Have you ever wondered whether personal branding photos are important for independent retailers? Could they even improve your profits?
All photos by Anna Dunleavy www.annadunleavy.com
Personal branding photography is something that seems to have really taken off in the last year or two. Look at the website of almost any service based business and you’ll see beautiful professional photos of the person behind it. But what if you’re a shopkeeper? Is it worth the time and expense when you’re already really busy struggling to keep up with the day to day running of your shop. Surely customers are more interested in the products you sell and the service you provide than what you look like! Well, yes and no.
I’ve always had a dislike of having my photo taken and my face on stuff. Nearly all the halfway decent pictures of me also include a cat or a child. Not at all ideal for business use (especially as I tend to use them in attempt to hide my face)! Over the last year there have been several occasions where I’ve needed a good quality head shot. An airbnb profile picture with a cat in won’t reassure potential customers that my apartment is pet free for example!
This led me to doing some research into whether it was worth investing money into a personal branding photo shoot. And if I’d actually like the pictures enough to use if I did!
The more I looked into photography and marketing the more times I heard; People buy from people not businesses. It makes sense that customers would like to see and know who they’re buying from.
Having good quality photos of you on your website and social media can make all the difference. I think this is especially important for independent retailers, after all you are what makes your business special!
By sharing pictures of yourself and staff your customers get an insight into who they’ll be talking to and how they might feel shopping in store with you. This is also the case with e-commerce; photographs of yourself and your staff will build consumer confidence. Websites with ‘meet the team’ pages tend to have a higher conversion rate. This is the reason there’s a sticker on your lush toiletries with a name and picture of the person that made it!
Whilst high street spending is down, spending on experiences is increasing. If you can make shopping in store a better experience than buying online you’ll increase footfall and sales. I believe this starts before you’ve even got people to step foot inside your store. If the imagery you use to promote your shop projects friendly welcoming faces customers will want to visit.
“The most successful retailers - the survivors - are learning to draw their customers in with a personalised experience.” https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/21/over-23000-shops-and-175000-high-street-jobs-predicted-to-go-in-2019?
Photos that let your personality shine through build a brand and help communicate your values. Customers will be able to see that you are friendly and care about them before they’ve even set foot in store.
A good personal branding photographer will make you feel at ease and amazingly will make the whole experience enjoyable! I’ve shared some of the results from my personal branding session with Anna Dunleavy. Anna is one of several talented Nottingham photographers that I’ve met since I started to network with other local business women and creatives (they’ll be more on my experience of networking in a future blog post). I’d also recommend checking out Karina Lyburn and Ursula Kelly who have also taken photos of me that I love!
Don’t forget personal service is what sets a small business apart from larger chain stores. As uncomfortable as it is sharing pictures of yourself, customers want to see the face behind the business. By having professional shots it makes it much less awkward! It also provides you with a pool of photos to choose from for any press or PR opportunities that come your way.