So, you run your own business, you have rightly paid an expert to design your website, to design your stationary and marketing materials and you have a very clear brand and message. It all looks very professional to your prospective clients and indeed it is. It all looks amazing until they do what everybody does these days and use the internet to shop around looking for the right company to provide the service or product they require. This is when it dawns on them they have seen the same picture of a ‘customer service representative’ on more than one site. Several times in fact, that pretty blond with the headset can’t work for all of them can she?
Stock photography is no bad thing, it has served a purpose for years and when you are looking for that one off image to represent your company on a website page or in a brochure, then it offers a huge selection combined with value for money. Now here is the but – does it really sell you to your future clients?
It is truer than ever that these days, people buy into people. It’s very easy to provide information to your prospective customers via the internet, so you have to stand out from the crowd. You have to be offering something that no one else in your sector is offering and you have to offer a personal service. It is one thing popping onto Amazon to buy a book, but if you are looking for something that involves more expenditure, or is a service of some kind, then we all do it, we look for something we can connect with on a personal level.
The human mind is naturally drawn to look at images or graphics before it reads the accompanying text – so if you are trying to appeal to your market, seeing the same picture on your website that they have seen on half a dozen others isn’t going to make you stand out. If they see an actual picture of you, your staff, your premises, your products displayed appropriately, that will naturally draw them in and increase the chances of them reading that beautifully written script that will hopefully seal the deal and get them contacting you. A quick word on text at this point – if words aren’t your thing, please do employ the services of a good copywriter to sort out website and marketing text, it is truly worth every penny.
Think about it – let us imagine you are looking for a Solicitor, or a Massage Therapist – two very different services but both likely to be local to you – aren’t you more likely to be happy to visit either of these if you have a good idea of what they actually look like, if they are not a faceless entity on the end of an email address.
Alternatively, let us imagine you have found an amazing jewellery designer that is at the other end of the country – you have picked them out because they have beautifully and professionally photographed images of their products on their website, so all business between you is conducted by telephone and/or email – wouldn’t it be nice to have an idea in your mind of what they look like, of the person you are actually talking to.
This is how YOUR clients feel.
The same principals can be extended to any marketing you do via social/business media networking, whether it’s Linkedin, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter – show your products in their best light, show your service as it actually happens, and show you!
You can’t get any of this using stock photography, so it is worth considering employing a professional photographer to help give you that edge and make your advertising and marketing all about you and your company.