The rise of the internet and, more recently, the introduction of social media, have enabled small businesses and even sole traders to compete more evenly with larger rivals. You can easily access existing and potential customers, advising them of new products, services and special offers, keeping them up-to-date with developments and generally informing them about your business. Best of all, these marketing tools are free or very low cost.
This doesn’t imply, of course, that you should try to do everything on the cheap because that will give totally the wrong impression of your business. You want to come across as completely professional, which is an image you’ll create if you do things properly. Many businesses, however, have adopted a totally do-it-yourself approach and succeeded only in creating something messy and confusing, which is something you need to avoid.
Creating a Professional Image
Establishing your business brand, whether online or through other media, is about more than just conforming to certain house styles and colours. It’s about creating the right impression that will make others more likely to be customers of your business. Some of the things people notice first are the photographs of you and other members of your company, which need to strike the right professional balance.
Your photographs need to be correctly focused. Sites such as LinkedIn are mainly for business professionals and so your photograph on there should not be one of you on holiday or at home. Even on Facebook and similar, which have a more social purpose, your profile photograph may be viewed by potential customers so you need to bear this in mind when selecting it. It’s all about creating the best first impression, which is also true for Twitter and other sites. A party photograph may be a good laugh but it’s hardly going to make prospective customers admire your professionalism.
If your business is doing well, any investment in marketing and online branding will help it become even better. For start-ups, early stage businesses and those performing below their potential, an online presence can make all the difference and be the motivation a business needs. But it has to be correctly focused and give the impression of a company that knows what it’s doing.
Doing things Properly with Professional Portraits
Properly focused online branding will tell every viewer what the business is about and what it can do for them. It will only succeed in that aim, however, if the viewer has faith in what’s being stated on websites and social media. That means using professional, business-like language that’s properly structured and with correct grammar and spelling.
Any online media also needs correct and appropriate illustrations, including portraits of key personnel. Don’t use passport photographs or holiday snaps but invest some money — and it is an investment —in empowering portraits that really have an effect.
A professional photographer will find out about you and your business, put you at ease and take whatever you need either in the studio or at your premises.
The result will be relevant photographs for various online platforms and other materials – portraits that will really help to sell your business.
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