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How To Successfully DIY Your Pet Brand Part 3: Photography & Copy

Do you actually consider photography and copy a strategic part of your business’ brand?

From our experience, most people confuse the term ‘branding’ with just colors and a logo.

But, we’d actually argue over at Dox Design that your photography and copy are JUST as important as your colors and logo, which is why it’s next up in our blog series, How To Successfully DIY Your Pet Brand!

 

[And in case you missed it, this post is part 3 of Dox Design’s branding series on how to successfully DIY your pet brand! Be sure to read Part 1: Colors & Fonts and Part 2: Hierarchy & White Space first].

 

Why Is Photography So Important?

It’s easy to brush off your photography as a filler for your website; however, it’s such an important tool to separate yourself from other pet businesses in your space.

When piecing together your brand, it’s important to realize that every aspect of it communicates something to your audience. So, there’s really no room to slack when it comes to building a reputable and strategic brand.

Photography is no different, especially in the pet industry. As a pet industry entrepreneur, you’re actually in a great position because pet photography definitely produces strong emotions in viewers.

So, how do you get started?

    Photography Tips 

     

    Create An ‘Image Style’

    If you already have a logo, typeface, and colors, you probably understand, in essence, what you want your brand to look and feel like. From there, we suggest you create a mood board that truly captures what you want people to feel when they come across your brand, whether it’s on your website or your social media.

    In general, you want to make sure that all of your images look like they go together and that it flows with your brand. If you have one picture of a dog lying peacefully on the beach and then another photo of a dog in a crowded city street, it might seem a little disjointed to your audience. Which audience are you appealing to?

    Match Your Brand’s Tone

    What tone does your brand produce? Just like in number 1, we want to make sure that all of your images go together not only with each other, but also with your brand in general.

    Yes, as an entrepreneur, you get to pick whichever photos go on your website; however, we firmly suggest not just defaulting to your favorite photos here.

    To demonstrate what this means, check out our blog post here on whether your business is hot or cold. This can help you figure out what tone you want your images to reflect on your website.

    Next, take a look at our example of warm and cool photography boards.

    Can you tell the difference between both of these? On top, you see cooler and brighter tones that seem more clean, light, and modern. On the bottom, you see more warm tones that give you a sense of comfort, homeyness, and safety. All of these photos work together well on a website to ensure your audience feels what you’re wanting them to feel.

    Cool Example

    Warm Example

    You Don’t Need To Be SO Literal

    Many times, clients struggle with finding photos that translate EXACTLY to what the copy is about on each page. However, you really don’t need to be so literal with your photos. You can still be playful and use dog-related photography, but it does not need to be 100% literal. In fact, brands can actually stand out and elevate themselves when they don’t need to overdo it on the literal side of photography.

    High-Quality is EVERYTHING

    While this seems obvious, it definitely needs to be mentioned because the opposite is a little too common. You need to have high-quality imagery, otherwise, everything else you’re doing becomes meaningless.

    This means…no blurry images. No overexposed images. No dark images. No distracting or clutter-filled images…you get the point!

    Snag some GREAT photos by Dox Design here. 

     

     

    Where To Find Great Photographers Or Images

     

    Photographers

    Depending on your budget and what type of pet business you have, you have a few options. You can either hire a local photographer to come to your business location and get some photos of you, your business, and some of the pets enjoying your products or services.

    Another option? Hire us! 🙋🏽‍♀️ We specialize in capturing your brand’s essence in our custom photography shoots. If you want to chat about what this entails, set up a call here and we can see if we’re the right fit for you!

     

    Stock Photography

    In general, we will always recommend custom photography, as that’s the way to go if it’s in your budget. If it’s not in your budget, you can also find some great stock photography online. In our blog post on the 10 Simple Things You Can Do To Upgrade Your Brand Visuals, we mention high-quality photography as number 1 and provide some of our best recommendations if you need to use stock photography, like Unsplash.

    If you do choose to move forward with stock photography, please make sure that it’s unique and branded to your business as well. All of the above tips are JUST as important, whether you’re able to use custom photography or not.

     

    Why Is Copy So Important?

    The obvious answer here is that copy is what gets people to your website. By utilizing an SEO strategy, you’re able to implement keywords into your copy in order to show up on search results and get interested clients or customers to your pet business website.

    From there, it becomes more about your brand strategy and the copywriting message you want to promote.

    Remember in Part 2 of the series on Successfully DIYing your pet brand, we talked about proximity and spacing in the hierarchy of your website? Several of these components are full of copy (i.e. text).

    It’s important to understand some of the science behind what viewers are actually reading on your website.

    For example, on average, 80% of people will read headline text, while only 20% will read the rest. See the value of a great headline??

    We know how quickly we lose people. We’re impatient. We know that as consumers, right?

    And what keeps people glued to your website? Your copy.

    What convinces people they need your product or service? Your copy.

    What guides the customer to make the actual purchase? Your copy.

    See where we’re getting at here?

    Having a wonderfully designed website and brand is amazing; however, if your copy is not up to par, it really lets everything else fall to the ground.

     

    So here are our biggest tips:

    1. Stay authentic. People can tell the difference. Be purposeful and real with what you’re trying to say, especially in an industry motivated by passion and love.
    2. In general, you don’t need TOO much text. People are busy and don’t have hours to read through every line on your website. Get to the point.
    3. Ensure that your copy goes with the flow and overall brand message.
    4. Understand the science of where people are looking first. Typically they start in the top right corner and then begin to make almost a backward Z as they go down the page.
    5. Make sure you’re seamlessly adding in some keywords to your copy so your website can show up in search results.

       

      Where To Find Great Copywriters 

      If this seems like an overwhelming task that you’d like to outsource, that’s no problem. It’s actually something that we can create for you in our Dox Design web designs. If you need separate help with content creation to get your search engine results up, we can also help! Just schedule a call here and we can talk strategy!

      If you’d rather find someone close by or someone different, no problem! You can use a service like Upwork to find a great copywriter near you. Just make sure they understand the science behind copywriting (i.e. keywords, SEO, placement, strategy) and know a little bit about the pet industry as well! After all, we’re in an amazing and unique industry that deserves some expert knowledge behind it.

      Copywriting is one of the most important and time-intensive projects on your branding to-do list, so take some time here to get your copy just right! Once you’re done with this step, everything in your brand should be coming together! 

      Congrats on making it this far! We’d LOVE to see what you’re working on in the DIY series, no matter when you get to work – now or 6 months from now! Head on over to the Dox Design Facebook Group, where we provide pet brands with extra help and feedback on all design elements.

      Otherwise, stay tuned for Part 4 on How to Successfully DIY Your Brand!

      Want to stay updated on all our blog posts so you know when part 4 is released? Bookmark this page and check back next month to see part 4!

    Ready to make your customers beg for more?