branding on a budget: using templates to customize your image

  • branding on a budget using templates to customize your image

branding on a budget: using templates to customize your image

We love this definition of branding from Entrepreneur Magazine:

“Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”           

In other words, before you run off to buy design templates to brand your business, you must first figure out what lies behind your logo and marketing collateral, what sentiments and impressions you want your clients to feel.

branding on a budget using templates to customize your image

You might want to convey the image of an urban sophisticate, shooting in a light-filled downtown loft. Or perhaps your aesthetic is more Rifle Paper Co, all hand-drawn florals and artisan lettering. Whatever vibe you choose, using design templates to convey that message to your clients is an affordable way to assemble a cohesive brand identity. While custom design is a way to ensure that your brand is totally distinctive, that uniqueness comes at a price that many photographers simply cannot afford to pay, particularly when they are just starting out.

With a bit of tweaking, we think that templates can be just as effective as custom design, at a fraction of the cost. We recommend choosing a suite of templates that contains multiple products in the same style, so that your brand message is conveyed through every single interaction–print or online–with your clients.

branding on a budget using templates to customize your image

Here’s a case study of how to brand a new photography business from start to finish, for a professional look that will sell your studio and look consistent across all your platforms.

The brand: Your Studio Photography, projecting a sleek, modern, high-end photography experience with clean lines and open spaces.

The templates: The Modern Minimalist™ Collection from Design Aglow

The products: ProPhoto Blog (the critical first impression, and a stunning way to display your portfolio); Marketing Suite (once clients inquire, you can send this their way); Welcome Packet (once clients have booked, continue their branding experience while educating them on what to expect); Sneak Peek and Blog Boards (protect your work online while arranging your images artfully); Storyboards and Albums (carry your style over into clients’ homes, further marketing your brand to new clients); Packaging Accessories (a personalized finishing touch for them to remember you by); and Calendars (a branded thank-you gift so clients will think of you every day of the year).

The cost: $555.
Based on a recent informal survey, the market rate for graphic and web designers is between $50-100 per hour; for templates this detailed, commissioning a designer to create this entire suite could cost upwards of $15,000. Which means these templates are an incredible bargain–and we haven’t even taken into consideration their professionally written verbiage and possession of the original design files so that you can change the images and text at any time.

branding on a budget using templates to customize your image

While all of these products are turnkey–pop in your logo and images, then upload or send them off to print!–any of their elements can be changed with the included fully-layered PSD files. Want a vertical image on the left hand side instead of a horizontal image on the right? No problem! Want to make the lines blue instead of black? That’s easy too! Use templates as a framework for your creative vision, and your branding will help your business soar.

Have you used Design Aglow templates to grow your business? Share your success story with us.

About the Author:

Since 1995, Lena Hyde has been transforming the way her international clientele views photography through her philosophy of life as art. Frequently published and exhibited, Lena speaks as a respected expert in the field of contemporary childhood photography. Lena is also the creator of Design Aglow, a leading design and business success resource for portrait and wedding photography studios since 2006. Lena recently authored two photography books that are available internationally in bookstores. Visit Lena Hyde online.

One Comment

  1. anne Mar 15 2014 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    I love this!!! Thank you so much CM and Design Aglow!

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