Hiya, and welcome back to Anchors + Planes! If you’re new here: Hello, I’m Angel. I’m a military wife, new mom, and photographer. I have been a paid photographer for seven years now, but only recently started to dive into my business. There’s been seasons where I’m motivated and times when I am ready to call it quits… that was until I started to reach out to others in my niche and learn. While there is no universal formulas for branding across all spheres of society, there is a handful of tips that will help you find deeper joy in the failures and peace in your content while growing! If you’re setting the tone for your own dream wedding, photography business, Etsy shop, orthodontic offices, or just your dog’s Instagram page – here are FIVE tips for growing your brand.
au·then·tic [ôˈTHen(t)ik] – adj. 1. of undisputed origin; genuine.
If you genuinely find joy from letter boards, fairy lights, and tummy tea – power to you, dude. As for me, I find that when I stay away from trends expected from me, the deeper my content is. In photography, I could pose in a “smile on 3, 2, 1” but that is not the heart of the story in front of me. It’s easy to fall in line with the cookie cutter expectations of my niche, but magic happens when you stay on the path you set out on. For an example, while working with brides – she will often have send her inspirations that are all over the board: different settings, different tones, different styles. My job is not to mimic those images, but see what they all have in common – Love, romance, joy. What a customer means to communicate is an emotion and not a replica.
“Let love be genuine.”
Romans 12:9 \ Best Wedding Websites
Finding your brand’s authentic style will come with time, but when you finally feel you’ve found it – it will be liberating!
Community Is Powerful
My biggest mistake starting off was being closed off to learning from others, not caring about the customer beyond the paycheck, and not working along side other businesses on the same job. There’s great power in community and knowing when your business can benefit from outsourcing.
With clients, it is vital to make them feel safe and secure in choosing your services over your competition. When you have a customer confident in your business, they’re more likely (for sure) going to offer their recommendation to their social circles. Likewise, when a customer has been turned off by your mistakes or poor attitude, they will share that experience which will drive potential customers away.
With “competition,” (who even says that anymore?) offer to meet them in person! You obviously already have a lot in common, but learn how you’re different as well. This can actually bring you more business! For example, if I get an inquire for a date that is unavailable, I can recommend them someone who is not only talented but kind. Yes, in the future they may book with them again, or they choose you for being generous enough by not leaving them in the dust.
With outsourcing, it’s just a matter of knowing when you’re “not there… yet.” For example, I have my hands full at the moment (photography, marketing, social media, blogging, editing, photo sessions, inquires/ contracts, etc,) and I have yet to master all of it – so when a bride says “oh, you don’t print my invitations?” I can proudly say, “EVEN BETTER – I have friends over at Basic Invite that have over 800 designs for you, envelopes almost unlimited colors, custom samples, free address collection service, and they’ll even throw in a free wedding website.” But, for real, look at these epic Wedding Invitations
Your customers will thank you when they have their visions come true, thanks to you and your amazing community!
“That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 | fun wedding invitations |marriage invitations
Did anyone grow up hearing, “you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.” Some brands actually try to function off that… and they’re often flooded with 1 star reviews. Over delivering does not mean you have to sell out, it just means find little ways to be generous to your attendees, clients, followers, etc. That could be with product or with time! Some of my favorite packages from brands have hand written notes or surprise samples. Little tokens of appreciation sprinkled through words of affirmation or a gift. Perhaps it’s donating your time to a charity that is meaningful to your niche! For example, I got to collide my worlds as a photographer and military wife by donating my services to an event on base. That willingness to serve those who serve our country was a bigger blessing to me then it was them. Fill your cup by pouring into others. There’s enough love to go around!
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:24-25
Know When To Say No
This was a painful lesson, and often it feels like a punch in the gut… It’s the same story for me, and I assume no matter what your brand is – it’s the same with you.
“Friend”: Oh my gosh, I saw you do photography! So cool.
“Friend”: I would love to invite you to *insert event*
Me: Oh my goodness, thank you so much for inviting me to such a meaningful event! I would love to come and be a good friend.
“Friend”: Cool… oh and can you bring your camera?
Me: Oh, you mean you want $500 of my service for free.
Maybe they weren’t even a friend, but you get the point. Some people may not respect your art, brand, or product enough to pay you for it – and that’s okay! Don’t let it burn bridges, just simply say, “Sorry, we are not taking collaborations right now. We are a growing business and look forward to hearing how you like our product.” or “What e-mail address is best so can I send an invoice?” Friends and family should be willing to support your endeavors before asking for freebes – and if not, it’s okay – give them grace. Maybe they don’t find value in that particular things… YET! Don’t take it personal and keep on working towards zoning in on your dream customers.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
Anxiety may set in during slow seasons or big life changes that interrupt your work flow. Like in all things – love well and pray. Forgive yourself and your team for playing the comparison game or not seeing the value in your brand’s purpose! Pray for wisdom, peace, and vision for your brand moving forward.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6
I hope this post was helpful or inspirational to growing your vision of branding! If you’re planning your new photo session, website, business, or mini-poodle’s social accounts – comment below with what you find best for growing your brand!
Post sponsored by: Basic Invite.