Branding photography has been around for a few years now. I used to sell them as business portraits. Since the rise of online entrepreneurs, the term branding started being used.
You could divide branding up into personal branding, and corporate/business branding but I’m just going to cover branding as a whole today.
The boundaries of branding photography tend to overlap portrait and product photography. Product photography is done to promote a brand, and some portraits are used to promote personal brands. So if you are looking to shoot branding sessions you need to brush up on your portrait and product skills.
So where do you start?
If you are just starting out and have an entry-level camera body, you can still get lots of great shots. You do need to spend some money on good-quality lenses though. A nifty fifty, 50mm 1.8 lens is a cheap entry point and will give you nice sharp images. I love my 24-70 2.8 for this type of shoot, together with some off-camera flash. Using off-camera flash is something you really need to get into. It will make your images look incredible like they should be in a magazine.
Consider using a tripod to make your photos super sharp. Now a tripod is not needed all the time, but it is good for products or any stationary shots.
If you want to sell branding sessions you need a website that shows your brand off to the max. You have to practice what you preach.
Doing a branding session for yourself isn’t easy but it can be done. Use a remote trigger and go for it. If it doesn’t work out consider hiring a branding photographer to do it. Maybe someone from outside your chosen area because it could be a little awkward.
You also need to build a portfolio, so offer a few sessions for free and build it.
I am always saying “every business should have a mailing list”. So get one set up, you can start out with a free account at MailerLite or MailChimp. To get people to sign up you need to offer something in return. It can be as simple as “sign up to get all the latest specials”. Don’t miss this step it’s crucial for your business’s success.
Your first step to get noticed is Google my Business. Once you are listed you will be one of the top search listings for branding photographers in your area. Just do a google search for “Google my Business” and sign up.
Next, you need to set up a Facebook Page for the business. Then you’re going to join as many Facebook Groups for business people in your area. Join in the conversations and get known. Don’t ever try to sell to the groups. Ask their opinions on your latest work, people love to give an opinion. If they like your work you’ll get bookings.
LinkedIn is a biggy for business people. You really need to join. Again don’t go crazy constantly trying to sell. LinkedIn is making contacts, and you want to make as many contacts as you can. Make sure you are displaying your best work on your bio page. Just like Facebook, you need to join in the conversations and get noticed.
I think you can build a great business using these methods without spending money on Facebook ads.
What to Sell
For most types of photography business I tell you to sell products, but like real estate, and headshots your customer doesn’t want products. All your branding customers want are digital files. These images are for their website, social media, and printed products.
So because they only want the files you are going to sell your time. You need to charge for half a day or a full-day session. Another option is hourly rates but half and full-day make it easier and less complicated.
As far as pricing goes, you need to figure out your breakeven point. If you go to 50mmframework.com and sign up as a free member you can download the pricing spreadsheet. It’ll show you how much you need to charge for each session.
What I want you to do now is do a Google search for a Brand Photographer in your area. See how few there are. I just did my area and there were none, zero. This is a potentially massive market and you need to consider it.