A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s definitely true when it comes to sharing your work on social media. The Internet has changed how customers interact with businesses: instead of going in blind, customers are spending more time than ever researching which business to go to.
Gone are the days of walking into a restaurant and hoping for the best — Google Maps and Zomato can tell customers exactly what to expect before they ever step foot through the front door. And the trades are no different; customers are definitely Googling your business before they call you up in order to check the quality of your work. Taking great photos which accurately showcase your workmanship, and posting them up on social media is essential to do so that you aren’t losing out on business.
#1: Slow down
The job site isn't going anywhere, and if you're in a rush to snap a picture then it's likely that you won't be able to take the best picture possible: cameras need time to stabilize and focus on the scene you're trying to capture. The first rule of taking a good picture is to slow down, and set aside a minute or two to really nail it. It'll pay off when it comes time to make a social post!
#2: Clean off your lens
When a job's in progress there's usually going to be some kind of debris, dust, or other dirt in the air. If you've got a camera dedicated to taking pictures which stays in a protective bag then that's great, but realistically you're probably going to be taking pictures using your phone—the same one you bring on site in case someone calls to enquire about another job while you're busy.
It's worth taking a few seconds to quickly clean off your camera lens, so that there's nothing obstructing your photo. Having a nice, clear lens for the camera to see out of will massively improve your picture quality.
Make sure to keep in mind the two following points, however, as otherwise it's possible to damage your camera—and fixing one isn't cheap!
Only use either a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth for cleaning so you don't end up scratching the lens.
Only use either plain water or a proper lens cleaning solution as harsh chemicals can damage your lens.
#3: It’s all about the lighting
Ever tried taking a picture or shooting a video clip at night, and seen how the image comes out looking grainy? Cameras work just like the human eye does: by letting light into their lens and turning that light into an image. Simply put, more lighting means a clearer and more vibrant photo.
The biggest source of light on a typical job site will come from the sun: use it to your advantage by trying to take a picture when the sun is in a good spot that illuminates your work. If that's not an option, then sometimes fiddling with the lights or lamps near the job site can make an improvement to your pictures. If you're really serious about upping your social media game, then buying portable lighting sources like a ring light can also be a great idea.
A photo of a messy job site isn't going to inspire the people looking at your website or Facebook page. Clearing out the space a bit first so you get a cleaner photo will not only make the photo instantly look better, but it will also help people looking at the photo focus on the work being shown because there'll be fewer distractions in the photograph. The client will also appreciate being left with a nice, clean area too—making it that much more likely you'll be able to score some repeat business or word of mouth referrals from them.
#5: Think about the angle
If you're taking a photo of some plumbing work, then it might not make sense to take a photo of it from up high. Play around with taking photos from beneath the completed work, or on the same level.
#6: Include people in the shot
Humans are social creatures, which means we love seeing other people. See if you can get someone inside the photo—it could be the client or an employee, or maybe you can get the customer themself to take the picture with you in the shot. Having at least some pictures with real people in them will instantly make you look more approachable to potential customers.
#7: Take lots of photos
Even if you are following all of our tips, not every photo is going to turn out perfect. Very small changes to lighting, the angle, or where you're taking the photo from can be the difference between an average photo and an amazing one.
Taking a ton of photos will make it more likely that you'll snap a great one, so try your best to get as many as you can before moving on to the next job. You'll thank yourself for doing so when it comes time to figure out what you're going to post to social media.
#8: Skill up and learn how to edit
Photo editing sounds difficult, but really it's as hard as you make it. Don't get us wrong: if you're looking to make big tweaks to your photos after taking them, you'll definitely want to find someone with the know-how to do that. But learning how to crop your photos is pretty easy to do, and cropping can have a big impact on the framing of your shot.
Another cool thing to try is to play around with the contrast or saturation of your photos, in order to see if that makes the image look better to your eye.
Developing a solid social media presence is essential in the age of Google, because if you don't have one then customers are likely to go to your competitors who do. While posting up a bunch of text posts to your socials should be part of your strategy, it's also essential to post images of work you've completed so that customers can get an idea of your expertise before they pick up the phone. The better your photos, the better your chances are of getting attention online.
We hope this article has been helpful and given you some ideas on how to up your game. For more advice on how to grow your trades business by using the Internet, feel free to read our other posts or call us today for a free chat about your business.