Making the Right Investments

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I get it. Investing in your business can be extremely stressful. With a limited budget it’s challenging trying to decide where to put your money first. Everything seems like a priority. So, how do you choose?

There are certain things in your business that are necessary to purchase first. It differs from business to business, but here are a few examples: a business license, a storefront, a website, equipment, or perhaps a required certification. The decision making comes in once you have all the obligatory purchases made. What do you do then?

One of the most useful ways to help you decide which areas of your business to invest in next, is to ask yourself this question:

“If I invest in XYZ, what will be the return on this investment be for my business?”

Often times I see entrepreneurs make purchasing decisions based on the dollar amount they see staring them in the face. High numbers spark fear. Low numbers seem less risky and safe. So naturally, they choose to put their money into those smaller expenses. But those little costs add up after while. And those buying decisions don’t always offer any return value. Now, I am not saying this is true for every situation. BUT, I do believe that there are particular initial investments, with a higher price point, that are worth making. Because in the long run they bring way more revenue, exposure, or client leads to your business than all the little purchases combined. Professional photography is a perfect example of where spending more money upfront, is highly beneficial to your business. And in the end, the cost pales in comparison to the value you get from that initial investment.

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Professional photography is one of the most overlooked investment decisions that entrepreneurs make. And to be honest, I think there’s a variety of reasons. Some of which include: cost, fear of being in front of the camera, feeling like selfies taken with a phone are “good enough”, or a lack of knowledge around how to exactly to use photographs. But along with that, I think there is a lack of education and understanding in the filed of entrepreneurship around how professional photography can tangibly grow a business. And that’s what I want to share with you today!

The human brain is a visual instrument. And we make a lot of choices based off of what we see. It takes us less than 30 seconds to form an impression of someone, and typically photographs are first point of contact with you. Therefore, the quality of your images does matter! Now, photographs are not everything. The content you associate with them also holds great value. BUT, if you do not have images to hold your viewers attention long enough to get them to the content, then it doesn’t matter how brilliant your text is. They won’t see it. Furthermore, due to the short attention spans that consumers have, it is also important that if they are not reading your content, you’re still able to communicate with them about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Photographs, when done properly, can educate and offer quick and efficient answers to these questions. Your photographs alone can be enough to influence a client to work with you.

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Before I close, I would like to point out that it’s important to consider the type of professional photographs that you’re investing in. I recommend that you find a photographer who offers personal branding photos that capture you working both in and on your business. Simple headshots are most often not enough anymore (there are few exceptions). Your photo session should capture images of your product(s), service(s), or work environment. And don’t forget to include images that highlight aspects of your persona life outside of work as well. This is another impactful way to make connections with potential clients. These images should showcase not only what you do, but how you do it and why. It is critical that your images be representative of your brand as well. The consistency in branded photos will also add to the professionalism and overall attraction to your business. Ensure your photo session is filled with bold, beautiful content will help you capture and keep people’s attention. (More to come in the next few weeks on personal branding sessions specifically.)

Professional photography is an excellent way to position yourself as an expert in your field. High-quality, authentic photography will give your brand a layer of trust and professionalism. It tells your client that you are invested and serious about your business. So, while the initial cost of a professional photo session can seem high, the value of these photos is priceless. Even just ONE new client is often enough to cover the cost of a session. And any entrepreneur who has had a branding session can tell you... high quality imagery will bring far more than just one prospective client! 

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Professional photos are used in a variety of places throughout your business: social media, marketing materials, profile pictures, speaker sheets, event flyers, and the list goes one. You need photographs if you’re an entrepreneur. Plain and simple. In this particular blog post, I have included multiple examples of how professional images have positively impacted the engagement on some my own client’s Instagram accounts. Not only was there a drastic increase in the liking of these photos, but also in the number of comments left on each post. The comments themselves are a huge bonus in increasing your exposure on social media because of Instagram’s algorithms. I share these examples with you for one reason… to show you that spending money to higher a professional photographer, who can capture authentic, high quality photos of you, can drastically grow your business. So, the next time you sit down and look at where to invest your money next in your business, I hope you’ll consider choosing something, like professional photography, that will provide a valuable return on your investment.

♥ Mandi A.