WHAT IS A BRAND AUDIT & WHY DOES YOUR SESSION BEGIN WITH ONE?

I know, branding strategy probably makes you yawn. BUT, you want to connect with your audience and a plan for putting your face on your brand is the secret sauce! 

Snapping your picture is our end game, but getting to know you and your brand is our first priority. 

We cannot serve you as a personal branding photographer unless we know you and your brand as if it were our own. This is why all new clients follow the same path — starting with a brand audit.

What is a brand audit?

Ok, you have to trust me here. I promise this isn’t as scary as it sounds.

A brand audit is just what it sounds like — a complete assessment of your brand from the inside out. Think of it as a well-check visit with your doctor, a little check-up to see how you’re doing. The result gives you a top-down look at how your brand is performing in the market, illuminating both your strengths and weaknesses.

A brand audit takes you on a deep dive into your internal branding, external branding, and customer experience.

Why do you need a brand audit?

Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned entrepreneur, a brand audit is a powerful tool that can be employed to mend branding & marketing gaps or capitalize on areas of success. 

The reasons may vary for digging into our brand, but we all want the same thing, right? Continued education and growth are key components to success. Without brand audits we can’t educate ourselves on where our brand stands nor can we grow to build the brand of our dreams. 

I’m pretty sure we all jumped into this entrepreneurial journey to end up on top. 

(…which is exactly why you can always find a business book laying on my nightstand! Right now it’s The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Definitely add it to your list!)

Back to the point — even the best entrepreneurs do brand audits!

When are you ready for a brand audit?

It’s more like — When aren’t you ready for a brand audit? 

Seriously, brand audits should be a part of your plan over the longevity of your business:  the beginning, the middle, the end, and all the parts in between. 

Here are a few examples of when implementing a brand audit is helpful: 

  1. You have a new, developing brand or have just rebranded
  2. You’ve experienced recent growth in your business
  3. You are NOT experiencing business growth or business has recently fallen off
  4. You do NOT feel like your brand has direction
  5. You do NOT feel like your business is backed by a strong brand
  6. You just entered your 2nd, 3rd, 7th, or 12th year of business. I think you get it.

Why do we start your photo experience with a brand audit?

We can only truly serve you if we are best friends with you and your brand. A brand audit is how we make that happen. It allows us to get intimate with your brand. You know, learn all the nitty-gritty. It allows us to analyze all aspects of your brand to ensure cohesiveness across all its parts. We focus primarily on getting to know your internal and external branding so the images we create elevate your brand in your customer’s eyes.

What you get:

  • Help identifying the strengths & weaknesses in your current branding
  • Assistance with ensuring your messaging is targeting your ideal client
  • Identification of what differentiates you from competitors
  • Clear, on-brand visual storytelling
  • Continuity between your imagery and your messaging/brand personality
  • The ability to visually communicate with your target audience in all forms of media

What you DON’T get:

  • A photographer who is unfamiliar with you and your brand
  • Pictures withOUT brand strategy
  • Stock photography that does NOT differentiate you from competitors
  • Confusing, off-brand pictures
  • Pictures that do NOT support your messaging and marketing
  • Pictures that do NOT resonate with your target audience

Why do personal brands need a brand audit?

Consumerism is constantly evolving; that’s not new.

What is new are the pressures driving this change: 

  1. Social media has forever changed the way consumers purchase which in turn has forced entrepreneurs to show up online in new ways.
  2. Covid-19 has come into our lives and has put fuel to the fire, effectively pushing consumerism online more than ever before.
  3. The rise of ethical consumerism has further shifted the way businesses operate by requiring businesses to have a moral code. 

How does this impact you? 

Basically, consumers are eating up personal brands right now because of THESE external pressures (arrow points to list above in blog). Consumers are online and they want to know where (and to whom) their money is going.

The result…personal brands aren’t just for CEOs, actors, and athletes anymore. 

Everyone, from entrepreneurs to employees should be cultivating a personal brand in today’s online market.

When you put your face on your brand (in case you haven’t noticed, this is what we all should be doing at this point in the game), you most certainly want to ensure you are speaking to your target audience and doing so authentically and consistently. I mean, YOU are YOUR brand!

Brand audits help you be strategic and consistent, pushing you closer to your goals.

 Personal brands need them just as much as, if not more than, other brand types.  

At the end of the day, we all just want to be successful, both in our bank accounts and in our reputation.

And how do we do that???

I hope you said it: “A brand audit.”

Maybe this isn’t for you?

I can completely understand if you are scoffing at me right now. There are so many things about running my small business that I scoff at too, but it just so happens to not be brand audits. 

Brand audit… who has time for that? → I do!

Brand audit… who wants to do them?  → Me!

Brand audit… who is actually good at this stuff  → Still me!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. 

Branding and marketing are kind of my thing. No, not kinda. They are.

This is where I really get to tap into my background in anthropology. (See, Dad, I told you that a master’s degree in humanities wouldn’t go to waste!) My familiarity with human culture and how humans interact with and relate to brands is an amazing asset, but honestly, it’s fun! 

And on top of that I just so happen to really like taking pictures too and… 

Boom! — Personal Branding Photographer at your service. 

So, when you are ready to level up, but don’t want to tackle a branding audit yourself or just don’t have time to juggle it on top of everything else —  I’m just a phone call away. 

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