Sitting on a lovely beach gives you some great time to reflect upon your navel and contemplate some of the finer aspects of your business (G&T in hand of course).
I love travel photography. And it seems glamorous (until you realise that you are dripping onto your eyepiece and fogging up your lenses) but what I really love is emotionally connected to the places I go. I sit back and absorb it all, and then try to imagine how you would see it, and then start to create the feelings, compositions and elements into the compositions.
This lead me to consider what aspect it is about travel & environmental photography we love, and why it’s use (and misuse as stock imagery by businesses) is so prevalently for websites. It’s a feeling, a desire, an emotion, sentimentality, daydream material, state of being, or a look into the future. When you see that gorgeous white sand beach things that might come up are: romance, relaxation, peace, calm, escape etc. You identify and engage with that image on a creative emotional basis. Why do you think doctors and dentist offices often have tranquil, relaxing images on their walls? It helps to calm you, creating an emotional connection to their business, either overtly or subtly and subconsciously. But saying that – when you are creating images for your business environment, cliché, non-committal and irrelevant images do the exact opposite for your business. It takes the client AWAY from what you are offering. Instead of them seeing the services and environment, they are off dreaming on the beach somewhere and NOT engaging in your offerings.
Stock Images vs Branded Images
Businesses often turn to cheaper options of stock imagery for websites and marketing materials. What is stock imagery you might ask? I’m sure you’ve been on shutterstock, istock and the other myriad of websites and paid for generic images to fill the gaps in your website, blog etc. Stock imagery can be REALLY useful in getting a specific message across quickly, easily and cheaply, but if you are truly ready to share your brand, you’ve got to consider the unique creative aspect that will identify your brand – you. These images will be a huge distinction point between you and your competitors, And lets face it. Don’t we want to STAND OUT rather than blend in? These images will complete your brand identity. They are your company.
How to create images that connect without relying on the beach?
Stories, People, Touchstones, Emotions, Life Events.
It’s about creating images for your business and your personal profile that connect you to your customers – helping you tell your story – creating engagement.
This requires some digging.
How to create engaging images for your business
How do you personally engage with your clients? How do you create an authentic image that sells you – your values, your demographic, and hit your target audience? How do you create trust, authority, professionalism – in other words, your brand promise.
There are some key elements that go into both personal profile images and business images that are successful in helping you create and convey the feeling and understanding about what your brand is.
Your key words, your brand promise (service, product, understanding of what you are about to receive), values, confidence, strength, empathy, and sometime even vulnerabilities. All play into who you are and what you deliver.
“A stronger corporate brand image will boost your stock price by an average of 5-7 percent.” (Kristie Rimmele)
Now take a moment to consider what the images you are using for your business are selling – You or the beach?
How you can use strategically created images for emotional connection to your brand?
Consider how you can improve engagement with clients, customers and potential employers.
You are selling YOU.
Create. Engage. Connect. Convert.
- Are You Engaging Clients With Great Branded Imagery? - February 13, 2014