How to set up for your next business styling project
Do you have a product that you make and that you need to photograph? Perhaps you are holding an event to launch a new service you are offering? You just aren’t too sure how to budget and set up for your next business styling project. Well here is my advice on what to spend your cash on and how to make your product or service shine…
If you aren’t too sure how to budget for your next business styling project then this is definitely the post that you should be reading. Although your product or your service may be different from anything I am talking about, budgeting and setting up for a business styling project is largely the same.
You of course need to think about your audience and who you are trying to target. If I’m offering out luxury wedding planning services, then I need to target an audience that might be able to afford my services. But this also means that my business styling project needs to look like it is just that – luxury.
If you have a product that you are trying to launch, you need to show that product off in the best possible way. How can you make it look amazing? How can you show that your customer needs to buy it. The product needs to look exciting, and you need to make your customers really want to get their hands on it.
Your product needs to look exciting. You want your customers to need it and want to buy it, so make sure your photography reflects this too.
Remember that it’s all about the product or service that you are supplying, and so ultimately, the most money should be spent on the product or service itself. Allocate the majority of your styling budget to making the product shine in your business styling project. Allocating too much budget to the other props might mean that they outshine your product or service.
Although having said that, it is still very important to place other props in your photographs or videos or promotional styled material. Because you want to show your product in use, or how your service might benefit your customer. Plus no photograph ever looks good with just one item in it.
Centre of attention
The product doesn’t have to be the centre of the photograph, but it does have to be the centre of attention. Take both of these photographs for example. They are both beautiful photographs, but the one on the left quite clearly shows the product. The one on the right however shows the product in use. But if the customer doesn’t know what actually is the product, then showing it in use isn’t necessarily helpful.
You could perhaps in this case have an Elle Decoration Magazine closed. This would clearly show the logo and brand of the magazine. But then the open magazine underneath could be being held open with hands. This way you have the best of both – the logo and product, and it in use. Having hands in the shot shows a real person using it. This allows the customer to imagine themselves using it too.
How do you promote your service or product if your budget is small?
Instagram is free. Baffling really – and people are genuinely earning their keep through a free app. What that does mean is that you have a free space to advertise on. Of course you don’t want to bombard your potential customers with your product or service. And how they can buy from you. You need to show them a lifestyle that they can create if they buy into your product or service.
Instagram takes time – it’s taken me years and hours of work to build up a following of just over 1500. Will all of those 1500 purchase from me? Absolutely not. But they may know people that will, and a small percentage might buy into my services. Even if that’s just one person – it’s more than I had before.
Call upon friends in the industry
A business styling project is quite often referred to as a styled shoot. A collection of images, or promotional material that you create to show off your service or your product. If no one has bought your service, then you might not have imagery. And this is where you can create it.
But styled shoots don’t have to be expensive if you call upon your industry friends. And this is where that networking will start to come seriously in handy! Remember you have to be offering them something that will benefit them too. If I want to create a wedding set up, I might need flowers. But flowers are expensive. So perhaps I could ask a florist to offer floral styling services in exchange for a paid photoshoot that they get to use the photos from. Win, win.
Instagram is a free platform - and although it might take up a lot of your time, if used correctly, it could be the making of your business.
Invest in the photographer
Professional photographers are professional photographers for a reason. They take extremely professional photos, and so you definitely need to invest into a photographer for your next business styling project. You don’t want to spend a fortune setting up your product shoot or showing off your services, if you don’t have the right photographer to photograph them.
Of course, the majority of your budget should be focused on the product or service itself. The next amount of the budget should go towards the photographer, and then whatever is left over should go towards your props. Props could be anything – a cup of tea, a vase of fresh flowers, or something slightly more related to your product and service.
Invest in a really great photographer or videographer or whatever you need for your business styling project. As much as you might think you can do it yourself, your photographs will never be quite the level of a professionals.
Insert you energy and passion into your business styling project too. Your product or service only exists because you want it to. And so you need to be the most excited person in the room. This will quite clearly show through all of your styling and promotional material.
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