Web Images for Business Startups

Commercial PR photography – gets you noticed!

Advice for business owners on using images to promote yourself.

This week in the news it was reported that new company formations totalled 40,000 in the month of July 2013.  An all time record as more and more people choose self employment as their new career.  The greatest challenge all us new business owners face is the skills to create and run your own company.  We are all educated from school to be employees but today the biggest type of employment in the UK is self employed,

While being a one man band may not sound appealing to most, what you actually find is an army of suppliers and business support services are on hand 24/7 to work with you on your venture and before you know if you are employing teams of virtual staff.

Sales and marketing is the life blood of any business and your web site is your front door.  All too often your web site is the first thing people see when researching new suppliers and services.   I have found even after meeting new clients face to face they some still want to go away and spend time on your web site to see your work in detail before making a purchasing decision.

With your web site being such a pivotal part of your business which will ensure success or failure for your new venture.  Portraying the right image is paramount and using the right images and photos on your site can win the hearts and minds of your prospective clients instantly.    Every business owner and entrepreneur dreams of creating a service or product that generates such desire and need to that price is never an issue.  Take Apple for example, you don’t need an iPad but you want one and why buy a MacBook when you could buy 2 or 3 PCs for the same price.

Buy now I am sure you get the importance of having the right images on your site.  But where do you find the right images ?

1: Can you use images free from the internet ?

Many people assume if images are on the web then they are in the public domain and free for all to use.  While in some cases this maybe true however as a business owner you need to make doubly sure images are free of copyright and you have rights to use the image for commercial use.   You don’t want the author of the work coming to find you and requesting royalties because you have used a picture of theirs across your whole marketing strategy in print and on-line.  This could prove very costly and having seen first hand the sums involved which would cripple your new business from the word go.

One pitfall of using images from multiple sources is that the look and feel of the images are very random and will create a poor image of your business and display a lack of quality and attention to detail.

2: Should I buy images from stock libraries

This is defiantly a good place to start and better then having nothing on your web site.  The down side of stock images is they are non exclusive and would have been used 100s of times.  Also unless you can find a set of images that meet all your needs from one photographer.  Then you fail to keep a consistent look across your site and marketing material with random looking images.

When buying stock images pay particular attention to the usage license for the image.  Many people will buy the minimum resolution and probably a one off usage license.  If using images in advertising for your business then you really should ensure your stock image usage license covers everything you need it for.

3. Web site template images

Many web site builders offer built in libraries.  While they are great to get you up and running quickly.  You will out grow the platform in no time at all and 12 months on your site will look tired and dated.  Also most of the images would have probably been purchased via a image library system and so have the same pitfalls as mentioned above.

4. DIY Photos

As your business develops many people turn to taking their own photos because the stock image libraries are not specific enough for you.  While using personal images is a great way to add personality to your business which I am all for and should be encouraged.   Step back and look at your entire web site images, marketing material and adverts with fresh eyes like a client would see it.  Be critical and ask yourself.  Do the images demonstrate what you are about and do they match your worth.  If you are charging a premium rate then your branding and the images you use need to match.

5.  Hiring professional commercial PR photography

Of course you are probably expecting me to recommend using a professional photographer for your company images.  Many will go through all the above and end up using a professional in the end and learn by experience and frustration.

What can a professional photographer do that I can not ?

Using a professional means you can create a brief for your photography to capture exactly what you want for you company image.

The look and feel of the images will be consistent with your brand.

You will be worry free knowing you are the only person using these images and will not upset anyone with copyright laws

The images will flow and look professional along side each other.

Your images should tell a story or and project you service, product and lifestyle in the first seconds of seeing it before the client even reads one word.

How to work with Commercial PR Photography experts

Always research your photographer and be sure they can create to look you want.

When briefing your commercial PR photographer think first about all the ways you use images.  If not now but in the future you will need advertising photos, marketing and PR campaigns, banner ads for web sites, directories and social networks.  Also consider a set of professional head shot portraits for media and press releases. Don’t wait until you need them as the media world works very fast and if its not to hand they may just grab an image of you from your friends facebook page looking all sun tanned and hungover.

Research you image concepts buy garbing screen shots on your phone or when out and about when you see something that inspires you.

Be clear how many images you need and in what format you need them.  Also list when and where the images will be used.  Set a time frame and delivery date for your project and find out if post production editing is included.  If it is how much editing and manipulation is needed and use this time wisely as things always crop up and editing a critical part of the process to get the quality, look and feel you want.

If you would like a no obligations chat about how commercial PR Photography then please call us on 01494 611 049


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