You’ve heard the saying thousands of times – a picture is worth a thousand words. Communicating a message through a strong image is immediate and powerful.  In the world of digital marketing and e-commerce, a photo can be worth thousands of views, inquiries, shares, likes, customers, sales, and, most importantly, thousands of dollars. 

Visitors to your website and social media accounts take less than 10 seconds to decide if they will stay or go.  Compelling photos that create instant engagement and appeal to your visitor’s emotions can be the most critical factor in your business’s success or failure. Investing in professional photography and a professionally designed website can increase your business and profitability exponentially.  When done right, it is the abracadabra effect – an amazing magical transformation.

Case Study#1: Small Business Improves ROI 

I recently spoke with a wedding caterer who has been in business for eight years. Two years ago, she decided to upgrade her photography to professional images. She hired a local photographer, and within one day of posting the new pictures to her Instagram account, her inquiries nearly doubled. 

At the same time, she contracted with a professional website developer. Combining the beautiful professional photographs with a sleek and user-friendly website increased her online credibility, improved traffic to her site, and dramatically spiked sales.  In less than two years, her profits increased 150% – three times the annual amount of her first six years in business. 

Her enthusiastic words of advice: ” My DIY days are over! You can’t afford NOT to invest in professional photography and website development.  My ROI (return on investment) has been AMAZING!   My current business and the prospect for future growth has advanced my company to a whole new level.” 

Case Study #2:  New Business Attracts Sell-Out Crowd

A few months ago, I consulted with a client on the home page for his new business. The first photo he selected for the main image was cluttered and shot at an unappealing angle.  Our design team felt challenged to create an appealing home page using the photo he provided.   None of the elements came together. The business owner shot the image, so we needed to be diplomatic. Thankfully, we had options.  

The moment he saw a clean, clear professional stock photo selected as a replacement, everything shifted.  We were able to create a dramatic consumer-focused homepage without further issues. The website was instantly successful in attracting customers and converting views to sales.  A brand-new seasonal business, the owner reported that they sold out of inventory in record time! 

Custom Photography vs. Stock Images

Whether you are promoting a product or a service, it is imperative that the image you choose for your home page tells your story, draws the viewer in, and compels them to read on and scroll down.  Hiring a professional photographer has proven time and again to be well worth the investment; however, budget-conscious business owners can elect for second best. 

The wide selection of stock photos easily and affordably available online is extensive and growing.  While a stock photo may not precisely represent your product or service, it will likely be a vast improvement over a photo taken with your phone. Proper lighting, color, and composition significantly elevate your presentation and improve conversion rates.

First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions

In the 1980s, a historically successful ad campaign captured and converted shampoo customers with memorable images and the famous tagline: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Now referred to as the Head and Shoulders Rule, this message rings truer than ever.  In the world of digital marketing and instantaneous one-click decisions, landing a prospective customer with a positive and professional first impression may be your first and only chance to convert potential to profit.