From ‘Just Good Enough’ to Great
Thank you for your patience in reading this latest post. So much has been going on with the studio! There are a lot of fun projects on the horizon.
This week, rather than me doing all the talking, I’ve invited a special guest to contribute. My very talented copywriter friend Cheryl Binnie of www.copyluv.com, was generous enough to write about her own personal experience working with me and the results its been providing to her business and professional growth.
“From ‘just good enough’ to Great: How the right
professional portrait helped take my business
to the next level”
When I started my business, I wanted to look like the Big Girls.
I had seen other business owners with gorgeous websites, a slew of polished programs and products, and an arsenal of photographs that made them look professional and high-end, yet fun and approachable at the same time.
I wanted all of that.
Problem was, I didn't exactly have the money to get all those things right out the gate.
So, I started small.
My first website was a free Wordpress template that was “good enough for now.”
My first photograph on that website was one I dug up from my personal collection of pictures. It, too, was “good enough for now.”
When I finally upgraded my website, I also wanted an upgraded photograph. But I still wasn't ready to spend the money on professional images.
Instead, my boyfriend had a decent camera (which neither of us knew how to use properly). We did our best to create our own photo shoot and picked a couple images that were – you guessed it – “good enough for now.”
I was at the point in my business where I was starting to attract higher-end clients – women with the stellar websites, strong online presences, and great professional portraits.
And, even though my business was growing despite my mediocre pictures, I was still a little bit embarrassed to send people to my website. Especially if they had already invested in professional photography for themselves. (Know the feeling?)
When someone would compliment me on my website, I would sometimes catch myself saying, “Thanks. I need to get some new photos on there...”
Call it vanity.
Call it a case of comparison-itis.
Feel free to tell me how ridiculous I am.
I knew all of that. But it didn't matter.
My pictures were a DIY project.
But I provide a service (copywriting) that many business owners do for themselves. My potential clients are people who are ready to stop DIYing the written words for their business. The last thing I wanted was to look like I didn't understand the importance and value of hiring a professional to do something that you could do yourself.
So, when I met Amber and saw some of the past work she had done, I knew it was time.
What an experience! From our pre-session consultation, through discussing my Vision Board and wants for the shoot, all the way through the shoot itself, Amber worked to make sure everything we did stayed on task and in line with what I wanted.
I was able to put my vision into her hands, and she made it a reality.
Since then, I can't tell you how many compliments I've received on my new portrait.
But it's not just about stroking my ego.
My business depends on clients feeling like they can connect with me on a human level, like they would enjoy working with me and can trust me with their words.
And that is what Amber's work has given me. . .
While there's no way to quantify how much of that reaction is based on the image alone, I do know that the overall feel of my website changed dramatically with my new portrait.
And the biggest win is that I feel like I look like a serious business owner – someone who has invested in her company and knows what she's doing.
So, I get the idea of starting small, and using DIY images that are “good enough for now.”
But I didn't fully grasp how much of a difference professional photography makes until I was finally excited (instead of hesitant) to give people my website address.
I even raised my prices recently, which can be a tough (and even scary) move for a lot of service providers. With my old picture, I honestly think I would have talked myself out of it, saying, “Well, I don't look like I'm at that level yet, even if my actual work is that good.”
With the new portrait from Amber, though, I actually feel as if higher rates are expected, simply because I look higher-end.
So, when people ask me if I think investing in professional images is “worth it,” I can say from personal experience – yes!
I may not be able to give you hard numbers or predictions on what it will do to your bottom line. But I can absolutely say that the impact it can have on your confidence, your first impressions, and your human connections with potential clients is priceless.
Perhaps a better question would be, “Can you afford not to have a professional photograph?”
Cheryl Binnie is a web copywriter who writes web content like email newsletters and websites for business owners who are growing so quickly they don't have time to write it all themselves. With a love for working with coaches in business, health, wealth, and personal development, Cheryl also coaches business owners who want to learn how to write their own copy. Together with her clients, she helps them build businesses, expand their reach, and take loving care of their audiences. You can learn more about Cheryl at www.copyluv.com
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