brand voice for photographers

Copywriting, Website Tips

How to Find Your Brand Voice as a Photographer

If there’s one thing we hear over and over from the photographers in our community, it’s that we allllll need help when it comes to writing website copy. If you want to make sure your website is effective, natural, and just feels like you, learning your brand voice is a great place to start. It’s what sets apart a bland or forgettable brand from one that feels like someone you genuinely know and would love to hang out with. So what exactly is a brand voice and how do you find yours as a photographer? Here are some tips.

What is Brand Voice?

Think of brands whose content you actually love to consume. You actually open their emails, you follow them on social by choice (and not just to enter their giveaways). Odds are, they probably have a really strong brand voice. A brand voice is the distinct personality, tone, style, messaging, and word choice a brand uses to communicate with their audience.

In any industry where the competition is high, a great brand voice can truly set a company apart and create loyal customers. If you’ve seen what ScrubDaddy or DuoLingo have done on social — especially TikTok — then you’ve seen firsthand how something as mundane as a sponge or a language learning app can be launched to an entirely new level through great branding.

Brand Voice for Photographers

When it comes to your photography business, there’s a good chance that YOU are the brand. Some photographers have a larger team or a brand name that’s not their actual personal name, but the voice of the brand is usually pretty closely linked to your own personality.

However, that doesn’t mean your brand voice has to be the same as the way you’d talk to your friends or family. Think of your brand voice as the way you talk to your favorite clients. It should feel natural and aligned with who you are, but also speak to the audience you serve. Think about the type of language your ideal clients use. What kind of references would they understand? What kinds of emojis do they use? These are all things to think about when trying to discern whether your brand voice should take a different tone than what you’d use in casual conversation.

5 Questions to Help Find Your Brand Voice

1) What are you trying to be to your clients?

This is a helpful place to start, as it will inform all the rest of the questions. Are you a guide, a trusted expert, a friend, an entertainer, a creative partner, an artist? You might be saying yes to ALL of these, but really try to narrow down to a few and think about bringing it back to your audience/ideal client and the unique perspective you’re trying to offer them.

2) What are 5 adjectives you’d use to describe your brand’s personality?

Think about this in ideal terms. If your brand were a person, how would you want people to describe that person? Professional, friendly, casual, inclusive, clever, optimistic, confident, dreamy, whimsical, artful. Looking at a large list of adjectives like this one can be helpful for putting words to your vibe.

3) What are 5 adjectives that you never want to sound like?

These might be the exact opposites of your first list, but they also might be a close relative of them. For example, you might want to sound optimistic, but never naive. You might want to sound professional but never stuffy. You might want to sound cool, but never exclusionary. Knowing what you don’t want is important for not veering too hard in a particular direction.

4) What words or phrases do you use the most?

It might be helpful to literally look through your emails and messages to clients, but you can also just pay attention to what you actually say in real life. Maybe even ask a friend what phrases you use a lot. Those might be great things to incorporate into your brand voice and copy as they’re authentic to the way you show up in the real world.

5) How do you greet people?

Hey, hi, hello, what’s cookin good lookin. Talk soon, have a good one, later skater. Think about how you greet people, and use that in the way you write your emails, website, and captions. You can also think about what you call people (besides their names, of course). Babe, honey, angel, love — do you ever use any terms of endearment or “pet names?” These are perfect for incorporating into places where you want to create familiarity with the reader.

These tips and questions are a great starting point for nailing your brand voice as a photographer. As you start writing or going through your own captions and written content, try keeping a doc with a “copy bank” of phrases, lines, or full on paragraphs you love. Whether you write all your own copy or work with a professional copywriter, having these guidelines written down will help clarify your message and build a stronger brand that clients love.