The Business of Branding: The Future is Open

Google Instant Preview for Photographer Websites

Being “open” in your photography business can mean a great many things. Being open to new ideas, practices and techniques. Being open to new markets and product lines. Making your business an open book.

The open I want to talk about today is open source. Be it a philosophy or methodology, the definition of open source is literally, opening the source code, sharing it publically and allowing the community to contribute to its development. Examples of open source programming language are WordPress, CSS and HTML5.

Why is this good for you? Take a community like WordPress with 32.5 million users and tens of thousands of developers all creating plugins which you are free to use edit and share. This is like having tens of thousands of experts developing and sharing information for the benefit of your website or a online brand. The same is true with CSS and HTML.

One of Apple’s main …

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The Business of Branding: Looking for Inspiration

photographer branding inspiration board

The photography industry is filled with amazing creative leaders. There are studios that get their brand identity just right. It is very easy to look at these brands, watch them, and then (accidently) try and replicate them. I know first hand, how enticing that can be. Building an online brand is a daunting task, but looking for inspiration outside of the photography field might be the kind of spark your creative juices need.

Here are a few areas I encourage my clients to look to for inspiration. And some examples of how we brought them to life.

1) Fashion: (My own go to muse) Studio Diana, wanted a magazine feel to their brand, and sent the following vision board.

We saw eloquently fashionable, classically influenced, boutique and sophisticated, with hints of vintage playfulness.

This is how it translated to their custom blogsite:

2) Architecture/Interior Design: We tend to think of our custom websites as buildings/spaces. …

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An Outsider’s Perspective: Tips for Developing Your Brand

Early in 2008, I was introduced to the photography world by my good friend, Justine Ungaro. Upon hearing that I was a brand designer and seeing my work she exclaimed, “You should do this for photographers.” To which I responded, “How many photographers can there be?” Two years later, after attending a few conventions, I realized there are quite a few of you…and your industry is growing. Which is why the PartnerCon message of “differentiation” is very sound marketing advice indeed.

Being a designer in a sea of photographers, at PartnerCon, I spent quite a bit of time listening and watching. I could not believe how transparent photographers are with their businesses. I was so enthralled by how supportive and generous you are with the information and tactics you have used to become successful. You refer work to each other, which naturally builds a strong network. Many of you intrinsically …

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The Business of Branding: WordPress and Google

When it comes to the business of branding, going hand in hand with having a cohesive brand, is findablity. It’s kind of a “if a tree falls in the forest” thing. No matter how awesome that tree is, if no one hears it, it’s just not good for business.

Photographers have always been on the forefront of the findability (or SEO) game. Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking. But are these social media efforts increasing your ranking as separate entities or are they all pointing to one domain? It is important to consolidate and maximize your online marketing.

A WordPress site can concentrate your web presence and according to Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam at Google (pretty much THE authority on SEO), “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”

Matt gives a fantastically funny talk at last year’s WordCamp about why WordPress is ideal for Google:

The mechanics of Search Engine Optimization involve making …

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The Business of Branding: Why We Use Letterpress

There are so many decisions for you to make when designing your business cards and other collateral. One of those decisions is the printing method you want used for that collateral. Below, Ellen Petty, of Identity Kitchen explains why her company recommends photographers who want to elevate their brand choose letterpress as their printing method. Join in the discussion by sharing your opinion and answering the questions at the end of the post.

As the days of film photography have been replaced (for the most part) by better and better digital methods, photographers have had to work hard to create their signature style. Creating their photography autograph can take years to establish. So when a photographer comes to us with a request to create collateral to elevate their brand and capture a higher (and more expensive) audience, our suggestions will usually be letterpress printing.

Why? A few reasons, the exquisite feel cannot …

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The Business of Branding: 9 Things to Know Before Designing Your Logo

The Business of Branding: 9 Things To Know Before Designing Your Logo

Design magnate Steven Gilliatt said “[A logo] should look just as good in 15-foot letters on top of company headquarters as it does one sixteenth of an inch tall on company stationery.”

A logo or logotype as it is often called is defined as a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., uniquely designed for ready recognition. In other words it is the color, font, the gives an instant impact and an overall feeling of who you are as a photography business. But before you put pencil to paper, or hire a designer to do the same, there are a few requirements you should have to your logo.

1)    Do your research: Know who you are and what you like before you get started. The more your designer knows about you, the better chance they have of …

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The Business of Branding: Dare to Be Different

Before you think about creating your brand image, designing your logo, ordering some uber fancy business cards…think about how you can distinguish yourself from your competition. In Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, he tells a story about Herman Miller and how the Aeron Chair redefined the office chair. The Aeron Chair not only looked different, it felt great and cost 7-10 times the price of the standard office chair. That’s a big risk, in a very safe market, but their risk paid off. The Aeron Chair came to symbolize success, owning one meant you had arrived. I knew a creative director at a major advertising agency in New York who had an Aeron Chair written into his contract. When he left the company as per his contract, so did his chair.

Wouldn’t you like to create a product so spectacular people write it into their contracts? Herman Miller spent much of their …

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