Tell Your Brand’s Story With More Than Just Words

Happy September, everyone! It's hard to believe summer is nearing its end, yet here we are just in time for fall, football, and pumpkin spiced everything! As we begin reflecting on the wins and successes of the current year, it's never too early to look ahead towards the year to come.

What steps can you take today that will market your business for success in 2017?

I personally tackled this exact question and was ecstatic with the results. One of the most important aspects of marketing your business is the visual elements that accompany your brand messaging. Visual aids tell your brand's story in ways that words sometimes cannot. If you're planning to set up any type of visual marketing campaign for next year, here are five simple steps to ensure your photo or video shoot is a resounding success.

Step 1: Get Organized!

Planning on the front-end is key. It saves you time, money, and plenty of headaches! Trust me! I use iBook author (Mac app) to organize all of my inspiration. I include every little detail. I consider poses, outfits, jewelry, shoes, props – every single aspect I can think of! Planning ahead also ensures that your photo shoot appropriately reflects your brand's identity.

Step 2: Shop for a Venue!

Location, location, location! There's a reason it is so important. It sets the entire tone of your photo shoot. Find a venue that best compliments your brand. Consider the lighting and angles. Is there natural light? Should you consider bringing in a backdrop? All of these factors will impact your photos. Another thing to consider is the noise level of your location. Make sure to select a location that doesn't have potential distractions that can take away from your project.

Step 3: Hiring Vendors!

Communicating your brand through visual photos and video takes a team! Make sure you put the right pros on your roster. Research photographers, videographers, wardrobe stylists, and hair and makeup professionals that are going to do your brand justice! Another person that is essential to your dream team is a director to keep everyone on task and on time. Select vendors that understand your business and reflect its personality. That will help keep messaging consistent all the way through. Not to mention, it makes working together way more fun!

Step 4: Shop for Props!

Before you begin shopping for props, preplan your marketing messages! Write them down. Understand why they're important not only to you but also to your business and to your customers. Be sure to find props that showcase your personality! Let your audience connect with what makes you unique. Once you align your props and your messages, create a timeline for when each of these images will be shared. Consider if you would like to send out messages weekly, monthly, and maybe even quarterly. Planning for the year ahead helps you anticipate your long-term business needs.

Step 5: Campaign Schedule!

Once you flawlessly execute your photo shoot, it's time to put your plan to paper. Establish your timeline and select how you want to share your hard work. Be sure to write it down and include as many details as possible. If you're sending your marketing communication via email, make sure you write strong headlines that will engage your audience. Be sure to add analytics and tracking to your emails so you can understand your audience, how they open your content, and how they interact with your brand digitally.

To wrap it up, if you follow these five steps you'll be sure to set up for the year ahead without breaking a sweat! You can't read a book and figure out your brand. It takes time and effort. But in the end, it's always worth staying true to yourself and your voice. I can tell you from personal experience that even though planning and executing a photo shoot was intense at times, it is such a relief to know that my marketing campaigns for that next year are well on their way to completion. Now I can focus on my clients and do what I love most: helping others! If you need help or ideas for your brand, contact me today! I can help you put together the perfect team to market your brand.

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