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Make a stellar first impression the second someone lands on your website

First impressions matter—a lot. When a potential client lands on your website, the first thing they notice isn’t your meticulously crafted content or your snappy headline. (although these truly matter!) It’s your visuals. 

We are incredibly visual creatures, and our brains process images quickly – according to a group of MIT neuroscientists, our brains can process entire images in as little as 13 milliseconds. That my friend is fast, which is why high-quality images are so powerful! 

And when you think about them from the aspect of the human experience, high quality photos grab attention, evoke emotions, and can tell a story in a single glance.

Let’s take a look at how you can use high-quality imagery to your advantage…


Build Trust and Credibility with potential clients

When you use professional, high-resolution images you are telling your website visitors that you take your business seriously. You are saying, without using actual words, that you value quality, professionalism, and attention to detail, and that you are committed to providing the best experience possible for your audience.

This creates a sense of trust and credibility, encouraging visitors to stay on your site longer and  dive deeper into what you do. This makes them much more likely to reach out and connect with you.

All of these help the people seeing your before and after photos make a real connection to you and the work you do. Making it that much easier for them to imagine working with you someday. 

So how do you take these hidden gems and transform them into marketing gold? With a little forethought and planning at the beginning of a project. 

Create a Journey your visitors are more likely to remember…

These beautiful images you have representing the work you do are so much more than a gallery to brag about. It is imagery that can create an experience for your website visitors, that takes them on a journey through all you do, which enhances their experience. 

Images also give your website visitors a little breathing room, when used to break up large blocks of text, they make your content more digestible and engaging. 

Best Practices for Using High-Quality Images on Your Website

Selecting great high-quality images alone isn’t enough. You need to use them strategically in a way that is on brand and connects with the clients you are hoping to reach. Here are some practical tips to get you started:

Choose the Right Images: 

Not just any high-resolution image will do. The images you select must be relevant to your brand as well as the content you are sharing. 

For instance sharing an image of you drinking a beer by the lake might work if you plan vacations for your clients, but if you want to present yourself as a high-end luxury interior designer, this image is not going to work, even if taken by a professional photographer. 

Need a little photo inspiration? Here are some ideas based on a few of the industries we work with…

Interior Designer

  • Room Transformations: Showcase before-and-after photos of spaces you've designed. Highlight details that show your design process and the impact of your work

  • Material and Texture Close-Ups: Capture detailed shots of fabrics, finishes, and decor elements to emphasize your attention to detail and design quality.

  • Client Interactions: Photograph interactions with clients, such as consultations or presentations, to convey a collaborative and professional atmosphere.

  • Styled Vignettes: Create styled scenes within a room to highlight specific design choices and inspire potential clients with ideas for their own spaces.

  • Behind-the-Scenes: Share behind-the-scenes photos of the design process, including sketching, mood boards, and shopping for materials, to provide insight into your creative process.

Professional Organizing

  • Organized Spaces: Showcase immaculate, organized spaces such as closets, kitchens, and home offices. Use before-and-after shots to demonstrate the transformation.

  • Storage Solutions: Highlight creative storage solutions and products you use to help clients stay organized.

  • Client Testimonials: Capture photos of happy clients in their newly organized spaces to add a personal touch and build credibility.

  • Process in Action: Photograph the organizing process, including sorting, categorizing, and labeling, to show your methodical approach and expertise.

  • Tips and Tricks: Create images that illustrate simple organizing tips and tricks that you can share on social media or in blog posts.

Business Coach

  • Workshops and Seminars: Photograph workshops, seminars, or coaching sessions with groups to highlight your active involvement and expertise in guiding others.

  • One-on-One Coaching: Capture images of one-on-one coaching sessions in action, focusing on the interaction and connection between you and your clients.

  • Professional Headshots: Use professional headshots that convey confidence, approachability, and professionalism for your website and marketing materials.

  • Success Stories: Showcase clients’ success stories with before-and-after scenarios, including professional achievements or business growth milestones.

  • Inspirational Quotes: Pair images of you speaking, writing, or working with motivational quotes to create engaging social media content.

Life Coach

  • Client Interactions: Photograph coaching sessions with clients, both in-person and virtual, to demonstrate your supportive and personalized approach.

  • Transformative Moments: Capture clients experiencing “aha” moments or achieving personal breakthroughs during sessions.

  • Lifestyle Images: Use lifestyle images that reflect a balanced and fulfilling life, such as outdoor activities, meditation, or family time, to illustrate the benefits of life coaching.

  • Workshops and Group Sessions: Photograph group workshops, retreats, or events to show your ability to lead and inspire multiple individuals at once.

  • Personal Journey: Share images from your own life that relate to your coaching journey, such as attending events, personal hobbies, or moments of inspiration, to build a relatable and authentic brand.

Author

  • Writing Process: Capture candid shots of you writing, brainstorming, or editing to give readers a glimpse into your creative process.

  • Book Signings and Events: Photograph book signings, readings, and other events to showcase your engagement with your audience and build community.

  • Book Covers and Excerpts: Use high-quality images of your book covers and stylized shots of excerpts to promote your work visually.

  • Reader Interactions: Share photos of you interacting with readers, either in person or through virtual events, to highlight the connection between you and your audience.

  • Workspace and Tools: Photograph your writing workspace and the tools you use (notebooks, laptops, coffee cups) to create a cozy, relatable image of your writing life.

Optimize for Web: 

High-quality doesn’t mean high file size. In fact, this can hurt your website as large images slow down your site, creating a poor user experience and lower SEO rankings. 

So before you start adding those fabulous new images, spend a little time optimizing your images in a way that protects your website speed and quality of the image. We recommend (and use) TinyPNG.com which is free to use with some limitations. And if you don’t want to hassle with the limitations the annual licensing is pretty reasonable, and well worth it. 

Think about Consistency

Creating consistency through your visual style is a cornerstone of effective branding and design. As we have shared many times… it’s not just about pretty pictures. It is about creating a professional appearance that reinforces your brand identity and builds trust with your audience. 

So pay close attention to your branding details and select images with 

  • Colors that compliment your brand
  • That align with the mood and tone of your brand

As an interior designer or professional organizer you may occasionally work on projects that are visually stunning but don't quite align with your established brand look and feel. These projects are still worth sharing, as they can still be valuable for showcasing your versatility and broad range of skills. You just want to make sure you present them in a way that maintains overall brand consistency.

If a project diverges significantly from your usual style, consider creating a separate section for “Special Projects” or “Diverse Designs” within your website. Also use these images sparingly, if at all throughout the remainder of your website. 

Use Alt Text: 

Don’t forget to add descriptive alt text to your images. This will help boost the overall SEO of your website which is an easy win for you. 

Adding descriptions to the Alt text of your images also ensures that all users, regardless of their visual abilities, have equal access to the content on your site.

Experiment with Formats: 

Different formats serve different purposes. JPEGs photos are great for websites, especially portfolios as they have a smaller file size. Whereas PNGs images work well when you need to have a transparent background or share text in the image. SVGs are perfect for logos and icons because they scale without losing quality.

And to create a fabulous user experience, consider using WebP images as they provide smaller file sizes and richer images supporting faster loading times. 

Remember, your images are more than just decoration…

They are a powerful tool for communication and engagement. By carefully selecting and optimizing your images, you can create a visually appealing, trustworthy, and user-friendly website that stands out in the crowded digital landscape.

So, next time you’re updating your site or launching a new project, give your images the attention they deserve. Your visitors will thank you.

References:

Potter, M. C., Wyble, B., Hagmann, C. E., & McCourt, E. S. (2014). Detecting meaning in RSVP at 13 ms per picture. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 76(2), 270-279.



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