This article excerpts key points in one part of a series authored by Bobby Parks to create credibility for contractors and showcase their craftsmanship.
Key takeaways from "Leveraging Your Photos" by guest contributor, Bobby Parks
1. Take Photos
- Photos are your visual resume that illustrates your capabilities as a builder, showing your style, creativity, and workmanship.
- Potential customers are making judgements about you based on the photos they see on your website. You’re often being accepted or rejected before you even know you’re being checked out.
- Photos can provide a major layer of credibility and are one of the most impactful sales tools at your disposal.
- You don’t need to use a professional to get good shots. Most contractors will use a phone or iPad which simplifies the process.
- Little things like a ladder leaning against the wall, an extension cord laying on the deck, footprints, or even leaves on the deck become magnified clutter when viewing the photo. Get clean shots and take plenty of them.
- Drone shots are great as you can pick up the overview angles that truly show the design.
2. How You Display Your Photos Matter
- It’s not only important to take and use photos, it’s also important how you display them to potential customers. For example: Showing unedited photos on a cell phone is not the way to do it. Flipping around trying to flash photos on a small screen in front of a customer is not likely to impress them. The images are small and don’t make the impressions that an iPad or larger views are going to provide. Larger views illustrate a clearer vision of what you’re about and shows off quality work much better.
- In my opinion an iPad may be the most crucial tool investment you make. You buy tools when they’re needed for a job. An iPad is no different and it’s a tool that quickly pays for itself.
3. Be Organized: Create Photo Categories
- Organize and create categories on an iPad such as decks, patios, arbors, porches, pavilions, and before and after photos.
- My approach was to take a group of shots and create a customer photo file. For example, I created a “Customer John Smith Job” which I loaded the original site photos taken on the first sales call. Once the job was completed I loaded the “after shots.”This creates credibility every time you show a photo.
- Comfort levels grow when a customer’s confidence in you begins.
4. Learn Simple Editing
- For example, to lighten and brighten a photo on an iPad or iPhone, click on edit, then click on the “magic wand” and the photo will automatically brighten. To brighten further, slide the enhance scale to the right.
5. Before and After Photos
- Before and after shots may be the most effective photos you’ll use. They show your ability to be creative and make an existing situation better. They show how dramatic a change can be and allows a prospect to realize how much difference the right investment can make.
- Ideally your logo should be on each photo.
6. Galleries on Your Website
- Photos should be organized into specific categories by project type.
- Include before and after photos.
- You can also have “featured projects” where you show multiple photos of a specific job that provides a virtual tour.
- Brochures are still a useful tool where photos are important. Brochures can be left behind after a sales call, emailed, or accessed through a web link on your website.
- Brochures are especially useful when you are meeting with only one of the decision makers and you don’t want your company to be confused with other contractors the prospect is interviewing.
Bobby states, “The article is part of a series on several key “recipe ingredients” that work together to create the layers of credibility to provide the major benefits for any contractor. All are important. My decisions on project delivery types and the way I leveraged photos were two of the main aspects that allowed me to accomplish what I did during my years as a contractor.”
About our guest contributor: Bobby Parks
Bobby Parks is a nationally recognized outdoor living and remodeling contractor that has delivered over 40 million dollars of residential and commercial outdoor living projects. He is the founder and former owner of Peachtree Decks and Porches LLC and current president of BP Consulting and Design LLC. He is a frequent speaker conducting building and business courses at national trade shows and has been published in several magazines. Bobby has won several National Design Awards and has served on the board of directors for NADRA (North America Deck and Rail Association). He is the past president of the Greater Atlanta Georgia NADRA Chapter and is a recipient of NADRA’s Terry Awards. Bobby currently travels the US and Canada conducting contractor development seminars and hosts the Versatex Road Show.