Creating your online and marketing image

So, you’re about to launch or re-launch your web site. This time you’ve collected more content and purchased a better layout. Hero image holders and links soon to be full of information. Now you need to sprinkle some images around so it looks like a real site and not a simple text blog.

You only have 3 choices. Take your own photos, buy stock images for $20-$50 each or hire a professional commercial photographer for your project. One is free, the second is affordable but the third option can be expensive. You know the old saying “You get what you pay for.” This is true in most instances but the $30 hamburger in Times Square may not fit into that scenario. Hamburgers just aren’t worth $30 no matter where you get them!

Option 1. Taking your own photos is a bad idea on so many levels. It doesn’t matter what smart phone you have. It’s not that smart. If you’re not a professional photographer, you will fail miserably. What you photograph with your phone will never stand out among your competition. There is so much more to the process than clicking the shutter. Lighting, composition, depth of field and aspect ratio all come into play and you may not know anything about any of that. You may have taken some great vacation shots or even some cool nature photos. Well that’s not the kind of imaging you need in business unless your business is selling lakes and mountains.

Option 2. Purchase stock photos online. They are affordable, focused, look professional and are readily available at a moment’s notice. Click the mouse a few times and POW! You’ve got images for your site. Stock is filled with everything from conference rooms to brief cases, board meetings and dental offices. How can you go wrong?

So, what’s the problem with stock? The problem is that it looks like exactly like a stock image. The photos that appeal to you will have the same appeal to many others and therefore appear on many sites. No matter what your business is, people in the same business may have the same tastes and are trying to appeal to the same audience. How will you ever get noticed if you have the same look as your competition?

The reason you’re in business is because you believe you can offer more to your clients than your competition. Better customer service. Better product. More attention to their needs and a better understanding of their goals. So why plop an image down that is not as custom as your business itself?

Option 3. Contract a commercial photographer to create content that is unique to you and your business. A creative that clearly understands marketing, technology and can see your vision. The right individual(s) can give you a whole new perspective on your own business. They can visualize how to sell to your target audience. A perspective you may not have been able to see being so closely tied to your own operations.

Most company owners make the mistake of selling their business to themselves. They will always want you to photograph the new gizmo they just heavily invested in. What they don’t understand is that’s not really the picture they need. That machine or building expansion is what the customer now has to pay for. It will be reflected in their next invoice. GUARANTEED.

What needs to be photographed is the solution that gizmo provides to the customer’s problem. Customers always have problems. You need to solve them. The visuals you use need to show how you solve those problems and not how you spend their money.
Building your company on images not created with your brand in mind will do more harm than good. Yes, you may save a few dollars by using stock but you are sacrificing more than money. You have completely eliminated what makes your company or service unique.
Using stock photography is like having a bad hair piece. Everybody knows it but they just don’t have the heart to tell you how bad it looks.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company