Well, Hello 2022.
This one appears to have snuck up on us while no bugger was watching…
Time for a slight confession… This was meant to be a January blog, but due to copious amounts of work, uprooting the family to support a family member and the fact that it is, well, January have conspired against me. I love the wintery sunshine, but really the cold wind is just vile. I know we are meant to have cold weather, but I am simply bored of it, so fingers crossed for a slightly warmer February.
Anyway, to this month and I would like to talk about the importance of retainers. Not the sort you pop on your teeth but the sort that involves you, your company and your brand working closely with a photographer like Moi.
A business retainer is essentially an agreement whereby the business pays a reduced ‘retainer’ fee rather than the usual rates. This can be a one-off payment for a set piece of work or time, or a regular payment each month.
In essence, it’s a far more affordable way to contract a service without the faff of ringing around and hoping that a photographer will have the availability to meet your needs. That can cause its own issue – hiring someone new and unknown, who has to get to grips with what you want them to shoot there and then – pretty much on the job – giving them no real sense of the needs of the session or indeed, who you are as a brand.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that we meet daily for coffee, move in or go on holiday together… Oh no, this is a very simple way to have a fabulous photographer (me again) on hand to facilitate superb content throughout the year. Ensuring that images are readily accessible for social media platforms, websites, brochures etc.
Importantly, a business retainer encourages a relationship so that I can get to know the customer and their brand. This helps build a consistent story, developing over time spent together so that I better understand what it is essential for that brand and its future in stills.
Building trust within a brand is a crucial element and through the use of consistent methods, that are outstanding I might add, the photographs help to establish a well- known, recognised and trusted brand.
Social Media Branding
I know I talked about this last time out, but I really feel that this is an area that some folk just leave to chance… a selfie here, a team shot there and a ‘oh, look what we…’ post when they remember or have time.
Engaging, awesome and often ‘jaw-dropping’ images (yes, that was feedback from a shoot) really help build a recognisable business brand. Using the same colours and logo on the stills you put out there will help to build confidence in what it is you do.
While I am a clear advocate of mixing things up, branding takes time, imagination and a clear plan. A uniform appearance helps those potential clients recognise you.
While posting a work selfie on Instagram once in a while is cute, showing a target audience your brand takes commitment and a plan. If the images on your website, leaflets and social media platforms now make you cringe, even just a tiny bit, then you must take this seriously.
For a moment, imagine you are someone looking to buy whatever it is that you provide…With an open mind, go and take a look at your website.
Seriously hoping you made it back - What did you think?
Was the initial impression welcoming? Are the photographs doing a great job of informing an audience who you are, showing the brand in it best light and what about those staff headshots?
If you are one of the few who gets that stuff right – and allows me to take those shots - brilliant, well done you. But…if you returned feeling a little deflated do not panic. This is what I do, and I have lots and lots of happy clients to back me up.
Are Headshots doing your brand justice?
Headshots are an essential part of your business – even if it’s only you. Adding them to your website allows the outside world to get a glimpse of who you are. Make it memorable by posting about team achievements, new staff, the office cat – something relevant, amusing and informative provides a window into your world and people love personality. Don’t be afraid to show yours.
In other news…
My studio is indeed my happy place and I have had a deluge of shoots with lovely folk who come see me, have their photos taken, drink coffee, maybe a superb treat from the onsite cafe and enjoy what is a wonderful space!
Sliding into February is all about looking forward to spring, while embracing the magical mornings and wearing thick, thick gloves. Keep smiling my friends. Here’s to an amazing month.