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With my career starting out as a lifestyle photographer, I quickly learnt that how you use photography has a huge impact on your business and its success. Throughout the last few years and still today, I see brands all of the time not thinking about their imagery and publishing low-quality, low-value content to their social media and as a result not seeing half as much growth as they probably could.
Meanwhile, I'm seeing brands on the other end of the spectrum grow as much as 400% as a result of consciously creating professional, value-driven imagery that matches their brand.
With the digital world being more and more visual and brand competition only getting fiercer, whether you're a freelancer or small business, you can't afford to not think about how photography plays a role in how you market your business.
Even if you're already a photographer! 😉
Below are my top reasons and conversation starters for why you should be thinking about your imagery and how you can use it to build a better brand.
These two are perhaps the most obvious benefits of using great imagery with your brand. However, I see them time and time again being forgotten about or at least not being held as important they perhaps should be.
The concept is pretty easy, the better quality the images you share for your business, the more professional your brands going to look.
If they're bang on to your branding, and fulfil the points talked about below too, you'll find your brand way out in front of any of your competition who aren't thinking about image quality at all.
Not only does it give your brand a great look online but it'll subconsciously tell your customers that the services/products you offer are just as high-quality.
Put it like this, who would you rather buy from?
A ~ A business that when you visit their Instagram, it's full of great, relatable images that all drive value to you as a customer
B ~ One that thinks about their content very little and instead uploads poor quality phone snaps and uncoherent content that perhaps hasn't had a lot of thought behind it.
For most people, at first glance, A. would give you the impression of a better choice to buy from but consider this...
In actual fact business, B. is the better brand. They're more experienced and offer cheaper rates however because their content lets them down, how many customers do they turn away and in favour of A. just because their choice in imagery gave them the wrong impression?
The big takeaway from this point and again, it might seem obvious, but always consider what you upload whether that be onto your website or social media. Always aim for quality and ensure it's leaving the right lasting impression to your potential customers.
Photography and video are one of the best mediums for you as a brand to tell a story. Use it to collectively show who you are, what you stand for and why you're worth following & buying from.
You can use great quality imagery to show your audience what you're up to and what you're doing for clients in a great looking and easy to digest way. By posting something that looks great, whether that be an aesthetic office shot, portrait of you working or a landscape photograph, the result is the same - instantly drawing your customers into your story, giving them a reason to engage and buy.
Additionally, you can use images to lead into other content, for example, a blog! Like what I've written here, I started it and lead into it with a relevant, engaging image. This will make people far more likely to click and act with whatever you're promoting.
Great content should outline who you are and will help segment you in the market & stand out around people similar to you. Modern business is about personality and people, not corporates anymore. People buy people and authenticity & photography is perfect for showing both!
Take away: think of the narrative and story you want your audience to see and then strategise how you can use imagery to fulfil that!
When I talk about images, I don't always mean that perfect sunset or portrait. Sometimes, it can something more "rough around the edges" or graphical. The beauty of photography is that what's "good-quality" is sometimes subjective and you should always create & publish with the idea of attracting your perfect audience.
It goes back to the age-old branding questions of establishing:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What are they looking for?
Once you know the answer to those two questions, do everything in your power to tailor your imagery and content with the intent of attracting that perfect audience.
Are you a photographer wanting to connect with brands that are interested in product photography? Publish your aesthetic product shots.
Are you a motivational speaker? Publish aspirational images of yourself as well as motivational content that aligns with helping people.
Are you a nutritionist? Publish recipes, photos of beautiful food and more.
The list goes on but you get the point. Publish content and imagery that is high quality to the audience you are trying to attract.
People love to feel inspired, look up to something and create goals for themselves. Your photography should reflect that in not only trying to sell your product or service but also the lifestyle and outcomes you can expect if a customer buys from you.
The nuances on how you can do this for your brand are sometimes obvious and then other times they're not.
Either way, it's important to distinguish the lifestyle and outcomes of your product & convey these in your images.
Again, for example, if you're a photographer the outcomes of a client using you could be:
- Great quality images that are better than they could do themselves.
- Client will be able to sell more and attract more people as a result of using your images to advertise.
So, tailoring your content and somehow showing this off is super important. The way I've done it is to publish great imagery to show off the quality a client will be getting and then, shouting about the results my clients are getting alongside my photography to create a social proof of my services. Here, imagery and copywriting go hand-in-hand.
Let's take another example of a nutrition specialist. Their clients will want outcomes like:
- Great tasting, filling food that is still healthy.
- To lose weight and feel better about themselves.
Here, as a business, you could look to create content that shows off both of these amazing lifestyle changes. As a nutrition coach, you could look to share quality images of beautiful, healthy food as well as your clients or similar enjoying the benefits of lost weight and the self-esteem boost.
A customer seeing their inspiration is both engaging, interesting as well as strengthening to your brand.
Above all, be authentic. This beats everything. People can see right through inauthentic actions and being the opposite is favourable in so many more ways.
Driving value, helping people and generally trying to improve peoples lives through one means or another will always go further than quality so if you can nail both great content whilst keeping your brand authentic, then you're onto a winning combo.
A couple of tips for authenticity:
- Always strive to help people out with every piece of content. Even if that's as simple as someone's day being brightening after seeing your landscape photo.
- Stock imagery can be really useful, but try to look for the best quality you can and for the most part, try to stay away from anything that appears too much like a stock. You know the look 😉
- Create original content where possible that shows your and your brands personality.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found some of it thought-provoking. With modern cameras, even in smartphones, becoming ever more powerful, the world of great imagery is being opened up to nearly everyone.
If you haven't already, invest some time into researching and putting together a content strategy for your online presence and even invest in some professional photography for your business - I think you'll be surprised how much it can boost you!
I'm here to help so get in touch via Instagram or our contact page!
Catch you next time!
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