We tell stories all the time – about our lives and the things that happen to us on a day to day basis. Stories are how humans make sense of the world, and are a huge part of how we communicate.
It makes sense, then, that your business has stories too – because your business isn’t quite human but it definitely has soul and a mind of its own at times, right? Brand stories, then, are the stories you tell about your business in words and pictures.
When you’re thinking about how to present or market your business, whether it’s building or tweaking your website, creating social posts or sending brochures and information out in the post, it can be really helpful to define the stories you want to tell about your brand and your business.
Marketing is all about connection – finding the right people for whatever it is you make or do, and showing them. They will resonate with certain things, and not with others – and the magic of appealing to your most ideal clients is in connecting with what matters most to them.
The specifics of this will of course be different depending on your business and your own values, but working out what to show in order to draw the right people to your business is a very valuable exercise.
Turning values into stories
You probably already know what some of your values are, though I encourage all my clients to revisit this regularly, at least once a year or so. Your business changes and evolves just as you do, and it’s always worth checking in to make sure you’re still in alignment with it and the way it comes across.
How do you turn values into stories? By thinking about what those values mean to you, why they are part of what you do, and then creating images and words which clearly define that message.
For example, Becky Scott who owns MissFits Workout® is a passionate advocate of dance and movement being for all bodies. Her classes embody this, and everything she puts out into the world – photos, responses, words, interviews – reflect her commitment to all bodies and fitness levels being welcome in her classes and the world of her business.
Her own brand stories, covered in her shoot, included her dancing, jumping and moving, reading books which she loves and recommends, which fit with her overall message, and also standing, sitting and stretching – to counter the traditional fitness industry imagery, and show that she adapts her workouts for the individuals who attend.
We also left space around some of her shots so she can add words – because pictures might tell 1000 words, but words are useful too!
Artist Philly’s passion is sustainability, and so part of her shoot focused on the way she packages her art for both clients and stockists:
and turning stories into connection!
Graphic designer Val Tsang, having experienced both day job and freelance life with two young children, wanted to show the reality of this in her marketing.
She knows that many of her clients are also working mums, and that they will resonate with the story of fitting in work around the children, and working late at night because that’s the only peaceful time in the day.
So as part of her shoot, although it was a bright sunny day outside, we created “night” for some of her shots, to reflect the reality of the way she and her clients work.
We also included her children in some of her photos, which she uses on her website, to communicate visually her values and connect with her ideal clients.
Planning your own brand stories
Part of the process I take my own brand photography clients through is the Brand Clarity process, which dives deep into you, your business, why you’re doing what you’re doing and what makes it appealing to the people you want to work with most.
I created the Brand Story Planning Worksheet as part of this, to plan the visual aspects of each of the stories you want to tell.
You can get your hands on a copy for free – woohoo! Just pop your name & email in the blue form below and it will wing its way to you – and you’ll get monthly magical updates from me, too. (unsubscribe any time, of course!)