What values and beliefs do the photos on your website communicate?

We all know the old cliche, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. When was the last time you took the time to read a thousand words on a business website? What a test of patience the would be!

Smart business are creating engaging digital content as a key part of their digital marketing strategy. In an era where smart phones are our constant companion, it’s remarkable and unbelievable that 35% of Australian small businesses still choose not to have a website totally ignoring the benefits of operating in the digital world.

Content is king in Google’s eyes. Content need not just be a heap of words that people don’t take the time to read. Images make great content to include on websites and in social media posts. Did you know that including images in a Facebook post increases engagement by an amazing 53% compared to a text post.

Images enable consumers to make quick purchasing decisions instead of needing to digest a bunch of text.

Story telling images are an extremely powerful communication technique as they they share at a glance a message at many levels. There is the obvious surface content, what’s more important are the values and beliefs a business holds dear that are communicated in the content and style of the image. Values and beliefs are important as they are factors that strongly influence our buying decisions.

When creating a collection of images for our clients to use for all their marketing needs, a key question we ask is “What values do you believe in that you wanting to communicate to your prospects?” We then create a themed story telling photo shoot to create images that depict these values.

Consider the following examples:

1. Chef Rory Thorpe, The Tamarind, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny Queensland

Chef, Rory Thorpe, The Tamarind, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny Queensland

Chef Rory Thorpe, The Tamarind, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny Queensland

Chef, Rory Thorpe, The Tamarind, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny Queensland

Chef Rory Thorpe, The Tamarind, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny Queensland

Chef Rory Thorpe, The Tamarind, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny Queensland

These story telling images of chef Rory Thorpe from The Tamarind share much more than just a headshot of a chef. They communicate a relaxed, tranquil dining environment, calmness, approachability, freshness, quality and responsive service.

2. Ray Strong, Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers, Bulimba, Brisbane

Ray Strong mortgage broker,  smartline personal mortgage advisers

Ray Strong, Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers Bulimba, Brisbane

Ray Strong, Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers Bulimba, Brisbane

You’re buying a home and exploring your mortgage options. Along with 50% of other home buyers, you’re considering using a mortgage broker as they offer access to a wider range of products than traditional banks. What qualities are you looking for in your mortgage broker?

Trust, sound advice, approachability, professional guidance and experience are what these images of Smartline Personal Mortgage Adviser Ray Strong convey, values consumers seeking a mortgage find reassuring.

3. The Flour Mill, Weston Milling, Moorooka Brisbane 

Flour Mill, Weston Milling, Moorooka, Brisbane

Flour Mill, Weston Milling, Moorooka, Brisbane

Story telling images can communicate the culture and values in an organisation. This image inside Weston Milling’s Moorooka Mill takes you behind the scenes at The Moorooka Mill. It shows a culture where safety procedures are followed, there are harmonious relationships and older workers are welcomed.

4. Meat at Billy’s, Ashgrove, Brisbane

Meat at Billy

Personal, friendly service at Meat at Billy’s, Waterworks Road, Ashgrove

Meat at Billy Meat at Billy Meat at Billy Meat at Billy

Service with a smile and friendly banter, that’s what’s fabulous about visiting your local butcher offering old fashioned service. These story telling images of Billy and his team at Meat at Billy’s, Ashgrove take you behind the scenes to communicate pride in their product, quality meat, and a vibrant, good humoured team ready to give you the best advice on what meat to purchase for your family.

5. Tartufo Ristorante, Emporium, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Tartufo Ristorante, Tony Percuoco, Emporium, Brisbane

Tony Percuoco briefs front of house staff before service at Tartufo Ristorante, Brisbane

Tartufo Ristorante, Tony Percuoco, Emporium, Brisbane

Shut your eyes, listen and feel the ambiance. Dining at Tartufo Ristorante at Emporium, Fortitude Valley is an experience, the sound of conversation, cutlery caressing plates, service staff enticing guests at their tables, diners enjoying dishes made with Italian passion, it’s little wonder that Tartufo Ristorante has become a must go Brisbane dining destination.

Italians are world renown for their passion for family and food. These images were captured on the night of La Famiglia Percuoco, a night where all the chefs in the Percuoco Family took their guests on an Italian dining experience. Tony briefing his front of house staff just before service share passion, care, attention to detail and inclusiveness. Armando Percuoco and Carmela Percuoco sharing their opinions (in Italian of course!) during prep has caught everyone’s attention. It’s easy to understand you’re in good hands when people care about what they do like this.

 

Do you have a visual strategy and images that communicate the values and beliefs you hold? Are the images you’re using inspiring vibrant, engaging content for your blog and social media?

If the images you’re using aren’t engaging your audience, let’s explore the story telling opportunities in your workplace with a free Visual Strategy Session. Simply call us to secure your Visual Strategy Session.

Is that you? Sixth row, three in from the left?

Does your business feel like it’s hidden in a field of sunflowers?

Fields of sunflowers are spectacular from a distance, up close, especially from the air. Driving in Burgundy France, I was compelled to stop, park the car, grab my camera and create some images. Sunflowers are much taller than I expected. Standing in the field totally surrounded armed with nothing but my trusty Canon was a little scary. Call me chicken if you like, I was thinking venemous snakes and spiders, not to mention all the bees waiting to take me down with their laser guided stingers!

visual story telling, make your business stand out from your competitors

Browsing through my image library this week, I stumbled on the sunflower images I captured in Burgundy back in 2009, I still remember the feeling of standing amongst them moving ever so slowly so I didn’t disturb the bees.

This image of sunflowers shouting “pick me, pick me” made me think so many businesses have a remarkable story to tell yet struggle to stand out and be noticed. Being visible is a challenge, especially when you have so many competitors!

visual story telling, make your business stand out from your competitors

Marketing textbooks have been pontificating concepts to stand out for what seems like eons. Think product differentiation, unique selling proposition (USP), market segmentation, utility, and the 4 P’s etc.

Can we take a moment… What sets you and your business apart from your competitors? Write this down in an easy to understand sentence using words that anyone you’re talking to can understand.

How did you go? How many times did you pound the backspace key in frustration?

Hard isn’t it!

Now if you’re having trouble clearly describing what you do and the value you add, what chance have your potential customers passing by your business got?

visual story telling, make your business stand out from your competitors

OK, grab a coffee, settle back in a comfy chair and and tell me about your best customer:

How did you meet?
What do you do for them?
How does this benefit them?
How do you do it?
Why do they keep coming back to you?
What are you most proud of?
What would they say about you?
What results have you achieved together?
Where’s your relationship headed?

I’m loving your answers, you have so many remarkable stories. Did you know that as you were talking, your eyes lit up and you had a smile from ear to ear, you’re so passionate about what you do!

Businesses can stand out from their competitors by taking a more engaging approach to marketing and sharing real life stories. Our brains make sense of stories, digesting and remembering the what, the how and the when. Stories enthral, inspire, build trust, give concrete examples of value, are persuasive, create desire and can make something run of the mill fascinating.

Apple understands the value of sharing stories. Take your iPhone 6 out of your pocket. Did you know you’re holding a phone with a spec sheet that proves it has more computing power than all of NASA in 1969? Probably not. But we’ve all seen the emotive, joyous images of families connecting across the world using their iPhone and Face Time. Apple knows emotive stories and images sharing the experiences iPhone owners enjoy creates desire and excitement to buy their products.

How do you start story telling for your business?

For starters, reflect on your answers to the questions about your best customer. Use descriptive words to share what you do, how you do it and the value you add. Be specific, show your personality and perhaps include something unexpected like surprising facts or funny anecdotes.

visual story telling, make your business stand out from your competitors

Words are great but a picture is worth a thousand of these!

Emotive, story telling images can transform how prospects and customers engage with you. Share real images of your business to show your people, how you work, the processes you use, the value you add.

Last week I had the pleasure of creating images for a team in the medical industry. They are an innovative, vibrant and inspiring group, a real success story in their field. So they could have relevant images to use to engage with their clients, we designed a themed photo shoot capturing the staff, what they do, their personalities and staff in various roles. To further build their brand, the photos will be featured on their new website, throughout social media, industry advertising and editorial.

visual story telling, make your business stand out from your competitors

Does story telling excite you? If you’d like to discuss how story telling images can inspire your marketing strategy, then call 0412 394 414 to book a free Artistic Strategy Session with me.

Your having a new website built for your business, things are going well. You’re excited to have it go live, after all, it is responsible for bringing in most of your leads.

High quality images bring a website to life. Imagine how appealing your website would be if it was just boring text, your enquiry rate would plummet. Invariably, your website designer will ask you about images, would you prefer to use custom or stock photos? Here’s where things get interesting, some people choose to source their images from stock libraries believing stock photos are cheaper, easier and just as effective as custom images. This may not be the case.

Let’s discuss six compelling reasons why using custom story telling images can fire up your marketing efforts more effectively than purchasing stock photos.

The Palms Mediterranean Bar & Grill, Garden City, Brisbane, food photography,  John Reyment

This image of The Palms Mediterranean Bar & Grill at Garden City captures the environment around The Palms. Being a night time image it positions the restaurant as a stunning environment to visit and dine at night.

 

1. Custom story telling helps build the professional profile and identity of you and your team. 

You and your team have a great story to tell, you are able to provide authoritative advice in your niche. Real images of your team in your workplace displaying the work you do increase engagement and build trust. Choosing generic team images featuring random models from stock libraries foregoes your opportunity to use images to build individual and team profiles with your community.

oral surgeon brisbane, dr julian hirst, my wisdom tooth doctor, commercial photographer, john reyment

Share real images of your team, not generic images of people everyone knows are not actual employees. This image of Brisbane oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr Julian Hirst and his team shows the real people you’ll meet when you visit his rooms.

Brisbane oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Julian Hirst,  surgery, commercial photographer, john Reyment

Share with your clients what goes on behind the scenes. This story telling image of
Brisbane oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr Julian Hirst in surgery reassures patients needing wisdom teeth extraction.

 

2. The stock image you’ve chosen to headline your marketing campaign has been used before.

You’re undertaking a major marketing campaign, booked billboards, magazine advertising, and online social media ads, even had flyers and brochures printed. When creating artwork for your ad, you purchased a photo from an image library that best supports your copy.

A week after your campaign has been launched, you discover a company in another industry sector has used the same image for their brand. Your campaign message is diluted.

smoke alarm solutions, commercial  photographer john reyment

Use real people in your images. This image for Smoke Alarm Solutions was created to show their brochures and a typical client learning about their services on an iPad.

smoke alarm solutions, car and technician, commercial  photographer, john reyment

A Smoke Alarm Solution technician at a service call. Using real vehicles and real technicians builds brand awareness and shows who will attend a job. You’d be amazed how often I see Smoke Alarm Solutions vehicles driving around after this shoot!

 

3. The exposure your brand can garner using high quality, relevant custom images far exceeds the investment to create them.  

Marketing your business is an essential but high cost business function. Marketing budgets allocate costs for marketing staff salaries and office space, websites, social media activity, printing, SEO, pay per click advertising,  trade shows, graphic design, telemarketing, direct mail, web banner ads, public relations, promotional events to name a few. Newspaper advertising is expensive, a full page advertisement in the Saturday edition of The Age newspaper costs $89,000.00.

Commissioning the creation of a set of custom images for exclusive use by your brand represents a small portion of the marketing budget. Eye catching, fresh, high quality unique images capture attention for your print or online collateral. The exposure you can receive using these images far exceeds the cost to engage a professional photographer to provide these images.

Sourcing and using inferior images is a false economy as the value high quality images provide your business far exceeds the investment needed to create them.

red dirt, kingaroy, queensland, brisbane commercial photographer, john reyment

When photographing for Sunpork Fresh Foods, images around the Kingaroy area were needed. Kingaroy is famous for red dirt, this unique, eye catching image shares key elements of the region.

 

4. Stock images scream stock and viewers ignore them. 

Stock images can be spotted easily, they’ve been so overused, they have little impact.

How many times have you seen the “meet the team” image showing a group of people that’s culturally diverse in an open plan office. Yeah right, of course these are he “real people” who want me to do business with them.

Using real images featuring the people at work in your business will provide customers with recognisable faces and places and build trust with clients and potential clients.

tony bemrose insurance brokers

Build the profile of the people your customers interact with showing real team members in action at your workplace. This image is of key staff at Tony Bemrose Insurance Brokers meeting in the boardroom.

 

5. Custom images provide you with a unique look in a crowded market.

Custom images created to market your business set you business apart from your competitors and gain you valuable exposure.

Themed custom images can be used for seasonal promotions. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, our shoot with Spicers Retreats provided a range of images including the romantic image below. All that’s needed for their Valentine’s Day promotion was a tag line, promotion material is set to go!

Custom images can also be sent to magazine and online publication editors for editorial use, this has the potential to earn your business valuable free exposure.

spicers retreats, valentines day, commercial photographer, john reyment

Spicers Retreats used our romantic themed images captured on their properties to underpin promotional material for Valentine’s Day.

spicers clovelly estate, jacaranda tree, montville

This iconic image of Spicers Clovelly Estate with the jacaranda tree in full bloom has garnered high profile exposure in the media for Spicers Clovelly Estate.

spicers clovelly estate, jacaranda tree, montville, australian traveller magazine, john reyment

 

6. Custom images inspire more website traffic.

Website designers love working with fresh, high quality images, they inspire creative design and produce a unique result. High quality, relevant, eye catching images strategically positioned inspire website visitors to follow links and stay engaged on your website.

A collection of unique story telling images quickly becomes a strategic business asset enabling images to be sourced for marketing activities at a moments notice. Real images build relationships with community, communicate transparency and build trust with clients and potential clients.

the palms bar and grill, food photographer, john reyment

We were commissioned to provide images for The Palms Mediterranean Bar & Grill at Garden City Brisbane. These screen grabs show how our images have been used in their new website, we reckon the site looks fabulous!

the palms bar and grill, food photographer, john reyment the palms bar and grill, food photographer, john reyment

Story telling images are a valuable strategic asset for every business. Would you like a free artistic strategy session to identify story telling opportunities in your business?

Simply email me to request a free Artistic Strategy Session to discuss your visual strategy and identify the photography opportunities in your business at john@adayinthelifeimages.com

visual strategist commercial photography john reyment

What can business learn from the Queensland election campaign?

The election is this Saturday, the campaign to secure your vote is on in ernest. With the holiday season over, perhaps now you’re listening.

If you live in a marginal seat that could change hands, your letter box will be full of election junk mail, your door will probably be knocked, a trip to your local shops may be an impromptu chat with members of the red or blue army seeking your ear.

visual strategist commercial photography john reyment

Studies show that Australian voters are disillusioned, frustrated and disengaged. Most Australians no longer think it matters which major party is in government. Voters are fed up with short-term political gamesmanship we see from the major parties.

Election campaigns get candidates out in the community wanting to connect with you. Have you had a red or blue volunteer adorned with matching balloons next to a candidate headshot wave at you from the side of the road? Fabulous!  Are you feeling engaged yet?

For some, an election campaign is the only time they ever hear from their local member. Personally, all I’ve had is a letter of dot points listing what they’ve done over the last 3 years.

visual strategist commercial photography john reyment

We’re ripe for something new, studies show citizens want a new participatory politics with a more integrated, open, inclusive responsive system.

So how could things be different? What do we want from our politicians? How could the public become more engaged?

Imagine how engaged we’d be and different we’d feel if politicians and candidates:

  • Presented themselves as real people open and willing to listen to their community.
  • Shared compelling stories of what they’ve done in their community and the benefits and outcomes achieved for real people.
  • Made themselves available to interact with their community on a frequent, regular basis.
  • Shared stories about their experiences free of the usual spin and media talking points.
  • Presented balanced perspectives on issues with clear explanations of why their preferred actions need community support.
  • Took the community into their confidence by communicating positively and honestly with even when the message isn’t good news.
  • Built community trust by developing a culture of openness and transparent operations.

visual strategist commercial photography john reyment

What strategies does your business use to engage with your clients? Businesses can increase engagement with their customers and community by adapting the above strategies to their own operations.

Storytelling images demonstrate openness, transparency, trust and real results. They enable businesses to create and share unique, useful content to position themselves as an authority, interact with their potential customers and community in a genuine, value adding way.

A library of custom storytelling images is an essential asset for every business wanting to inspire clients to engage and purchase products and services.

visual strategist commercial photography john reyment

Would you like to to capture the essence of your business so you can engage with and inspire your clients?

Let’s chat.

Simply email me to request a free Artistic Strategy Session to discuss your visual strategy and identify the photography opportunities in your business at john@adayinthelifeimages.com

strategies to build your personal brand

Are we really who the internet says we are?

Surely not, after all, everyone has their own unique values. thoughts, opinions relationships, passions, personal traits, relationships, friendship circles and networks. How can the internet capture all this? Reflecting on how social media works and some of the stuff you see posted online, perhaps the internet does show who we really are!

In the eyes of your community and potential customers, the internet presents your personal brand to those who discover you. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, blogs, review sites, local directories to name a few are all contributing to your digital reputation.

If what people stumble upon doesn’t credibly represent who you are, the value you add, what you’re capable of and passionate about, it’s time to take control.

To beef up your online presence try these strategies to strengthen your online personal brand:

1. Create and share valuable content with your community.

You’re an expert at what you do and have lots of information that’s valuable content to those considering your services. Share some of this knowledge with your community in targeted, specific posts relevant to issues of the moment. Providing real value for your community encourages engagement with you.

smoke alarm solutions brisbane commercial photographer

2. Demonstrate how you are different to your competitors.

Not all oranges are the same. Close inspection reveals different shapes, sizes, colour, skin, juiciness and flavour. Stand out by sharing what makes you different from your competitors. Show the value you add, your experience, the results you’ve achieved, your unique personality.

smoke alarm solutions brisbane commercial photographer

3. Let people see who you are and what you do.

Before contacting you, potential customers will have done their homework googling you to find out all about who you are, what you’ve done and what you believe in. It’s tempting to use stock photos but stock images scream stock and are easily dismissed. Your competitors may be using thre same image! Use authentic images to show the real you, actions shots to take people behind the scenes and what you’re working on. This will humanise interactions as your community will know who they are connecting with.

smoke alarm solutions brisbane commercial photographer

Having your own personal library of professional commercial images is a valuable asset to access when implementing strategies to strengthen your online personal brand. Story telling images inspire content creation. Simply add relevant words and you have a post. They also share what you do and depict what makes you different to your competitors.

If you would like to discuss how to capture story telling images to enhance your own personal brand, then call 0412 394 414 to book a free Artistic Strategy Session with me.

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