Your Website’s Photography

The photography that is used on your website is one of many elements that can help communicate what you and your business are about.  Ten years ago, the common thing to see was a picture of a calculator. But today, that’s not a good visual representation of your firm. What is? Well, you have many options.

You and your office

In many cases, using custom photography shot specifically in your office can be the ideal choice. But I’ve seen this done wrong a few times too many. Your clients want pictures of you on the site, and remember, this will be your first impression. Some options are:

  • A really nice group shot of all your employees (but not if it’s two hours into the Christmas party!)
  • A lifestyle photo of you, but only if you are a sole proprietor. That could mean a photo of you and your pet, or a photo of you doing a sport. It can also be a photo of you with an accounting industry thought leader or you onstage if you have that opportunity.
  • Shots of your office or campus or lobby, but only if people are in it. I’ve seen photographers use shots of letterhead, which is just really stupid IMO. Don’t use photos of your empty desk or rows of empty cubicles either.
  • Shots of you or your staff with clients explaining the IRS form, viewing a screen, or going over books, but only if the private information is covered up.
  • Shots of you at a client’s location, especially if it’s colorful, like a manufacturing facility, retail location, or anything but rows of cubicles.

Industry-specific photographs

When potential clients come to your site, seeing pictures that remind them of themselves is a good option. If you specialize in certain industries, that comes easy. A bookkeeping business who wants to get construction companies as clients can put photos of construction workers in hard hats and at job sites. An accounting firm dedicated to helping restaurants can put photos of restaurants on their sites.

If you can narrow your industries down to the three or four top ones, you can rotate photos of your top industries. Or you can include industry pages with an industry photo on each one as we do on our sites.

Matching client demographics

Even if you need your photos to be generic office shots, you can customize a bit by matching the demographics of people in your photos with the demographics of your client base. This is fairly easy to do with today’s stock photography; you have so many diverse options when it comes to race and origin.

Adding age diversity to the mix is a little tricky. Most business owners are over 40, so that part Is easy; you can show mostly middle-aged people and fewer younger people. But if your client base is over 60, you may want to keep your photos a bit younger than your target client base. People always see themselves as younger than they really are. Our brains are just designed that way, to favor youth.

We provide race, origin, and gender diversity with the photos we provide on your site, while we keep the average age in the 30s and 40s. If you feel that that’s a bit too young for you, then let us know and we can make some adjustments. But keep in mind that if you’re going after startups, you may have a younger target than the average business owner.

Accounting tools

While we will use some photos with accounting tools like pencils, charts, IRS forms, paper, files, computers, and cell phones, we’ve moved away from that years ago. Accountants identify with those things, but they are really not all that warm and fuzzy to your visitors in terms of making a first impression. Use these in less than ten percent of your photos.

Your location

In some cases, it’s fine to use a photo of your location, your city’s skyline, or a major landmark that everyone knows. This helps anchor the visitor about the area you serve, but doesn’t really help them to get to know you better.

Your competitors

A good exercise to do is to take a look at the websites of other accounting firms and bookkeeping businesses in your local area. But keep in mind, they may not be displaying the best photos for their firm, and their site may not have been updated in a while, so you really won’t know whether what they are doing is working or not.

It’s about the relationship

The best clients for accounting firms and bookkeeping businesses are the ones who trust us and are willing to build the relationship over time, eventually allowing us to become trusted partners. Photos that mirror that end goal and show people interacting at work are the ones that will attract the best clients to your business.