Targeting your market

 

Unless your goal is shouting about your business into the void, which I admit is what it feels like at times. You need to think about your audience. What do they want to see? What do you want to tell them? What do you want them to do? What’s stopping them buying from you? When you have an idea of the answers to these questions then you can look at the next step. The pictures!

How do you use images to target your market? Lets have a look at some really simple examples for each of the questions posed above.

What do they want to see?

Take areas of the female market. There is evidence that a large part of this market responds best to images that contain people that they relate to. Meaning people who are of a similar age, earning level and life stage, etc., so high earning, single mums in their late 30s respond best to similar mums. Pictures of married mums in their 20s isn’t going to work as well.

What do you want to tell them?

Your message could be something as simple as you have a higher quality product than your competitor. For example the difference between a traditional butcher versus buying meat from a supermarket. By removing any plastic packaging, placing the meat on a stone/slate block, adding a sprig of herb you can effectively convey that message in a single image.

What do you want them to do?

You want your audience to visit your cafe. Take a picture of a cake put some text with a code next to it and the message, whoever orders a coffee between 10-11am on Saturday with the code gets a free cake. There are few things more engaging than free cake…maybe a puppy eating a cake…but that’s a bit gratuitous ūüėČ

What’s stopping them buying from you?

Mental health related services can struggle with prospective clients being fearful of the entire situation. By using images to tell the step by step process of a visit, from what the front door, reception and room look like, to friendly engaging pictures introducing them to everyone they will meet. Images can reassure prospective clients and get them to book a session.

As you can see with a little thought you can use images to talk to your audience in a much more effective way.

If you have any questions ask away!

C x

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End of the ¬£25 Profile Picture

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone but I haven’t raised my rates in about 5 years. I restructured how I charged just to make it easier for clients, but I never actually put them up. Shocking I know!

Drum roll please…you have one week to get in touch to get 2017/18 rates. Most of the general photography pricing isn’t going up by much, but there are going to be options to add tailoring of images for accessibility and SEO amongst other things.

Don’t panic! You don’t need to get the photography done immediately, as long as we have started the consultation process this week (5pm Friday 6th April 2018) you get the 2017/18 rates. Lets be honest as I write this it is currently snowing…I have no problem waiting for warmer weather ūüėČ

On it’s way out is the ¬£25 profile pictures, so you have one week left to book for the 16th of April 2018. If you need an updated headshot or know someone who does send them this link.

If you’re thinking about raising your rates too here’s a great article by Denise at Sandstone Castles on why and how you can go about it – When was the last time you raised your rates?

Give me a call on 0776309221 or email claire@clairewatson.co.uk if you’d like to chat about projects you have coming up. Otherwise book your ¬£25 profile picture here NOW!

C x

Imagery lessons for SMEs…using Tinder

Here is a giggle and a few things to think about on imagery for small and medium sized businesses.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about Tinder. For those who are not familiar it’s a dating app where you select people you are interested in based on 1 initial image, 5 additional pictures and a few words. If it sounds superficial, it is, but you would be amazed how much you can learn about yourself and others in 6 pictures.

Then when I sat down to write today’s blog on imagery lessons for SMEs it occurred to me that it is a perfect example of how to use imagery effectively. Looking at the¬†difference between stock photography and images tailored for your target market, the importance of first impressions and how to tell a story that gets across your USP.

There is a caveat in this post that the pictures are not of professional quality but being used to illustrate a point ūüėČ

So back to my friend…lets call him ‘Gary’ (not his real name). Gary is looking to get back into the dating game after a long time away and he wanted to get my impression of his Tinder profile, so we started with his main image, the picture everyone sees first. He had a really nice professional picture lifted straight from his LinkedIn profile…the stock photography of Tinder pictures if you will. A terrible choice in my opinion for a number of reasons.

  • Firstly it tells someone looking at it absolutely nothing about you.
  • Secondly it appeals to the pretty much anyone, which is fine if you are going for mass market, but of no use if you are looking for a specific type of client or in this case are a bit more¬†discerning¬†about your dating preferences.
  • Thirdly, Tinder is full of people you really don’t want to meet, so you should be using your images to filter out people who you will have nothing in common with to save yourself (and them) some time and effort.

In contrast this is my opening image on Tinder…

Tinder Main Image

…I have found this very effective in filtering out people I have nothing in common with. I think is says a few things:¬†I’m interested in politics**, when dressing up I like to commit and come from left field…you will never find me in a ‘sexy nun’ outfit, I have a pretty dark sense of humour and am happy to laugh at myself. This immediately removes lots of people who would class me as a weirdo and have no interest in politics and attracts people who think I look like a laugh. From a business perspective it talks to my niche market!

Then if they click though, to learn more about me, they see…

Fitness is important and I'm pretty confident/have a high opinion of myself.

‘Fitness is important and I’m pretty confident/have a high opinion of myself.’

FullSizeRender3

‘I’m a keen photographer and traveller.’

FullSizeRender2

‘I can look presentable sometimes…’

FullSizeRender

‘…but most of the time i don’t really care…would rather swim in a loch.’

In conclusion:

  • The importance of¬†stock photography verses¬†images tailored for your target market, really depends on how niche your product is and how much you want to stand out from your competition. The majority of SMEs I meet have very clever and interesting things to offer but that is often not communicated by their online presence. This seems like a lost opportunity to me.
  • First impressions are massively important, if people don’t like what they see you will get swiped left (rejected) and you’ll never see that prospective client again. Making your landing page engaging is key.
  • Telling a story though images is much easier and more engaging than text and as result gets across your USP much more effectively when done correctly.

I hope that made a few of you smile on a Friday. Any questions on photography for business or setting up online dating profiles ask below ūüėČ

**I would usually keep political leanings off any of my business platforms, but in this case it makes a point and for anyone who’s interested I voted yes in the referendum because I believe in the positive, socialist message of the Yes campaign, not because I wanted separation. I love everyone, but don’t think the system is serving those that it should be. C x

5 Top Tips for Effortless Social Media Images

How do you take better pictures to represent yourself online? So you have all the right Social Media accounts…Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and a strategy on how you want to use them. You know¬†stock photography sites you can use, but the problem is your USP is all about your¬†people, your place, your product, so how do you get that across to your target market?

How do you improve your social media photography content? Not by using expensive equipment, but tablets, smartphones and your existing equipment to generate higher quality more engaging images for your websites and social media channels.

I’ve put together a training course to help SMEs and start-ups improve their photography. However, if all you’re looking for is a few quick tips here are a some things that can make a huge difference with very little effort.

Look: Look for light and interesting angles. Is the light coming from as strange direction? What colour is it? Are there reflective surfaces where you can see yourself? Picking an unusual angle of an everyday subject makes it more interesting.

Ask: Ask people to move closer together in group shots. It makes them awkward to get into each others personal space, but leads to better pictures. Ask if people mind having their pictures taken. It keeps people happier to be considered and can raise awareness of your company if you encourage them to check out the pictures on your social media channels.

Move: Move closer to your subject. Too much dead space is not (usually) that interesting. Move to change the perspective. Get lower or higher so your image is not what people would expect to see.

Use: Use the apps on the phone or tablet to make the best of your images quickly before you upload them. Use something to stabilise the camera like resting your arm or the camera itself on a table to keep the picture sharper, especially in low light situations.

Think: Think about the composition. Peoples eyes move from left to right across a picture, so put something there for them to look at. Think about a plan before the event. What is going to appeal to your target market? The venue, people, food, entertainment? Have a plan and you will save time on the day and be more likely to get the pictures you need.

Here are a few examples of different looks you can achieve from a camera phone and if you want to have a coffee and a chat to find out more give me a call 0776 309 2221 or email claire@clairewatson.co.uk

Your message, your market!

Images are about getting your message across to your market. Images communicate so much more than text. This is both a good and a bad thing. Poor images give an immediate negative impression, but equally great images make you stand out from the crowd and connect to your audience better than anything you can write. It’s evolution.

“What we see has a profound effect on what we do, how we feel, and who we are. Through experience and experimentation, we continually increase our understanding of the visual world and how we are influenced by it. Psychologist Albert Mehrabian demonstrated that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Studies find that the human brain deciphers image elements simultaneously, while language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner taking more time to process. Our minds react differently to visual stimuli.¬†Thanks to millions of years of evolution, we are genetically wired to respond differently to visuals than text.” – Mark Parkinson, The Power of Visual Communication

I’ll talk about a case study of work I’ve done later in the week, but today I wanted to¬†look at a few ad campaigns with a bit bigger budgets. Here’s a great link to top ad campaigns of the 21st century. My favourite is also their top choice Dove: Campaign for Real Beauty. The images are bright, clean and not over photoshopped, which matches their message and bucks the trend in the industry.

Day 8 DOVE-REAL-BEAUTY

The Red Bull: Stratos is also a favourite as it is just visually spectacular. The images grab us because they are totally out with our experience. Fortunately, we don’t need to leave the atmosphere to get great images. Most SMEs don’t quite have the budget of Red Bull ūüėČ

Day 8 red-bull-stratos-felix1

What makes your business different? It does’t have to be plummeting through¬†the earth’s atmosphere or being pictured in your pants. It can be small details like the quality of your stationary, the friendliness of your staff, the unique features of your building, the difference of your approach that makes you stand out from your competitors. Images can show people who they are¬†much better then telling them.

Over the next 2 weeks I will blog¬†more about¬†how to¬†get images that take your message to your market. I’d love to hear other people’s feed back on their images.