How do creatives choose beautiful imagery for websites?

Our answer to How do creatives choose beautiful imagery for websites?

Answer by Jeevan Anandaskaran:

I’m not sure the process others use, in my case I connect the dots backwards based on the feeling I wish to induce in the viewer and only then move on to finding the image with the best color and composition to achieve this.

For a client this will be determined by what the ideal customer the client has identified for me. For a private school this may be parents with children ages 5–12 or for a home builder it may be first time home buyers.

For the first example of parents with young kids I want them to have a feeling of being happy and uplifted. For the second I want the potential customer to feel safe, confident and excited. With the addition of trust, these feelings will be 90% of client work out there.

There are two types of “Hero” images I look for specifically. They are either visually Expansive or Striking. Expansive is usually the large wide shots that a headline and message will sit in front of nicely. Most of the time the image will have to be muted in some way to maintain readability of your text.

To find a striking image which are harder to find, I’ll look for an unusual image with a main focus. This focus preferably is a human being with their eyes pointed as much to the camera as possible or at least pointed to a place I can use for marketing. It may go without saying that the image should be relevant to the messaging on the site.

Since these are harder to find I will mention the fact that I’m always on the lookout for striking images, especially free ones that I can bookmark or save to use in future projects. If you already know your ideal customers then this is not as big of a task as you may think.

It’s important to note that a single human face is the most powerful image you can use in marketing. Heat map testing proves this out that we are interested in a face on the screen and what the individual is looking at.

Both my examples are from Unsplash and is a good place to find great images for some select industries.

The way I see it is that my job as an artist is to evoke a response and my job as a marketer is to move that response somewhere.

How do creatives choose beautiful imagery for websites?

The Website Sandwich

Woman drawing the Website Sandwich Presentation

The Website Sandwich is a simple framework that explains why your website a key part of your online business activity. Aligned to your business practices it’s easy to implement, improves your online reputation and generates more leads.

Before we created the website sandwich, we interacted with business owners all the time who are unclear what they need to be doing for marketing online.  The world has changed in the last 5 years. People are connected to each other and businesses in more ways than ever before. Business owners have trouble grasping the fact that there are reviews about them on sites they never heard of before. They don’t know how not managing reviews can severely hurt their future business.  It became clear that just telling people that their website is the center of their online strategy was not enough. It is also clear that there is too much information out there about online marketing. To do everything is way too overwhelming. Business owners don’t feel they have the time or desire to keep up with it.

To answer this we have created “The Website Sandwich” a “Core Online Strategy” that applies to all businesses. It describes the key activities every business owner should do online.  The Website Sandwich is a way of explaining the most efficient implementation of online marketing that aligns with common business practices.  We feel that once a business owner has a handle on the Website Sandwich they will be able to move on to more advanced tactics with full knowledge on why they are doing it.

Here is the website sandwich in brief:

It’s our hope to expand this concept and go into it in detail, but we want to get your feedback on how we can make the core concept better.  So here is the Website Sandwich in brief.

Ingredients for the website sandwich:

Your Business
Customers are happy, they refer you to their friends, the customer experience from pre-sale to post-sale is great.

Your Website
A website that matches your brand that does a good job at converting visitors into customers.

Your Social Presence
All the pages you manage for your business like your Facebook page, twitter account, your linked in business page and showcase page and others.  The point is that you have some control over it’s content and it allows you to advertise on those platforms.

Website Sandwich Graphic

4 steps to online customer acquisition

  1. Customer sees an ad, a boosted post, does an online search etc and either goes directly to your website or one of your Social Pages
  2. After viewing your Social Page the customer is then enticed by a value based offer accomplished at your website.
  3. Your website is your lead capture of choice, and can often be your point of sale. It’s important to know which based on your business model.
  4. Now that you have a fresh lead or sale, your business can go about the work of providing a great experience for your customer.

4 steps to online lead generation

  1. You provided a great experience to your customer, now you need to collect their email and ask for feedback and collect testimonials, quotes, photos of the work as well as permission to use this testimony for promoting your services.  Ask for testimonials on your google place, yelp and other review sites.
  2. Publish the success story to your website as well as use the testimonials across your website as social proof.
  3. Share your newly posted success story to your social media pages, make sure you include your own insights as it will make it more appropriate for a share.
  4. Promote your most active posts using paid options such as boosting posts on Facebook, google adwords and more to reach new audiences or just friends of your happy customer.

Here it is drawn out:

Website Sandwich Whiteboard Drawing
The website sandwich whiteboard presentation

There is really one important interaction that many businesses don’t focus on and should make a priority.

The most important activity in this process is asking and collecting the testimonial and customer success story in every transaction.  After that it’s just the work of posting, sharing and promoting.

It has the added benefit of making sure your customers are happy with your product or service.  If they are, great get the testimonial, if they are not, fix the problem and prevent a negative review that can cost you big time.  This is important feedback if you intend to run a stellar business.

It’s really that simple.

Be awesome, do great work and collect feedback after every transaction and use them to prove your value.

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We are going to continue to build on this to provide training to our customers so that they can thrive in their businesses.  If you need us to build a website for your, contact us or build a quote using our online quote generator.  As always our education is free.