Ask the Experts

Ask the experts: Represent your business with the right image

vbridges@newsobserver.comMarch 4, 2013 

Brian Mullins, photographer


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Photos on your website and social media profiles can affect how clients view and connect with your business. Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges spoke with Brian Mullins, a Raleigh professional photographer, about why photos are important and what small-business owners should think about before posting them online.

A small business often reflects its owners’ personality and beliefs. Many owners have developed relationships with their current customer base but need to be aware of how they are perceived by potential clients.

Many potential clients will visit a business’ website before shopping. Because photos are a big part of a customer’s first impression, the online images of the owner, managers and other business representatives should be professional and reflect how you and your staff take pride in the business and its appearance. Also, the images should communicate information about your business. Context and personality are key for connecting with potential customers.

Using unprofessional photos such as images of yourself at the beach or a party, however, can send the wrong message. However, if you own a carpentry business, don’t use photos of yourself in a suit and tie.

Make a photo choice based on the culture, personality and type of business you are representing. What are your business’ unique selling points? The more of those you can embody into your images, the more it will help you represent your business.

Be careful of the headshots you use on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Present yourself in a professional fashion. If you’re a banker, don’t use a photo taken at a nightclub, and photographers should always have a picture.

Professional photographers often use the phrase “You are only as good as your worst photo.” People rarely remember the best but will remember the worst. So take a look through your website, LinkedIn profile and other professional sites and make sure your photos represent you – and your business – at your best.

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