The presentation of your business is a key factor to your success. No matter the size of your business, it’s important to acknowledge that clients spend an immense amount of time researching a company before they buy. In fact, Google’s customer journey research shows an estimated 12 touches with a company before a consumer makes a buying decision.
That’s a lot of opportunity for your company’s first impression upon them to be garnered solely through their digital research. Don’t you want to put your best face, literally and figuratively, forward?
Whether you are a roofer or a catering business, every company needs a branded shoot. Here are the top reasons why AND how to make sure you get the most from your investment:
Photos Are Your First Impression On A Potential Client
According to Executive Impressions it takes seven seconds to make an impression and once that impression is locked in someone’s mind, it is very difficult for that initial impact to be redeemed. You want your shoot to reflect your brand in a professional manner.
The photos you have on your website are a representation of your company and its employees. If you have outdated, low quality pictures or a variety of different selfies rather than professional headshots, how do you think you’ll come across? Outdated, low quality and scattered.
On the flip side, if you have up-to-date, high quality pictures that capture your personality and that of your team, you will come across more professional, as a quality business and approachable to potential clients.
If you were on the client side, who would you want to work with? Clearly the answer is the latter company, so now we move to how your pictures can humanize your brand.
Staff Photos Humanize Your Brand
You may be giving out a business card with your logo at a networking event or even passing out flyers, but a pretty logo is not who your clients are going to end up working with. They are going to work with you and your team.
“People don’t work with a logo. People work with people.” says Channing Muller, Principal and Founder of DCM Communications which is attributed to on her website.
A branded shoot lets you showcase the team behind the logo and ensures that first (or 10th) impression is consistent with the people who’ll be executing the contract that comes in.
Now that you understand why you need this photo shoot, it’s time to make sure you get the most return on your investment both financially and in time.
Preparing for the Shoot
Prior to shoot day, make sure to convey the vision of your company to the photographer. This is about your company, not their portfolio.
Establish goals for the shoot. Are the photos going to be utilized more on social media or your website? Are they meant to convey the personality or professionalism of your brand, or both? Do you want the photographer to capture staged poses only or candids too?
Once there is a deeper understanding of what is expected out of the shoot, your photographer will have a stronger grasp on how to stage shots and direct your poses and expressions on the day of the shoot.
Making the Most of Your Time
The first step is to choose your shoot location(s) so you can take the backdrops into consideration when picking your clothing, which is Step 2. You don’t want to contrast with your background too much OR be swallowed whole by it.
I recently did a shoot for Channing and having her clothing choices pre-planned really pushed the session forward. Not only did this ensure she got in all the outfits she wanted in the alloted time, but it also made sure the time we spent together was taking photos, not waiting for her to choose an outfit. (This is even more important if you’re paying a photographer an hourly rate.)
Here are three photos from the shoot:
What’s clear from these photos is styled hair, various poses, dresses and necklaces, the latter of which is her favorite accessory. But if I hadn’t told you these photos were all taken on the same day, would you be able to tell based on her outfit choices and backgrounds? Probably not.
Since staging a branding photoshoot every couple of months isn’t realistic for her schedule, Channing chose outfits that can be used in various seasons. For instance, the photo to the left she’s wearing a ¾ sleeve dress, perfect for seasonal transitions, in the primary color of the DCM brand (black) accented by the light blue necklace, another of the brand’s main colors. She can now use that photo as the primary headshot for her speaking engagements and press opportunities as well as on our website.
Then we look a the middle photo. The bright pink can easily be worn in either spring or summer, though clearly not fall. That gives her nearly six months, March through August, to utilize these photos and still have them be seasonally appropriate.
Lastly, the photo on the right she’s wearing navy blue against a clean white background. Given you can’t tell the true length of the sleeves and the fact that it’s against a natural background, this photo is fit for year round use. It could be snowing like crazy outside or hotter than hades (as life in Tennessee often is) but you wouldn’t know it. The colors and styles shown are applicable throughout every month in the calendar.
The Big Takeaways
Here’s the gist of all of this: be intentional with everything while planning out your shoot. Don’t just think about what you could use these photos for now, but how you can use them for months to come across all of your marketing and PR efforts.
The purpose of a branded shoot is to position your company for future growth. While there are no guarantees, this is the step in the right direction. These photos will give your client a better opportunity to get to know your company and its employees before they even request a call with you, thereby saving you time from meetings, phone calls, emails, and proposals with a prospect who likes the “idea” of your company, but may not be YOUR ideal client.