Technology has made it easy for small business owners to shoot their own pictures, but these businesses invested in professional photographers and reaped big rewards.
In the age of digital photography and desktop publishing, it’s easier than ever for small business owners to create their own marketing materials, websites and photography.
But that doesn’t mean doing it yourself is always best for your business. Read on to see what a professional photographer can bring to your business.
Turn browsers into customers.
Online retailers don’t get an opportunity to sell their products face-to-face, and Internet browsers are fickle. That means good photos are crucial.
Bob Shirilla, owner of Simply-Bags.com and Keepsakes-etc.com, hired a professional photographer to photograph his products, tested the new images on his home page, and saw immediate results. “It affected my conversion rate and my bounce rate,” Shirilla says. “Customers that used to come to the home page and leave are now shopping around on the site.”
Justin Lugbill, chief marketing officer for the interior design firm Lugbill Designs in Chicago, says adding professional photography to the company’s site brought it more leads.
“We started getting comments like, ‘I liked this picture on the website, can you do something like this?’ he says.
Provide free publicity and exposure.
For Sarah Boisvert, co-founder of high tech manufacturer of laser micromachining workstations Potomac Photonics and current CEO of Greenwood Tech Strategies in Rockport, Maine, professional photos of their products brought the companies exposure.
“I had a call one day from a trade publication called ‘Laser Focus World,’” she says. “They were running a cover story by my main competitor. While the article was fine, the photo was unprofessional. They asked if I would provide the cover photo as they knew I had great photos. So my main competitor had a story with my photo – including photo credits on the cover and in the intro to the story.”
Lugbill says it’s helpful to have professional photos when opportunities for publicity arise. “[We give] the images to bloggers and websites,” he says. “They create a more high-end, finished look through all of our media, whether it’s local news or guest posts on the HGTV website. The photos have helped us not just gain leads, but also get exposure.”
Compete with “the big boys.”
For Shirilla, whose websites appear in search results next to mega-retailers like Amazon and Macy’s, professional photography has also helped him level the playing field so he can compete with larger companies. “The way to win is to make your products look better,” he says.
A crisp, professional look created with high quality images will also make a small business appear much larger. “It’s something that projects not just professionalism, but also that we’re actually a larger company than we really are,” Boisvert says.