In this episode, we're talking about something big for your business – your brand story. It's not just a tool; it's a way to change how you talk and share stuff, making your ads, messages, and posts better, especially on places like Instagram.
Find out about the three main parts of a great brand story: brand promise, brand pillars, and brand personality.
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Welcome to The Wedding CEO Podcast, where we discuss all things marketing, sales, and scaling, so you can become the CEO of your life and business. I'm Alora Rachelle, and I've been a wedding photographer for over a decade, and now I'm sharing all of my secrets so you can stop sacrificing your time and make more money like a CEO.
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Wedding CEO Podcast. In this episode I had alluded to in a couple previous episodes that I was going to be dropping this brand story training so that you can put this into your marketing, your content, your website, whatever it is that you do. I think that this is going to be helpful for you.
This is one of the trainings that we have inside of The Wedding CEO, but I wanted to honestly offer it to you so that you can take it and run with it. So this tool is probably going to be your source of truth when it comes to understanding your dream clients, what it is that you want to do, how it is you want to do it.
Yeah, and I think this will be a really good first step into self discovery. This training was taught live, so feel free to follow along, take notes. Get a sheet of paper out and enjoy this free lesson. Today's lesson is about your brand story. This is our new transformational messaging and content tool.
So this tool is, one, going to teach you how to update your messaging, your marketing, your content, all of it is going to stem from your brand story. So anytime that you guys submit anything for feedback, I'd be like, “What's your brand story?” This is going to be that it's going to help you market and sell your unique skills to your dream clients. Very much tailored to you and all the skills you're going to bring with it.
What is a brand story? A combination of three things, your brand promise, your brand pillars, and your brand personality.
Now your brand promise is going to be the foundational piece of your entire business. What you believe in, who you serve, essentially in the past, it was your tagline. Now it's just your brand promise. This is the couple I serve. This is what they're going to get. These are my dream clients, essentially. This is going to be the thing that actually magnetically attracts your dream clients.
Your brand pillars are going to be what you stand for, right? The words to describe your work. The words to describe maybe your future team, the words to describe you, things that you value, things that you think is important, and also your clients as well.
Then your brand personality is going to be the little sprinkle of you. This is going to be your unique factor. We all could have similar brand promises and brand pillars, but there's only one brand personality. This is going to be how you're going to stand out in the future with your brand session. Your brand promise. This is your official mission statement. Why you exist, who you serve, and what you give them.
This alone should attract your dream clients and be the tagline for your site. So when you guys submit your websites for approval or feedback, I want to see your brand promise. Like serving X couples who value X or Y. You know what I mean?
If you guys don't have a sheet of paper out, I think this would be a good time to take it out. So you can kind of brainstorm and make tweaks to what you have now or we can also share in the chat what you guys are coming up with.
But these are ways to really uncover your brand promise, which is in the deep dive guide. How did you become a photographer? What do you love most about the wedding day?
When I ask this question, I get very general answers. So I'm going to be like, what specifically do you love most about the wedding day? What is your favorite moment? Right? What is something that you look forward to?
Some people could say, “I love imperfection.”
I used to say all the time, like, “I'm going to be chasing the grandmas.”
My grandma passed away and I always want to be like, man, this picture is going to outlive her. I need to make sure I capture the front row, right? The family members, for me, it was children because I was a mother. I was always capturing the kids doing something quirky, spinning around, being upside down, or just being mad because they're at the wedding, you know?
What do you love most about the wedding day? This is really going to help you understand your brand promise. What are you naturally more drawn to? When you pick up your camera, you don't even have a list in your head, you just start capturing it. And you're like, this is the easy part, this is the fun part.
For me, I was drawn to the reception. Because that was when my bride finally had the time of her life.
My bride was like, “We're gonna do a first look because I'm gonna go party.”
I'm like, “Girl, please, can't wait.”
She's like, “I'm going to be wild. It's going to be crazy. I might not remember it.”
I'm like, “That's crazy. That's why you hired me, you know?”
So naturally I liked the reception. I could play with lighting. My bride was always buck wild or they would do some crazy dance or they would do an outfit change. So I was always excited about the reception, but I had a friend who was like, I am naturally drawn to the ceremony.
She's like, I cry every time they exchange their vows. I am looking for family members reaction, you know, even like when grandma stands up with her little digital camera, her phone takes a picture. They love that, right?
What are you naturally more drawn to? What is your wedding day approach? Are you hands off? Or do you do like the preliminaries ahead of time and then then hands off? Or are you with them every step of the way? Are you asking them if they got a drink of water? Are you just like, “Hey, if you need anything, let me know.” You know, what is your wedding day approach?
Then what was the one moment that changed everything for your love of photography? This one's really going to help, I think too, with your core values, but this for me, I dove into documentary after my grandma passed. For me, I really started seeking authentic images. I didn't want perfection. When I was looking for images, I was looking up images of her looking at me on the wedding day. I wanted images of her. Smiling or talking to somebody else and having a good time because I felt like I still had her with me. Right? So is there a moment? It doesn't have to be as intense, you know, as mine, but was there a moment where you're like- no, this is why I do this. This is why I sacrifice every weekend. This is why.
Here are some examples to sum all of it up. Once you figured out your prompts is X style for Y moments or Y couples, right? Or serving couples who value Y or capturing the X couples who believe Y or photographer for the X that love Y. You can just move these all around, but this will kind of help you really establish a very specific brand promise that I want to see in all of your websites.
Next is brand pillars. Your brand pillars, we talked about this, it's your unique skills and your core values and what you're passionate about and what your dream clients want or essentially what it is they're looking for.
This was mine as an example. In the past, I was an editorial wedding photographer. I liked making clients feel comfortable. My authentic approach to capturing the story. That was my unique take. That was what they were looking for, essentially. Then I had a very laid back luxury client experience.
What are all of these things that you feel like you bring to the table that nobody else really does the way you do it? These are essentially are your brand pillars. We're going to dive a little bit deeper into this. Because it's a four part system.
I want you to write down three to five statements for each of these four content pieces that make the brand pillar. So like three to five words for your core values, three to five statements about your passion, three to five things that your dream clients need or your dream client wants. They'll usually tell you this in the inquiry, “We're really drawn to this.”, “We really want a wedding like this.”, “We really want to feel like this.” Or even on the sales call, you'd be like, “Oh, okay. So like you want a hands off experience.”, “Oh, okay. You need me to spell everything out for you.” What is it that your dream client needs or wants that you provide and only the way that you can. Then your unique skills. This is your differentiation factor. I was really good at posing because I like studied fashion and modeling and all the other great stuff. So like posing really came naturally to me. I tested it on my sisters for like five years, but all of my passions and skills were kind of aligned. It's like, because my passion was fashion photography, my unique skill, I was really good at authentically directing couples in a way that felt natural.
All of these things are going to really make up your brand pillars. By the way, you don't have to submit all of these when you do the feedback reviews, but this will really get you thinking and being like, okay. This is actually what I'm all about and you can kind of see what they have in common being like, I say that I'm this style, but it's sounding more like this style. Then also, if you don't have much clarity from this, you guys can always put it in the community and we can help you brainstorm or even help you narrow some things down if you feel like you're all over the place. But I personally think that you don't have to really fit into one style. I believe eclectic is going to be one of the newest things is they want everything. I don't know if people just want one specific stark style anymore, but that's just me personally.
Your brand personality. This is the connection to you as your brand, your brand aesthetic, the relatable pieces of content, anything personal that you feel comfortable sharing that opens the door outside of your business.
If someone was to go out of town and see something that reminded them of you based on what you share, what would it be? If it was your birthday, what would they get you? What do you stand for? What do you not stand for? What are your hobbies? What's your favorite this or that? Do these things help you sell your services better? Or is it just something to connect them with you, the brand?
Then what should we know about the CEO behind the lens? Now I think in the past people have been like, well, I don't really want to share too much about. my life because it feels personal. I say just pick three things at the very least that you feel comfortable sharing that doesn't make you uncomfortable. Can you share a favorite drink? Can you share your style and aesthetic? What about you? Maybe I wanted to say your favorite food. Like, I think back in the day, I built like a whole brand based on my brides eating pizza. I mean, I don't know. I mean, I do love pizza, but hey, we made it a whole brand thing. I wouldn't overthink it, but maybe even sharing your hobbies just so your clients feel kind of connected to you. Like in the past, I Pretty much built my entire business around my daughter, right? She was invited to like four different weddings, which my husband brought her to because he's a champ but they were like, “Yeah, we're gonna have kids soon.” You know, “Your daughter's so cute.” I don't know I don't know why they hired me Some of them said literally we hired you because your daughter and now I'm like not showing my kids at all. But it's crazy one little personal piece people feel connected to that and people can get behind that.
This is how I would lay it out and this is an example I also would like you guys to share yours too in the comments. Because yeah, I want to see what you guys are coming up with and seeing different ways to do this, but this was mine. My brand promise is Alora Rachelle Weddings is a boutique business providing an editorial experience for a laid back luxury couple.
So who I was, this was back when I had the associate team. But it would've just said like Alora Rachelle serves couples that value the editorial experience for laid back luxury couples where my brand pillars were editorial with a celebrity feel, making clients feel comfortable. Documentary approach to capturing the day laid back luxury experience, and then a very effortless feel.
I used to tell my brides all the time, you're gonna look like a celebrity effortlessly, and they're like. Boom. That's what I want. I want to be a model.
Brand personality. These are things that I'm still obsessed with. This is like an updated version, but lavender lattes. I'm a mother of two, right? I don't really promote that one so much, but it is part of my brand.
Ramen lover. I love, love, love ramen. Just had some yesterday. Editorial fashion. For me, home decor is like modern Victorian with a little bit of mid century. I'm a self proclaimed interior designer wannabe. So like these are my things, right?
When we dive into the brand session, these pieces will connect effortlessly to how I figure out what props to bring and how I figure out what style to have in my brand session that will really connect to the website.
Wait, don't go yet. If you loved today's episode, I would love if you took five seconds to leave a rating and a five star review. If you do send me a DM so I can give you a virtual hug and of course a shout out. Now, if you're ready to grow your photography business, I invite you to join the waitlist for The Wedding CEO.
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