Why Professional Photography Matters On Your Website




  • August 28, 2015

    How do you want your firm to be perceived?


    I’m guessing the answer is that you want to reflect your firm’s expertise and high quality work. But if you aren’t using the right photography on your site, you could be sending the opposite message.


    Your website says a lot about your firm. We know that 80% of potential clients will check out your website before conducting business with you, so your site should be polished and ready to sell your services.


    How Buyers Check Out Potential Professional Services Providers


    So, what’s photography got to do with it?


    Your website’s photography sends a message about the quality of your firm, whether that’s your intention or not. With so many prospective buyers looking at your website to vet your firm, you want every component to communicate that you’re a reputable firm with the ability to deliver — this includes your website’s images.


    Replacing or updating photography is an easy and fast fix to give your overall website a boost and make it work for you.


    Keep in mind that your photos shouldn’t be all about your firm. Prospects want to know how your firm can help them and make their jobs easier. Focus your images on making these buyers feel comfortable about working with your firm. Show the benefits through images that convey a sense of satisfaction and show improvements that your clients have been able to make in their own business by working with your firm. Help them see the experiences they will have by working with you.


    There are three basic ways that your firm can go about photography:



    1. Use stock photography
    2. Take your own photos
    3. Hire a professional photographer

    Each of these options come with their own costs and benefits.


    1. Use stock photography.


    Stock photos can be a very cost-effective option for professional services firms that don’t have a large budget for their website. Services such as Thinstock.com and shutterstock.com offer monthly memberships. You can get a certain number of downloads per day for a fixed cost.


    The primary issue with these sites is that because the services are inexpensive, many firms are probably using the exact same images. So, stock photography likely isn’t an effective way to make your website stand out from the pack.


    Another option for stock photography is a site like Getty Images. You can buy rights to managed photos on Getty, which usually look more authentic, but can cost more. Depending on the use of your photos, you can expect to spend a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars for a single photograph. The higher cost means a higher barrier to entry, so any photos you purchase through a service like this will likely be used less in the marketplace.


    A caveat with using stock photos: Many are cheesy—and people will be able to tell. Who hasn’t seen the picture of two business-suited men shaking hands and smiling towards the camera? Investing in photography that looks authentic and could be a real image from your firm will convey the message of authenticity to your audiences.


    2. Take your own photos.


    Like using stock photography, taking your own photographs can be a cost effective option as well, but some prior photography knowledge and experience is needed.


    Assuming you have photography skills in-house, now is the time to invest in a professional camera. This investment can cost your firm less than $ 1000 and make a huge impact. Purchase a lens for wide-shots and one for close-ups such as headshots of your employees.


    Lighting, angles, and composition are all important in producing a good image, as well as some knowledge of photo editing tools such as Photoshop. It can be more inexpensive to go with this option, but if you don’t have someone who knows what they are doing, the photos could end up hurting your website instead of helping it.


    3. Hire a professional photographer.


    This is probably the most expensive option, but can reap the most benefits. The photography can be custom tailored to showcase your firm’s best attributes through real and authentic images. You can showcase your firm’s culture and how clients have benefitted from your services. The options are endless and a professional photographer will know exactly how to take the best photos to highlight these attributes.


    With these options in mind, what pages of your website would benefit from professional photography?



    • Content Pages. We’re visual beings. We process imagery more quickly than text and many of us are visual learners. So, help your visitors understand your content though engaging and supplemental photography. Articles with images get 94% more total views, so photography can help amplify and get more visits to your content as well.
    • Case Studies. Most professional services websites have a testimonials, portfolio, or case studies page. Using images help convince the reader that these are in fact real people or companies that benefited by using your firms’ services. It’s easier for people to commit to your firm if they know that you’ve produced results for firms like theirs. Using images makes your story real, whether you are showing the person giving the testimonial or the company you used for a case study.

    Just take a look at The Beck Group’s professional portfolio on their website:


    Beck Group Portfolio


    Use compelling imagery to tell your firm’s story and help guide potential clients in the right direction, increasing your conversions and leads. The more professional your website and imagery, the more trust and credibility you’ll earn in the marketplace.


     

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