Last week I had the pleasure of talking to a room full of business women at our local Women in Rural Enterprise meeting held at Uttoxeter Golf Club in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. I introduced a new photographic package called The Small Business Package and I'm so excited about it. It literally sings to my soul. I want to see small business owners making a success and promoting themselves to the best of their ability and today that's what this blog post is about.

I understand that actually it is incredibly hard to find the time to think about marketing, photographing and promoting a small business. You are in essence the busker on the side walk, you play the tune, create the beat, try and attract your audience, perform to the best of your ability and generate an income all for yourself with not much help.

Most of the time you have your phone or tablet to hand to snap a picture and hastily load it up to social media when you find yourself with a few spare minutes. Technology has changed how we do everything, it's fantastic and I'm not knocking it. However we all need to be aware that when posting on our business and personal pages content and images need to be of GOOD quality and GOOD content. These images go EVERYWHERE, they get shared and seen, liked and seen. So, are they good enough?

Here is the example: You want a cake for Mum's 70th birthday, you're too busy to attempt it yourself and let's be honest the last time you made one it was a disaster and you ended up in M&S half an hour before closing time. You go on Facebook and you ask your friends ..... "Help, anyone know a great cake maker? It needs to be amazing for my gorgeous Mum." A couple of friends reply back, they tag their favourite pages so off you go on the search for the elusive cake. *Puts on her deerstalker, gets the magnifying glass*

Page One.

Gorgeous cakes in crisp white professional boxes. Lovingly made and just what you need.

Miles away from home: 15 miles.

Price £60

Page Two.

Gorgeous cakes, sat on a cake board on a worktop that looks nice and clean. Lovingly made in a domestic kitchen.

Miles away from home: 10 miles.

Price £70

Page Three.

Gorgeous cakes, in fact they look fancier then the other two pages. Cakes are sat on a cake board, the knife that was used to smooth the icing is sat at the side, you think *hmm not the end of the world.* A used slightly dirty looking tea towel is off to the side of the picture, the cooker to the side looks a bit grubby and the window at the back of the picture shows the reflection of the person taking the picture. They look a bit scruffy and their hair is down *not good you think.*

Miles away from home: 5 miles

Price £50

WHO DO YOU GO WITH?? Let me know in the comments below :)

A picture really does paint a thousand words. Every detail is scrutinised, the things that you don't think are important, really are and when it comes to spending money we notice everything.

This image below was taken for Pool Green Kitchen. Joanna loved this image but it's not something she could have captured on her phone. This image is timeless and elegant, it fits Pool Green Kitchen perfectly and let me tell you it looks blooming amazing on her leaflets. The leaflets that her customers pick up and make an instant decision once looked at. When I arrived for the photo shoot the glassware and silverware were sparkling, the linens beautifully clean. All I had to do was position everything so that it was pleasing to the eye. Move chairs slightly out so that they didn't block the image, turn the napkins so that they were all the right way. Why so picky? Well because Joanna was paying me for my undivided attention, my attention to detail, to see something that she couldn't and create the picture that she didn't know she wanted or needed.

What I'm trying to say is don't let poor imagery, tell the wrong story. Stock images, you know those generic ones are never going to be the real YOU. They are your competitor in the next town, the person 20 miles away who looks at your business and thinks that they can do what you do. A little bit of thought and some external expertise can make you money. Look at the investment, how long would it take to recoup the money you spend utilising the services of a photographer like me twice a year to update and refresh your images?  Let's make it personal folks because to me that's what small business is about.

Claire x



P.S.- Have you enjoyed my blog? Please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

P.P.S. - Interested in my Small Business Photography Package? Please get in touch.