Service Based Creative Business: How to Approach your Brand Session

September 17, 2019

Calling all the wedding planners, a hair/makeup teams, lawyers, online business coaches, stylists, fitness trainers, virtual assistants, law care specialists, project managers, etc or other service based business owners. You’re a service-based creative (or even partially service-based, like a photographer, florist, personal chef, or graphic designer) without a physical product to hand over to your client. Sure, your clients might receive a few physical goods throughout the process of working with you, but it’s not like the typical interaction of walking into a store, paying the cost, and immediately receiving your merchandise. They are paying you for your expertise, your talent, and the information inside your brain. How, then, do you market yourself? How do you show potential clients what it’s like to work with you? If you book a brand session, let’s talk about how we show a potential client what it is you do.

I approach each session as if we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions from your clients. Some of the most common answers we try to provide at brand sessions are:

  • What does the process of working with you look like?

  • What makes you stand out as a brand?

  • HOW do you do, what you do?

  • WHY do you do, what you do?

This isn’t how every brand photographer is going to approach a brand session, but it’s how I approach brand sessions. It makes sense to me (as a consumer) to do research on whatever you’ll be investing into. As a human being, the first thing I do as a) a millennial and b) a visual learner, is hop onto Instagram to see what a company is all about. Below are a couple of visual examples to answer the above questions.

What does the process of working with your service based business look like?

The below images are from Rooted Workshop’s brand session. They’re providing clients with the knowledge of a beginner wedding photographer, so they’re all service-based. Before they had their first workshop, they knew what they wanted the experience of investing in their workshop to look like. When a potential workshop attendee looks at these photos, they’ll know what to expect in return for their investment. An intimate, casual, and interactive learning environment.

What makes you stand out as a brand?

The below images are from Fresh Light Photography’s brand session. As a photographer, Leigh is partially service-based. The product portion of working with her comes at the end of the client’s experience of working with her, which could last anywhere from 6-8 weeks. Something that sets Leigh’s team apart from other newborn photographers is that they cut and assemble all framing in-house, then travel to your home to install your new photo wall art.

HOW do you do, what you do?

The below images are from Katie O Selvidge’s brand session. She is a business coach, so she is completely service-based and works with other creative brands to better their businesses. Katie visited the shop of one of her clients, a leather worker named Courtney Weston of Always Rooney. Working in-person with clients is one of the ways Katie works, so it was important to showcase that during her brand session.

WHY do you do, what you do?

The below images are from Blackwood Living’s brand session. As a farm, they are partially service based. The work on a farm never ends, so images like this portray why they do the hard work that they do. To produce local and organic foods and products to their community. The idea of sustainability and better health is the driving factor behind their WHY.

While there are tons of other ideas to apply to your service based business brand session, I hope this post has helped inspire you to see how you can best utilize your time at your brand session!

Brand photographer: Christine Gosch | Film lab: The FIND Lab

Clients highlighted in this post:

Rooted Workshop | Katie O Selvidge | Always Rooney | Fresh Light Photography | Blackwood Living


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