So, you invested in a fantastic portfolio of professional images of your most successful architectural projects. That’s great!
But now your original intention for these photographs (a website redesign, a design award submission, etc.) is in the past and you’re not sure what else to do with them. The good news is, your professional architectural images can be useful marketing tools for years to come.
Here are five easy, inexpensive ways to put your investment in architectural photography (back) to work for you.
1. “Best Of” Showcase
Does your firm have a social media presence? How about a direct mailing list? Professional architectural photos are ideal for highlighting in both digital and print. That said, always be sure to check the licensing for each photo before you get rolling.
One of the easiest ways to use this technique is to have postcards printed with your three best (or most recent, or most striking…) projects featured. Add short snippets about why they were successful and a call-to-action for your target market. The same strategy can be used on Twitter, Instagram, and especially on LinkedIn.
2. Frame Your Work
Look around your office. Is the art you see generic or unrelated to your firm? If clients and/or potential clients ever come to your office, your walls should be marketing for you. Framing your professional project photography is a great way to make a first, or lasting, impression.
There are dozens of places to use your photos to grab attention in your office. “Brag walls” in conference rooms are popular, as are framed collections in reception areas and along long hallways. Local imagery can go a long way towards building trust with your audience.
3. Printed Sales Books
Collateral comes in all shapes and forms. One of my favorite ideas for utilizing professional imagery is to have soft- or hard-cover books printed through an online print shop like Shutterfly. They make great tools for sales teams out in the field. After all, how often do do your clients get to hold prints in their hand and turn the pages these days?
Remember to use your printed collateral to show off the project itself, not just the finished product. Visual case studies are excellent reputation-builders and they open up a dialogue between you and your potential client or vendor partner.
4. Create Branded Content
There are lots of free apps out there (Canva, DesignBold, Stenci, Rhonna Designs) that allow you to quickly add graphic design elements to your existing photographs. They’re user-friendly and in many cases, a small upgrade fee allows you to create custom layouts or even add custom colors or logos to the images themselves.
Digital-savvy firms can use these apps to create amazing branded content on the go without the assistance of a costly graphic designer. The resulting images are great for social promotion, email blasts, and even traditional print collateral.
5. Snail Mail Cards
There’s something about direct mail that really stands out in today’s digital climate. One smart idea I’ve seen is creating beautiful project greeting card “packs” to send to clients as branded gifts. They’re not just tasteful, they’re useful, too.
Be sure to include the project name and your firm name on every piece of printed collateral. Also include your website and logo…I suggest the back of the cards where there’s always room for customization. Again, look to online print services like Shutterfly or Blurb for easy, inexpensive printing.
Your project photography has a shelf life! Make great use of your professional images while they’re still at their most effective. There are really no limits to the ways in which you can impress – and convert! – potential clients with your impressive project portfolio.
Is it time to schedule your next architectural photo shoot?