I hear so many stories from my photography clients as to what they struggle with when marketing their businesses. Some of them are just starting their businesses while others have been open for some time. What I hear time and time again is…
“I just used stock photos and never prioritized getting images that reflect my brand because I didn’t have a budget for them.”
“I don’t like having my photo taken.”
“We have some photos, but they are not the right style and they don’t reflect our current offerings.”
“Our website & marketing photos are old and dated.”
“I know I should be posting on social media, but I have no images to post.”
“I offer a service. I don’t know how to show that in a photo.”
“Potential clients don’t ‘get’ our brand and we don’t get any conversions from our website.”
Your web and digital presence are a virtual storefront representing your brand. You want all of your marketing platforms to reflect you and to attract your ideal clients. Start thinking of your website and social media as your “virtual store” that clients walk into. Just as you’d select a physical space that reflects your style, you’d chose the paint colors, furnishings, decor, artwork, etc.
The same thing applies online. Visuals attract. This is why having the right imagery for your site is SO important. Not only the right images, but images that have been thoughtfully planned and coordinated with your brand strategy and marketing plan. A custom shoot all centered around the feeling of your brand and curated to attract the clients you desire. Stock photos can only get you so far, but images that are planned around your business, show you and your employees and the unique skills and passion you bring to your work speaks so much more clearly to your audience.
How do you know when it’s time for a Brand Photography Shoot? I’ve put together a short list of the key milestones when you need to think about a shoot. These are the big moments when you want to be sure that your current brand is reflected in all that you do and on all of your marketing channels including your website, social media, emails, printed collateral and more.
YOU ARE STARTING A NEW BUSINESS
When you’re starting a new business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the endless list of things to do in order to get your name out there and start marketing. One of the first things that businesses tackle is getting a website designed and setup. Imagery is a key part of your website and online presence and it’s where you can set yourself apart from competitors and really stand out.
Having a fresh set of custom images from the start infuses your core brand strategy & visuals into not only your website, but all of your marketing materials. Think of your brand images as a collection of photos to use throughout all of your marketing channels in different ways. You can use images in multiple locations, use more storytelling images on your social media and use your head shots not only on your website but in email newsletters, in your email signature, etc.
The key is consistency. Visual consistency & style throughout everything your brand touches will help reinforce your messaging and continue to attract the type of clients that you want to work with.
YOU ARE RE-BRANDING
You have been in business for awhile, but are now re-branding and getting a spruced up logo and updating your website. The look and feel of your brand is changing, and so should your imagery. Sometimes we use old imagery just because it’s there and we have it available, but when you’re re-branding you are purposely adjusting your brand messaging and maybe even the clients you want to attract you also want to match your visuals.
Often when my clients are re-branding they are also offering new services, launching a new product, expanding their team or slightly pivoting their business in a new direction. How will they sell these new services and promote all these things without a visual? Want to communicate to your clients that you have expanded your team? Show them a team photo. Get headshots of your new team members and introduce them. Show the team at work with the owner or long-standing employees to show clients how you work together to serve them.
Even if you don’t have a storefront, think of your re-brand as a virtual store that’s getting a makeover. You’ll need to show potential clients what that new storefront looks like. There are so many ways that we can create imagery to reflect your re-brand and coordinate with your brand messaging and marketing plan.
A NEW WEBSITE IS LAUNCHING
Similar to a re-brand, my clients may be updating their website design and/or adding new functionality like an e-commerce site. You should regularly update your website, but it’s also a good idea to freshen up your website with a new design every few years. When this happens, it’s a natural time to update your imagery. Did your past brand imagery have a theme? A certain color scheme? Does it go with your new site design?
If not, you will want to do a new shoot that suits your new design. What are the best ways to make sure your images coordinate with your new website design?
YOU ARE LAUNCHING A NEW PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Historically, this has been a big reason why clients come to me needing new brand photos – they are expanding their service options or they are launching new products. How do you sell services or products – you need visuals.
Before we even get into products (because we all know how important it is for visuals when selling physical products online), I want to talk about selling services through imagery. I would say it’s even MORE important to have images that “sell” your service, because it’s something you cannot see. I know, it’s tricky right? How exactly do you create an image of a service that someone provides? Well, you want to look at how the business differentiates themselves from competitors. What are their strengths? What type of client do they want to attract? Is it a client who needs you to pay attention to details? We create an image that shows you writing a list, or refining a design on the computer, or inspecting a table setting to make sure it’s perfect. This is how you convince a potential client that you are knowledgeable, experienced and will serve them well.
I could write a post solely dedicated to product photography because there is so much to discuss here. For this post I’ll keep it simple and will expand later in more detail. If you’re launching completely new products or a new line of products or even a new menu at a restaurant, you need images to promote those new products. There are many different types and styles of product photography and you need to decide what is best for your brand and for how you need to market your images.
Are you simply adding them to your e-commerce shop? You may simply need photos of each product on a white backdrop. Wanting to use the product photos on your website or social media? Then you may want to hire a stylist and have them create a setup of your product with props that tell a story. For example, in the image below for Atlas Candles our stylist created a flat lay of the ingredients that went into making one of the particular candle scents. Now, imagine you’re promoting this new candle scent and you can now have a visual that tells the story and shows potential clients what ingredients are in your product. Don’t just tell them – show them.
YOU ARE GROWING YOUR TEAM
If you are a business that works as a team and each member has direct contact with your clients, it’s always a good idea to include photos of your team on your website and even in your social media if it makes sense for your brand. Showing you and your employees humanizes the process and shows your clients that it’s not some magical robot behind the scenes, it’s a real human person who is passionate about their work and doing a good job for your clients.
Businesses like realtors, designers, artists and agencies can show their entire team as a group to communicate how they all work together. Head shots are often used in email signatures, or in publications, or on individual social media profiles. Clients want to know who is creating your products or providing your services so show them behind the scenes of your business, your employees working and collaborating together.
I always relate this concept to when I look at art. I can look at a million pieces, but if I see a photo of the artist, images of them creating, their tools and the story behind how they got started or their inspiration for their work, I form a connection and am more likely to purchase their art. So don’t be afraid to show YOU and your team as it can really provide a unique selling point for your brand.
There are many other reasons for creating new images for your brand, but I’ve found these are the top reasons why my clients come to me for new images. Each situation is also unique with different needs. Some shoots are more people-focused while others are more product and flat lay focused, it just depends on the brand and their current needs.
I offer a variety of Brand Photography & Lifestyle packages to choose from, as well as a complimentary consultation to discuss your needs and help you find the best package. Contact me today to learn about my services and how we can create a set of beautiful, custom images that reflect YOU and your brand! Click below to receive my full Brand Photography Guide with more info:
Excited to hear from you and brainstorm what I can create for you!
DAVID ISHAYA OSU