Sometimes life just gets in the way. especially when you have relocated to a different country, taking your business with you, spent time adjusting, a new country, a new home, new routines, a new school and settling into a new way of life.
This was certainly the case for my most recent clients, Bloomfield Photography.
A brilliant husband and wife team who had chased their dreams and moved to Spain, bringing with them their thriving wedding photography business and their gorgeous 3-year-old daughter.
We all know how fast moving the wedding business is and after a few years of settling into their new lifestyle, Sam and Helen were ready to re-evaluate their branding, website, packages and pricing so they contacted me.
To say I was super excited is an underestimation!
We arranged an afternoon of business mentoring. I had got to know Sam and Helen quite well and had done my homework checking out their website, social media and packages.
We powered through our mentoring session over a very lovely lunch in their beautiful home.
Having identified key areas that were just not sitting quite right, I realised they were what I call toe dipping.
Toe dipping is the term I use when clients are tweaking the odd thing here and there but not completely focusing on their overall brand, message and using a strategy to achieve business goals.
They definitely knew where they wanted to be but had a few sticking points, that as a husband and wife team they could not agree on.
Helen and Sam not only live and raise a child together but they also work together, so their ability to critique their own brand is a challenging one.
With over a decade of experience in the wedding industry, having planned many high-end weddings, my experience and knowledge meant Helen and Sam completely trusted my opinions.
I knew they would take my advice on-board allowing them to step back and see their brand from a potential clients perspective, and also a wedding planners viewpoint, which is a difficult thing for any wedding business owner to see.
An important step for anyone who wishes to improve is to be open to change allowing them to take advice to heart and to implement refined changes that reflect their brand.
They were selling themselves as individuals with Helen as an optional second photographer, instead of seeing themselves as a brilliant team.
By selling Helen´s skills as an extra, despite costing only a small amount more, they told me that only 50% of their bookings included Helen, which in their opinion prevented them from delivering their best work.
Helen is a wonderful stylist and second photographer, she brings her stylist magic to their clients´ wedding days, ensuring their wedding portfolios capture every detail which also truly reflects Helen and Sam´s work which they are proud of.
So we did away with the added service and we repackaged them as a team and changed their prices to reflect this.
The second sticking point was they described themselves and their lifestyles but there were no images of them.
They are an attractive, lively and very sociable couple, clients resonate and want to connect with people, so I set them a project to take lifestyle images of themselves to add to their website, social media and information packages.
It is never easy, especially when you are used to taking photos of other people and being the other side of the camera, but they are embraced this and you can now meet Sam and Helen on their website!
They also needed to elaborate a bit more about their backgrounds, as much as we love to know Sam likes vintage cars and Helen likes beach walks, they are also both very highly skilled in their professions.
A bit of career background goes a long way, anyone can pick up a camera, but not everyone had a darkroom at home as a child and learned from a family of artists, nor have many couples graduated from 3 universities between them in relevant fields to their business, yet they both kept their skills a secret!
They really needed to shout out about their education and skills which has allowed them to create their fabulous business.
The third point we addressed was their pricing.
We looked at their current packages and just made a few tweaks to reflect the fact Helen is now included in all of their photography packages.
They then decided to add in a new version of their premium package that now includes a 35mm film (stills) based portrait session.
Sam learned to develop film at 8 years of age, he still uses it for his personal work and had used film professionally before moving to digital in 2008 in the early stage of his career whilst in his early 20s. It made complete sense for them to re-introduce 35mm film into their professional work to create timeless still portraits, something in keeping with their aesthetic and brand.
Finally, we checked in on their branding, there were some rather unsuitable yellow (toe dipping!) watercolour squiggles going on so we did away with these, looked at a broad selection of their favourite images and introduced a colour palette to stick to based on the tones in their favourite images and work.
We also did away with a weak and off-brand logo and stuck to a bolder cleaner typeface.
The end result now has eliminated the toe-dipping, they have a clear and clarified branding, a clear pricing structure having re-branded their photography packages and will now sell themselves as a team and not additional opt-ins.
Their website now reflects the extremely talented duo behind their business which ideal clients will resonate with.
We have since had a follow-up meeting and they were powering through everything I had suggested which is brilliant, they have a busy 2019 ahead of them, but I know that they will go even further and smash 2020!
If you would like to see how their branding is now looking now take a peek over at www.bloomfieldphoto.com
There are no yellow squiggles to be seen and I adore the images they had added of themselves to their website.