We are quite the visually oriented species. We make many critical decisions
during the day based upon visual input. Sometimes the visual stimulus is dramatic, such as a frown on a child’s face. Sometimes it can be subtle as in sensing the expressions of a stranger’s glance.
It should be no surprise that we make our purchasing decisions based upon what we see and how we feel about what we see. A useful tool to aid in the promotion of your services is the maintenance of a photo album showing you in action. There can be no better method of explaining to someone who is new to canine water therapy exactly what you do.
Through a series of photos, you can illustrate what you do and how you do it. By keeping a current album of photos in your lobby, you will have an immediate reference tool to show a prospective client what they can expect for their loved one.
A series of photos can serve many functions; from alleviating any fears about the water therapy; to showing specific therapy techniques; to individual reactions of various dogs; to displaying the steps involved with a typical session; to sharing before and after images of individual clients.
The old cliché, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, applies to you and the situation where you have a prospect asking exactly what is it you do and how will it affect their cherished family member. By showing someone who is being introduced to the services you provide for the first time you have the opportunity to express visually many concepts and actions you may not express verbally.
Through a series of action images a prospective client can make a conscious and committed decision to select you and the services you provide based upon being convinced that you know what you are doing, that other individuals have placed their trust in you, they have gained an understanding of what is involved, and most important they have established a comfort zone with you and the services you provide.
For many, using a camera can be a chore, particularly when you have your job to do. Try to establish a routine so the interjection of taking a photo becomes a “habit” and not an awkward moment disrupting the flow of your routine. You may have support staff that can be trained to assist with taking routine photos. There is always the possibility of having your clients be involved with taking photos and you providing them copies for their own albums. The goal is to be able to blend the action of documentation into your routine such that it becomes a part of your natural flow, both for you as well as for your clients.
By keeping a camera readily available within your facility you are setting the stage for documentation. In addition to a scrap book of current images, you are also maintaining images you can use for future promotional tools such as your business card, brochure, flyers, and web site. One can never have enough images as a resource when it comes to designing promotional material.
As you are already in tune with the sensitivity of your clientele, it is advantageous to seek permission for the possibility of taking and using photos of a client at the very onset of a relationship. This interchange establishes the degree of privacy and confidentiality expected within your ongoing relationship.
You may even choose to have a “Hall of Fame” bulletin board in your lobby showing photographic examples of happy canine in the act of enjoying their therapy.
You do not have to be a whiz with a camera and can even use the current disposable cameras as your tool of choice. The water resistant versions are inexpensive and can come in handy providing close up action shots with the fear of ruining a good camera.
Digital cameras offer the advantage of not having to deal with the expense and time involved with processing prints. You also have the advantage of taking as many images as the memory allows and you can readily erase non-essential images. You can even place your digital camera in a plastic bag to keep it from potential water damage.