WHY SHOULD YOU WORK WITH LIGHTSHACK?
Without consistently producing content that correctly represents your business's brand, you simply can't be effective in today's market.
It's that simple.
Every business needs professional images.
Social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter require profile headshots that say to people that you're both approachable and professional. A great Headshot can help people to connect and ultimatly remember you. These same photographs can be used for your company business cards, post cards/brochures and even your website or blog. If your company has team members, the same goes for them as well, as they often play a role in your company's overall image/brand.
People are looking for your company online.
Often your customers or prospects are checking out your business online before they even call, or connecting with those who answer the phone and they don't always know or talk to the business owner. Having photos of your office team that your prospects or customers can find on your website or on your Facebook Fan page is important so that they can put a face with a name, or that they can see that your business is both serious and credible.
Keep your content fresh.
Adding photos and images to your blog posts, your website and your Facebook Fan page keeps your content fresh and engaging. There is nothing more important in the world of online marketing than to continually keep your customers and prospects engaged with you and your brand. Yes, I said your brand. Not the brand of your franchise and not the brand of your manufacturer or association.
Developing your unique brand.
Hiring a photographer to shoot photos of you, your building, your signage, your team, your work - or anything that defines your company - is part of building your business's unique brand and sets you apart from other local or national competition. And if you're a franchise owner, it helps to localize your business and sets you apart from similar franchises that may be in your area. And photo selections can easily be turned into slide shows and videos, even cool online banner ads, that can further define your brand in the online media space.
Accurately depict the size of your company.
Having updated photos of your company and your team every couple of years is important so that prospects can easily see that you have a business that is big enough to service their needs.
Starting a photography bank.
I can guarantee you that few small business owners realize the importance of creating a bank of approved photography that can be used for both online and offline marketing efforts. But it must be part of their overall marketing budget. With the economy the way it is, you can get a good photographer to get you started with as little as $500 to get some basic shots and the costs range to a few thousand for a couple of days of shooting. Be sure to negotiate that the photographer will do some minor retouching (especially for the profile shots) and give you all the images on a CD so that you have a permanent copy and can load on multiple computers for accessing and storage. Also, be sure to negotiate the fact that you have all photography ownership rights.
Having photos for Case Studies.
Many small business owners perform work that is visible and should be showcased as a case study on their website or in presentations for business development purposes or industry presentations. And if you're working on a large job that takes weeks to perform, you might require photographs in the various stages of development such as the early stage, the work-in-progress stage and the finished job. Certainly many business owners who are in the construction or related business might want before and after shots, whether they are installing a geothermal heating system or a dedicated home theater, or whether they are performing a makeover or creating a memorable event. We can't stress how important it is to write up a simple case study on the more intriguing projects that your company has performed. At a future point, we'll add an article with instructions of how to write a case study but it is imperative to capture high quality pictures while the job is progressing and to make notes about the job before you move on to another one.
Being able to use both primary and secondary shots.
When we work with a photographer on behalf of our small business clients, we help them develop a shot list so that the photographer can properly estimate the job (they may be able to group some together) and so that we all agree on what shots we expect to get from booking of their time. Within our shot list, we specify the number of staff members, extra locations or backgrounds, wardrobe changes and various things that are unique to each business and their situation. In addition to those primary shots, we also will ask the photographer to shoot some secondary or stylistic shots that might be close-ups, shots at different angles or views, or of just cool aspects of a project that are unique which may not ordinarily get any attention. Asking the photographer to take those extra shots on location and during the main shoot is much less expensive than scheduling more time. And those secondary shots can be so interesting for use in social media - especially in blogging and how those blog posts appear on your blog and on your Facebook Fan page for example.
Using content in Local Business Directory Listings.
Most small businesses forget to take the time to update their online local directory listings on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Yet, it is one of the more powerful search engine optimization tactics to use for a local business. Many listings are free and then there are some that charge a small monthly, annual or one-time fee. Most of these listings will allow you to add a logo and additional photos or even videos to make your listing more interesting. Using well-branded photographs that are unique to your business, especially if you have a storefront, will help people to find you and recognize your business. And this is one of the many reasons why we suggest that you have a photographer take pictures of your signage and your building.
You can't be effective at social media marketing without content.
One of the very first questions we ask our new clients is "what photos do you have for us to work with?" Often we have to refer them to a photographer right away as they have very few photos for us to work with or the photos they have are outdated or out of focus. So if you plan to invest both time and money to increase your social media marketing, then take a serious inventory of your company's photographs. And if someone tells you that you don't need photos to be effective at social media, think again. Without a decent start of a photo bank, you'll end up with nothing but boring content. And boring content will make your readers run away faster than you can say "flapjack."