Your logo is finished. You have re-done your website, blog, business cards, thank you cards, etc. All of your packaging matches and fits your branding ideals. You are ready to rock, my friend, now what?
In my last branding post, I spoke about being consistent, and this is the key to launching your brand so successfully that everyone will see it and automatically pair it with you.
What else encompasses a strong brand?
1. Excellent Customer Service
2. Consistent Communication
These three things will help solidify your brand for your clients and “friendors.”
Excellent Customer Service
Don't you want to be known for great customer service? I know I do!
I think every photographer should want this to be part of their brand. Not only will it serve your customers, it also serves your vendors, and will hopefully lead to referrals from both!
Great customer service includes answering calls within 24 hours. If you can't call a client back within a day, they start to think you are ignoring them, which we know isn't true. Perhaps you're busy, but trust me, when you respond quickly, your clients appreciate it and notice.
Great customer service can also include helping your clients find great vendors. As photographers, we are in constant communication with our clients, and they learn to totally trust us. So when they need referrals for other vendors, they come to us, and when we have some amazing vendors to refer to them, it only makes us look even better, and of course our vendors love us more.
The same goes for email communication: Answer quickly and answer completely. I can't tell you how many times I have met with couples, and they say how great we are in answering questions quickly, and how other photographers they tried to meet with either never responded or took weeks. Yes, WEEKS, that is just ridiculous. I realize we're all busy, but in order to get business you have to earn it, and you can with timely responsiveness.
Consistent communication also means answering emails and calls with the same attitude you want your brand to portray. If your brand is fun, quirky, modern, then your emails should reflect that. Have fun with your emails, and don't be serious. Be thorough, but be cheeky. If your brand is all about professionalism and how long you've been in business, then communicate that in your emails. Your canned response to leads should include how long you've been in the industry, awards you've won and places you've been published. Those are things that will distinguish your brand in a couples' minds.
When we book new clients, we send them a customized tote bag with our new magazine and some treats celebrating our new friendship. What can you do to reach out to your new clients that fits your brand? Maybe it's a marriage book like Zach and Jody do. Maybe it's movie passes and popcorn because you love movies. Maybe it's simply a box of chocolates. Maybe it's a care package sent a month before their wedding. Whatever it is, there are ways you can reach out to your clients that don't consist of a formal shoot or meeting. Being at the top of their minds is always a great way for your clients to feel connected to you, and it's a great way to solidify your brand in their minds as well.
Once you have these steps laid out, you are ready to launch your pretty new brand to the world! And when I say launch, I mean your Website, blog, Facebook timeline, Twitter background, canned emails, etc.
I generally launch special things or articles either at noon, when people are breaking for lunch, or 5-6 p.m., when people are on their way home. It's usually the most high traffic time on the internet. Post on social media : Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Post in local Facebook groups where you are a member. Let everyone know about your new branding!
The last and final key to launching a successful brand is personal branding. It literally means being the brand. We have shared so much in this article, personal branding deserves its own article. Tune in next week for the conclusion of this four-part Branding 101 series!
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