A World of Aspirational Images

By February 15, 2017 No Comments

As a consultant and sales trainer, I get to see a lot of websites and online ad profiles. It still amazes me at how many wedding and event pros are using the wrong images to promote their businesses. For years, I’ve been saying to use, what I call, Aspirational Images; images that show your prospective clients what the result of doing business with you looks like. When possible, make them so beautiful and emotional, that someone viewing it would want to jump into that photo and be a part of the fun, excitement, and emotion of that event.

Yet with all of my preaching (which is what it sometimes feels like), there are still countless venues that show pictures of empty banquet rooms, DJs and bands that show equipment or staff images, florists who show headless brides holding bouquets, and many others who lead with images of themselves. An aspirational image is one that the viewer can take their “mental eraser” and substitute their face for those in the photo, so they can picture themselves getting that result. We can’t get that from looking at your building, or your furniture, or your equipment… or from looking at you.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are 3 other resources that say, pretty much, the same thing in their own way:

  • Deposit Photos – I use them to buy images for my blog posts, presentations and articles. As selling images is their business, they know what’s going on. They recently posted “12 Trends That Will Define Visual Culture Over the Next 12 Months”. In it, they talk about “authentic images” and showing “real people in action”:
    “When everyone is somewhat of a photographer, the demand for original, candid and authentic images continues to grow. Highly visual consumers don’t react the same way to polished photos with posed models; they want emotions, flaws, the grit of life, and real people in action. Relatable photos that personalize a story and capture a moment (like a Snapchat story) continue to trend heavily, these visuals have the power to catch attention and keep the consumer engaged.”
    From the depositphotos .com “12 Trends That Will Define Visual Culture Over the Next 12 Months
  • Pinterest – don’t you wish that Pinterest images came with price tags? Then the couples would know which of those beautiful images represent things that would fit into their budgets. OK, we can all stop dreaming now, and get back to reality. In a recent blog post, Pinterest wrote about using “lifestyle photos”, to show your product/service in use. That means showing people, not just food, designs and dresses: “Your photos should help people understand how your brand would fit into their lives. Use real-life settings and models to show how your product or service can be used. For example, if you sell apparel or accessories, feature your products on a model.”
    From Pinterest Business “How to make great Pins
  • Facebook – Even Facebook agrees. When creating ads for Facebook, or really any site, they also suggest that you Show people who are using your product instead of just the products alone. Remember that your ad may show in someone’s News Feed, and it should feel like it belongs there. Your image is competing for people’s attention with stories from their friends and family. “Show the benefit that people get from your product, not just a photo of the product. For example, don’t just show a picture of a recipe app to convince people to install it; instead, show the meal they could cook if they use it.”
    From “6 Design Tips for Better Facebook Ads

So, you can see that this concept is universal. What can you do with this information? Take a look at your website images, your WeddingWire Storefront images, your marketing materials, etc.; see if they represent, not only the outcome that people will get from choosing you, but also that they show real customers getting that result. Real people come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, as opposed to models who are setting an unfair bar. Then ask, beg, or badger your photographer friends and couples to get images to use. In the end, the effort will be worth it. I look forward to seeing your improved sites and marketing.

Need some help with choosing the right images, writing better copy, or getting the most from your ads and website (or how to better convert email inquiries)? I can help you, as I’ve helped so many other wedding and event pros, like these:

HOLY COW! Alan rocked my world. After following the plan he set for my sales team and I, we have had our best month in business and it’s only January! The investment I made for him to come speak with my team was obviously worth more than what I paid! I will be calling him again this year just to refresh everyone, and smash our sales goals all over again!
-Ashley Backs, Hello Lovely Hair & Makeup, Liberty, KS

“Alan is great! During my website review he showed me the changes I should make and explained to me why they would benefit me.  I just love how he explains things so I can understand! With the knowledge from Alan I raised my price $1,500. and the very first bride I presented it to hired me!  I would recommend Alan to everyone. He is worth every penny and more.”
-Magadalyn Hasse, Bend Weddings & Events, Bend, OR

Want to get results like these? Check out the pages for website reviews, sales training, and mastermind, then contact me via emailtextuse the short form on this page, or call 732.422.6362, international enquiries 001 732 422 6362.


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