Why are professional business portraits a powerful marketing asset for your business?

Guest Blog by Rachel Bateman, The Olive Social

 

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate. Justine O’Connell (right) and Rachel Bateman (left) from Olive Social.

People buy people. A phrase that has long been at the heart of many a business mantra.  Why? Well for a small business owner it really is the golden nugget for building strong business connections and long-lasting loyal clients.  Clients that are sold by you first and what you do second.

At The Olive Social we tend to talk a lot about ‘authentic’ marketing and the need to steer clear of preaching the ‘what’ in your communications, but instead focus communications around the ‘why’.  After all, you wouldn’t approach a complete stranger in the street and ask them to marry you?  Relationships take time to build and in the era of social selling, turning faceless digital interactions into more meaningful conversations can be challenging and do take time.

A great place to start however is with an authentic and engaging headshot.  This is particularly important for service-led businesses and solopreneurs.

We recently invested in some brand photography, using the services of Vervate and are sold on the power of the professional headshot, here are a few reasons why…

 

Authenticity

Here I go again with authenticity, but today’s consumers approach purchasing decisions with a cynical eye.  They crave real experiences and real products.  It is essential to stay true to yourself and not project too much smoke and mirrors.   A great headshot in a setting and style that professionally projects the authentic you, gives your audiences a flavour of what it would be like to work with you.

 

Trust

Trust is key.  People want to know who they are buying from and as superficial as it may sound, want to see the face behind the service. This helps them to feel comfortable to take the next step.

It is important to get a range of headshots of different styles, which serve the requirements of the various social platforms i.e. LinkedIn may demand a more polished shot with eye contact, whereas your website or Instagram account can allow for more emotive and in-action shots in a relaxed setting – always reflective of your business of course.

 

coffin mew headshot

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate. A member of staff taken for Coffin Mew – they have used these images beautifully to really reflect their brand. Check it out HERE.

Personality and style

When setting up The Olive Social with my business partner Justine we wanted our branding, including photography, to reflect our personalities and passions.  For example, we both love Brighton and wish to work with clients in Brighton and therefore made certain that Brighton’s famous hotspots were featured as backdrops. Not forgetting a pop of brand colour, our own headshots featuring us adorned in our brand colour palette of green and yellow.

Professionalism pays

I am 100% behind smartphone photography, especially for fast moving industries such as hospitality.  Although leaving your company portrait in the hands of a novice or hobbyist photographer may look to the client that you are unwilling to put in the time needed.  It may also portray a lack of value in your service.

Your headshot is your very own personal shop front.  A professional image will help to make the client feel more comfortable and hopefully excited by the prospect of approaching you and in turn meeting you offline.

 

Expertise

Okay so you may fancy yourself as the next David Bailey, but don’t underestimate the value of a professional behind the lens, especially for your professional branding shots.  For example, Liz at Vervate has years of experience in perfecting her craft.  Lighting, shade, angles, expressions, positioning and backdrops will all be of consideration in order to capture the perfect shot.  Leave it to the professionals on this occasion.  All you will need to concern yourself with is portraying the real you.

Storytelling photographs of a partner at Plus Accounting with a client

Photograph taken by Simon Dack / Vervate.  Plus Accounting are brilliant at using portraits of staff to demonstrate something about their company.  Here is pictured Alex Koupland (left) from Plus Accounting with client David Toscano from Cin Cin restaurant in Brighton.

Postscript from Susi, Vervate:

Check out The Olive Social About Us page too, they have used the images and corresponding text to really bring their new company alive.

 

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