The Business of Branding

A short time ago I did a shoot for a client (who is now a friend) for her new business.

Prior to the shoot I wanted to do a consultation to ascertain what exactly she was looking for her portraits to convey to her future clients. What type of work does was she to do?  Was she going for a glamour look, retro vibe, fun hipster?    What types of clients was she trying to attract?  Really, what I was asking her was, “What is your BRAND going to look like?”  Your business brand really is about YOU.  It’s about what you want to convey to your clients about what they can expect – and get, when doing business with you.

The first steps to building your brand is really about getting REAL about who you are.  What are the things you like / don’t like?  How do you present yourself to the world?  What do you value when you’re the client?

That was the first thing I thought about when beginning my journey.  Fortunately, that was super easy for me.  I’m all about customer service.  Good manners and consideration go a long way with me.  I want to ensure I treat my clients like they are the only thing that matters when they are with me, and it’s the first thing I hear in the feedback I get from my clients.  That makes me feel good, because I value that.

Her artistry is so much fun and her design aesthetic is amazing.  She can think of a million and one things to do with an old tin can – trust me!  Not everyone can pull this off:

So, the next time you are out in the world think about what you type of BRAND you are.  It’s important to stay true to who you really are, because who you really are will show all the time… Just like the GORGEOUS, Nicole Olsen!

Which leads me straight into my next point.  How do you want your business (and yourself) to be perceived?  Are you high end, middle of the road, or a bargain?  If you want your business to be high end, you must conduct yourself in a high end manner.  You certainly wouldn’t walk into a client meeting wearing torn clothing and flip flops, right?  Your product line or services would have to be impeccable, as would your price point.

All of these tips are seemingly commonsensical.  However, putting them into practice is quite another thing.  I’ve made some (and seen a few) mistakes in these areas.  It can be hard for folks to transition between being the consumer to being the producer.  Everything you do – the design of your logo, your packaging, your business cards, EVERYTHING leaves the impression of your business behind.  That is why you must carefully reflect upon what you want to put out in the universe.

Getting back to my client, a very cool graphic designer / photographer / event planner / journalist /mom of three / GLAMAZON, was breaking into a new world and really wanted to show case the many different sides of her personality.  While she is a very creative and fun person, she is also very serious about her design work.  Therefore, we shot a variety of looks for her to use in many different ways.  Ultimately, the photo she chose for her resume is pretty down to earth, friendly and OPEN – like she wants her clients to feel when they come to her.  I think it’s a great shot of a great lady – whose talents are NEVER ending!!

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All Roads Lead Back to Mom

She is the one who gave you life, discipline, wisdom and love. Sometimes you like her and sometimes you don’t, but you always love her.

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