How To Grow Your Business Using Photographs.
Time is a ticking.
Time equals money, so for today let’s explore the value of Brand Art and why it’s important to your business. Attention spans today nosedive after just eight seconds apparently. Meaning it has never been more crucial to make the best first impression your business can afford.
So what is Brand Art?
Forming your visual language, Brand Art defines your business and can be instantly recognized as belonging to your company. Illustration, graphic design and photography can all do this. It can elevate your marketing and increase profitability! For now, lets talk photography.
Photography for Business.
In the states you can hire a “Brand-ographer” – a term coined to describe someone who takes photos to create Brand Art. The terms Corporate Photography, Commercial Product Photographer or Personal Branding Photographer are all banded about here in the UK together with Brand Art Photographer.
A little about me.
I’m Annushka, owner of Syllabub & Bloom. Together with photographing children and families I also create images with freelancers and small businesses. Showing your uniqueness & professionalism to potential customers is important to me. Helping you sell your product or service is something I’m passionate about.
I’m also one of Brilliant Together’s virtual team of experts and the photographer that captured all of the photographs on the Brilliant Together website.
All about you.
Everything you do or say should be designed to attract your ideal client and it should be consistent, on your website, your social media and all advertising campaigns. Understanding Brand Art can help your business grow and succeed.
Before you start searching for a photographer to translate your brief into pictures first understand your ideal client and what you want to say to them. Define your visual identity and personality (voice) and then consider your brand value. Only then will your visual branding begin to serve your business.
For more explanation on branding head over to Julia Melymbrose’s blog feature for Business Tutsplus.
Pictures grab our attention and have the power to make us think and feel a certain way. Most people will skim read but we can read an image and form an opinion about what we see in a nanosecond. So if a picture really does speak a thousand words what is it saying to your customers and clients? Remember seeing is believing.
It’s all White.
When you think of The White Company you undoubtedly see an image in your mind (deliberately so) of a white interior decorated with stylish white homewares. This is The White Company’s defined style, their core value and everything they sell is consistent with their Brand Art.
Then a mail-order company, The White Company started in 1994 with just a 12-page brochure of images. Every catalogue and webpage produced since is peppered with home styling tips from company founder Chrissie Rucker. Her headshot features alongside her trusted welcome at the beginning of every brochure similar to a glossy magazine. This helps give the company a sense of luxury with a personal touch. She is the face of The White Company, she is successful and she understands the power of bespoke photography.
A dash of Colour.
So lets talk colour – it’s a primitive way of communicating and advertisers and marketers use colour to their advantage. Filmmakers use colour for emotional impact – who can forget seeing the little red coat in Schindlers List? Blue for example represents trust & calm, pink is emotional & loving & yellow is happy & energetic. Finding your pallet is part of identifying your brand but using colour in your everyday language will enforce your brand identity and show your clients you are reliable. Think again of Chrissie Rucker’s white pallet.
Use Social Media.
I follow the very colourful & talented Jane Foster, illustrator, textile designer & screen printer. Her logo is her illustrated portrait and her face is all over John Lewis if you just up end the mugs! Jane uses photography to strengthen her brand, she loves white and yellow with a splash of occasional red. Jane photographs and promotes her new collections and nurtures customer loyalty by sharing images on Instagram. With a following of over 26k, she flashes up on your mobile device every day reminding you of her latest designs and creations.
Jane understands that as a freelancer working solo in her back-garden studio, Instagram is her shop window. This carefully curated window into her world encourages us to invest our time in the person, the artist and the product. In a reaction to our mass-produced visual world there is a market for the individual and the personal.
The Art of the Selfie.
Holly Tucker, the UK’s ambassador for Small Businesses and founder of Not On The High Street gets it. Which is why she is championing small business with her new venture Holly & Co. Visit her website, it’s a hub for inspiration to artisans and small business.
Holly & Co introduces new artists or makers to a wider audience. Tucker encourages visitors to her London based café and shop to spread the social media message that small is better by taking a #selfie against her feature wall.
The selfie is a commodity & has a sense of familiarity and intimacy that can be harnessed to aid our marketing. It works as an old-fashioned word of mouth referral. Interestingly Instagram images featuring one, or more than one, face, receive higher engagement than those with no face.
Go Pro! Because it’s worth it.
If however you are the founder of your business you need your portrait to exceed a selfie. Your headshot demands to look professional. The lighting needs to be flawless, the catch-lights need to twinkle and you need to ooze self-confidence. Your headshot is a social statement of authenticity and performance for your company and is best undertaken by someone who knows their craft.
Make the most of your images.
Now you know what you want to say, you have a tone, a look and a pallet and it’s amazing. You’ve hired a photographer and you have the final images.
Here’s a few tips before I pop the kettle on to make sure your images are working effectively and are seen at their best. Remember delivery is key.
- You’ve invested in your visuals so treat them as your business assets.
- Don’t try to shoe horn stock imagery into your branding. It will dilute your brief and confuse your audience doing you a disservice.
- If you must use stock images make sure you have a license to use the image for your purpose.
- Use the correct file sizes and format for your website to keep loading times on your website as short as possible.
- Make sure your images have descriptive file names for better SEO.
- Add alt text (or alt tags) to your images to ensure information is not lost in situations where the image is not appearing on the screen.
- Don’t compromise your images by uploading them at the wrong file size this will increase loading times. Your potential customers will click off your site if they have to wait too long.
- Don’t crop your photo in an unflattering way to fit a website template.
- Position your image close to relevant text to make sure the image is presented in context.
- Add captions to highlight important messages. Skim readers are more likely to read the caption than the bulk of the text.
For more information on Image SEO I recommend popping over to Yoast’s website
If you’d like to see more of my work then click on the link for my website: www.syllabubandbloom.com