Create a visual library that tells your business story. (Not everyone else’s).
I issued an intruder alert in my last blog post.
I’m not scaremongering, but have a group of strangers gate-crashed your website and your social media?
By strangers, I mean the people who crop up in stock business images. Presentable and well turned out, there is nothing really wrong with them… but they don’t represent you or your company properly.
Stock images can also be frustrating. You spend hours trawling through them and might never find the right one.
Then there is the whole copyright faff. Is it, or is it not, Creative Commons? What’s the best way to credit? How much will it all cost – especially if I make a mistake?
And, at the end of it all, you know that these images could be used by anyone, including your competitors.
Another, cleverer, way.
These niggles spurred me on to work with Vervate, to create a visual portfolio for my business, and mine alone.
Vervate’s founder and Creative Director, Susi Doherty (above) points out that photographs are often seen as an afterthought. Something you stick on at the end, once all the hard writing has been done.
And, if you are anything like me, you’re likely to select a stock image. One that’s used by countless other businesses and does nothing to represent your company’s brand or personality.
I realise that’s foolish. Because the first thing your readers will notice is the image, not the words. And I say this as someone who makes her living from the written and spoken word. Visuals should be at the forefront of my mind, not a last minute “Oh, that will have to do”.
How to create your own library.
So, how can your company build up its own stock of images and show the world its best side? It might seem mind-boggling task, but Vervate’s approach makes it simple and enjoyable. Susi will:
- Work with you to flesh out your editorial calendar, the planning diary where you can schedule blog posts in the weeks and months to come. It doesn’t matter what state your calendar is in, Susi will help you with themes and messages, and how to present those in images.
- Think about platforms: Susi is also an expert at visual marketing, so she’ll also be thinking about the formats that work best for your chosen marketing channels – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or wherever else the face of your company needs to be.
- Plan photo shoot(s) with you, your teams, clients and associates. How long and how many is really up to you. My shoot took roughly a morning. That session, combined with other photos I selected from Vervate’s library, means I have enough photos to keep weekly articles going for six months.
No more blog writer’s block.
When you commission photos in this way, it galvanises you and your team to add detail to your editorial or content calendar.
The images themselves give you even more ideas for future articles. Bringing in someone from outside your company – someone who looks at your work with fresh eyes – is always great for creative productivity. Susi is no exception – and she makes it enjoyable.
You never find yourself thinking, “What are we going to write about this week?” Or realising that the last article your company posted goes back 4 months. (And yes, that has happened to me.)
Visuals also make you think of the seasons and backdrops. Luckily, Vervate have their own comprehensive library. So they can supplement the images from your shoot with other photos if you need them. I did my work with them in the spring and summer, but I also have some great winter photographs which I can use later in the year.
Some of your articles will be timeless. But others might be topical. In which case, Vervate’s back catalogue, coupled with Susi’s ability to think ahead on your behalf, will prove invaluable.
Want to get cracking now?
Give Susi a call on 01273 275162 or drop her an email at [email protected].
Images by Vervate www.vervate.com.