How to Win or Lose Customers With Good or Bad Photographs
In most market places, competition is getting fiercer and fiercer and a good professional photograph can make all the difference. It is becoming much harder to stand out from the crowd and win new customers. Whether it is on or offline our customers are being bombarded by huge amounts of imagery. They are learning to filter out a lot of the clutter and just take in the relevant or eye catching imagery. The images, adverts, websites, magazines, TV or other messages that catch the eye are those that engage us. It is all too easy to have really good products or services but not engage potential or existing customers. I acknowledge that it is more than just images, but they are a good starting point – or should I say losing point if they are not good enough.
I am sorry, here I am going to have to disagree with a large number of people, but there is a huge difference between well-shot professional images and the vast majority of smartphone photographs. It is not just the equipment; it is also the eye, skill and craft of the photographer that makes that great professional photograph. If the image is not good enough then your image is going to get lost in the rest of the visual clutter that gets filtered out at source. Here I am not just talking about product images, or brochure website images. I am talking about everything you do that is image based. If your images look like you don’t care or they have been done on the cheap, then that is the way people will view your business. If you couldn’t be bothered to get the right photographs then what hope is there for your products or services?
Yes there are stock images, but these tend to be generic and others may be using the same image as you. We are also getting attuned to recognising what is a royalty free stock image and what is a photograph of a real person or thing. A really great image with some well-chosen words and tied up with a good design are going to attract, engage and convert your potential customers.
It will look very personal to your business
Stock images have a place, but they are not YOUR images and they are not YOUR business. The more you can use photographs of your goods, services, premises and people, the more you will engage with your target audiences. I know stock images are cheap, but they do not carry through the personality of your business.
Being interesting enough to stand out in the crowd
We have already said that your potential and actual customers are bombarded with thousands of images. How can you stand out to them and not get filtered out? Your photograph has got to grab the attention of the viewer and look professional. If it doesn’t you will have the same impact as going into a sealed room and shouting. No-one will see or hear you.
Try not to have generic type photographs
Your viewer should get part or your entire message by looking at your image. You need to have something specific in the photograph – a view of a nice green field tells me nothing. The image has got to portray the subject you want the viewer to engage with. The subject should be in the foreground and everything else should be blurred out or use a crisp clean background.
Don’t be outdated
The numbers of websites, adverts or marketing materials that I see with photos that are out of date is shamefully high. I met one client in his sixties who had a photograph of himself in his early forties on his website and brochures. His business was a consultancy business and the photograph looked a bit “jack the lad” because the clothing was dated and he was smoking. The simple message here is that what was cool 20 years ago is not now.
Quality or “good enough”?
The photograph you should never be “good enough” – it has to be the best possible. This is where the professional photographer and their better imagination, lighting skills, experience, training and equipment will score over the mobile phone. Also, if you are just being “good enough” and not excellent then that is what people will expect of you and your business. My argument is that is the vast number of instances, “quality” means hiring a professional photographer if you want to get the best photographs for your business. A good professional photograph will earn its keep and get you more customers.
So if you want photographs that are far more than “good enough” but are really professional then call Martin Neeves on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME to find out how I can help make your business stand out in the crowd.
Well 2016 is now here and I am celebrating having been in business for 20 years as a freelance photographer (and also as a filmmaker for 6 years).
It only seems like yesterday that I handed in my notice from my staff press photography job to set up my new venture as a freelance photographer, not knowing whether I would be able to make ends meet or not. Little did I know when I started my business in 1996, that it would take me twice to Buckingham Palace to photograph the Queen in her music room. I have seen many photographers come and go over the years and many only had photography as a part-time job, but I have been fortunate to always have it as a full time career for 29 years. It has been quite a journey and a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. I have loved the variety of work that I do – everything from corporate editorial photography, to commercial photography, food photography, architectural and aerial photography as well as natural and unobtrusive reportage wedding photography. It’s the variety that keeps me fresh. Then six years ago, I started doing corporate videography professionally too and I have steadily seen more and more demand for this service. I love that too. I have great satisfaction in working my way through the whole film production process from concept to planning, to filming and then of course endless hours of editing. I have a great feeling of pride when I see my films coming together. Over the last 20 years, my photos have been used in national newspapers and magazines, on advertising billboards, in books, brochures and on websites. My videos have been shown on television news, on clients websites in presentations and even on Christmas e-cards.
Finally, I have been getting lots of lovely reviews and ratings on Free Index business directory (120 on the last count) over the last few years and I have steadily been rising up through the ranks to be listed as one of the top 5 photographers in the UK, but at such a high level, rankings fluctuate frequently as freelance photography is a highly competitive business. However, in 2015, I was consistently ranked as 2nd out of over 3,500 UK photographers with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 (judged on quality, professionalism and on value for money) and throughout last year, my ranking didn’t drop once. I’m incredibly proud of that, but I’m not complacent. I apply myself 100% to every assignment, as I am passionate about quality and in pleasing my clients. After all, what better way to get satisfaction from a job than to make your clients happy?
So if you need the services of a freelance photographer or filmmaker with longevity and high standing in the industry, then contact Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now to find out how professional photography and film can be used to make your business stand out from the crowd.