If you’re a business that operates on the internet, whether you realize it or not, you’re also a content creator. Or at least you should be!
I’m a photographer who supports businesses and entrepreneurs with photography content to help them connect with their audiences and convert them into sales.
To connect with your audience, you need one main thing: rapport.
Building rapport with your audience will help them to know, like, and trust you.
Whether your e-comm business sells a physical product or a service, visual assets are going to play a large role in helping people connect with that product and visualize how it might play a role in their own lives.
While it’s quite obvious how photography plays a role in selling a physical product, service-based businesses also need custom photography and can have a hard time coming up with ideas for the kinds of photography they might need.
In this article, I’m going to help shed light on two things:
- The places where you will need to use photography
- The kinds of photography you can use
Let’s start with the places
Areas where you can use photography include:
- Social media
- Customer touch-points like your email signature
- Slide decks
- It’ll be very tempting to use stock photos in these areas.
The problem with stock photos
While stock images are easy to find, they’re harder for your audience to connect with. When consumers are shopping, they can touch and feel products, they rely heavily on visuals when shopping online. Although you’re selling a service, their brain is still making a buying decision and the thing they’re buying is YOU.
If the spaces where you’re connecting with them don’t build rapport and have a human element in them, chances are that they’ll move onto another option rather than convert into a sale or, at the very least, enter your sales funnel.
But it’s not just connection and emotion that stock photos lack, they also lack context.
Why context matters
Images aren’t just to fill space and break up the text. Images can guide a consumer’s eye to where you want them to look next or you can create a connection by choosing an image of yourself making eye contact with them. A recent study from a university in Finland showed that participants’ nervous systems reacted the same to virtual eye contact as it does to meeting someone’s gaze in real life.
The kinds of photography you can use
We talked about the spaces in your business where you might use your personal brand photography. Let’s now talk about the kinds of photos that fit the description of personal brand photography.
A nice headshot is always a great place to start. Have a variety on hand looking at the viewer and in different directions which can be useful for different things.
Images of you doing your back-office work (working from home, working in a cafe, whatever that might look like for you). Get wide shots, mid shots, and closeups of your hands typing, using your phone, etc)
Images of you working with clients whether you interact with them in person or virtually.
Images that tell stories. Those storylines might be about your personal life, your hobbies, the story of how you became who you are today.
A big tip people sometimes don’t think about is to take your photos in both vertical and horizontal orientation. Some will be needed for website banners, some will be cropped square for Instagram. Think ahead and try to picture where these images will be ending up.
Make sure when you getting these images that you hire a personal brand photographer who knows more about more than just taking photos.
I often say that anyone with an iPhone can take good photos these days. It’s about strategy and understanding what you need as a business and creating a storehouse of stock photos featuring YOU!
I’m Elizabeth Halford, the photographer behind Gracie May Photography. I’m a full-time brand and content marketing director and I use that knowledge to help my clients get all the images their business needs in one 4 hour session.