Many of my clients don’t realize just how many places they should be using their personal brand photography. In fact, there are potentially dozens of places where high-quality custom created images can impact your brand and even your bottom line.
Here are a handful of the most common places that I recommend all my clients start with when figuring out where to use their branded imagery.
This is the primary reason that small businesses need professional photography. Your website is the face of your business (and for many of you, it is the only “storefront” that you have).But don’t just throw a bunch of photos up on the site and call it good. Have a plan. Make sure that the site conveys your brand and who you are. The most effective way to represent your brand is by using the images to tell stories about your business or brand. First, you should have a few common themes that represent your brand and are important to you. They can be themes like creativity, risk-taking, customer service, adventure-seeking…or any number of others. But it needs to be specific to you. Once you decide what your core themes are, then it is easy to plan out a photoshoot to tell some stories that illustrate those themes. Blog posts are a great place to tell stories, especially when you have the images to back them up. The home page should be a little more simple. You can use a headshot or an image of you in your working environment (whatever that is), but it should introduce the audience to who you are, so use an image that at least somewhat conveys your most important theme. Now that we understand the importance of using stories to illustrate your core business themes, let’s talk about some other areas where you can use these images effectively.
Social media is the perfect place to build a personal brand through photos
Social Media channels are a huge source of traffic and business lead generation. But to make the most of channels like Facebook, Instagram, and others, you need to put out content on a regular basis.Here, you can use just about every image you have that tells a given story. Use them in a Facebook album or post a new one every day individually over the course of a week. How you put them out is up to you, but do it in a way that tells the story. This will engage your audience and keep them coming back.
Having a library of social media content that was professionally created can really take your social media game to the next level. Not only will you have content that looks more professional than your competitor’s smartphone selfies, but you’ll save time every single day by having the photos created ahead of time.
Running ads on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or any other online ad platform requires images. You can just buy the same cheap stock photography that everyone else uses. But those images have no connection to you or your brand.
By using custom strategically planned images with your ads, you’ll be able to connect the ad copy to the image and ensure that both reflect your brand. That creates a more consistent customer experience when they interact with your ads and then visit your website.
Having that consistent branding experience will almost always have a positive effect on clicks and conversion rates. Both of those have a direct impact on revenue and profits.
Print AdvertisingIf your brand is one of them then you know that a homemade photo really stands out as looking amateur when used for print advertising. While a snapshot may be acceptable to your audience on Instagram…as soon as you use that same snapshot on a flyer or other print marketing materials, it just doesn’t cut it anymore. That disconnect between what people expect and what you deliver to them is a powerful mental trigger. It can cause an instant drop in the perceived value of your brand. So much so that I advise my clients that if they need print marketing and only have the budget to do a single brand shoot with me, then that shoot should be for their print advertising. You can see an example of one of my print advertising pieces on the right. I created this short magazine style booklet for anyone that inquires about booking a senior portrait with me. Now I know it’s cheating because I’m a photographer and creating images is what I do, but how do you think this would have looked with a plain cover and just text?
Do you sell products? What are you using to create product images for your website? Do you even have product images?The difference in conversion rates between having product images and not having product images is staggering. People simply just don’t like to buy what they can’t see. Need proof, just go search for various downloadable software online. You’ll see images of a nice packaged box like the ones we used to get when software came on a CD that you would physically buy at an electronics store. Even when it’s a download only product! You’ll still see what is probably a completely computer generated image of a software box. We are so hooked on needing to see images of something before we buy, that these software companies have to create fake boxes to sell their software… …and it works! Professional products images usually convert better than DIY photos, but before you can get a professional…at least get something on your website to show your customers what they are buying.
One of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your field is to create educational content related to your business.No matter what you are attempting to educate your audience about, images and illustrations are key to keeping them engaged in your content. Many people will see a blog post with a big wall of text and no images and give up quickly. But when you can break up the text with visuals, you’ll get more readers on your page longer and that can have a significant impact. In addition to simply getting readers to stay on your page, photos can help communicate what you are trying to teach. Show examples of what you are talking about. Show people that are in the process of learning the same thing. No matter what you are talking about in your article, images will help your audience connect better and learn more effectively.
Client or Customer Guides
Client/customer guides are a great way to connect with leads. You can offer them on your website as free downloads and all someone has to do to get them is leave their email address. So you’ve collected their contact information so you can reach out to them in the future AND you’ve given them a resource that makes you look like the expert in that field.
But guides like that look better, work better, and convert better when they have custom created images on them that match your branding.
This is one that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t think about.
Every email you send is a marketing and branding opportunity.
If you put a headshot in with your email signature, then every time someone reads your email, they’ll see your face. This is a tremendous advantage to those of you that do a lot of your communication and networking through online communication.
People remember faces much more easily than they remember names. So when they see your face at the bottom of your email, not only will they more readily feel a connection to you, but your emails will be more memorable as well.