This one thing can make or break your photography business
As photographers, we all know there are a lot of things that go into getting ideal clients to book with us right? Things like our portfolio, our brand, our style, our reputation… these are all important and things we talk about often on this show.
But, there is one factor that supersedes all those things. There is 1 thing that, even if you do everything by the book and perfectly will keep you from achieving the success and the bookings and the revenue you desire.
This 1 thing can work incredibly in your favor, or work significantly against you. And most photographers don’t even know what it is, let alone how to do it.
The 1 thing is something I like to call, invisible branding.
Invisible branding is the way most of us unknowingly make people feel when they interact with our business.
So typically, whenever I say branding, what do you think about? Most of you might think about your logo, the fonts on your website, the colors, the aesthetic, visually, of your brand. Maybe some of you even think about like personal branding, which we’ve talked about on this show and how you intentionally make people feel.
Today, I want to bring YOUR invisible brand to the surface and let you take a look at what your invisible branding is, how to use it FOR you (not against you) and help you see the impact it’s having on your business (either good or bad). And if it’s not working for you, I want to show you how to fix it.
Understanding Invisible Branding
Now this might be a new concept for a lot of you and something that seems abstract but basically…
Invisible branding is the energy, attitude and vibe that you emit in your interactions with potential clients, on social media and on your website.
It is the non-verbal communication that you use in the work and it plays a big role in repelling or attracting potential clients.
Think of it this way – when a potential client visits your website or interacts with you on social media, they’re not just evaluating your portfolio and your photography skills. They’re also picking up on your energy, your vibe, and your attitude, and they’re making a decision about whether they want to work with you based on those factors.
So I want to give you some examples:
An example of a desperate, needy invisible brand would be like if I as a wife was like, “UGH babe you never hang out with meeeee. I’m your wife you’re supposed to want to hang out with meeeeee. Do the right thing and spend time with me tonight ok it’s going to be fun…”
I mean honestly who wants to spend time with that person right?
I’ve had students who tell me, “Well, I don’t think this is going to work for me or my area but I guess I’ll try it.” Their invisible branding is apathy and doubt.
I’ve also had students who implement strategies and they just know they’re going to work. They’re inventive, ambitious, driven, and the strategies work flawlessly. Now sometimes they need a little tweaking, of course but they’re doing the exact same things as the first student, so what’s the difference?
It’s their invisible brand. They are high vibe, they’re diligent, energetic and they’re excited.
Which of those two is that the brand you want to have? Which is going to attract dream clients willing to pay whatever it takes to work with you?
Funnily enough, the strategies almost never work for those with the invisible brand of apathy and doubt. Their invisible brand is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When you master your invisible brand, when you not only become aware of it but you’re able to control it and create the invisible brand you need to attract your ideal clients, marketing becomes, dare I say, effortless?
I know that seems too good to be true, but it’s almost like the more you let go and trust the more your ideal clients find you and book you.
Things that can hold you back from having the right invisible brand
“This isn’t that important, what matters is my work, my portfolio and my photography skills. My vibe doesn’t matter that much and I can follow marketing strategies that have worked for others even if I don’t think it’s going to work for me.”
I’d like to ask – how’s that been working for you? If you’ve been doing the marketing strategies and focusing on your portfolio and your photography skills without considering the vibe, energy, and brand your putting out there – is your calendar fully booked right now?
What would it hurt to give this a try?
“I can’t control my invisible branding/what people think about me.”
You’re right, you can’t control what people think about you, nor should you try! I like to say
It’s not my business what other people think about me.
Refining your invisible brand isn’t about making people think good things about you … it’s about making sure that what you project aligns with who you truly are and what you stand for.
How to Have the Right Invisible Brand to Attract Your Dream Clients?
If your invisible brand is the way you make people feel in your business, we realize that how you make people feel is going to begin with how you feel about your business.
How do you feel about your business?
Are you scared? Stressed? Desperate for bookings? Desperate for likes and follows and shares on social media? Are you waiting for it to fail? Do you doubt yourself and your work?
Or do you know your success is inevitable? Do you have trust and faith that the right people will find you and hire you? Do you love your work and know it blesses families? Are you confident? Are you at peace?
Those feelings that you have about your business are what make up your invisible brand. And the good news is – you get to control those feelings.
Is your Invisible Branding working FOR or AGAINST you? Do this simple test!
What’s your gut reaction when you post something online or get an inquiry?
Is it… “People aren’t going to engage with this, this is a waste of time, they’re not going to book me, they’re going to say I’m too expensive, etc.”
Or is it…“I’m going to book a new client. The right people are going to see this and engage with it. Even if it reaches one person and makes them feel seen and heard, it’s worth it.”
What’s your gut reaction when you post something online or get an inquiry? That is an inkling, a step, an open window into your invisible brand, and you get to peek in and see. My gut reaction might be how I’m showing up in my business without even realizing it. That’s why it’s invisible.
Ideas to change the Negative Mindset
So if you’re like, “Okay, my invisible brand is not working for me, and it is not how I want to show up, it’s not aligning with who I am and how I want to actually show up, how can I change it?”
Here are some ways that you can change the way that you’re showing up if you don’t like what you see.
1. Identify negative thoughts when they come into your head
And this takes time because you’re used to these thoughts coming in and just accepting them as fact, right? But the powerful thing is you get to decide if this is a thought that you want to keep or not.
So when you get an inquiry and a thought pops in of “Oh they’re probably going to tell me I’m too expensive…”
You get to acknowledge the thought and decide if that’s going to serve you or not. And you get to decide if you want to keep it or not!
The Bible says to take each thought and make it captive to Christ. It’s exactly what I’m talking about here – we get to decide if this thought is going to be something that helps me or works against me.
2. Replace the thought
Going with the previous example – “Oh they’re probably going to say I’m too expensive” and you take that thought and kick it out because it’s not for you, now what are you going to replace it with?
“The right person will hire me. The right people value what I do. My offer is important and valuable and the right clients are out there for me.”
What a powerful place to come from, right?
Now imagine you’re showing up to client meetings and networking events or creating content from a place of “The right clients are out there for me,” and the invisible brand you’re showing people – THAT is the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy I want to create for myself – don’t you?!
Mind and thought management is something we don’t often think about. We just allow our thoughts to rule us and we treat them like fact. A thought comes in and it creates a feeling and we start to operate from those feelings because we think that the thought was true.
But it starts by identifying that thought when you treat the thought that’s not true like fact, because you get to decide which thoughts you want to bring in and actually believe and create feelings from.
It is my hope that we can start to think about thought management as something like money management or time management. It’s just as powerful, if not more powerful in our lives, but it’s something that has to be considered and intentionally managed.
You wouldn’t just spend money however you wanted and expect to become a millionaire right? No, it takes intentional thoughts and actions with your money to achieve millionaire status.
You wouldn’t just do whatever you wanted with your time like scroll TikTok for hours a day or watch Netflix until 2am every night and expect to have thriving relationships and a booming business, right?
Thought Management is exactly the same. When we don’t control our thoughts, it’s creating this invisible brand that is affecting our business in a negative way, and we don’t even see it. We don’t even know that it’s happening.
Next Steps after Figuring Out Your Right Invisible Brand
Here’s the good news – when you master your invisible brand (and I hesitate to say MASTER because it’s an ongoing process) it can have a massively positive impact on your business without you even doing anything else differently.
Imagine a business where you’re incredibly confident about your work and the future success of your business.
Imagine a photography business where you have a strong reputation in your community as a trusted and reliable professional with more opportunities for collaboration because people are just magnetized to you!
This is why we tackle mindset and limiting beliefs around time, money, and branding in Marketing School for Photographers because, yes, the strategy is so important, but improving your invisible brand + the right strategy truly makes you unstoppable.
These are the students who say “I keep raising my prices because I’m so booked” or “I’m bringing on other photographers to my team because I can’t keep up.”
And this is 100% possible for you too, friend.
If you want to know when we’re opening Marketing School again, head over to thebeautyinbirth.com/waitlist
If you enjoyed this episode, why don’t you text it to a friend who needs to hear this message too? Or share on stories or FB and tag me @taviaredburn – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and continue the conversation.
And my friend, if you have a passion, it’s not an accident because not everyone loves the thing that you love. So whatever your passion. It’s there for a reason and I hope that you’ll get out there and make it happen. Have a great week.