By Martin Neeves – Commercial Photographer with an Edge
All businesses want to get the edge over their competition and use of images can be one way to build that winning edge. So how can you do that? Well it is not simply a case of having better images than the competitor. You have got to have the better image OF THE RIGHT TYPE than your competitors. Obvious isn’t it! If it so obvious why don’t businesses all have really great, stunning images? The reasons are varied, but here are a few:
- The owner has photographs taken that they like. Well pleasing the business owner is irrelevant, it is not you the business owner who has to be won over!
- I’ve been in the business 20 years and…. Well firstly, you might have been doing it wrong for 20 years. Secondly, times change and what works with customers’ changes. Thirdly, you might have been satisfying those customers who frequented your business, but what about expanding your target audience and appealing to a wider audience?
- I’ve got the best photographer on the block. That is a bit like the playground argument “my dad’s bigger than your dad”. If you just let the photographer get on with it you will have something similar to point 1 above, except it will be “the photographer has taken the photos he/she likes”. Pick the wrong photographer and you could end up with some great arty images but they do not talk to your potential and current customers.
Okay smarty pants, so how do I do it?
- What are the competition doing? Take an honest look at the competition, with someone or others who do not think like you. Preferably people who are customers or potential customers. Are their images better or worse than yours, and state the reasons why. Do they have some mages that make you jealous, envious or wishful? Again why?
- Who are your target audience? Firstly, work out who you have traditionally sold to and why? Then work out who you would like to target and build a profile of who and what they are? Understand their lifestyle or business and how you add value to that. What are their values? What is important to them?
- What are the problems that you solve for your target audience? Remember people only use your business because you solve problems they cannot sort out for themselves. This might be about the quality you can bring, the unique skills you have, or something they need to be successful.
- Are you “cheap as chips” or a “quality business”? What is it that draws people to you as opposed to someone who offers a very similar service to you? If you are “cheap as chips” then you need to make more sales than the person who is selling on value.
- What are the main offerings and the up-sells? What are the main products or services that get people through the door? Therefore, what are the add-ons you offer that they do not come through the door for, but compliment your “door openers”.
- What are the values and unique selling points of your business? How do you like your business to be viewed, again back to “cheap as chips” or “quality” or “friendly” or “business-like”, or what?
So what has all this stuff got to do with photographs and images then?
Simple, if you are commissioning images then they MUST talk to your target audience. If you only have images and photographs that satisfy you or your current customers, then you are in a rut and will be viewed as being “out of date”. When you have the information above, you have the core content to brief your photographer. He/she will then have a specification to work to that will more likely result in images that communicate with your customers present and future. An important factor is that most of your competitors will not be as methodical as you and therefore you are much more likely to gain a serious edge with some great imagery. You are more likely to end up with great picture and photographs that really communicate your brand and shout at your customers in their language. They will help you build a relationship with your customers now and in the future.
Unless you are an outstanding photographer, make sure that you get the right professional photographer to work to the specification you have developed using the steps above. That way you will get your image plan implemented with quality.
Do it the “usual way” or put another way “if you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you always got”. Make a change and plan your photographs so that they become more effective.
If you want photography or videography that will ensure that your business stands out from the crowd, then call me now on 07973 638591 or CONTACT ME.