What's Your Differentiation Style? Jenni & Sophie with Primd Marketing
Finding ways to stand out in a crowed market doesn't have to be overwhelming. | Focused Podcast
Finding ways to set yourself apart as a photographer can seem overwhelming when working on your own. Jenni and Sophie of Primd Marketing want you to know it is possible to find ways you're different from every other photographer. It just takes getting out of your own headspace and listening to what your past clients have to say about you. Your differentiation style may be something that comes naturally for you that you've never thought too much about it.
Jenni and Sophie of Primd Marketing love to create brand strategies to help business owners stand out in a crowded market. Together, they work with the clients through their Brand Plan process and then walk them through other parts of their businesses as well. Many of their clients are local to the Bay Area, but they also work with clients all over. Jenni & Sophie love working together and having business partners to bounce ideas off of and to share the work with and they want to help give that support back to their clients.
Figuring yourself out
Sophie says ‘brand work is soul work’ and many of Primd’s clients are also other branding experts. They’ve realized it can be easier to figure out your style while talking to someone else about it; you can definitely get in your own head too much. Their deep-dive session includes discovery worksheets and can turn into a therapy session. At the end of these sessions, Jenni & Sophie give their clients a list of their 4 core values, which comes from their open and honest conversations. It can be emotional for their clients when they present their final brand plans to them.
Niching down to stand out
You can be very successful by getting very specific with your clients and offerings. But that may not be the right plan for you and your business. There are several ways for you to differentiate your business without niching down too far.
Your brand values
The values are the backbone of your business. In their deep-dive strategy session they categorize things in 4 categories: Your Why, Your How, The Results, & Brand Personality/Style. Jenni & Sophie use these categories to help create your brand messaging, marketing strategy, and website copy. You can begin working through this process today on your own or with another business owner to get an outsider’s perspective.
Differentiation for photographers
Jenni and Sophie have found there are 4 categories of photographers their clients fall into over the years. The first category Primd sees is the “Niche Customer”. In this category the photographer generally niches down, for example, to adventure couples, or elopement only. There’s also the “Unique Package/Method” photographer. They may offer a full glam session with hair and makeup on site. Or another great example is creating a package that covers the first 12 months of a baby’s life. If this is where you want to be, create your packages to be one step ahead of what your client needs. The next category is “Style” photography. This may be the photographer who has a more artistic style. The last category is “Price”. Many photographers start out here because they want to book many clients, but you can also be in the price category and be on the higher end. You don’t have to price yourself at the bottom to stand out, you can price your services on the higher end. There are more ways to differentiate yourself on the high end but you’ve got to stay ahead and offer more value to your client. Think about adding printing services to your packages and give them a great return on their investment. Jenni and Sophie advise that if you’re going to have a premium package price, you need to have a premium process for your clients to go through. A quick recap:
- Niche Customer
- Unique Package/Method
Carving out your niche
Most of Primd’s clients have set packages and are clear with what they bring to the table. Where they’ve struggled is determining how they can set themselves even further apart from other photographers. Jenni and Sophie look at testimonials to see what the clients are saying, and discover there are things the photographers do for their clients without even thinking. These are the things that set them apart, but it takes having someone else, like Primd, to hold the mirror up so to the photographers can see it for themselves. Primd takes these special touches and uses this to infuse personality and branding into the copy and website. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, because you’ll be nothing to no one. One of their clients went through this process and worried about niching down too much, but she took the leap and its paying her back ten-fold. This gives you the permission to do more of what you love and working with your favorite clients.
3 things to help you niche down today
- Really listen and act on what your existing customers/leads are telling you.
- Walk through your whole sales process from the client side. What roadblocks might they encounter along the way? Include some surprises and delights for your customers along the way.
- Stop looking around your market. It is okay to stop following others in your industry and look inward to differentiate yourself.
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About Primd Marketing
Prim'd Marketing is a marketing and brand strategy studio. We help small businesses and personal brands craft their brand strategy, messaging and content strategy. We identify what makes them stand out in their competitive landscape, who their best customers are and how best to reach them through our signature offering, The Brand Plan. The Brand Plan creates a firm foundation for a brand, from which we can build branding, web, or a social media presence.
Jenni Heffernan Brown
Jenni Heffernan Brown is a co-founder of Prim'd Marketing, a brand strategy studio helping entrepreneurs and small business owners create brands that look and sound like the best version of themselves. She’s also the host of The Type A Creative, a podcast for driven creatives, exploring how artists can build a thriving creative practice while also building a thriving career.
Jenni's experience ranges from global brands such as Pepsi and Taco Bell to small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. When she isn't creating a beautiful marketing and brand strategy through The Brand Plan for Prim'd clients, she’s fighting for time to write and illustrate for herself.
Sophie Davies is the co-founder and resident social media and content strategist at Prim'd Marketing. Sophie has worked with an international portfolio of clients in the fashion industry, ranging from Lacoste and Calvin Klein to independent designers, as well as consulting with brands in the lifestyle, wedding, parenting and publishing industries on their social media marketing.