Branding Overhaul: A Fresh Start for Kat Schleicher

Jan 28, 2016
Consulting Case StudiesMarketing

I was lucky enough to start working with Kat when she became a member of the site. After looking at her site and work I had a few ideas on how she could improve her presentation to better attract clients not only in Milwaukee, but in Chicago as well. 

It was clear from the start that Kat is immensely talented. She has a way of capturing her subjects that immediately engages the viewer. After a phone call, I learned that she was recently giving most of her attention to her young family, and while her family is still her biggest priority, she’s decided to take charge of her career again. Kat really wanted to make immediate and major changes and she wanted these changes to happen before the new year. Luckily, Wonderful Machine was able to step in and help. Kat and I discussed the things she wanted to accomplish, her timeline and we decided a BaM plan, web edit, print portfolio, emailer, and client list build would put her in a great position to hit the ground running.

Kat’s website before her edit

With the BaM plan, I was able to give Kat feedback on how she should be marketing herself, and most importantly how to manage that side of her business. For so many photographers, marketing tends get put on the back burner when you’re busy with everything else. I was able to come up with a monthly calendar that broke down the changes Kat needed to make, while still keeping it manageable with her other responsibilities. 

Next up was a web edit with Stacy Swiderski and an emailer design with Samantha McCafferty. It was clear that Kat’s strength was in her ability to tell a story with her images and as such, her edit should reflect that. By grouping her images into stories rather than genres, Kat appeals to a wide range of clients. Below is what Kat had to say about her experience working with Stacy on her edit. 

Editing and choosing a portfolio can be one of the hardest things to do and it felt great to get the support from a super skilled and experienced photo editor, Stacy Swiderski, at Wonderful Machine. I threw hundreds of images at her and we combed through them all and reorganized the website overall. I was sad to see some things go, but it was time to cull, and I am very pleased with how it all turned out!

Kat’s website after a more sophisticated template and web edit

Once the web edit was underway, it was easy for the rest of the Branding Overhaul to fall into place. Samantha had great content and great branding to design an emailer, and Stacy was able to easily put together a printed portfolio for Kat to show to potential clients. 

The last part of the Branding Overhaul was to make her a client list build to get her started on reaching out to the right clients. Kat has a great career that she’s cultivated in the Milwaukee area and wanted to keep those clients as well as reach out to bigger agencies in the Chicago area. Luckily, Chicago is close to her and her caliber of work makes her a great fit for agencies like DDB Chicago, Geometry Global, and Wunderman. 

Overall, working with Kat was a dream. From the very first conversation the entire team was on the same page as to what direction she should take her career. Her never-ending positivity and friendly nature made it a breeze to communicate with her and kept all of us excited to see the finished project. 

Kat sent us some positive feedback once her overhaul was complete:

With the changes I have made so far, I really feel way more confident about my work and skills. My brand looks better and it has helped me to negotiate better with my clients. I don’t feel as much of an “up and comer” and I have asked and received rates that are much, much, much better. Woohoo!

To see Kat's site in action, check out For more info on a BaM! plan or a branding overhaul shoot me an email!

Tags: branding overhaul design kat schleicher marketing photo editing rachel walburn