Utilise the power of your photos

Last updated 10:30 26/07/2010

I know I'm not alone in saying that since the day we got a digital camera (and now iPhones), we've barely printed one of the tens of thousands of photos we've taken in our family.

Perhaps you're like us. You have photos from your business or work place, as well as photos of kids, dogs, cats, vacations. All trapped in the computer or on the cell phone.

I asked the question 'do you print your photos' on my business Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Almost every response concurred. Printing is a rare occurrence and then, only for special occasions or gifts.

The dilemma is the same - no time, too hard to sort and print, too easy to share on the computer and social sites.

The social media question was research for my speaking engagement with one of the most lovely groups I've worked with, Kodak Express.

After spending four days with them overseas at conference, I've come away with a new knowledge of the professional services available today to use personally but more importantly a huge enthusiasm how businesses can use their 'trapped images' to make more sales.

Many of you might know of the new photo book concept. I had vaguely heard about it, but didn't pay heed.

In case you haven't, a photo book is an actual hard or soft covered book you make yourself from your photos. You select the combination of pictures, the orientation, the layout, text to write with them.

They vary from 14 to 20 pages and different sizes. They're relatively inexpensive and quick - if not immediate to do.

So why do I think photo books are such a great concept for almost every business, school  or charitable institution?

Two reasons. First you know a picture can say more than a thousand words. Use it to your advantage in your business to help you get your message across. Second the importance of projecting a professional image for your business.

Perhaps you are using photos to illustrate your work now, or have been shown pictures. But how many simply use a plastic binder with the photos in see through leaves? Yuck.

That is not professional enough especially in this competitive market. More importantly you need a way to stand out and differentiate if you don't have the cheapest price in town.

Here are a few of my ideas as a starting point on whom and how to make more sales using photo books.

Take these ideas and apply them to your business:

As a professional portfolio

  • Hair Salons. Hair styles, cuts and colours for men; for women.
  • Building firms, developers, architects. Building styles and options.
  • Kitchen designers. Kitchen configurations, cabinetry.
  • Real estate agents An additional marketing piece (to the internet video) to send to a keen buyer for a high priced home sale.
  • Landscape artists. Finished garden configurations and settings
  • Caterers. Food, menu options available.

Let the photos sell for you

  • Electricians, plumbers, installers, carpet cleaners. Before and after photos with testimonials from clients typed in.
  • Dentists - Before and after smiles for whiteners, braces, caps.
  • Hotels and conference centres. A photo book for each of the ways a room can be set up. They'd have a wedding portfolio. The corporate conference option. The awards ceremony option.

Tell a story, walk through a process

  • Building plans from work in progress to the finished building.
  • The steps a bathroom goes through when renovating.
  • Travel agents a book each for different cruises, intrepid journeys, luxury trips

Show off facilities

  • Hospitals, day care centres, hotels, restaurants

Fundraising charitable institutions
As an alternative to the normal chocolates and activities that schools, kindergartens and sports teams undertake for fundraising.

  • Organise for parents to create their own discounted photo books with the discount going to the organisation as a fund raiser. It can be a do it yourself or even an evening get together with laptops and internet access to send them off online.
  • A photographer can go onsite at sports events, school balls, theatre productions to create a photo book and simply take orders. Why even the All Blacks, the All Whites, the Silver Ferns and the White Caps should be using them as memorabilia.

Gifts, promotional items, thank you's

  • Luxury item purchase thank you's. A photo book of their brand new car or home for them to share with people.
  • Calendar in commemoration or as a business thank you
  • Take home items after events, conferences

Debbie can be contacted on Facebook, Successis and email: debbie@successis.co.nz

6 comments
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Gravey   #1   09:26 pm Jul 26 2010

Wifey was talking about this last night. My Mum has a whole lot of really old photos. Autographed photos of movie stars of her time. Some of them personally autographed rather than just stamped.

Wifey said it would be cool if we photobooked them.

Ma is in a rest home where security isn't perfect, so it wouldn't be a good idea to have potentially expensive photos there (one is a personal note from Ronald Reagan).

One of the things I like about it is it seems to be a cool marriage of digital and old-style books.

Gravey   #2   07:59 am Jul 28 2010

Come on people - where are your comments??

This is actually a really cool idea - it isn't a photo album, but a bound book.

Debbie - did you hear about this in the ... what was it ... I think it was in Her Business magazine?

Shan   #3   01:15 pm Jul 28 2010

I'm going to push for photo books to be made for my workplace. I'm in business development for an engineering consultancy and we don't brag enough!! Great idea!!

On a personal note, I have a few photobooks made up from holidays and weddings. I love them!

debbie mayo-smith   #4   08:29 am Jul 29 2010

Thanks Gravey and Shan. I actually just spoke at the Kodak Express Annual conference. To prepare I did a lot of research as the content of four speeches was covering marketing in today's wired world, social media, conquering email overload and database marketing. What happens with most retailers is they wait for people to come through the door, and/or advertise.

Naturally with the advent of the digital camera and now such superb camera phones, people aren't printing like they used to.

I learnt about the photobook via Kodak Expressand of course my marketers mind took flight on the fabulous ways business could use it. It hasn't been mentioned in print before or discussed with the group. I thought it was interesting enough to write about.

So thanks again Gravey - I thought there would be more comments - but maybe the blog read more like a 'oh yes, good idea' rather than getting a reaction. I always value yours and everyones!

Geoff   #5   10:23 am Jul 29 2010

Interesting idea. Hadn't really thought about this, but as a semi-professional photographer it would certainly be a useful way to display my best shots in one place. Currently I get the better ones done on Canvas prints, but these are limited in where you can display them but do have a use as gifts.

Kurt   #6   01:20 pm Jul 29 2010

This idea has been around awhile, I always liked it. I also think its a great idea for birthdays, sporting achievements, family events etc. A lovely lady in Christchurch with a company called KW Productions used to do them but I think she went bust from minimal interest. Shame really, she had a great product that looked spectacular

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