One of the things we ask all of our new clients to do is be a part of a photo shoot. Perhaps you wondered why this is such an essential part of the marketing process. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the reasons professional photos will make your phone ring.
The real you
Photos turn your website from a faceless entity into a website for a smiling guy with a tool belt. (Or whatever the tools of your trade happen to be.) When a customer sees you or a member of your team on your website or blog post, that makes you into a real person in their eyes. The reason we want to use you in photos instead of a model is that you don’t look like a fake model. Studies have shown pictures of models don’t create a customer connection, but photos of real people have the opposite effect. You look like a real person. (Actually, some of you do look like models, but we won’t hold it against you!) Because your website doesn’t use the same stock photo of a plumber under a sink, customers don’t perceive you as just another plumber: you are unique.
When they call you or your team for service and see one of you standing at their doorstep, that sense of recognition makes a second impact. The customer feels like they know you; they’ve seen you in photos. You’re not a stranger. That solidifies a certain amount of trust in their mind which doesn’t happen when they see a stranger standing at their door.
If you’re smiling in your pictures, and you smile when the customer answers the door, it sends your customer two signals: you are trustworthy, and you are willing to help them with their problem. If they recognize your photo from the website and answer the door to your smiling face, you’re well on your way to being friends. So, if you want to inspire trust in your customers, smiling at them will go a long way. But, remember--smile with your eyes. The camera knows a fake smile from a real one!
A professional will make you look your best, which will further promote your image. You’re the star of your own business. How does that impact customers? Think of how much more you enjoy a movie if you know the people who play the roles. Even if they aren’t a ‘star,’ per se, if you recognize them, you feel a sense of familiarity. Familiarity is a positive emotion and one that your photos will promote.
The day of the professional photo shoot, make it a point to be well rested and smile. Don’t be afraid to ham it up for the camera! If you’re a carpenter, use your hammer. If you’re an electrician, examine an outlet. Pose like you’re going to be the stock photo promoting your business because you are! We’ve had some ordinary looking people who look extraordinary when someone takes their picture in a professional setting.
Professional photos will give you an edge over your competition, make you into a real person your customers will recognize, and promote trust during your initial contact with them. Those are some great marketing benefits for minimal effort.
Do us a favor
On a final note, we always appreciate current photos (and stories!) of your work, even if they aren’t professional, as we can add them to blog posts for the same effect. A blog post about ‘Problems with Landscape Pests’ is so much more effective if it has a picture of gopher holes, or even a member of your crew examining a gopher hole. Clear, crisp photos which can be cut square are the best.
Professional photo shoots to show the world the real you give you an edge on your competition and bring customers to your business. Both are great reasons to smile!