Among the most fun parts of starting a business as a pro photographer is bringing your brand to life by creating photography marketing materials. Think logos, color schemes, business cards, and more! These marketing materials breathe life into your brand as visual promotions. In order to develop these materials, it’s important to either find a designer to collaborate with or do your own research and develop or use existing templates to create these marketing materials for yourself.
Why do you need photography marketing materials? Well, you need something to put on your portfolio website and to hand out to prospective clients at networking events. In fact, you definitely need photography marketing materials before you start looking for new clients. This post describes some of the most important marketing materials you’ll need to have, as well as guidance in where to source them from.
Before you do anything…
The very first step to designing marketing materials has nothing to do with color palettes or visual design. Instead, it has to do with getting your branding materials together. If you choose to work with a designer, one of the first questions they’ll ask you is what your mission statement is, and what services you offer. It’s better to have these answers questioned ahead of time.
Where to find a graphic designer
There are many places to find graphic designers for hire, and each will vary according to their style, price, and method of working with you. Odds are you could do a Google search and find a local designer, or ask your personal network for recommendations. This is probably the best method if you seek to collaborate in-person with your designer and have a bigger budget to spare.
If you’ve got a tight budget or would like to cast a wider net, there are a couple of good online options that I recommend. 99 Designs is a unique platform that lets you hold a design contest where professional designers from around the world compete to create your design. There’s also Fiverr, an online marketplace where you can source a graphic designer for $5 (or slightly more for added services). Fiverr can be a little hit or miss; I’ve been lucky to order over 10 different logos on Fiverr with excellent results. I recommend choosing a designer with a large amount of 5-star recommendations. And at the price of $5, you could even pay several designers here to result in more options.
Types of Photography Marketing Materials
The objective of this section is to get you started on either creating your own or commissioning additional branding and marketing materials including a logo, business cards, email signature and sales documents.
Photography Business Logo
The objective of branding is to help your business stand out as the best solution to a prospective client’s problem. One of the keys to successful branding is being recognizable and consistently being on someone’s radar. Among the easiest ways to start doing this is to make your name and business memorable by giving it life in the form of a logo. This was one of my absolute favorite parts of building my business. There’s just something so exciting about giving your identity further meaning with a logo. Fortunately, it’s rather easy to get ahold of an affordable graphic designer these days who can help design your photography marketing materials. Consider completing the exercises in the previous parts of this series, you’ll have all of the information the designer needs to create a logo.
Photography Logo Ideas
Many photography logos include icons such as variations of a camera, aperture ring, or some photography accessory. Include an icon, or go without it. It’s totally up to you. Before you begin working with a graphic designer, it helps to do your own research. You can guarantee a worthwhile working relationship with your graphic designer if you come up with some logo ideas of your own. This can also help you guide your own expectations. Simply do a Google search for “photography logo ideas,” or refer to this Pinterest board. Start pinning ideas on Pinterest, or gather a folder of your favorite logos. Show this board to your designer to help with collaboration.
I found an excellent graphic designer on Fiverr. We discussed my mission statement and services and ultimately came up with this logo, exuding my love of photography and travel.
A subtle but important visual aspect of branding and logo design is your color choice. When selecting colors, be sure to consider color psychology. Visually, color can act as a form of nonverbal communication, exuding a certain mood, energy, and emotion. In this sense, color can absolutely have an effect on your potential clients and how they might conceive of and remember your brand. In my case, I decided to stick with the color orange: Use it to suggest adventure, fun, optimism. It imparts a message that it is affordable yet reasonable quality, sociable and easy-going.
After you decide on a color scheme, apply it to all of your photography marketing materials.
Just as colors can say a lot about your business, so can the font you choose to put on your marketing materials. Your typography choice influences how people perceive your brand’s message, either driving it home or taking away from your professionalism. Consider the fonts of Comic Sans and Papyrus, which are universally disliked and the brunt of all graphic designer jokes.
When choosing a font, you want to make sure it aligns with your brand’s character. Fonts can appear elegant and refined, traditional and formal, or even whimsical and playful. The choice is yours, but just make sure you’re sending the right message. Above all, make sure the font is legible and can be easily read and understood. Once you choose a font, be sure it is applied to every one of your photography marketing materials.
After you finalize your logo, it’s time to start applying it to tangible marketing items, beginning with a business card. By now, you should have a very clear vision of what your business offers and what you specialize in. Be sure to include your title and specific services on your business card. Also, add your logo and tagline if you have one. A business card can often be your first and lasting impression that you give a client, so make it memorable, yet professional.
An often overlooked form of self-promotion and marketing exists in your email signature. This snippet can be automatically inserted at the end of each email message. Traditionally, it states someone’s name and contact information. As a business owner, you can deck out your email signature with as much info as you dare.
The email signature is a more subtle one of the photography marketing materials that can be very attention-grabbing while also making you appear more professional. I recommend using WiseStamp to create and implement your business signature because it also lets you add an RSS feed. The RSS feed can sync to your blog and display your current projects. Having this hyperlink invites clicks, and I can tell you from personal experience that it works very well.
What kind of photography marketing materials do you think are important for your own business? Let me know in the comments below!