So how would you use a photography retainer? Let’s look at 11 options complete with specific examples and links to how other businesses are using professional images to grow their businesses.
- Update Staff Shots – Did you know that the Team page on most small business websites often get more views than almost any other page on the site? I have access to analytics to the IT Decisions website, for instance, and their Team page (photographed by yours truly) gets more views than any other page on the site besides the Contact page. That means people really want to know more about the people behind the phones. Having great, up-to-date staff shots can go a long way to building long-term relationships with your clients.
- Social Media Updates – Did you know that Facebook posts with images get 37% more engagement than posts with text only? That statistic doesn’t take into account the quality of the photos. It would be an easy assumption to say that GOOD photos will get even more engagement. Most small businesses struggle with getting content to post on social media. I grew the Blue Ridge Parkway Daily Facebook page from 0 to 50,000 fans with quality, daily images. (I sold the digital properties for BRPD last year.) I can brainstorm with your team on how to get consistent, quality images to post on your channels.
- In-Season Building Shots – Having updated images of your facility can go a long way toward keeping your website up-to-date. If you have a nice image of your building in the fall, that’s nice, but if you can get a shot of the building in all four seasons and change them out every three months, the site will feel right to your visitors. Changing the Cover Photo on your social sites to reflect the season changes can also help generate more exposure on those channels. Check out East Tennessee Medical Associates for a great spring shot.
Update Product Photography – Have you come up with a new product or tweaked your restaurant’s menu? It doesn’t look good to a prospective buyer to be on the phone with them and say “the image you see on our website is an older model.” See D&S Dental for some recent updated product photography.
- Give It Away – Does your business support a charitable organization? Use some of your retainer hours to donate to that group. Keep an eye on that organization’s event calendar or simply call them and say “We have a retainer with a professional photographer and would like to donate some of those hours to you. Do you need any new images for your website, brochures, or social media accounts? We would love to help.”
- Event Photography – Is your business hosting a chamber of commerce event? Do you have a regular company picnic? Are you having a ground breaking ceremony for a new facility or a ribbon cutting? Does your business have an annual awards banquet to recognize achievement? Getting great images of these events can be good for employee morale and for sharing on your blog and social accounts. See the Tweetsie Trail Grand Opening gallery.
- Testimonials & Case Studies – “Just because your testimonial or case study is true doesn’t mean people will believe it . . . The researchers found that by adding an image to a statement (even if the image didn’t show any proof), respondents trusted the statement far more often.” – From Bidsketch’s 3 Proven Ways to Improve Your Client Testimonials for More Business. You get the benefit of strengthening the client testimonials and you can build the relationship with the testimonial-giver by giving them the photo to use themselves. Another benefit of having YOUR photographer get the picture is that when you use several case studies with pictures, you know that the quality and look will be consistent on your website.
- News Releases – “Including a photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%” – Jeff Bulas. News releases can be related to new staff additions, new products, awards and recognitions, new facilities, etc. Have your photographer get high quality pictures to maximize the impact of news releases.
- Before & Afters – If you run a business which improves the appearance of a person or thing, you can use the photography retainer to get shots before and after your makeover. There may be months worth of work in between which makes a retainer make sense. Before & Afters can be a powerful marketing tool. Check out JS Howell’s home renovation before and after gallery. (I only did the “after” shots.)
- Employee Bonuses – Does your business pride itself on being family-friendly? It’s time to do more than just talk the talk. Provide a family portrait session for your employees. This could be at a park, as part of your company picnic, at the office, etc.
- Trade Shows – Does your business have a great display for an upcoming trade show? You can do two things with this opportunity. First, you can take a picture of the display and send it in an email or make a blog post about the trade show that says “Look for our incredible booth at the Watchamacallit 2015 Show and be sure to pick up your free sample watchamacallit!” And/or . . . have your photographer go to the event and take pics of the booth and trade show floor for posting on social media, email marketing, or the news section of your website. This can come in very handy when you want to promote the show before the next year’s edition. Check out how this was done for the TriCities Boat Show at Meadowview by the Carefree Boat Club.
Ready to get started with a photography retainer for your business? Check out Retainer Rates.