I'm sure we have all heard the saying "First Impressions are Everything". I am sure that some people are on both sides of the fence at how this could be proven true in certain situations. Job interviews, staff meetings, meeting his/her parents for the first time, blind dates, auditions, grand openings for new businesses etc... In Photography, I believe 100% that first impressions/ presentation is one of the vital keys to growth in our businesses.
Think about when you head to your local one-stop-shop and you are deciding on what brand of air freshener to use in your house (stay with me). Depending on your wants and need that will determine your purchase, you may be in the aisle a little longer to find something that isn't too expensive, will last long, that smells good, and is maybe on sale. We see Glade, Air Wick, and Febreeze commercials all the time on TV and purchase them in stores because of their efforts in creating a product that works and is appealing to our wallets. They use funny tactics, and live demonstration methods in their commercials as a part of their branding to gain the trust of their consumers. We, as consumers, trust their brand based on their presentation and their "first impressions" with their different fragrances. Because they are consisent with their tactics, and their presentations are always clean and clear, they have built a steady following for the long haul.
The same idea can be proven with photographers and their brands. As a photographer, YOU are the brand, just like Katy Perry was with Covergirl Cosmetics. As the face of Covergirl, she represented their style in propaganda which enhanced their brand. It is vital as an artist to have a consistent style in everything that is recognizable to clients. Extremely vital. I spend hours matching my portfolio, website theme, logo, fonts, and colors with my business cards, marketing documents and all that. You want your vision to make sense! When your presentation is consistent through everything that you put out, clients will understand what your style is and what you are about without you explaining it to them. Lets face it, most clients don't know what "light & airy" or "VSCO film style" actually means. They just know what they see and know what they want to look like. Its up to us as photographers to help them understand what style we shoot in and if we will be a good fit for them. Everything we do coincides with each other. From welcome packets, to marketing PDF files, price lists, website layouts, how you dress at their consultation, even down to how you talk to them in person and on the phone. Your main goal is to have a brand that is consistently cohesive and to make them trust you with your artistic eye and be comfortable.
Take a second and think what style you normally shoot in or lean towards, or what photos you tend to like the most on Instagram. Use that as inspiration to build a brand for your business and put your own flare on it. This won't be done overnight so be patient with yourself and develop a Professional Brand that your clients will love and continue to love for years to come!
By the way, I am a Febreeze Gal all the way. HA!