Part THREE of a Six – Part Series for all of you Hardworking Small Business Owners Out There!
When people want something – they look for it on their smart phone or laptop…or they ask their kids who then go and look for it on their smart phone or laptop….or they ask their neighbor who originally found it by searching on their smart phone or laptop – whether its a new shirt, some earrings, a ham sandwich, or a new harness for fido – it was PROBABLY discovered online…and whatever you used online is what made up their mind to investigate further and choose you over the 15 other options they had within the 20 mile radius they searched on maps.
Websites with Professional Photography vs Text Based or I-Phone Pic Websites
SO – we’ve talked visual marketing…we’ve talked social media…we’ve talked text vs image….whats next?
Lets give some thought to WHY your website needs professional photography rather than diy images.
As you know (or as you should know) every small business needs a website. If you think you don’t need one because your small business is word of mouth based, or doesn’t need the latest and greatest technology, or doesn’t have time or money for silly web updates – you are simply wrong. YES – your competitors have websites and YES – this is bringing them more customers, more sales, more interest – and its taking these things away from you. So to start off with – lets make sure you ALL have a website. Oh and make it a good one! We won’t be going into details on WHY you need a solid web presence here, so if you need more proof – read this!
Okie Dokie – we all have a website (not just our facebook page) in the works now right? Good. Lets imagine you own a little mom and pop cafe that has been open for years and does pretty well with word of mouth advertising and old reliable clients. This little cafe also has a little website – featuring its location, name, logo, and a pdf graphic of the standard menu. You have everything you need right?! Wrong…Remember how the brain soaks up visual media? YOU NEED SOME! We get tired of reading and we get bored with written descriptions. Small towns and big towns alike change with moving residents, growing businesses, aging families, and new family additions. Eventually the same old customers might not be there anymore so it is INCREDIBLY important to continue to advertise even when you’re doing well. Travelers, tourists, new residents looking for their favorite place to eat, are all going to skip right over you because they can’t see what they’re being offered and they are too hungry to read your whole menu! If you were to add just a few VISUAL examples of your outstandingly delicious, home cooked food – you would have had 20 new people in your door for the lunch rush. Remember –
People Buy with their Eyes
You have put your heart, soul, time, and MONEY into your business. Whether you’re an interior designer, a chef, a clothing designer, an ice cream shop owner, a toy inventor, or a doggy day care – your business is your baby and you’ve perfected it.
♥Don’t use CHEAP or DIY advertising for something you’ve spent your heart, soul, time, and money perfecting. You didn’t use the kid next door to design your logo did you? And I don’t think you let a guy with NO experience design the interior of your store…You used well chosen, experienced professionals to get to the point you’re at. Give your hardwork the advertising it deserves too…the money you put into your visual marketing budget is an investment that will keep your business going for years.
♥When people want something – they look for it on their smart phone or laptop…or they ask their kids who then go and look for it on their smart phone or laptop….or they ask their neighbor who originally found it by searching on their smart phone or laptop – whether its a new shirt, some earrings, a ham sandwich, or a new harness for fido – it was PROBABLY discovered online…and whatever you used online is what made up their mind to investigate further and choose you over the 15 other options they had within the 20 mile radius they searched on maps.
♥People need to be able to imagine themselves eating, wearing, doing, using whatever they are looking for. So when you post a picture of a super cute baby wearing one of your super cute baby swimsuits while she plays with some super cute sand toys on a gorgeous, sunny, beach – your client thinks OMG MY BABY WILL LOOK SO CUTE IN THIS SUPER CUTE SWIMSUIT I HAVE TO FIND THIS SHOP! Give your customers something to drool over, so that by the time they leave your website, they can’t imagine their life without whatever it is that you’ve got. Quality visuals ALWAYS increase sales/visitors/new customers/old customers. (OH and ps….maybe if your website has them drooling…they’ll decide to click over and like your (already super image based awesome) facebook page. I mean seriously…are you going to buy a wedding dress from a website if the picture is off color…kind of yellow…blurry…and photographed from an unflattering angle? OR EVEN if the photograph only suffers from ONE of those problems? Nope…you’re choosing Vera over that mess….There is NO reason why your start up designer business can’t have images that rival the attention of the images on the Vera Wang website (and it doesn’t have to cost you your business or your left kidney).
♥Everybody else has already had the same thought you did – can’t I just take these pictures myself? My super fancy camera takes pretty good shots! But guess what? Bad photography is an epidemic out their in the small business world. Everybody is trying to pinch pennies even when it comes to the thing that MAKES them the pennies! If you put the money into your visual marketing now…you will have already busted through the competition, by doing what all small businesses SHOULD do. Your camera may be nice…but it doesn’t automatically choose the color temperature you need…it doesn’t know where the best light is…it doesn’t have any idea what you’re photographing or what you’re trying to accomplish…so how can it POSSIBLY provide you with the results you need? A camera is just a tool when it comes to professional photography…the photographer is the one who provides you with an image that will boost your sales and bring you more clients. One QUALITY photo shoot can provide you with images that will carry and carry and carry your marketing. Good investment? Hands down yes. OH and do you know what the appropriate size and resolution for you online photo is? Are you sure that the image’s color will translate correctly once you upload it to your website? Are you positive that the backdrop you chose won’t look like a busted up mess against the background of your website? And are your customers willing to wait 3 minutes for the picture of your famous bagels to load before they just decide to move on to bagel shop number two? While you may have to take two months researching and testing this (wasting work time and, in turn, work dollars) your photographer could answer these questions for you in one or two emails.
♥ Remember falling asleep in college when you had to read something for a class? And you know half the time you only looked at the weird pictures in your text book…but when you have colorful intriguing images in front of you – ESPECIALLY when the images relate to what you’re looking for – the brain is intrigued, the mouth waters, the senses are engaged, decisions are made, wallets are busted out.
♥If I start doing all of these technical, updated, fancy things – my dream of a simple, sweet, old fashioned candy shop will be tainted with the present modern day technology boom! Ummmmm no it won’t. Get a good graphic designer to provide you with a site that fits your old fashioned brand…then hire a quality, professional photographer who understands your needs and tells YOUR story with the images he/she takes. All this means? More people get to see how awesome your home-spun business is.
♥Can’t I use stock photography? You totally can! Just don’t forget…if your brand is all about being unique…well 27 bazillion other people are advertising their unique stuff with the same picture you are…So they won’t really know very much about you, and they won’t have a reason to pick you over them. Give your clients something new that SCREAMS your business and ONLY your business!
Put down your freshly purchased camera…and start looking for a photographer who can make your visual marketing dreams come true. Do what YOU do best..and leave the rest to the people who have the experience!
If you missed part one or part two – be sure to check them out here!
Next week – Why your printed materials NEED a commercial photographer