I love working with small businesses. I find fulfillment in helping others become successful by helping them tell their story through my images. It all starts with looking at people around you. Almost everyone has something they are passionate about. I think to myself, “how can I help them?” I often try to perceive life through an abundance mind set instead of a scarcity mind set. Nothing challenges this thinking more than the current situation at the time of writing this post. As of right now Covid 19 is threatening the markets and life as we know it. It is so fascinating how stress can reveal who people really are. The hoarding taking place right now is strange and interesting. Why are people buying all this toilet paper? It’s not like Covid 19 causes diarrhea?! It is this lack of the feeling of control that causes people to act so strangely. We rationalize however we can to put some semblance or control over something, anything, that will cause us to feel better about an uncontrollable situation. We want to feel safe.
This diatribe is my long winded way of pointing out that marketing is all about understanding the human mind, what triggers our behavior especially when buying. There are many resources and podcasts about figuring out ideal clients. But essentially, the goal is to think about (really think about) who are they, what do they do on a daily basis, what is important to them. I talk about this concept with my clients in order to think about their audience as I form the look we are trying to communicate.
For a personal brand I also think about my client. What is their style? What image are they trying to portray? Are they aiming to appear friendly, approachable, confident, professional, successful, relatable? The shoot I did with my client, Barry, was done at a hotel. He is an e-commerce entrepreneur. Our goal was to make him convey success, friendliness, authority, and focused yet approachable. His clothing was his own business casual. Some looks he was smiling, some he was working and some he was thoughtful. We created a lot of looks that he is able to use on his site, socials and print that were consistent in look and in message. I run into a lot of people with a small business who hate being in front of the camera. But there is no way of completely avoiding it, if you are a small business, you need to show people who you are. It’s been said time and time again that PEOPLE BUY FROM PEOPLE THEY LIKE. They are purchasing something and choosing you over the competition because they like you (all other things being equal or close to equal). In this day of commodity products, easy access to information and uncertain times, brand identity is more important than ever.