Trish Logan, M.Photog.Cr., joined PPA in 2010 as a hobby photographer with a 20-year background in payroll and finance. She now specializes in portrait photography and has presented at Imaging USA and Professional Photography Associations nationwide, covering branding, bold business strategies, photographing high school seniors, and volume photography. Trish also works one-on-one with photographers as a personal coach to help them grow their businesses and succeed as entrepreneurs.
Amid national stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trish joined us for a webinar to talk about protecting your brand. We’ve put together a brief overview of some of her key points from the video below. You can also watch the full video to get even more fantastic advice from Trish on ways to protect and build your brand during this time.
Protecting Your Brand
At the beginning of 2020, Trish’s business goals seemed pretty “normal”. You may have even shared a few of these goals with her as you started out your year:
When COVID-19 came along, these goals drastically changed as the world changed around her. Her new objectives included things like:
Protecting your brand is extremely important during times of crisis. Your brand is all about the attributes that you bring to it: your identity, your values, and where you position yourself with your competition. Although your day-to-day operations may have changed, you still need to be diligent in protecting your identity, showing clients your value, and positioning yourself as a caring professional, a leader, and an expert in your field.
What is Branding?
Branding is a repeatable, recognizable element that shows your company style to clients.The elements of your brand may be on a conscious or subconscious level. It’s how people know and remember your company, and what they say about you when you aren’t in the room. You want your brand to be remembered in a positive light now more than ever. Here are a few of Trish’s top pieces of advice for protecting and even strengthening your brand during times of crisis and uncertainty.
Have Clear Policies & Show Compassion
Let your clients know where you stand on certain policies. Clear communication coupled with compassion can help protect the integrity of your brand, especially when it comes to how you handle things like:
Be a Good Human
This is not the time for selling or drastically reducing prices; now is the time to be a good human. The way people remember your brand—especially now—will be heavily based on how good of a human you are and people’s interactions with you. It is important to be strategic about the things you do and the messages you send out. You don’t want to leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.
45% of consumers will unfollow a brand on social media if their platform is dominated by self-promotion. Now is NOT the time for selling.
Take It Seriously
Branding is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room, and you have never been more out of the room than you are now! Be sure that everyone involved with your company is on the same page when it comes to content and messaging. Take a strategic approach to determine what message you want your business to be conveying to clients and to your greater audience and be cohesive across all of your marketing channels from emails, to social media, to personally checking in with clients.
Watch Your Brand Voice
Even if your posts don’t have high engagement on social media, people are watching what you say. Be sure that your tone and your messaging remains positive, helpful, and caring. Negativity will always be remembered negatively, so try not to dwell on fear, uncertainty, and other negative emotions that surround times of crisis. Instead, work to bring hope and inspiration to your clients, family, and friends. Learn more about communicating during times of crisis with this guide.
Showcase Your Brand in New Ways
Just tell, don’t sell! Spend time sharing with your clients rather than selling to them. Now is a great time to give people a behind-the-scenes look at your studio and your process. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Be Prepared to Adapt
Don’t be afraid to adjust to changes as they happen, both now and in the future. Your brand is about who you are more than where you are. As you strengthen your brand’s foundation, it becomes easier to make all kinds of decisions while still being true to your values.
Consider Your Role in the Community
Trish founded the Trish Logan Legacy Project as a way to further her brand’s charitable work in her community. From commissions for schools, scholarships, and gift certificates to free photos for veterans, Trish created this legacy project to show that her brand is a leader within the community. Take time to reach out and see how you can meet the current needs of local businesses and organizations. Local newspapers, charitable organizations, schools, chambers of commerce, and other small businesses in your area are all great places to start. And remember: fostering your relationship with the community is important especially now, but it’s also something you should be doing all the time, not just during a crisis!
Be Cohesive & Consistent
What you put out into the world matters, and you want to be consistent. Now is the time for you to step back and take a close look at the message your brand has been sending out. Ask yourself:
Consistent branding can lead to an increase in revenues by 23%, so it is crucial to take the necessary time to ensure you are presenting yourself in a consistent, cohesive way.
Add value to your audience and community. Trish created the Stay-at-Home Camera Club to help give parents a way to give their children fun, engaging, and educational activities to keep them busy despite being stuck at home due to COVID-19. Not only does a program like this offer value to those families involved, it also offers value to photography itself by introducing young people to the craft.
Use PPA’s See the Difference Marketing Tools
PPA has customizable marketing tools for its members, including videos and printables, that allow photographers to help their clients understand the difference it makes when they hire a professional.
If you found this information helpful, remember that it’s just the tip of the iceberg! Be sure to watch the full session with Trish Logan for even more guidance on protecting your brand during times of crisis. You can learn more about Trish Logan and connect with her at Trishlogan.com
If you are in need of assistance relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to visit PPA.com/InItTogether for additional resources to help you during this time.