Why hiring a professional photographer can significantly benefit your small business.
Find out how professional photography can benefit your business and how not outsourcing professional services can cost you more than just financially.
For most small business owners, it takes a few years of sheer grit and determination to take your business from a concept to a business that generates income.
There are the initial setup costs such as business registration, insurance, stock, premises and a web site. Many small business owners try to minimize overheads by reducing expenditure and having a DIY approach. It could have more far reaching consequences than you might expect. Here’s why you should consider outsourcing to other professionals such as photographers.
Wearing multiple hats in a business distracts you from your core business. The very fundamental provision of goods or services you were so passionate about, that you started the damn business in the first place.
A recent Stanford analysis reviewing years of data concludes that "multitasking is associated with poor performance on cognitive memory tasks." In fact, psychologist David Meyer estimated that productivity can drop by as much as 40% when you're forcing your brain to attempt multitasking. As an employee or business owner, this can lead to subpar overall performance. (Forbes “The Fallacy Of Multitasking” Jan 31, 2020)
We’ve all come across those businesses that promise the world and claim to be able to build your web site, do the graphic design, take the photos, market your business, manage your social media, are SEO experts and hey they’ll even throw in some accounts management and do your tax return for you! Yeah right!!! How well are they actually doing any of those things, really?
Hiring a professional photographer is no different to calling your accountant at tax time or a plumber when your pipes spring a leak. There are times when only a professional with years of experience will do. Why trust your business to anyone else?
How you represent your business and brand is important. Low quality, out of focus, under exposed images convey your business in an unfavorable or worse, unprofessional light. They can be more harmful and damaging than you expect. First impressions are powerful, so it is essential to make the right impression with a huge impact. Don’t underestimate the connection people make with you and your business before they have even met you! Professional photographers work with all types of people and businesses and intuitively know how to communicate the essence of your business visually.
User generated content vs Professional Photography
That old chestnut! Why pay for a photographer when my new smart phone takes amazing photos? It probably does, but do you know the nuances of camera settings, composition, light, colour theory and photographic editing techniques???
People want to see faces and behind the scenes of a business. Yes! They want to know who you are and connect with you emotionally. Yes, Yes!!
That’s why you should use both professional and user generated content. Each type of image has its place. For example, would you use a selfie of you at your latest staff party in the toilets with a glass of champagne in hand as your web site banner hero shot? Probably not!
But this content serves a purpose sometimes.
Having an arsenal of professional photos to roll out over time on social media, on your web page, for product catalogues and marketing content is extremely valuable. It’s also a time saver and adds credibility to your business model and overall branding strategy.
Professional content = Engagement
In this age of technology and instant gratification, content is king. You have approximately 1-3 seconds to grab attention before the inevitable scroll on. That’s why your images need to stand out and look the goods. Professional photographers regularly produce these eye-catching images. It is their bread and butter. Professional images can give your business a competitive edge. Photographic images are more shareable than other content too. So, when people stop on your image, they may even read the text. Some will engage your services or convert into a sale. Hence your engagement is increased on social media platforms, with hits to your website and conversions or leads. Winning!
A picture tells a thousand words (how could I write this without throwing that cliché in?) But seriously, telling a meaningful story and making a connection is what it’s all about. I’ve personally spent years studying communication models, semiotics and developing intuitive storytelling practices. Bringing my clients story to the spotlight is paramount. It is your story and uniqueness that will sell your product or services. It is what makes your brand recognizable and desirable. Beautiful images empower you to communicate your story seamlessly without needing to say a word (or a thousand words!)
You can read more about how our business utilizes intuitive visual storytelling practices here. https://www.angelcottproductions.com.au/intuitive-visual-storytelling
What about the cost?
Photography is an essential tool for businesses these days. It is an integral part of your overall branding and marketing strategy. Most people would not attempt run a business without a website and a few social media posts. Yet many business owners question the financial outlay of engaging a professional photographer. Consider the cost to the photographer to provide the service. Most photographers have on average upwards of $10,000 invested in equipment. Add to that insurance, studio / office overheads, travel, marketing and other professional services. Then there’s post processing and delivery rates. So, what will it cost you? Photographers generally have a base hourly rate calculated on the time taken to complete the job including shooting and post processing. Others will have a standard package price for a particular service or type of shoot, for example corporate head shots. Some may charge per image based on usage rights. Some of my rates for business images work out to only about $10 per image. That’s cheaper than stock photography! It depends if you’re posting it on social media or it’s going in a national gallery or on a billboard of course. Either way you will be quoted prior to the job and know how much its going cost before you proceed. All photographers I know aim to please and take pride in the work they produce.
Budgeting for professional photography service as part of your overall marketing strategy is a sure-fire way to make sure you hit your marketing goals and reach your target audience.
Who wants to fall into the multitasking trap of wearing too many hats in our small businesses? Not only does it reduce productivity, it also leads to worrying trends such as overload, depression, anxiety and burnout! Life’s too short for all of that. So now you know why it’s a no brainer to outsource to a professional photographer in your small business.
Rachel Angelini operates a Photography and Videography business in the Great Southern region of Western Australia including Denmark, Mount Barker and Albany. Get in touch now to have her take your business photography to the next level.
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