August 23, 2021
While many clients come to us worried that there’s no good way to visually capture their service-based businesses, we couldn’t disagree more. The bigger problem is often that people are afraid to be seen, and scared to step out from behind-the-scenes in order to promote the most valuable aspect of their businesses – themselves.
Here at The Brand Bottega, we encourage clients to get visible and show potential clients their biggest asset and the human talent behind their brand. Showing the people who actually do the work and provide the service helps clients feel more at ease and confident about hiring you. When they know who you are and what you stand for, great connections can be made. But not just any connections, as it’s important to also be real and authentic in order to create trust.
Some clients are also afraid to show the messy behind-the-scenes aspects of their business – the busy office, or the studio covered in paint & supplies, or the nitty gritty of how the job actually gets done. We argue that this can be what makes you stand out the most to potential clients. Seeing the hard work, determination and sweat that goes into the service you provide or the objects that you make can create connection. It’s that connection that is at the heart of the images and visuals we create for brands.
So whether you’re an established brand or just starting out, we suggest adding the following types of brand imagery to your website and marketing channels to make you stand out.
A must-have for any service based business is a portrait of you – the owner, the creative, the realtor. Whatever your title, it’s important to get your face in front of potential clients so they can get to know you. To us, this should be more than just your standard “head shot” too. The image should not only capture your personality, but also reflect your brand as well as attract the types of clients you are after. One of the biggest ways to communicate this is by the environment your portrait is taken in and this all relates to your bigger marketing plan and the services you provide. If you’re a creative we recommend using your studio or office as a backdrop. Do you run a specialty retail shop? Let’s capture that environment and show potential clients what your store looks like. Are you a realtor or other service-provider in the community? Showing you out in your community and the areas that you serve is a great way to help lure those ideal clients who also live and work in the same community.
Besides location, the other question we ask when looking at shoot locations is does this location reflect the values of the brand and does the color scheme compliment your brand colors? We make sure that we are looking at a wholistic picture of your brand and capturing imagery that will fit into that picture. So if your brand palette is neutral earthy tones, we wouldn’t recommend a location that has lime green accents. If your branding, logo & types of clients you want to attract is more modern, we wouldn’t photograph your shoot in a historic building with antique moldings and columns. The clothing you wear and any props/accessories also add to this story. Images send messages to potential clients that are often subliminal, so it’s important to think about all of these details when we are planning your shoot.
Does your brand have a team of people working to serve your clients? Show them. For some industries it can be essential to communicate to clients that there is a team ready and able to serve their needs. It will help clients understand that they will be taken care of, even if someone is out of the office. Or perhaps you have team members that specialize in different fields or participate in different steps in your customer journey. These are all selling points that your client will appreciate, as well as your team knowing how confident you are in them and that they are an asset to your business.
BEHIND THE SCENES
I have always loved art and enjoy seeing what artists create. But I must admit that I was always hesitant to purchase a piece as they usually come with a steep pricetag. Enter an artist whose work I was admiring who explained the story behind her creations, her why and showed all the behind the scenes of her pieces. This provided me with a connection that went beyond simply looking at her art, and made me want to purchase from her. Sometimes it’s in the story behind the piece or someone’s service that allows you to connect in a way that you never would have. This is when I started photographing brands differently and incorporating all of the behind the scenes of their business. I want to see their studio or workspace, or what neighborhoods they work & live in, their tools, how they work with clients, their process. Showing all of this will help connect your potential clients to your brand like nothing else can.
The last two types of images are very custom and personalized to your specific brand. Here is where we dig deep into your brand to understand what your marketing plan is, what your business goals are and tie in image concepts directly to those items. Many businesses think they just hire a photographer and they show up for the time scheduled and shoot away, however we approach shoots much differently. Most of our work happens before your shoot date is even scheduled so that we can create image concepts that will translate to images you will actually use in your brand. For example, if your current marketing efforts are to promote a new fall menu update then we focus there and not on other seasons. If you need specific images to promote a new service and use on a specific channel (website, Instagram, email newsletter) then we tailor those specific shots to your needs and not capture unnecessary images. So we take the time to understand what you are promoting and where you need to fill in images and create a shoot plan and concepts based on those goals.
A big area where we guide our clients is in creating channel-specific images for their brand. Each channel may have different needs in relation to the size, orientation or subject/composition of images. For example, Facebook and websites typically need more horizontal images while Instagram can use either horizontal or vertical. Images used as promotions on Pinterest may need to have space for text or logo overlays, and email newsletters may require yet a different format. We make sure to capture images in a way that relates to these channel needs, as well as creating multiple orientations & compositions if necessary as well. These details are often overlooked, then your website designer is left with only vertical images while they really need horizontal format. Often clients don’t know what they need, but that is why we are here and our planning process involves diving into all of these details so we can ensure we are capturing what your channel requires.
There’s so many more types of images that can be created so this post is not exhaustive of all the options. We work with each client to determine what type of shoot package and images is best for them, therefore everything is very custom to each brand’s needs.