Photography is something I am not an expert in nor claim to be. However, I am a marketer and someone who understands the power of great photography. We have to use photography in ever more places and with ever more meaning and photography itself can feel like a huge pressure in a micro business. What to take images of, what style or quality do I need and what images does my business most need?
What we do know from research data is that stock images that you can buy can be fabulous BUT they have a much lower rate of engagement on social media, a much lower click through rate from email marketing and a much lower action rate on websites. In our media hungry world, folks want authenticity, they want reality and they want to connect with micro business through images.
Of course, your business needs more than 3 photographs but it does need 3 types of photographs to help really engage with audience and customers. This goes for all businesses whether you offer products or services.
Unfortunately, all too often micro business are usually missing at least one of them and it leaves a real hole in your marketing and a gap in your relationship building.
So, here they are. The three photographs you must have in your business:
- The product. It goes without saying that you need an image of what you sell. If that is product then easy peasy. Make sure your photography is of high quality and of similar style to make it recognisable e.g. all your products rein situ or they all have white backgrounds. Be consistent and remember the importance of engaging a pro for at least a portfolio of your core products (check out some brilliant photographers from the Simply Club!). If you offer services – it’s more tricky to get the photography right. However, I would suggest NOT using stock images of a laptop or a book etc but your laptop/desk/notepad etc. These could be in branded colours, or have your writing on them or be in your setting. This is crucial in helping your customers get a feel for what you’re all about and why they might like to work with you.
- At work. Micro business are special (we know that!) but one of the things that differentiates you versus a big corporate is that it is you and possibly your small team. It is actually you that makes the magic happen in your business, not an algorithm, call centre or faceless online shop. So….you need photography that tells us about your business at work. This could be behind the scenes images, images of the office, perhaps the office cat, your design studio or your favourite coffee shop to work in. If you make stuff, an image of you or your hands at work is also great. These types of images are so important to have to use on social or on your website to give your audience a connection point and a way of resonating better with your business.
- You. This is the one that is most controversial but SO essential. Whatever line of business you’re in, you NEED a decent image of you. I resisted for years. I am you bog standard ‘photo of myself’ hater but the experience has been eye opening. I took time to find a photographer I really trusted and wanted to work with and I have been using the photo set for over 2 years! My point is that as a micro business owner, your audience needs to know who you are. You cannot be faceless and you cannot remain behind the scenes. This doesn’t have to be selfie-ville but a couple of great professional shots of you that can go on your website, feature on LinkedIn or be found somewhere on your social. Pro tip – take time to choose the right photographer for you and get a group of fellow owners together for one shoot to save money without the photographer being out of pocket. Pro tip #2 – send your new images to me because images of you guys in the Simply Club get the best engagement and are the most looked at of all our images.