Photography is incredibly important. I’m not sure if I can emphasize this enough so I figured a blog entry dedicated to it might get the point across. To make the article more comprehensive I’ll include staff and office photos, marketing photography, and before and after photos.
Dental Staff Photos
One of the first things I ask for when talking to clients is “Do you have some staff photos or office photos that we can include in the website?” And more often than not the answer is “No” or it should be “No” after I see the photos.
For many dentists, a website will serve as a first impression. And as we all know, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” This is especially important for dentists because, unfortunately, most people loathe going to the dentist. Couple being terrified of the dentist with a poorly lit photo of the dental office and an old, dark photo of the dentist(s) and people are going to close the website and pray they don’t have nightmares. A slight exxagerration, maybe, but spend the money to get professional photos- even if it means going to your local Wal-Mart and getting some photos taken for $10. It will be well worth your first impression and you can use the photo in all of your marketing materials.
On a sidenote, I do not recommend taking an all-staff photo. It’s difficult to get everyone together at once, staff change, and once they do, then you have to get everyone together again on the same day. Stick with individual photos.
Dental Office Photos
Similar to the doctor/staff photos, you will want to get nice photos of your office- if your office is nice! If the equipment and furniture are old and the office does not look appealing then steer clear of the office photos and just take pictures of the building. If the building doesn’t look great, then just use a Google map and call it a day.
The point is to add as much personal and professional touches that you can to give patients an idea of your personality and to make them feel comfortable.
Outside of staff and office photos, you will need imagery to fill your site. People are turned off by all text and they have a higher chance of leaving out of boredom. At the same time, too much clutter and movement cause people to leave because the website is too difficult to navigate.
Most web companies will supply some stock photography. Others will offer stock photos at outrageous prices. My recommendation is to use services like shutterstock.com or istockphoto.com if you are unhappy with your photos and would like to be picky about the imagery you use for marketing purposes. You can get hundreds of images for under $250 and then use them in all of your marketing campaigns. These are the photography sites that most professional web development companies use anyway.
The best photography is custom photography but this can be expensive. If you know a good photographer in your area and you have some marketing shots that you need that you can’t find anywhere else, then call a professional photographer. Make a list ahead of time of all the shots you want from the photographer so you are prepared for the visit and make the most of your time and money.
Before and After Photos
Most dentists do not take the time to get good before and after photos. Many will get the camera but won’t take the shots. Others get the shots but never do anything with them. These shots serve as your portfolio. Use them to show people how much they can improve their smile and confidence. Demonstrate your skill to people so they feel comfortable having you as their dentist.
Before and After photos also serve as great gifts for patients. Give them to patients so they can laugh about what they used to look like and feel great about how they look now. Patients will joke or brag to their friends about your skill in dentsitry and potentially send more patients your way.
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