Outsourcing — or hiring a third party to handle certain aspects of your company’s business processes — isn’t just for mega-corporations; small businesses can benefit from outsourcing too. While Clutch reports that 37% of small businesses outsource at least one business process, 90% said they planned to outsource business tasks in the next year.
Outsourcing can be a great way for businesses of all sizes to save time and money, but it’s not always easy to decide what to delegate. One outsourcing option you may not have considered is photography.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of outsourcing your business’s photography needs, and how it can help streamline your processes and free up resources to focus on running your business.
Why Your Small Business Should Outsource Photography
You’re a business owner, not a photographer. Still, it’s hard to operate a business today and not be aware of the role images play in branding, marketing and customer engagement.
Everything from your website to printed materials to your social media feed requires quality images. Exactly how dependent on visuals are today’s consumers? SearchEngineLand reports 60% of consumers are more likely to contact a business with images in their local search results. And a PR News study found that online content with good images gets 94% more views than those without visuals.
The operative word in that last sentence is “good.” Good images attract, but unprofessional, cliche or low-quality photos do the opposite. Using bad images in your marketing may be even worse than using no images at all. Good images:
- Reflect the look, feel and mission of your company and brand
- Tell the story you want to tell
- Reflect the demographic of your target audience
- Are not generic or cliche
Outsourcing photography can also give you access to a wider range of expertise and creative ideas. It can also get you a photo that’s relevant and that you might otherwise not be able to get because of timing, location or both. A professional photographer can help you capture the right images to showcase your products or services and tell your brand’s story in a way that resonates. Outsourcing can also:
- Save time and money. Photography can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for businesses that don’t have a lot of experience in this area. You can get professional-quality photos by outsourcing photography services without investing in expensive equipment or hiring a full-time photographer.
- Improve quality. Corporate photography is a specialized skill, whether you’re sourcing photos of people or products. Outsourcing your photo needs ensures you’ll get higher quality images than if you DIY or use stock images.
- Enhance branding. Your brand image — how customers see you — matters. And a big part of that is the images you put on your website, marketing materials and social media. Quality images convey a sense of professionalism and authenticity and create an emotional connection with your target audience.
Photography Outsourcing Options
When outsourcing your photography needs, there are generally two options to consider:
- Hire a photographer. This involves finding and hiring a photographer directly. Outsourcing your marketing and branding photography to professionals ensures you get custom images. But professional studio photography is often out of the budget reach of small businesses. And coordinating scheduling, invoicing and reshoots with freelance photographers can be time intensive.
- Let someone else do the work for you. Going through platforms like FotoFetch takes the actual work of hiring and managing freelance photographers off your plate. By leveraging the power of the gig economy and technology, photography platforms allow you to order precisely the photo you need (of anything, anywhere) and get that photo for less than the cost of a stock photo subscription.
Then, there’s stock. There are hundreds of stock photography services out there. And while it’s easy to sign up for one of them, you could spend hours scrolling and still not find an image that captures your product or service the way you want. More often than not, you’ll end up with something generic that does not relate to your content.
Keep Reading: 5 Reasons to Ditch Stock Photography
Finding the Right Partner
Choosing the right partner is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you move into outsourcing various aspects of your business — including photography. Do thorough research to ensure you partner with a person or organization that will bolster your business rather than be a drain on your time and resources. Before signing on the dotted line:
- Define your needs. Before looking for a partner, knowing what you need from them is essential. What type of work do you need? What skills and expertise are required? What are your budget and timeline constraints? Once you have a clear idea of your requirements, you’ll be able to find a partner that’s a good fit for your business.
- Do your research. Look for companies that have experience with businesses like yours that offer the services you’re seeking. Read online reviews and check out the company’s social media presence to get a sense of its reputation.
- Get quotes and compare prices. For many small businesses, outsourcing represents a significant financial investment. Make sure you understand your potential partner’s pricing model and what you’ll get for that rate.
- Find the right fit. You’re looking for a reliable partner to do quality work with minimal hand-holding. It can feel like you’re hunting for a unicorn, but with a little legwork, you’ll be able to find the person or organization you’re looking for.
Agency vs. Freelancer vs. Marketplace
How do you find qualified experts to bring in? Start with your own network. You may have colleagues or friends who have outsourced photo services in the past. You can also consult with associations or other businesses in your industry.
Often, you’ll be deciding among an agency, a freelancer and a marketplace that connects you to qualified professionals. The right choice comes down to what you need. If you’re seeking high-quality custom photography, a platform like FotoFetch can get you what you need when you need it without having to manage a freelancer or sign a longer-term agreement with a company.
Start Outsourcing Photography Now
Outsourcing photography services can be cost-effective and time-saving for small businesses looking to enhance their marketing and branding efforts. Using a platform to connect with photographers gives businesses access to high-quality images at a reasonable price. You may not have thought about outsourcing your company’s photography needs, but now that you have, what’s stopping you?