Recently I wrote a post where I challenged you to think about what you want to be known for. Some people were finding it hard to really visualise what makes their style different.
Well, a wedding photographer I know made a very good point:
"Doing this makes you realise that there really is a photographer out there for everyone, and just because you don't get a gig, it does not mean that you're not good enough, it may just mean that the couple you were chatting with were not looking for your style… not everybody will want soft and romantic, and not everybody will want rock'n'roll."
That's exactly it! It's the job of great design to communicate all your best bits and attract the sort of people who will want your style. It's all about winning more of the clients you're likely to win and not trying to be all things to all people.
I hope you don't mind me using a couple of examples to illustrate this further. I'm sticking with the photography genre because I think the differences are very subtle, but the principles we're talking about apply to any industry.
If you just take a look at some of the websites we've designed for photographers, you'll see how the differences play out.
Matt Pereira: clean, romantic, soft but not girly, minimalist (ish).
Matt Tyler: still romantic but more raw, edgy, young and funky. Very rock'n'roll bride!
Kathy Ashdown: Fun, bubbly, warm, friendly, emotive, romantic.
I accept there's a hair's breathe between their styles. And the challenge when working with people who have all been trained through the same school is how we differentiate them all. After all, they've all been taught how to shoot in very similar ways, what to look for and what makes a good image.
But as people, they see things differently. As creatives, they'll put their own stamp on things. And they'll all interact with their clients differently. No way will be right or wrong, but it will be different. And each of them will attract different types of clients.
The key with branding is to recognise that, so that you can go after the right kinds of audiences. So that you can put your energies into getting seen in the right places, going to the right events and being recommended to the right sorts of people.
Are things becoming any clearer?
Fiona Humberstone is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and runs her own creative consultancy.
- Want to know more? We've got articles, tools, videos and checklists to help you to develop a branding strategy for your own small business.