I’ve always found that my trade has been a very good barometer of business confidence and general state of the economy. With photography and videography services companies tend to drop spend on these extras first when a recession or down turn happens and tend to look again and start enquiring about new projects when confidence improves, which I suppose is very logical. You cut the fat and spend in a down turn and you look to promote more when others are looking to spend.
So most people will be pleased to note I can report a general mood of optimism that started showing it’s face in the last quarter of 2013 in the UK, a mood I hadn’t seen for a long time. Enquiries up, events up and spend on marketing which includes the visual arts also up.
So is it time to refresh your image? Has your company’s bunker mentality to survive the storm (or should it be lull) of recession left you with a tarnished image? An aged website? A dated feel to your marketing? Is it time to blow the cobwebs out of the wallet and wrestle it from under the bed of your accountant and start to invest in a new image.
Unsurprisingly, I think it is. In fact I believe so, so strongly, that I personally have just done so. As a photographer I’ve always been a control freak about my own web site. What company dealing in images wouldn’t be. And because of that very fact I realised about July last year that my shop window was becoming dated.
There was nothing wrong with the images, nothing wrong with the work but clients weren’t getting the buzz when looking at my web site. I could tell this from the response I was getting when canvassing clients opinions. It was the presentation that was at fault, it was time to refresh my approach.
I realised the technology I was still using for building my web site was becoming dated, the style and fashion of sites had moved on and the technology behind them was no longer possible within the program I was using. It was time to let go and let someone else have some input, time to refresh the approach.
Now, anyone who runs a micro business like mine will know how hard it is to let go of any of the decision making or let others have control. This hurt! But I’m pleased to say having bitten the bullet. Having let a professional with skills in areas where I had weaknesses into the decision process I have been able to integrate the parts of marketing my web site that needed tying together. I’ve been able to bring the new technologies to bear on my presentation so that clients are now saying wow to images that before they just passed by. I also now have a system that I can communicate directly into many channels at once and refresh my displays quickly and easily so making it possible to keep the shop window both current and fresh.
It’s often said that it’s who you know not what you know that is the most important factor in business. But I’ve proved to myself in the last 6 months it’s also how you present yourself that is as an important basic at what you have to offer.
So the point of this weeks blog I suppose is a simple message. There seems to be more confidence about. If you want to make sure you get your share of that new potential business you need to seriously appraise your shop window. Check out your image in comparison to your competitors. Are you starting to look dated? Is it time to bring in outside help and get a professional to advise and refresh your image? Is it time to update your approach? Is it time to start using video regularly on your web site? I know I have a vested interest but I think it is! I can also say having tried it for my own business– it works!