Not Your Normal School

Tips on Naming Your Photography Business

I’m going to give you a simple solution for naming your photography business and a good reason why.

Thinking of a business name is one of those activities that can cause a lot of pondering and sometimes much agony for a prospective business owner.

It can also waste lot of your time and keep you from more productive activities (like marketing!!!).

I know that’s exactly what happened when Pam and I were trying name her photography business!

In the end, we came up with “Not Your Normal Photography®” which is a “catchy” name for a photography business — but — if we had to do it all over again, we probably wouldn’t name Pam’s business Not Your Normal Photography®! Instead, we’d just use “Pam Farr Photography.”

Here’s why…

When you use a business name that’s different than your own personal name, you’ll be developing and promoting an identity that’s separate from yourself.

And that’s fine if you’re selling stuff that’s not really related to you. For example, if you have a shoe store on 3rd street, “Third Street Shoes” is an OK name.

Most photography businesses, however, promote the services of a particular person, or are at least identified with one primary person. Having a separate name for that person’s photography business detracts from promoting the person.

This has always been a dilemma for me in Pam’s promotional materials — do I promote Pam Farr the photographer, or Not Your Normal photography® the business?

The situation is made even more complicated by the fact that our business — Not Your Normal Photography®  is not listed in the phone book or local business directories, so if someone is looking for Not Your Normal Photography®, they simply won’t find us.

Because of this, we’ve had to make sure that our clients knew that Not Your Normal Photography® was really Pam Farr, the photographer, and building Pam’s reputation in the community would have been easier and simpler if we had just promoted “Pam Farr photography” in the first place.

People like to buy from people

Another factor to consider is that people like dealing with people.

In other words, it’s nice to put a “face” on a business, and the easiest way to do that, is to use your name as the name of your photography business.

In most cases, a “personality” driven business is easier to promote and easier for clients to relate to. A tell-tale sign of this — even though the legal name of our business is Not Your Normal Photography® — clients will automatically make the checks out to Pam Farr.

How will they link and relate to you online?

A photography business name these days is more than just a name. It will likely become the “anchor text” for links to your web site which can affect how and where you show up in the search engines.

If people naturally gravitate to using your personal name to find you instead of an invented business name — like our check writing experience shows — using your personal name may have a benefit for you online.

It is also useful if you are active on social media.

An Exception

If you’re building a business with the primary intention of selling it, or you want to offer benefits other than your own services, then keeping yourself out of the business, including the name, may make sense. Most local photography businesses, however, are not created with those intentions.

Bottom Line

If you’re already using a business name, or have one in mind, this isn’t a big deal. But if you’re agonizing over what to call your business, why not just make it a simple “your name, photography” and move ahead?

Photographically yours,

Jeff Farr