As a small business owner, you are may already aware of how important it is to have images on your website, social media, or blog. These images represent the product or service you have to offer. Often, first time business owners do not realize how important it is to use professional images or would not know where to get them.
So, here are some tips on how to get started or what you can do to improve your current online presence with images.
If your go 100% text, you're not giving the viewer a professional impression or any visual clues for the quality of your product/service. If you own a restaurant, you should have images of your food, some pictures of your staff, and some pictures of your restaurant and placing them in appropriate places on your website. The picture of your restaurant should go on the “about us” or “location” section for example. You can get these images by taking the pictures yourself or hiring a professional photographer. If you’re taking pictures yourself, make sure you do some research on how to frame and light your shots to give you the best quality images. Remember, the images you use represent your business. If you have poor quality images, it reflects badly on your business.
If your business is more product based, taking high quality pictures of your products is just as vital. Even if you do not have an online purchasing system, having pictures of the products you offer gives the viewer visual information about what they should expect when they buy from you. You can use stock images of people using a similar product to give the viewer a feel for your business. For example, if you offer many spa products like moisturizers and candles, you can use stock images of people using a moisturizer or relaxing with a candle to highlight the experience you want to give your customers with your product. You can use stock images in a similar way if you offer services too. If you are a smaller law office or provide some form of consultation, you can use stock images to demonstrate the professional environment your business provides.
But “where do I get stock images and why can’t I just use the pictures I find on Google?” I hear you ask. The images you find on Google are likely to have copyright for the original creator. Many photographers put their images online for potential clients to view, but that does not mean they are free to use! Whether you are using a photographer’s pictures you find online or if you hire a photographer, you have permission to use those images. Canva, Pexels, and Unsplash are just a few examples of websites that offer free and paid stock images. There are also many more stock image companies, like iStock or Shutterstock, that you pay a small fee for and you have almost limitless stock images that you can use.
Do you need some direction on how to better use images to build your reputation and brand? Give us a call, we'd be happy to help.