Hear the tick of your stopwatch?
Now imagine 1/10 of the time it takes for the second hand to go from one number to the other.
Have that visualization? Cool. Because that’s how long it takes for someone to form a first impression of your business. Say whaaa?
Studies have shown that website visitors decide in milliseconds whether they’ll be staying or leaving. What you put in front of them will drive that opinion, and I’ll tell ya what — it won’t be a cell phone selfie.
Photography is the leading first impression creator. It inspires your customers to envision themselves using your product or taking advantage of your service.
Quality images also sell your product to someone before they even buy. Your industry is bound to have specific jargon about products and services that first-time buyers might not understand. Showing them a visual provides them with an answer to their question without them feeling pressured for a sales call to find out what it is. If you put your face behind it, double bonus because there is now a human familiarity with it.
Professional photographs will also help your ranking on Google. If visitors come to your website and decide quickly to just go back to the search results without clicking on any other links, this will increase your bounce rate. Bounce rate is calculated by just that — the number of visitors who return to the search results without even so much as just looking around your site.
If too many people do this upon seeing your website, Google will think your website isn’t good enough to make someone want to stay and will decrease its ranking in results. The way to fix that? Good images that give your site a chance. SEO experts found that images are what makes people stay on websites longer.
If you’re first starting out, I understand the investment in a personal branding shoot seems like more of a luxury than a necessity. I have worked with coaches who have told their students not to spend more than $500 on a personal branding shoot when they are in the beginner stages of their business (spoiler alert: it costs more).
But first impressions can last for years so you’re better off investing a little more, even with a portfolio building photographer, than to keep using those cell phone photos.