UNFORGETTABLE: "Very special; influential; so impressive that it's impossible to forget."
QUESTION: Is your brand irresistible and unforgettable?
Yes? Amen! Close this right now and go on to your next item today.
Not sure? Read on. This post is for you.
HOW TO STAND OUT IN A SEA OF SAMENESS
Everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to be a photographer these days. We aren't just competing with the pros, we're competing with consumers who have smart phones with amazing cameras.
My point? Great photography is a dime a dozen today. Don't get me wrong, offering excellent photography skills is important and I'm a huge supporter of learning new lighting techniques and improving your craft. But being a great photographer with an amazing portfolio doesn't, by itself, equate to being an unforgettable brand.
5 POINTS TO BECOMING AN UNFORGETTABLE BRAND
There are 5 major points to master if you want to be a brand that's irresistible. Get these right and you're on your way to standing out in your market place, no matter how crowded it is.
There's an extremely important theme running through these 5 points and that's why they work. Can you pick up on the theme?
- You must create an IRRESISTIBLE ATTRACTION at the first point of contact (brand statement/elevator pitch aka "your why"; brand tagline; brand visuals)
- You must lead your marketing with an UNFORGETTABLE PURPOSE (your manifesto, belief system + the back story of your brand and how it came to be)
- You must have an UNFORGETTABLE CONNECTION made by sharing your IRRESISTIBLE PERSONALITY (the human behind the logo; your authentic voice)
- You must share UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES with the clients who in turn share your brand with their friends and social media, all based around how your brand makes a client "feel" when they've experienced it through your products and services
- You must have an UNFORGETTABLE AFTER-PARTY (a/k/a an unforgettable continued relationship after the sale)
From the moment you first attract an ideal client all the way through to the sale and beyond, your brand must be unforgettable. Relationship building is the number one priority in creating an unforgettable brand. It starts with the first contact and basically, never ends.
The sales are in the relationships you build, the connections you make, and the transformation you offer to your clients through the experience of your products and services.
THE 5-STEP HOW-TO:
01/ IRRESISTIBLE ATTRACTION:
You must have a message to share that clearly defines your purpose and your mission. My last 2 blog posts have addressed this: until you have a well defined branding statement and tagline, your marketing will be lost in a noisy world online. It will basically be a mass of posts, one after the other, all without clear direction and purpose.
The few photographers that actually have a brand statement and a tagline rarely "market" with them. If they have one at at all, their brand statement sits stoically on their website, never being used as the amazing marketing tool that it can be.
The "unforgettable attraction" might happen when someone sees your post on IG or FB for the first time or it might be a blog post. Your visuals (logo, fonts, colors), combined with how you market your brand via a tagline and/or branding statement, will impact a potential client immediately.
Example: if someone on Instagram clicks over to your profile for the first time, they are sizing-up your brand in 5 seconds or less. What you've listed in your profile (who you are, what you do, what you're about, what's in it for them) combined with the aesthetics of your posts and branding will cause them to choose whether they follow you or not.
The above example happens every day on the internet regarding your brand. It might not be on Instagram, it might be your actual website or blog or somewhere else that you've posted. It might be your Facebook business page or your Twitter account.
No matter where you are seen online, your brand must create an unforgettable, irresistible pull in order to attract the attention of potential clients.
>>>BUSINESS APPLICATION: Spend time creating your business brand statement and a tagline and start actually using them out there on social media. Lead with them. Market with them. Use them to attract your tribe.
But don't stop there, because you've only just begun.
02/ UNFORGETTABLE PURPOSE COMBINED WITH AN UNFORGETTABLE STORY:
More and more, consumers are interested in the core values, beliefs, intentions and story of the brands they are choosing to work with.
You've heard of a manifesto before, but do you have one? It declares your brand's core belief system and most commonly yours as well.
When your brand's core beliefs align with a clearly defined purpose and you combine that with the story of your brand, you have a winning combination to take your potential client to the next level in the relationship.
A manifesto can be used to market the culture of your brand. Try it! You'll be among the greatest and most successful and unforgettable brands (that did and are doing) this very thing: Apple, Levi Strauss, The Holy Bible, Martin Luther King, Google, Nike, Lulu Lemon, etc.
>>>IMPORTANT TO KNOW: One of the biggest stand-out differences of the current rising generation as compared to past generations is that they are choosing brands that stand strong on their core beliefs; brands that actually put these beliefs out into the world for all to see, as in the form of a manifesto. Very important to be aware of this if you are a senior photographer, but also, any photographer because this generation is already 5 years into the consumer market.
03/ UNFORGETTABLE CONNECTION SHARED BY YOUR IRRESISTIBLE PERSONALITY:
Don't throw your hands up and tell me you don't have one and that you're boring. STOP. You're not boring. You have a personality. There are people that only you can reach and connect with in this world. When you are yourself, there are people that like you and love being around you.
Now that we've "tough-loved" through that, let's talk about how it actually works in the world of marketing: you need to get out there in front of the people you want to connect with on a personal, authentic, face-to-face level. You need to be yourself. Your true self. Not the one you hide behind.
Do you hate the thought of FB Live or video? Okay no worries. I won't tell you that you must do live stream or video to be successful, because you don't. But I'll be honest with you and tell you that it's going to take you ten times longer to connect with people these days. Not to worry if you have ten times longer to spend on building relationships.
I'm guessing you don't want to spend ten times longer to build your online relationships, so more tough love here: get over it and just do it if you are a business owner. OR...find someone in your business who can be the face of your brand. That's a perfect solution as well. But it needs to be consistent.
Tips on how to share your personality to form an unforgettable connection:
- YOUR FACE: #1 fastest and easiest connection is to get your face on FB LIve, Insta Stories, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or a pre-recorded video on your business FB page (number one way to connect, but not the only one...read on).
- YOUR VOICE WHEN YOU POST WRITTEN TEXT: Stop "over-thinking" what you should say when you post on social media and instead, talk in your own voice. Talk to me on your instagram post like you would talk to me if we were sitting in Starbucks together having a latte. I see too many photographers talking in a "I'm cool, this is how I talk on the internet but not in real life" voice and it's creating a fake personality. It's not working. It won't work. At some point you will be found out (especially when a client meets you face to face). So feel free right this minute to be "you" on the internet if this rings a bell with you.
- SOCIALIZING: Invest your time in socializing on social media...post and like and share on the internet. Spend 15 minutes a day doing this with potential customers (come on now, we can all take 15 minutes away from the time we spend in groups to do this...right?) Do this combined with getting your personality out there and you will start connecting at an accelerated rate. Side note: Don't hesitate to do this with your photography friends as well because yes, interacting helps you in the algorithms.
>>>IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY: People like to hang out with like-minded people: people that like the same things that they like and people that think the same way that they think. This is true in real life and it's also true on social media. Once you start posting in your real voice online, you'll start connecting "authentically" with people. They'll be attracted to you. They'll feel "connected" to you and be open to learning more about you by simply "hanging out" with you through social media interactions.
04/ UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES:
More than ever before, people are choosing to work with and buy from brands based on the transformation they offer. "How will I feel" when I come to your studio and hire you to photograph me? Unforgettable experiences are talked about. Written about. Shared.
- One of the best ways for you to take charge of this is to pull back the curtain of your brand experience and share it via Insta Stories, Snapchat, FB Live, video. This isn't a new concept in 2017 and in fact many photographers are now doing this. But...the key is to become more creative, do it consistently and show up with your own face on those shared moments.
- Video testimonials from clients is a huge opportunity to share the unforgettable experience of your brand. Plan this out after the shoot or after the sales presentation
>>>TAKEAWAY: I'm guessing you have created an amazing "experience" for the client during your photo session. But are you consistently sharing via the amazing opportunities available with social media platforms that are perfect for sharing? Also, are you thinking outside of the box and sharing the "other" experiences in your brand?
05/ UNFORGETTABLE CONTINUED RELATIONSHIP:
I call it the "after-party" and my clients are called my "VIP Clients". Anyone who spends money in my studio is a VIP Client.
Keeping in touch with clients after the product delivery is the number one "miss" by most photographers. It's the number one reason they are "forgotten" two years down the road when a repeat client opportunity arises and this "happy client" chooses another photographer.
This is how to continue the relationship:
- Create an email list for your VIP clients that allows you to continue the relationship by contacting them a minimum of 4 times a year (more if possible, but no less than one time every 3 months).
- Get in the habit of making your VIP Clients the heros of your brand. Write about them on your blog. Share about them in your social media even after the sale.
>>>TAKEAWAY: Want to be unforgettable for life? Want to have your business built in concrete for years to come? Create a system to keep in touch with every single person that spends money in your business.
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. What steps do you need to take to become unforgettable in a sea of sameness? Do you have your brand statement down to where it rolls off your tongue when someone asks "what you do"? Are you marketing with your tagline? Do you market with your overall manifesto?
That's truly step one and probably the step that takes the most investment of time and energy. You have to get it right. Nail that and you're on your way to being a truly unforgettable brand.
NEXT WEEK: The free download to this mini-course that assists you in creating your very own brand statement and tagline.
Pssst: My coming e-Course "Lights, Camera, Voice Your Brand" dives DEEP into how to make your Brand unforgettable and irresistible + a full curriculum on voicing your brand to your ideal client. Enrollment opens fall 2017: