Building a brand.. Where do I start?!

(slurping) – I’m sorry that was obnoxious. (laughs) What’s up everybody? Peter McKinnon here, and today
we’re talking about brands, and how to create one,
and where to even start and all of the shenanigans
that goes along with it. So, let’s go. (southern rock music) So the best way to
describe what a brand is or how to get the point across is when you think Peter McKinnon, I’m associated with photography, cinematography, coffee, YouTube. Those are the things that come
up when you think about me. Or, Nike, for example. Basketball, clothing,
shoes, athletics, sports, that’s the brand that
Nike’s made for themselves. So if you’re gonna create a brand, the first thing you need to do is come up with what
that’s gonna be for you. What do you want to be known for? What do you excel at? What are you trying to sell? Is it a product? Is it a company? What’s that company’s name? What’s the logo? What’s the mission statement? What are you trying to
get across to people? And then that is the brand
you need to focus on. But today, specifically, I want to focus on the website portion of brand. Because having a good
website, and a home base, somewhere for your fans, your clients, your prospective clients to actually go to is imperative. And not enough people are doing it, and I’m here to show you that
it is incredibly easy to do and it’s the first thing you need to do when creating a brand. If Nike had this massive
brand and no website for anyone to go to and
check out their stuff, well, you know, eh. If I’m trying to book clients and I want them to see my portfolio and be able to contact me but they have nowhere to
go to see any of it, eh. The website is your identity as a brand, as an artist, as a product. It’s the home base, it’s the ground zero, it’s where everyone’s
going to go initially to see everything and to learn about you and to contact you, and to browse what it is that you’re offering. So it’s important that
you have a website set up, and that it’s laid out properly, because it’s more than just dragging and dropping some photos and putting the contact info up and being like, “Boom. I got
a site. Peace, see you later.” There’s a lot more that goes into that. Now, I actually went to
school for web design, like way back in the day. I never finished, but I think I’m like two credits away from graduating. I kind of think it’s
funnier to be two away than actually have the
diplo–anyway, it doesn’t matter. But we learned so much about
the psychology of a website and how to properly lay one out, versus just the actual grunt
work of making a website which nowadays you can
do in half of a day. And here’s a little fun fact for you. Did you know, on average people spend less than 15 seconds on a website? So think about that. You have 15 seconds or less to
capture someone’s attention. To either draw them in with whatever it is that you’re selling, or draw them in with whatever
photos that you’ve taken, or draw them in with a video, or the music that you’ve written. You’ve got 15 seconds or
less to get that done. So in this video, I’m hoping to equip you with the proper tools and knowledge base, and platform to be able to do that so that you can book more gigs, get photo jobs, book weddings,
get gigs for your music, sell your prints, sell whatever
it is that you’re selling because this is where it starts. This is the ground zero of your brand. The website. So throughout this video, I’m going to use my dad as an example. Now, my dad’s amazing. My dad builds acoustic
guitars, he’s a luthier. He’s got a little tiny cute
little shop in the basement, and that’s where he spends
hours, and hours, and hours of a day meticulously
making these guitars. Attention to detail, the specifics, the work that goes into
this, the man hours, the hundreds and hundreds,
if not thousands of hours that go into making one
custom guitar is incredible. So with that being said, I’m gonna head over to my dad’s house. We’re gonna shoot some photos for him. We’re gonna shoot some video. We’re gonna pick a template, and we’re gonna get
this guy up and running so that he’s got a brand and a website that’ll help best identify
what he’s trying to convey and that best speaks to his products and who he is as an individual. (southern rock music) So I’m gonna use that as the basis to make my dad a website. He doesn’t have a website,
he doesn’t have a brand. He doesn’t have anything like that. So I’m gonna go through this video, and we’re gonna set him up so that you can see the
stages and the steps that I take in making
a brand from scratch. So one of the first things you’re gonna do when building a site is choose a template. Choose a theme. But before you just randomly choose one, because, “Ah that’s the one I
want, it looks cool! Awesome,” you gotta think to yourself, what do you want to leave
these customers with? What do you want to leave
these perspective clients with? Your friends with? Anybody browsing? What do you want them to feel
when they get to your site? And what do you want them to feel when they’re done browsing the site? Very much like putting together a film, or a video, or a series of photographs, this is the same thing. It’s just the online version that’s always running in the background when you’re not around
to speak for yourself. So are you selling a product? Are you trying to book gigs? Do you want to do weddings? Are you trying to get more
work with your photography? And if you are, what kind of
work are you trying to get? What kind of weddings
do you want to shoot? And what kind of products,
and what kind of customers are you trying to attract with how you’re shooting the products, and how you’re displaying them? So there’s a lot of thought that needs to go into these things. To pick the right theme,
to portray the message that best reflects you and the brand that we’re trying to create. Now, we’re using Squarespace
as the engine for this site because, like I said, they’re
a sponsor of this channel and they make an incredible product. So it is incredibly
easy to choose a theme, choose a template and a layout, customize it completely,
through and through, and the best part is,
in two months from now if you’re bored of it, or
if it’s not working for you, or for some reason it’s just not exactly the message you’re trying to portray you can change it in an instant. That’s the best part about it. It takes no time at all. So don’t worry, these
decisions aren’t concrete once you make them today. It’s not like you have to stick with them for the rest of time. I’ve changed my site, personally, in the last year like seven times. So it’s OK to go back. They make it really really easy. So once you’ve got that
template locked down we’re gonna calculate how many images, and how many videos that we need to fill up all the blank space and once we get that list, we’re gonna go out and shoot it. Now, one of the things I like to do is shoot all the photos for a website, all the branding for a website, all the self-portraits,
or all the product shots, I like to do all of that at the same time. Because keeping a specific
and consistent aesthetic is very very important
for that brand integrity. If you’re selling products, you don’t want a picture
of a guitar on the floor, and then a picture of a guitar on a couch, and then some random guy
holding a guitar and strumming. You want all the pictures to feel uniform. You want it all to feel like
meticulous attention to detail was put into each and every
aspect of this website. You don’t want a shot
from three years ago, and then a shot next week when your hair, and your face, and everything
looks completely different, and you’re in a completely
different setting. You want all of the shots to be relevant. They want to be within the same day, or within the same week so that you look the same. So it carries this theme. It looks updated. It feels updated. And it’s a consistent aesthetic. I like that word, “aesthetic.” It’s fun to say. So if your store is white, you probably want your product photos to be isolated on a white background. You don’t want a big mixed bag of 18 different surfaces
across 12 different locations. It’s just gonna look messy. It’s not gonna look uniform. If your site’s white, you
want to match the photography to match the theme of the site. Same goes for video. And when we’re doing this
theme we’re talking about templates and aesthetic,
fonts are another big thing. You don’t want to mix-match fonts. You don’t want a giant, ugly impact font next to comic sans that’s bolded and 16 different typeface sizes. You want to keep everything consistent. Consistency is key. Keep that in mind across the photos, across the videos, across the text, across the text size, how many
photos are placed on a page, all of these things are taken into account when you choose the template and when you go to actually shoot the content for the template. Now, lastly, when it comes to
templates, simple is better. If you can break down your website so even a ten-year-old can follow it and understand what the message is or what the feel, or the vibe is, or how to find certain
things, that’s what you want. Because you’d be surprised how
many people land on a site, and if we’ve only got 15 seconds, and they can’t find what they’re
looking for, they’re gone. If they can’t find where to
check out and buy a print, if they can’t find where to contact you to book you for a job, if they get lost in all
the tabs you have up front and they can’t find your social media, they’re gonna leave. So making it simple is key. Now Squarespace is
really good at being able to focus attention to certain
areas of your website. So if yo want a banner
that has a moving video that you’re just gonna have
on a loop that has no audio, that’s kind of muted in the background, you can do that. If you want your entire
website to be just one page, like a cover page with
just your social links, a really powerful video that’s looped, and your contact info, you can do that. So they make it really easy to place focus where you want it to be so that your customer
is going to be focused on the exact place that you’re intending them to be focused on. Now here’s a pro tip for you. Just because you might
have six favorite photos that you want to feature on your website when you first start it, doesn’t mean you should use
all of those six photos, because they might not necessarily match, or look good together. Now my friend, Chris Ramsey, has a great analogy
for this kind of thing. And he says, if I was to travel the world and buy my favorite piece of furniture from every single country that I visited, when I got back to my house, and I put all of the
furniture into one room, it would look horrible. It just wouldn’t look good. So I need to pick what looks good out of those pieces of furniture to make it look the most
aesthetically pleasing. Just because it’s there, and
I have it, and I like it, doesn’t mean I should use it. Being a good editor,
being a good photographer, is sometimes knowing
when not to use things even if they’re good and
you really really want to. Now this whole process is made very easy using Squarespace and their platform. Now obviously they’ve
sponsored this video, and I’ve talked about them before. And the reason I agreed to do this video for them and for you guys is because I do think it’s
a super important part to taking that next step in your career. If you want to be more
serious about your photos, and you want to sell them,
and you want to book gigs, and you want to sell yourself this is a crucial step. So instead of having to
pay someone to do it, instead of trying to learn all the code, and the flash script, and all the different
ways to build a website, being able to pay a small monthly fee, have that 24/7 customer support
that they’re gonna give you, and be able to get a
website up and running in like half a day, even if you’re someone like my dad, that’s a massive benefit. And time is important
when you’re a creator. Wouldn’t you rather be
spending your time creating, making videos, making photos,
painting, cooking food, than trying to build a website that’s just taking you days
and days and weeks and weeks or pouring tons of money into paying a firm to do it for you? Now huge corporations that
have massive websites, you’re not gonna build the next
YouTube on Squarespace, no. But for my audience and the
people that watch my videos, and for people like me,
it’s absolutely perfect. If you guys do want to get started, head over to, put in code McKinnon at checkout, and you’ll save ten percent
off your first purchase so you can get up and
running, have a website today, save some money, and start that brand, instead of just thinking
about starting that brand. You know, building a website
and creating a brand, it all seems a lot harder
than it actually is. And the first step is just doing it. Just go do it. Sign up, get a website,
get some photos on there, have a place to send people, and that is gonna
motivate you to continue. It’s gonna motivate you to keep going, to keep trying to build that brand. Now you’ve got the website, now you want that channel, now you want that Instagram
account to be matched with the content on the website. Now you want to start booking gigs, then you want to showcase what
you’ve done for those clients and it just keeps going,
but you’ve got to start. So that’s it for me today, guys. I hope you liked this video. I hope you got something out of it. Hit that like button,
if you did, smash it, if you so desire, like
I’ve said in the past, I won’t hold it against you. Subscribe if you aren’t already. And, and, the last thing, before I go, is we will be announcing the winners to the Canon 80D giveaway
contest tomorrow, so stay tuned for that, thanks to everybody that’s participated. It’s just been absolutely incredible. So, I love you guys. I will see you in the next video. (ambient music)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post navigation

100 thoughts on “Building a brand.. Where do I start?!

  1. Thumbs up for my dad being a total boss! Also: Canon 80D Giveaway winner announced in TOMORROW's Video! 1 More day for entries!

  2. First… great videos and that's awesome your dad makes custom guitars by hand! If I still played guitar (back in the long hair days of the late 80's and early 90's) I would definitely check out purchasing another. Second… your videos are inspiring and you make it look like it should be easy to create great videos, but there is a lot to learn. Finally… to the point… I'm far from being a tech savvy person yet I purchased a domain name already, does Squarespace use your existing domain or do you create a domain within Squarespace… if that makes any sense? I just learned how to do a redirect to Youtube, but again… I just learned how… not that I really know what I did. Ha! Thanks for any help or advice! This is a one small step at a time adventure, but I enjoy learning it.

  3. Love the video, I keep learning from you! In my videos I want to be me and not a clone but what you teach best is principals. Thank you Peter for being a teacher and inspiration. My dad was a teacher and the reason his students loved him was because he inspired them. My hope is to teach in that way. I once thought that my videos either needed to teach, inspire or entertain my audience. I now think they need to do all three. Again thank you for teaching, inspiring and entertaining this not so old older guy. Damm I don't feel old until I look in the mirror or feel my aches and pains. Love you brother, love what you do!

  4. Hmmm, when you say branding and then list a bunch of products, you are missing the whole idea of branding. Branding isn't about shoes or coffee. It is more about being associated with adverbs rather than nouns. Such as active, youthful, cutting edge, fun. If your brand promotes YouTube rather than "photography advice presented in a funny way", then your branding has failed or you just don't exactly know what branding is. Canon and Nikon for example don't want to be branded as camera makers, they they brand themselves as profession enablers. When Canon runs ads for lenses in National Geographic, they are branding themselves as a high end professional company for serious wildlife photographers. Reliable, capable, high performance, professional – that is the branding. Not cameras. Your brand is your promise to your customer.

  5. Hey pete i have an idea ….. You should make an app where one can find all your tutorials, everything in one app.
    Think bout it.
    Also i just like saying PETE alot

  6. Holy Mackerel! Youโ€™re an amazing son/person/all-around-human-being! I love that you are helping your dad like this. My heart is thrilled and jumping for this video. ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž (And thank you for covering this subject. Super helpful! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ)

  7. I referred a friend to your site to check out squarespace for their dance studio. I have been looking at taking my photography hobby and turning it into more and may be getting to shoot for content for them. Thanks for all the content and encouragement you continually give!!

  8. This guys is such a hustler. I can respect his game.

    1. Paid by Square Space
    2. Promotes his dad
    3. Helps subsribers
    4. Add more content.

  9. ื”ืžื›ื•ื ื” ืฉื‘ืื•ืคื ื•ืข - ื˜ื›ื ืื•ืช ืื•ืคื ื•ืขื™ื ืžืขืฉื™ืช ื•ืกื“ื ืช ื‘ื•ื˜ื™ืง says:

    cool. Your father is building guitars! Good luck

  10. Hey Pete! Awesome vid. How did you get that lighting for that b-roll as itโ€™s terrific and really adds to the video?

  11. Binge watching your videos! Your enthusiasm, your energy is so amazing, I get really pumped up after watching your videos! Thank you so much!!

  12. I have been a subscriber and watcher of your videos for about a year now, this is by far the best video I have seen of yours. It struck me positively. I have been taking photos for a few years now and have sold a few. I have been wanting to put together a website to display/sell some photos. Thanks for the info.

  13. Ha! I am 2 credit away from being a paralegal! I joke that I am a paraillegal. Yes, it's not funny but neither is quitting when I literally had 2 credit (one class) to finish! Ugh!

  14. People have gotten less patient, you now have 8 seconds…yeah…it's sad. My husband works in marketing, 15 seconds was years ago. You now have 8 seconds.

  15. If your dad was not already busy, I'm sure this video is going blow him out! Great work, Dad better be ready for the orders to pile in.

  16. I'm curious about where to start, should you use your current facebook, youtube instagram accounts or set up completely different ones to post yout stuff to?

  17. Your website does not showcase your video or photography work, why is it not more extensive?

  18. You are amazing. The best youtuber ever and best artist I have seen so far. I learned a lot from you. Keep going. Love you.

  19. My brand is photography, designs for t-shirts, and that's it… I made my own website….. but I am still designing it… I'm not happy. So I have to figure that out.

  20. Because of you Peter if you look at the tiny logo. That I use as my id for YouTube I added a tiny maple leaf to show that I also Canadian Eh!, going to use it as my trademark and logo for my photo art cards as blank greeting cards. Thanks for the info in this video, my colour will be teal, grey and black, a simple colour theme

  21. Hi Peter – I love your channel…you do great work! Say, can you do a video about your watermark? or suggestions on how to get the best one? formats, etc? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *