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Entries in Branding (5)


On Shelves Now: Branding for Bloggers!

Check out this new release from our sister school, The New York Institute of Career Development:

It's arrived! The NYICD Branding for Bloggers book has hit the shelves, and we are giving away three signed copies! Post a little something about the book on Twitter or FB and include a link back to this post. Then leave a comment below letting us know that you've completed the task. We'll draw three winners next week!

In the meantime, have a "Look Inside" on Amazon!


Want to start a blog and learn how you can turn an online hobby into a money-making career? Explore The Complete Course in Professional Blogging from NYICD.  



Photographer, What's Your Branding Message?

I just returned from the WPPI Expo in Las Vegas, and co-presented a master class in blogging for wedding photographers with New York Institute of Photography Director Chuck DeLaney. Our presentation was on blogging, but it had a heavier emphasis on how a photographer brands herself or himself. I used the Harry Potter analogy of Hogwart's sorting hat: you want to visit a photographer's website and read the About message and automatically know if this is the right photographer for you - just by the brand message you're putting out there.
Here are three different About pages from three very different wedding photographers. Look at the messages themselves, the adjectives used to describe the photographers and their work, messages that talk about where the photographers like to work and descriptions of their typical clientelle.

It's easy to identify each of these photographers from their About descriptions, right? Each one would have a different ideal client in mind, but each exhibits the four Branding Guidelines while still appealing to a unique client base:

  1. Brand Well
  2. Show What You're Selling
  3. Show To Whom You Are Selling
  4. Brand Yourself Consistently


How's your branding message and overall branding program? Are you satisfied with where you're at right now? Does your About message sort yourself out from the competition and carve a definite niche for you in the business community? Share your branding message with us, and we'd like to hear how you define your business and how that's worked for you!


We're the New York Institute of Photographya distance education school teaching photography since 1910 - over 100 years of knowledge and experience. Listen to the following podcast to learn more about who we are and what we do.




Controversy Can Be a Photographer's Best Marketing Friend

Photographers are increasingly turning to social media and blogging as a way to market themselves, or "build their brand," and define who they are in a crowded world of pros. I recently came across a PhotoShelter article entitled The 11 Best Photography Blog Topics, and you should check it out. Their list of try-this blogging ideas is thoughtful, I like the way they link to real photo blog examples of what they're advocating, and they give great suggestions for adding spice and additional traffic to your photo blog. Attracting attention, without defaming or hurting others, is a good thing. 
One suggestion that particularly caught my eye was a "Stir the Pot" idea. The article encouraged photographers to be controversial, take a stand, and strongly voice an opinion. Here's an excerpt from photographer Matt Brandon's stir-the-pot post entitled Photography: What's Real, What's Not and Does It Matter?
Some people, want to define it very narrowly and say photography is for capturing an image of reality. Fine. There are people that use the camera like an office worker uses a xerox machine. If that’s how you want to define it for yourself then that is all well and good. But that’s too narrow for the rest of the world. Likewise, there are people who use a camera like Picasso used a brush. These people are every bit an artist. So, the question really is, either what have you defined as your personal boundaries or what has your profession defined? Look at it this way, if I’m working for the National Geographic magazine they have very strict standards of what can be done with an image once it’s shot. My friend, and Nat Geo photographer, Ami Vitale told me she has to send in the raw files to her editors, completely untouched. In fact, they’re not even allowed to delete files from the card. That’s fine. If that’s the way the magazine wants to do it, and you want to work for the magazine, then you do it their way. You have a choice, their way or the highway. The fact is, there is no right or wrong when it comes to using this tool we call a camera.

We're the New York Institute of Photographya distance education school teaching photography since 1910 - over 100 years of knowledge and experience. Listen to the following podcast to learn more about who we are and what we do.




Photo Marketing 101: Growing Your Brand

Welcome back to Photo Marketing 101, our semi-weekly blog series on marketing yourself as a photographer. In our last post, we discussed some basic ways to use Twitter and Facebook to promote yourself and your work.

Over the next couple of posts I will start to introduce some marketing and advertising ideas that photographers can use to spread the work, and grow a brand. Some will require some investment from you up front, others will not.

One of the big decisions that many of you will have to make is whether or not to spend money on marketing, and when to do it. We’re getting closer to the point where testing some more direct forms of advertising might be a worthwhile endeavor. That will require you to take some chances, and spend some money.

But this week, we keep it free. Here goes:


We’ve previously covered the notion that you need to have a website to promote and sell your work. And if you do, you should also be blogging as well. A blog provides the perfect platform to connect your social media presence to your website, and write about photography in a way that makes you accessible, while displaying your expertise. You can get started on any number of blogging platforms; Squarespace, Wordpress, Blogger, or Tumblr. Blog about your work, about your life, about photography in general. It will open up a whole new way of communicating with potential customers.


Enter them. Photo contests are all around us. There are online contests hosted by a variety of companies and organizations. Many are open to the public. Some are free, others have a fee to enter. My advice is to enter as many contests as you can handle. Winning a prize in a contest is a great way to get noticed, and can be used to promote your work on your website. NYIP frequently posts about photo contest opportunities, but you should research on your own to find the ones that makes the most sense to you.

Become a Media Source

When your name is referenced in an article, those people who read it will immediately know that you are an authority on the subject. When this happens online, you’ll often get a link back to your website which will help your search engine rankings and drive traffic to the site. The trick is getting in touch with reporters at the right time. HARO is an email list designed to do just that, connect journalists with sources for their work. It’s completely free to sign up and start receiving the emails. When the emails come in, they will present you with a long last of needs posted by journalists all over the country. See one you think you could contribute to? There is an email provided to get in contact with the writer. Sign up today.

In the next edition of this series, we will cover some opportunities which may require spending money up front to make them work.

Homework: Your homework this week is to pick one of the 3 ideas discussed above and do it. Then use the comments below to tell us all about it.  Share the URL of your blog, let us know what contests you’ve entered, or tell us you signed up for HARO. Better yet, do all THREE!


Photo Marketing 101: Intro to Marketing Yourself as a Photographer

As if by some form of blog magic, I’ve landed here with an opportunity to share all of my knowledge about marketing with you.  As the Director of Marketing for the New York Institute of Photography, I’ve seen it all.  I’ve seen photographers who have amazing websites and some who have less than stellar websites.  I’ve even seen some with no website at all.

In today’s world, whatever your experience level, some sort of online presence is essential to success.  That rule holds true for business ventures of any kind.  And photographers looking to make money with their photography should learn to treat themselves as a brand, or business.  Sure you’re an artist, but if you want to make a living, you’re also a businessperson.

I’ve been invited to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along with way with you, and will continue to do so until we’re all millionaires (I wish).

Lesson 1 is simple: Think of yourself as a brand.

Marketing has a tendency to take on an ugly connotation with some people, conjuring up images of sneaky advertising or annoying salesman.  But what marketing is, for our sake, is the simple act of building a brand, promoting your work, and attracting the attention of potential customers.

Any good business starts with a plan, or strategy. What is the name of your business?  Is it your name? Your studios name?  Whatever it is, that’s where you start.  That is your brand.  And in future editions of this Photo Marketing 101 blog series, we will explore how to build around that brand, and expand the reach of your brand to attract attention.

Homework: Your assignment, should you choose to accept, is to brand yourself.  Name your photography business.  And share that name with us in the comments below.