Back in the stone age of marketing, it was vital to have a powerful headshot to use on your flyers, business cards, and ads. You remember business cards, right? Now, however, marketing has shifted to a more natural and comprehensive story-telling approach. And branding photography is a crucial piece of communicating with your ideal clients.
Building your digital marketing presence requires a professional, cohesive look. Product and branding photography are key components to pulling that look together. I love getting pictures of entrepreneurs, their teams, and their products to make them shine online. Reach out to Images from Amy to tell your brand story.
What Is Branding Photography?
Building a branding portfolio of pictures is much more than a simple headshot. Headshots allow people to have a visual of who they might be meeting or hiring. But the idea behind branding photography is to capture and evoke a lifestyle and a story.
The goal of these sessions is to provide you with a range of pictures that show your personality and that of your business. The images should help you visually demonstrate to potential clients what it would be like to work with you.
Typical branding sessions may include:
- Professional Hair and Makeup – Branding sessions require a time and financial investment, so you want them to look perfect. Having a pro handle your hair and makeup is well worth the cost. Many photographers build this expense into their packages for a streamlined process.
- Several Outfit Changes – Your photos can’t tell a good story if they all look the same. A full brand photography session generally includes three to five different outfits to achieve various looks. The vibe of your clothing should match the personality of your business. If edgy and quirky are your go-to styles, then your outfits should align with that. Are your clients expecting a more formal look? Then that will dictate your clothing choices. Most people like to have a couple of casual outfits and one or two that are more formal or professional.
- Props and Styled Sets – Talk with your photographer about what props they have available and what would be good for you to bring. Everything should fit your brand’s tone, intent, and mood, so at least some of your studio photos should include your brand colors. Popular props in these sessions include laptops, coffee cups, and plants. For some business owners, such as realtors, getting photos of you working with clients is also a great idea. (Note: These don’t have to be actual clients. You can use stand-ins!)
Can’t I Just Use Phone Selfies for My Business?
Well, sure. You can use your own photos and selfies in your digital and physical marketing. There are no rules that say you need professional headshots. And there is definitely a place for casual, impromptu pictures in your marketing strategy.
However, to truly stand out online and connect with your customers, you need to invest in branding photography. And once you do, you’ll immediately see how incredible you look and feel with your professional photos.
Why Should I Invest in Branding Photography?
Your potential customers and clients are online more than ever. They are using the internet for searching, learning, and buying all day long. If you want to grab their attention and their dollars, you have to stand out from the crowd. Professional photos help you do this consistently.
Not sure if it’s what you need? Here are the top three reasons that branding photography is worth the investment.
1. You Will Look Like a Professional
Let’s call it like it is. When you’re a business owner, you want people to pay you money for the services or products you provide. If they don’t, then you don’t earn a living.
And if you don’t have clear, professional photos, your online presence will not be clear or professional. Your time and expertise allow you to charge your worth. But without a strong brand image, it’s hard to pull in clients who will pay.
2. You Can Create Brand Consistency
Social media is a significant piece of most businesses’ marketing strategy. Between LinkedIn, Facebook, and every other social platform, there are plenty of ways to get your company’s name out to the masses.
The danger, however, is that so much variety can lead to a confused brand message if you’re not careful. Clarity and consistency are vital to building trust and authority. A business that looks scattered will confuse potential customers and send them elsewhere.
It’s crucial that your photos are on-brand to present a clear and consistent look across all platforms. With professional photos, your message will match no matter where clients find you.
3. You Will Nail the Crucial First Impression
You have about seven seconds to grab a website visitor’s attention. For reading text on a web page, that’s really short. It might be long enough for them to read a couple of sentences or scan your blog headings, and then they’re deciding whether to stay or go.
A professional photo, however, can stop a site visitor in their tracks. They can immediately connect with you through your branding images as they decide whether to stick around or not. High-quality pictures can entice people to stay on your site longer and take the next step in their buyer’s journey. In one test for a major corporation, adding high-quality photos to their blog posts significantly increased their:
- Site Traffic
- Average Session Time
- Number of Unique Visitors
Additionally, including pictures lowered their site’s bounce rate. That is, fewer people were leaving their site right away. Instead, potential customers lingered and navigated to other pages on the website. And that is precisely what your branding pictures can do for your business, too.