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New Year's Resolutions for Your Website in 2017

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New Year's Resolutions for Your Website in 2017

Websites are like hugging Jell-O, tough to get your arms around. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on yours, it’s time for a change.   The painful reality is, to keep up with the changing online marketplace, constantly moving targets for SEO, and a world with a very short attention span, an annual website update is mission critical.

Your site is the hub of your marketing program. It’s foundational. Any marketing you do beyond a website is designed to drive traffic back to the site. A lackluster, dated, ho-hum, less-than-professional online presence is reckless behavior. Best to step it up.

In the spirit of looking ahead and we’re-in-this-together, I offer these tips to move you toward a high-performing website in 2017:

Assess your graphics.  It’s recommended that businesses update their logo every three years. Colors become passé. Fonts fall out of favor. The last thing you need in these forward-thinking times is a brand that looks and feels dated and out of touch.  When was the last time you updated your brand?  Make 2017 the year to feel fresh again.  Contact your favorite graphic designer or the folks at Hearthfire Creative offer a free brand evaluation to help you figure out where your brand is in its life cycle.

Designer working on a logo

Get a new headshot.  It’s only been a year since your last one? The About page is typically the most visited page on your website.  Keep that headshot fresh and professional.  Headshots should be updated annually and it’s great to have a few so you can update during the year. 

Update the headshots on your website

Update your product photos. Maybe you’ve expanded your offerings or added products to your line, or you’re ready to rid the shelves of your non-performers. Clean house. Show the world what you’ve got with snazzy, up-to-date product photos.

denver product photography

Commit to your blog. Nothing enhances your SEO like regular blogging. Underscore regular. Search engines are most responsive to blogs that post predictably; in other words, every Tuesday at 11 AM. Whatever schedule you commit to, do it, and keep doing it. Adding photos to your posts will increase the odds of someone paying attention to what you’ve got to say… just sayin’…

photography for your blog - pan boiling on a stove

Update your content.  Experts say that part of search engine optimization for 2017 is going to be focused on “dense content”.  Over the last couple years the trend as been toward “epic content” which means someone has written an opus on a topic.  Dense content addresses the idea of providing a thorough look at a topic with an emphasis on brevity. It isn’t just about cramming in extra words, it’s about being truly informative. If you haven’t integrated dense or epic content into your website, it is time to start doing so. Have you raised your prices? Added a team member? Revised or refined your service offerings?  This would be a great place to start integrating dense content.

Woman's hands working on laptop keyboard - denver blog photography

Freshen all banner images. Think about retail stores and how often they change displays, move products around within the store, bring in new products.  Even if you are selling a service, your website is your “storefront”.  Websites get stale quickly.  People who visit your site on a regular basis enjoy seeing something different. Banner images are a great place for new eye candy and help make your website feel fresh.

Example of a Denver stock photo for a banner image

Branding photography sessions with me can help you knock off most of this list, and send you to my go-to professionals for content and graphics

Ready to schedule a Branding Session?  Contact Me!

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Branding sessions tell the story of your business - Denver Branding Photography

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Branding sessions tell the story of your business - Denver Branding Photography

If you’ve ever taken a writing class, you’ve heard this one: show, don’t tell. I’ve got an even better idea, stolen from kindergartners: show AND tell. Provide the narrative juice and the photographs that make the words come alive.

Denver branding photography sessions tell the story of your business

As a lifestyle photographer for families and business, I hit on the idea of Branding Sessions awhile back to help business owners tell their story. My last post featured branding photography for Hearthfire Creative, a Denver-based graphic design firm. The images communicate the heart and soul of this group of rowdy, ultra-cool women who do kick-ass work, and have a good time doing it.

Images bring your content to life. Even the best copy is enhanced by the right imagery. A high-performing website features text and photography that work in synchronicity to describe your business, communicate its personality, and give your prospects a “feel” for what you do and how you do it.

Prospects visit your site to learn about your business. They’ve also come to decide if you and your colleagues are people they can relate to, trust and rely on to deliver the product or service they need. They want to know who you are and what you’re about. They’re looking for a connection.

Images fast-forward those connections. It’s one thing to say your company is friendly, energetic and professional. Showing those qualities in photographs carries the weight and credibility that words alone may not convey. Best case scenario? Great copy and strong images that create lasting impressions. I’ll give you great photography. This woman will give you terrific copy.

Convinced? At least curious?

Contact me to schedule a Branding Session. We’ll choose a setting (or two or three) that showcases you and your business in the best possible light, literally and figuratively. We’ll also consider tone (fun, serious, cooperative, creative), who to include (owner, management team, all the players) and whether to invite a customer or client. I’ll help you with what to wear and how to sit, stand or do a back flip. I know, no one likes to have their picture taken. In five minutes, you’ll forget what’s up and start having fun.

A few weeks later you’ll own the rights to a boatload of images to use on your website, blog posts, MailChimp and Constant Contact templates, brochures, ads, postcard mailings, and holiday greeting cards. I specialize in photography that’s real, honest and full of heart. I usually work outdoors, rarely in a studio, and give a lot of thought to the setting, time of day, time of year and color to portray who you are and what you stand for.  I’d love to help you show the story of your business. Give me a shout.

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Denver Yoga Photography

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Denver Yoga Photography

I’ve been practicing yoga for about ten years now, on and off, but mostly on.  I can testify that practicing yoga with Celeste Williamson is something special.  It is true that most instructors have their own vernacular and their own way of doing things that brings peace and enlightenment.  That’s why I prefer to take classes than practice alone.  But in all honesty, what they rarely bring are laughter, hilarity, rockin’ tunes, and friendship. 

I initially took Celeste’s class so that I could better understand what we wanted to capture when we created her yoga photos, and I went back because the class felt RIGHT to me.  I really felt welcomed and my odd sense of humor fit right in with the group.  I’m older and wider and less fit than everyone else but I don’t feel ashamed (well maybe a little) and I don’t feel like I shouldn’t attend because of my body.  I also don’t have to listen to lectures about how if I just stopped eating gluten I would be a better person.    But this isn’t a class for the feint of heart either.  This is a class attended by fitness addicts who take classes every day, maybe more than once a day.  And somehow, Celeste manages to make it a class that can work for all of us at the same time.

We hear a lot about “community” these days, especially in the world of yoga, and yet that community doesn’t feel terribly inclusive or welcoming.  We hear a lot about "authenticity" and then people just repeat what other people say,.  Celeste’s women-only yoga class brings together women from all walks of life, all levels of fitness and health, all types of background and ages.  There is sweating, swearing, talking, joking, dancing, giggling, jiggling, dirty jokes, massage dolphins, and discussion about orgasms.  There is a group text message for the class “Yoga Goddesses” and my classmates text each other with jokes and wisecracks.  And also support and love.  It feels real and warm and not like a fake "community" where I never felt comfortable because I didn’t fit in.  Being authentic here means being authentic, not saying words that make you more hip in the world of digitized analogue.  The Yoga Goddesses are the people I want to hang out with on my birthday, or hear from when I’m sick. 

One of the great values of doing a Day in the Life session for business is breaking the time into the story that we need to tell.  In the case of Celeste, we needed to tell several aspects of her story.  We need to demonstrate that she is a master yogi, that she’s also a massage therapist, and that she’s fun, and cool and great to work with.  She is also a mom, a friend, a wife, a business owner, and a person who lives her yoga.  We felt the best way to convey that story was with studio photos of her doing yoga and massage and documentary photos of her life.  I’ll share with you her branded video-slideshow in Part Two of this blog. 

 

Want to see more other blogs on yoga?  Check out more Denver yoga photos here

 

Get more information about Day in the Life for Business here.

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A Day in the Life of a Non-profit

A Day in the Life of a Non-profit

I spent the better part of a day with the awesome folks at the Rocky Mountain MS Center King Adult Day Enrichment Program (KADEP).    The objective of the day was to show the fun and supportive programs offered by the center and their amazing staff.  I made a couple new friends that day and gained a whole new level of awareness and respect for people living with multiple sclerosis and other acquired neurological disorders.

Day in the life of a non-profit photography has the benefit of providing tons of marketing images for the organization, it tells the story of the people who benefit from their efforts,  and reveals detail and context to a story that is often untold to the general public.

KADEP has a program that involves different fun classes ranging from cooking, laughter yoga, crafts, boxing, gardening, even trips to go rafting or visiting casinos.  They have an amazing machine called the LiteGate which allows people to stand without having to bear all their own weight.  It literally helps people get back on their feet.

I've been told by a friend who is a professional in the non-profit world that there are statistics showing that people are more likely to donate after seeing a powerful image than a powerful video.  I think that's because when you see a photo that moves you,  you are making up the backstory in your own mind.  You have the context of knowing the image is related to the non-profit in question, but you tell yourself the story that explains why someone looks tired or sad, why their eyes are closed or their fist is clenched.   Creating the story in your own mind gives you more motivation to donate because you've told yourself the most moving story that would spur you to action.

Day in the Life photography for business is a way to tell the story of an organization that creates a personal story and connects with people on an emotional level.

If you would like to learn more about Day in the Life Photography for a Non-Profit, please Contact Me!