Do we judge a book by its cover? The answer is yes, we do! Just recently, for my family vacation, I chose my hotel not based on brand but by its pictures. I wanted a hotel that was kid-friendly, clean, and had lots to do. I looked at pictures from many resorts to find the perfect one. The one I picked looked like it had a great pool area with lots of little kids. It appeared to be up-to-date–no shag rugs and green and yellow appliances!
Our brains automatically make assumptions based on pictures. It recalls memories of events and also what something should be. So if I saw a picture of a resort with no kids, I would automatically assume it was not kid-friendly.
I started thinking about the pictures franchisors use in their marketing. I can’t count how many times I have seen pictures of businesses that are completely empty–a parking lot with a building. Yes, the building looks nice but there are no customers. Where are the people? An empty dining room, an empty daycare, or even worse an empty retail store are big offenders. What are these franchisors thinking? You need customers or clients to make a business successful, so if a prospect sees these pictures, what they see is no business, not a pretty room.
The next time you are putting together an ad page for a lead campaign or even your own website, be sure to include pictures with customers. Show prospective franchisees what your customers look like. Fill your dining room with people eating. Make sure the parking lot has cars in it. (You can even convey customer income based on the kind of cars you put in that parking lot.)
Take a moment and think about your advertising from the last year. What do your pictures look like? Oh, and are they real pictures or stock photos. Don’t even get me started with the stock photos I see on some sites! LOL.