Unless you work in an awesome trade with a talented photographer, your photos cost you money—and if you want a return on your investment, you need to make sure they go further than, say, a random blog post.
I’ve mentioned in many blog posts before that reusing photos isn’t redundant. It doesn’t make you look poor or out of ideas. In fact, building a photo bank, identifying which images resonate with your audience, and reusing them in a variety of ways actually saves you time, can grow your revenue, and will build brand recognition for your company.
You’ve probably thought of a zillion ways to incorporate photos into your content creation—blog posts, social posts, email blasts, local flyers—but have you thought of the three I’m sharing below?
Photos can be used to secure client contacts, upgrade design elements on your website, and increase the value of whatever you sell by improving the client experience. Don’t believe it? Let me show you how!
Idea #1 - Add a photo (especially a photo of yourself) to your business card.
These are two of my current cards. They don’t show my face but they do utilize images of my work.
When I launched Alexis the Greek, I knew I’d need a business card. After a failed attempt at square business cards (spoiler alert: cute idea, but they don’t allow your clients’ wallets to close), an idea just came to me. I don’t even know if I should take credit for it, because it felt like Divine Intervention:
I wanted a photo of me off to the side of my logo on the front of my business card, and all the cool graphic design elements to appear on the back.
Some businesses, such as realty groups, like to put headshots on their cards, but they usually do it on the back. And in most industries, a business card appears blank, even if it’s colorful. When they do contain images, they’re generic (such as a nutritionist displaying a cutting board or salad bowl of veggies).
But just because something has “always been done that way” doesn’t mean it needs to continue on that way! My business cards actually had to be replenished when I hung them at local coffee shops where my ideal clients hung out. How many times have you left a stack of cards somewhere and it never even budged?
What this does: Because my face appeared on my cards, people who saw them had an instant connection to me. They knew whose face to picture if they picked up the phone to call me, or who to look for if they met me in person at, say, a local coffee shop. They got a feel for my vibe, knew I wouldn’t be intimidating to meet in real life, and always told me when we did meet that they loved my business card!
Secure new client contacts by adding your most personality-infused portrait to your business card.
Idea #2 - Place a photo behind a block of text on your website, social posts, or other marketing materials.
This might sound counterintuitive—wouldn’t a photo behind a block of text make the picture hard to see and the text hard to read? Well, sure, if you do it wrong!
There are a variety of ways to layer images and text:
You can take a photo using the “rule of thirds,” placing the subject off to one side and choosing a blank enough backdrop that text next to the subject won’t feel strange at all.
You can place a colored overlay over an image, adjusting the opacity (how see-through it is) until the picture below is just visible enough and the text you place over it is still readable.
You can darken or brighten an image so that it becomes secondary to the text.
You can even weave letters around the objects in your photo using an application like Photoshop to create an artistic piece.
What this does: Depending on where you plan to use it, you can do a lot with the the photo and text concept. It can make your images stand out in the Instagram feed; it can make for a dynamic ad; you can even make your website look a little more dynamic without pulling from your SEO by figuring out your platform’s built-in way to layer images and text (try out the “poster” feature on Squarespace!).
Practice layering images and text using a free site like Canva until inspiration strikes for how to use the idea wisely for your brand.
Idea #3 - Use your photos to create dynamic, engaging, and memorable downloads and media kits.
At the end of 2018, I did something I wish I’d done in my first 6 months of business and I created standardized PDFs for clients and potential clients.
These PDFs included things like my web design package options; my photography rates; my design process so that clients would know what to expect; a list of all the extra information I’d need from design clients, such as access to galleries and their domain registrar information; and frequently-asked questions.
While I could put all this information on my website, (1) I’m trying to create an experience there that doesn’t include getting bogged down with excess information, and (2) I don’t want to give away my processes to potential competitors.
However, I figured the delivery of this information didn’t have to be boring, and if I could systematize how I delivered the information in order to cut down on email correspondence time, so much the better.
What this does: By design, all of my PDFs are image-driven first, secondarily supported by text. I know that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than it can read and process text, so by grabbing my clients (or potential clients) with big, beautiful images, I help motivate them to read through all the materials in their entirety.
This also vastly increases the perceived value of the services I provide. When people feel like they are “getting more,” they believe that their money is even better spent than they had anticipated; plus, when you can communicate with your clients really well (as with thorough, standardized information in PDF form), they tend to feel calmer about the transaction overall, because they always know what to expect and when.
Don’t worry about whether the PDFs and/or media kits you create are printable. Most people refer to digital versions of documents these days, so this is less of a concern than it would have been a decade ago. If you’re really concerned, create a digital and printable version of each document—one with photos and one without.
Increase the perceived value of the client experience with photo-driven downloadable content.
Was this helpful? If so, pick one of these photo ideas and make it happen today! Then snap a photo or screenshot and tag me in it over on Instagram. My handle is @alexisthegreek! I may feature your work as a sample in a future project!