If you’re on the same planet as I am and are a dream chasing entrepreneur then you’re probably attached to your phone, like just a little bit ;) We use it for SO many things including photos for our businesses. And that is both a good and bad thing.
One of the beauties of phone photos is that they’re fast and well, less risk. You don’t have to pay for them. You just snap and go for the most part. It can be awesome!
But sometimes, and I’ll be honest, phone photos just don’t cut it, especially if you want a brand that looks professional and you want to either make more sales or up your prices.
If you don’t have a photographic eye, aren’t sure about lighting or styling, don’t know how to edit well, don’t have the time to learn how to get better at any of those things, or you don’t have a good phone you might be in a bit of a dilemma. And I will add that phone cameras don’t always get it right even in the hands of professional photographers.
But I would like to mention that phone photos can be very powerful, and do communicate certain things. They can say to your audience that you are more relaxed, or that you are giving them a very inside view into your business. HOWEVER, they can also communicate lack of preparation, quality, knowledge, and professionalism. Being careful, and intentional is key to sending the right message.
So my friend, it might be time to get choosy about when and where you use your phone photos in your business.
And in lieu of that, I want you to answer one question, and be super honest with yourself. It’s simple, but important. How much value do you want to have in the eyes of your customers? Do you want to be just another item to browse through on Amazon or the place your customer drove over 100 miles to shop at? Even if you sell a service the idea is the same.
I’m all about #businesswithoutthebs and I hope you are too. Asking yourself the hard questions, and taking a good hard look at your goals and where you want to be with your business even if it's not where you currently are will help you move forward.
Now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk about all the places that you can use high quality images in your business. There are 3 major categories, but about 22 places that I came up with that we either use photos on the regular or might use as a business owner.
This is number one for me, because your website should be a sales generating machine. Even if people have to contact you directly to book an appointment or order an item, your website should be your online store front. Most websites need images that are optimized and not necessarily the highest possible resolution, but are still high quality. If you’ve ever tried to upload a lower quality photo as a banner on a website you’ll know that they just don’t look very impressive.
Plus, there are most likely multiple places that you’ll want quality images on your website. You’ll want your visitors to be welcomed by a photo that captures the essence of your business and shows them the quality you demand, and the story or experience you’re inviting them into on your homepage. Even on a one pager you’ll most likely have sections for your about, photos of your products or you at work. If you have a blog there is a demand for lots of quality images there. Maybe you have more than one person working for you. What about photos of people or customers that help describe your business?
Your website might be the only place a person gets to interact with your business. The impression you give them should have them saying “here’s my money” instead of clicking to someone else’s site because they were less than impressed. If they leave it should be because they weren’t your ideal client, not because they couldn’t see how awesome you actually are.
Your Social Media
Okay, here is where I am a both/and kind of girl. I think that whether or not you post only professional images on your social media is more about the type of things you are selling and how much that thing costs. A company selling high dollar bridal gowns, for example, might be less inclined to post phone photos in general or selfies of brides wearing their dresses. However, I’ve even seen several that do, but they are tasteful and have been edited to match the rest of their feed.
That being said, I think that a phone photo only feed even on social media, which is supposed to be more fun and maybe less pressure than your website, should be curated with care. I’ve seen people do it really well, gain big followings, and earn good money using purely their phone camera. I’ve also seen a lot of people who never ever post phone photos that have feeds that to me look like a million bucks and I bet demand a higher dollar if they are either selling something or doing #ads. And I've seen a lot that are somewhere on the scale of "really need help" to "pretty decent". I in no way want to make anyone feel bad about what their page may look like right now, or discourage anyone from doing what they can with what they have. I just have to tell it like it is, and hope that what I'm writing is propelling you forwards and up rather than dragging you down.
Now moving on about where we use photos for our social media. If you think about it, there are tons of places!
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn Banners
Profile pictures EVERYWHERE
Instagram and Facebook Stories
Instagram and Facebook Posts
Instagram or Facebook ad
Google My Business
And if you use other social sites the list could keep going.
The takeaway? Choose carefully what images you post on social media. What type of story are they telling? What type of impression are they giving? Do your images encourage people to stick around? Do they say you know what you’re doing and that you’re worth every dollar?
Printed promotional materials
Print isn’t dead.
Magazines, brochures, business cards, even banners might not be something you see or use everyday in your business, but if an opportunity arises and you need a good pictures you might not have the time to go out and hire a professional photographer.
On that note. If you are invited to be in a publication or have the opportunity to be featured try to get an image in there that you feel good about and that shows off your brand. You might not have control over it 100% of the time, but if you do, use one that fits will attract customers to you, not put them off because they didn’t get you. Just my two cents.
So far that’s 22 places you either use photos already, or might need a photo for in the near future. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, use what you have access to right now, but please don’t settle if you want your business to grow.
People are taking assessment of your work all the time. And sure, they aren’t looking at your photos alone to judge whether or not they’ll buy from you or book one of your services, but your photos are a major way that people learn about you and the value you bring to the table.
Mix killer photos with copy that connects on a consistent basis and I can almost guarantee you that your business will grow, especially if you really do have a good product or service.
Cheers friends! If you’re looking for another way to make your social media presence stand out just that much more go check out my free Instagram branding guide. It’s a gold mine of tips and tricks to get your profile shining.