Getting the right image for blogs, articles and social content!
People buy people and if you use cheap old stock image chances are your customers will think the same of you
Whenever I see this man in a photo it makes me laugh – I call him ‘Internet Man’. He’s everywhere. But why? People seem to think that he gives the impression of a ‘safe pair of hands’ and that he can encourage people to buy from them. It’s a personal choice, but he’s just another stock image that demonstrates a lack of creativity and more importantly a lack of authenticity.
Unstaged images create an authentic connection
Now compare it to the image below, you will immediately notice that it is a genuine image taken at an event. The point I'm making here is that it is so easy to get hold of stock photos from the likes of www.istockphoto.com, www.gettyimages.com or www.crestock. You only have to look at the majority of photos on this site, but the fact remains, when a browser, prospect or customer sees a genuine photograph they immediately feel a connection that you are in fact normal!
By normal, I mean that they can relate with you and your site. As I've mentioned before, your purpose is to be transparent and visible. You want prospects to warm to you and your business and only using stock photos and none of your own tends to illustrate a certain insincerity, not that it's intended, it's just how it comes across.
You could try using photos of you or your staff. The objective is to get the essence of your company across to the browser, the real you, no holds barred (but use your discretion, no photos of you half-cut down the pub with your mates!).
Graphic and Web Design for Business
The importance of design is often under-estimated by many businesses. We all know what we don't like the look of, but how does your business come across to new and existing customers. Design encompasses so much, from the look and feel of your business cards and letterhead to the first impression of a web site, even down to the clothes your sales people wear.
Remember the 80's and 90's; white socks, shiny suits and "loads-a-money", you get the picture. But nowadays, perhaps it's the wide knot ties and brown shoes with blue suits (but that’s probably just me).
You don't get a second chance at a first impression
In a report on the BBC dating back to 2006, a survey and research by Gitte Lindgaard from Carleton University found that browsers clicked away from a website they didn’t like within 500 milliseconds - https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4616700.stm
Whatever turns you "off" has to be a consideration when planning the outward appearance of your business. It's not only necessary to be visually acceptable, your business approach needs to be engaging too.
Design, especially in B2B environments need to be subtle, strong and understated. Being bold and brash is reminiscent of wearing white socks with a suit!
It’s important to understand the link between good design and first impressions, starting with your logo and letterhead, through to all of your communications with customers and staff.
Don’t Make Me Think
Visual communications is like a market, with traders at their stalls trying to attract the attention of the passers-by, showing off their wares and convincing the people that they need their product. The traders reinforce their attack with inviting and appealing body language. - Bo Bergström
This visual logic must permeate everything you do, including your web site. To help achieve this approach, there is a book with the answer in its name;
As the title suggests, once you have attracted a customer, the goal is to handle them in such a way so that they don't have to think about what you're saying or selling. KISS always plays a part - Keep It Strictly Simple (or keep it simple stupid!). The fact is, we always over complicate and never seem to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers. Next time you buy something, think about what made you buy it!
To make sure you're moving in the right direction, be sure to ask as many questions as possible and test your ideas before committing, ask those around you what they think, ask existing customers and even current prospects - and most of all, keep it personal and don’t ask your mother, she’ll always tell you it looks great!
For us, design is about getting your customers to subconsciously acknowledge that you're the experts and of course that they should buy from you and no-one else!
To find out more about the ideas we have for your business and how we could increase your net profitability, contact us now on 0800 970 9751.
About the Author
Nigel is the Founder & Managing Director of salesXchange and has been helping SMEs for over 25 years to develop their marketing, technologies and infrastructure to generate more profits, more efficiently. His recent book book "Integrate! The Essential Business Technology & Marketing Handbook" can be downloaded from Amazon.