Why photography and words are so important


001 Photography.

We can design, boy can we design.

We can design a great customer journey so that your clients effortlessly buy into your service or product. We can design a great way for your users to interact with your site to gain trust that puts them in a buying mood.

We can design great layouts so the content is easy to find and to read. We can design great brands with carefully chosen colours and a lovely typeface.

We can do all that and more.

But what we can’t do is alter your images. We’d love to persuade our clients to use a professional photographer but clients insist (time and again) that they are more than capable of producing great images for the website.

Sometimes they can. We are often pleasantly surprised when a client sends us some amazing photos. They are sharp and in focus. They are colourful and look like a set of images that belong together. They send out a message and they are formatted and composed just so.

This is rare.

We can all take photos now we have a camera in our pockets, but can we ‘make’ a photo? Probably not.

Here’s a great example – a few years ago we designed a website for a window and bi-fold door installer. They had two sets of photos; one set were photos of an installation that was designed by an architect. The photos were taken by a pro. And they looked amazing.

I would have placed an order there and then.

Another set of photos (and these became the norm for the rest of the site) were taken by the fitters after they’d finished a project.

The photos were out of focus, taken on a drab day and the foreground included the fitters’ tools and wheelbarrow – the area in front of the doors looked like a bomb site.

And in the photo, in full view in the windows, a reflection of the guy taking the photo. I kid you not.

Photography will make or break your business. Invest in a professional. Please.

002 Words.

Anybody can string a few words together. Right? Well yes they can; it’s a basic skill we learn very early on. I’m writing this now so that makes me a writer. Um, no. I’m writing this in a conversational tone which is my way of talking and writing. It’s not grammatically correct and won’t suit everyone.

I’m amazed that most businesses think they can write the copy for their websites (and leaflets, brochure and so on). We used to offer copy writing (or creative writing, as we like to call it) as an extra. We didn’t convince one single client to take up the offer (don’t worry, I wasn’t going to write the copy, we have a professional writer that we use!) And so we now include the service as standard.

Most people like to write their own copy because (a) it saves money and (b) they feel they can write just as well as a professional (or are too embarrassed to admit they can’t).

When clients supply the copy, it’s rarely well-written. It’s full of spelling and grammar errors and often repeats the same thing over and over. And it’s boring. No-one will want to read the drawn-out copy that most clients produce. It’s all about them (me this, we that) and doesn’t appeal to anyone much less convey a sales message that hooks people in.

Please don’t with your own copy. Provide your designer with in-depth notes about what you do, sure. But let a professional write produce the final copy