I am thrilled to share our most recent client launch with you all because this client challenged our creativity in the best way possible. As I’ve mentioned many times before, though every client has a similar end goal (elevate their brand, get more in touch with their brand personality, book more of their ideal clients, and raise their prices to reflect the value they offer to their clients), the way we strategize to reach their goal looks different because every brand is unique. And that’s what makes this job challenging and rewarding for our team!
To tie this back to our most recent client, Mina of Lumena Photography — her brand design was creatively challenging because she is an incredibly talented creative herself. She is a portrait photographer who specializes in empowering, artistic, and ethereal photos. She also aims to take her clients on a holistic journey of self-love through her sessions.
In fact, Mina said this about her brand when we had one of our first consultations:
“I help make everyday people change the way they see themselves. I want everyone to leave with not just the photographs, but a self-image transformative experience and photos that can remind them every day of their magnificence. I want people who say, ‘I don’t need photos of myself, just the kids. No one wants to see a photo of me,’ to be transformed by the experience. To begin celebrating who they are. To see their confidence and fall back in love with themselves. I create a self-discovery experience. I want to create images that can be cherished for generations to come. “
The team here at Carrylove Designs is no stranger to working with portrait photographers who offer an all-inclusive and world-class experience that goes beyond simply clicking a shutter button. But every portrait photographer has their own unique way of going about it, so we felt honored to work with Mina because we had never seen this approach before.
Each of our Signature Experience clients goes through a four-step process: Brand Strategy, Brand Design, Website Design, and Launch Strategy. If you want to see how we took Mina’s brand from, “I’m not getting a lot of clients with this new pricing and genre yet so I want to up-level my marketing game and my brand image.” to “this is amazing!”, stick around because I’ll be taking you through the step-by-step process we used with Lumena Photography to elevate her brand.
The first step in our process is to create a strategy and brand design of all the elements, including tone of voice, ideal client profile, color palette, fonts, customer purchasing journey, goals, and much more. We determine the details of all these elements from an extensive client questionnaire so we can essentially get to know their short-term and long-term goals, where their brand is now, and where they want it to go.
For Lumena Photography, we determined that our goal was to position Lumena Photography as the leading portrait and brand photographer in the British Columbia area by creating a cohesive brand message and elevated brand design that communicates her value so she could book quality clients and charge her worth.
We wanted to come across as transparent, holistic, empowering, refined, intentional, personable, and inclusive. Her ideal clients are people who value the conscious market and who are open and curious about what it means to go on a self-love journey. And her color palette was very neutral and earthy, with mystical elements and colors weaved through it. We loved the idea of matching unique yet modern fonts with the elements of her brand design because it enhanced the empowering and ethereal vibe we were going for.
A common misconception is that the key to elevating a brand is simply creating a new logo. In reality, it’s all these elements combined that elevate a brand. The goal drives our stylistic choices, which allows all the brand elements to come together cohesively. All the gears are in their place, so to speak, and it creates a strong brand presence. Without cohesiveness, a brand can’t thrive because that results in customer confusion.
After our client accepts the brand strategy and brand package, we move on to website copy. This step right is the one many brand designers skip, but website copy is crucial for a brand’s success. When first starting Carrylove Designs, I noticed brand designers either provide very minimal copy, cookie-cutter copy, or no copy at all.
You may think, “What’s wrong with a minimal amount of copy? I don’t want to overwhelm my visitors when they visit my website.” I completely understand this question, and it’s one that my clients ask all the time!
There are two main issues with having almost no copy on your page. The first is that Google loves website copy because the algorithm’s job is to scan for keywords. The more strategic copy you have on your website, the easier it is for Google to recognize all the keywords you want to rank for, and then place you on the search pages accordingly. That’s what it means to have an SEO strategy. But if you don’t have enough words on your web pages, the algorithm is going to have a hard time pinpointing how you should be ranked, and you risk staying stagnant or even dropping in rank for your targeted keywords. The second issue with not having enough keywords comes down to building rapport and trust with potential clients. We like to say that beautiful photos bring clients to the door, but the copy makes them feel welcome enough to step into your home. You want the opportunity to explain to your visitors why your services are valuable and what makes your brand experience unique — we can’t rely on images alone to do that.
We knew the copy was going to be essential for Mina because she is in a particular niche. To create her copy, we focused on creating a professional, inclusive, transparent, holistic, and empowering tone. By doing this, we not only strengthened her brand voice, but we also were targeting her ideal client.
After we complete the copy, now we move on to the step that most people think is the very first step: website design! However, we don’t just make a website look pretty. Sure, that is one aspect of our job, but we also implement a website strategy. (I have a whole playlist on Youtube about website strategy — check it out here.) Website strategy looks like placing elements in a way that guides the visitor down the page and placing call-to-actions (CTAs) intentionally to drive visitors to the pages we want them to visit the most, such as the experience page and session reservation page.
To enhance Mina’s brand personality, we used mystical hand-drawn elements and implemented her earthy, neutral colors and fonts. Again, we were going for a professional, empowering, transparent, holistic, and inclusive vibe. Because we had done extensive research and planning beforehand, all these elements filled their spots of the brand puzzle piece perfectly.
Our process is very collaborative and we take pride in that because we want to set our clients up for the best success once they complete the Signature Experience with us. And though we try to be as thorough and detail-oriented as possible, ultimately, no one understands a brand like the person behind the brand. With Mina, we had a wonderful collaborative experience, and we got to bounce creative ideas off of each other until we reached a point where her website felt 100% true to her and her mission.
The last step is the launch strategy! We reserve ample time to plan out a social media and newsletter strategy because, like any other grand opening of a store, it’s critical to build excitement and hype around a brand’s website launch. I recently wrote a blog post on the importance of a launch strategy, which you can check out here.
That concludes our walkthrough of Mina of Lumena Photography’s Signature Experience! You can check out more of her website by clicking here. Did you learn anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts about our process in the comments and if you have any major takeaways from this example!
And if you’re thinking to yourself, “Ok, this sounds amazing in theory, but how in the world do I apply all this to my own brand?” Look no further than our award-winning Signature Experience. Drop us a note — our team is eager to meet you and see how we can elevate your brand!