You have less than 15 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention on your website. Within just a few seconds they have decided what they think of you already.
When was the last time you found a site that captivated your attention at first glance? It is highly likely the company went down the route of professional photography and videography!
Louisa Hollenberg, is the founder of Earth and Skin, which is an organic, vegan and cruelty-free day spa on the Gold Coast. Earth and Skin provide luxurious treatments to men and women using their own product range, who want to reduce their toxic load.
Louisa is someone who is prolific in terms of creating visuals for her experience-based business, so she has shared some expert insight into why professional photography and video is so important for your website.
Why should I even care about having good visual assets on my website?
The general mindset that we’re always instilling on our clients here at Five By Five, is that ultimately you’re running your own media company.
You are charged with the responsibility of organising quality photoshoots and making amazing video content.
Use these assets to simulate what a client journey actually looks like with you and your business, and then allow these visual assets to do the heavy lifting for you through your online presence.
Your business is a brand, whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not and a picture tells a thousand words.
What you need to do is simulate what your premises look like, what your team looks like, what the process or the experience is that you provide, or how you deliver your product.
Ultimately, you need to scream from the rooftops exactly what problem you are solving and what the value is that your business brings!
Can I afford not to have professional photos and videos for my business in this day and age?
A lot of the time when we design and build a new website, our design team struggles to get good, usable visual assets from our clients.
This is why we put so much emphasis on our clients investing in a custom photo shoot and a custom video shoot. This is how we best share your magic!
You should be refreshing and updating your visual assets for your business at least every six months, if not every quarter! After every shoot, make sure you immediately book in your next one.
In this day and age, you need to have a prolific presence on social media and should be posting several times a week at a minimum.
Your staff and team will change and grow plus you will have specific and unique promotions throughout the year that will need visuals to market them.
Why should I hire a professional photographer?
Getting anyone to engage with you for the first time is a challenge, particularly for small businesses and more so for online businesses.
If your business is not located in an area that receives a lot of daily foot traffic, it can be a big commitment for someone to purposefully travel to your location. It can be a very intimidating or uncertain experience for a lot of people.
So by putting a wide range of photos about what your client can expect when they walk through the door, when they’re having their treatment or service or buying your product, it eliminates some of the fear factor.
People want to know exactly what they’re going to experience when they walk in your door.
How do I get professional photos and images for my website?
We don’t want you to think that you can just hire an amazing quality, $4,000 camera and think that you can eliminate the need for a photographer if you have a really good camera.
A professional photographer or videographer is a complete expert in what they do and they have the perfect skills and equipment to really showcase your business in its best light.
Even in post-production they produce a consistent filter or output so, you will see that all your photos have that same sort of colour treatment and follow the same consistent tone and voice.
It’s really important to have a look at their work on their website and social media and see if their work fits with your brand. Remember, not every professional photographer has an eye for your brand!
How do I get good product photos for my website?
Plan your shoot!
Think about what your content creation schedule actually looks like for the next quarter. Consider the blog posts that you’re going to write, what’s going on social media and if there are specific promotions that you’re running for Christmas or Mother’s Day and then start a list of everything that you want to capture to make that schedule come to life!
Write a run sheet prior to the photo shoot where you have a really detailed list of exactly what you want to achieve from the shoot. For example, the model on the bed with hands applying the pink clay mask.
You then send your run sheet to your photographer prior to the photo shoot so that they get an idea of what they need to take photos off and how to efficiently plan their time with you. From there you can collate a list of required props and source them for the shoot.
Usually we suggest you have multiple outfits to change into as well, so that you can get the maximum bang for your buck and not all your lifestyle shots are exactly the same.
When you properly plan and stage a three hour professional photoshoot you should receive over 100 perfectly branded and usable photos for your website, social media and any other marketing collateral you have.
Can I use photos of someone else on my website?
Always get your models and your staff to sign a photo release form. This means that you own the images and you can use them however you like.
You may have a staff member that leaves or suddenly a model changes their mind and decides they don’t want a photo on a billboard, but you will still have every right to use their photo if you would still like to!
If you have to use royalty free, stock images, please use them sparingly and aim to find ones that do fit within your brand and style.
The Essential Shot List for Your First Business Photoshoot
The aim is to tell your clients and customers as much as you can about your business without them setting foot in the door or committing to a purchase.
- Headshot photos of your team
- Group shot of your complete team
- Team and/or clients interacting candidly
- Client opening the door of your business
- The outside of your building
- The reception area complete with reception staff
- Your services and/or products
- Fun behind the scenes style photos for social media
How can I make my videos look more professional?
Your website needs a high quality, professionally shot “WHY” video that explains why you get out of bed in the morning and do what you do.
It does so many things from a psychological level. It allows people to look you in the eye and to really get a feel for you and they almost feel like they know you when they walk in the door or buy something from you.
You should aim to eventually have a professional video for every product or service you offer explaining what you are offering and why someone should choose you!
Another really powerful video to film and have on your website is one centred around recruitment. Finding good quality staff can sometimes be really difficult as it can be a competitive market out there.
Having a video of your team talking about why they love working for your business and how long they’ve been there, gives any potential recruits information about what it’s really like to be a staff member of your organisation.
Your business culture is the foundation of everything and permeates through your products, your services, the love and care that you provide to your clients. So, attracting the right people and having a visual video asset that really draws people in is a super powerful tool!
What do I do with my professional photos and videos?
Your visual assets of your business are not just for your website! These can be used across all social media platforms and all marketing materials such as EDMs to ensure a consistent tone of voice and branding.
Professional photos make the perfect background images for Instagram stories and posts on Facebook and Google My Business.
Photos can also be used for print advertising such as brochures, pamphlets, billboards, and newspaper and magazine ads.
Common pages on your website that will need refreshing with new visual assets are your team pages, promotional pages, homepage and of course, new blog posts.
What impact will professional visual assets have on my business?
Photos and especially video, builds trust with your potential customers and clients who may have never come to you before.
They have confidence that you are who you say you are, and that you’re going to give them the experience that you tell them you can deliver.
You may sell a lot of gift vouchers online and quite often, those people that are purchasing the gift voucher don’t live where your business is. If they live overseas or interstate, they’ve never actually seen your building, products or had a service from you at all.
So, to be able to show these customers what their loved one can experience when they get a service or product with you just really builds the trust, enough for them to make that purchase.
How much does a professional photographer or videographer cost in Australia?
The cost of photographers and videographers varies greatly. You might be able to find a uni student who is still studying or has just graduated and they’ll come and do it for literally $200, right up to someone who is very established who can charge more than $2000.
Sometimes you may be able to offer your photographer or videographer a contra deal where they get free or discounted products or services in exchange for their skills.
But the end result is the leverage and the impact that your visual assets can have on your business and it truly is a worthwhile investment.
Don’t be shy, get out there and just don’t underestimate the power of really good imagery!
We have all seen that one stock image of men in suits shaking hands. How does this really tell the story of your business? Long story short, it doesn’t.
By including strong visual assets on your website, you give yourself an authentic voice, you transcend any language barrier, and you boost your chances of conversions and leads.
Visual content builds trust with your audience and gives your brand a consistent voice. Do you think your current visual assets portray this?
If you’re still unsure on how to tell if your website is due for a visual refresh, then chat to one of our team on how we can help you with professional imagery and content.
To be guided through the process, you are welcome to also view the recording of the Five By Five Lunch and Learn Webinar based on this topic. Feel free to click on the link below.
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