is your own filtering system because clients come to you because you give them a distinct experience. When they hire you, they know that they are getting quality seamless service that ONLY YOU can give. What other photographers are charging is not applicable to you because you're creating a tailor made experience just for them. Through that, you can actually set your prices that feel good and is aligned to you. And let's be honest, being undervalued and charging less than what you deserve does not feel good. We've all been there and it was a hard lesson to learn. It is not sustainable for a business to cater to everyone. And sustainable is important in order for your business to grow -- which is why it is important to create a branded client experience so that you can have a steady clientele and they can recommend you to their family and friends. 3. You can be whoever you want to be You're not just a photographer. You're you and you're a treasure trove of talents and skills and potential. By creating your own personal brand, you open yourself up to a lot of possibilities. Just like me, I'm not just a graphic and web designer, I'm Manu in addition to being a graphic and web designer, I am also inlove with make up who fuels her creativity with travels, an equal rights advocate and cheese and wine connoisseur. The list is endless and it allows me to be more than just being a graphic designer. In the future, whatever I decide, I know I am not boxed inside a certain niche. I can be whoever I want to be. I am not tied down to just being a graphic and web designer. Just like you, you're not tied down to just be a photographer.
However, if you're a photographer and run a photography business I strongly suggest you create your own personal branding. Why? It all comes down to TRUST. Clients need to trust you to take their photos. Clients need to believe in your craft for you to execute it well. More often than not, clients tend to be shy in front of the camera and they need somebody they can trust. Which is why you need to create a branding experience that you believe in and your clients can trust. I personally would rather hire somebody who does not sugar coat things, relates to who I am and gets it rather than someone who pretends to be perfect and great at something all the time. I am very passionate about helping photographers build their brand because it is after all more than just pictures. It's the process. It's the whole experience from start to finish. Its how you make people feel great about themselves. But most of all its the new bond that was forged through the project. Remind your clients you're there to support them through this process. Just like life, its all about the experience.