Authenticity through Photography and Truth
For several years now we’ve all been a part of a twist in traditional marketing. Us marketers who’ve been around for over a decade are excited about this, and also a bit scared. None of the old rules apply. No one is going to buy anything of value if you use the words “hurry” or “limited offer” or “call us in the next ten days”.
People want the truth. They want to be engaged, and they want to be spoken to, as adults, as decision makers, as critical thinkers. No one wants marketing jargon BS.
This is really exciting, especially for senior living. We no longer have to push apartment savings. We can now push what truly matters: community, safety, companionship.
Selling authenticity is the only thing that works.
As marketers, we can use scare tactics day in and day out, and often, unfortunately, they work. What if you fall? What if no one comes over for days? What if someone robs you? What if you don’t have long term care insurance? What if you haven’t saved enough for retirement? What if your kids try to take all of your money?
We can do this, or we can show the other side: the positive side of moving into a community. There’s no better way to show this than through real, professional photography of your residents. There’s also no better way than to cut through the BS and talk to your audience like they are actual people, with emotions. Your website is the most effective way of telling your story to your audience.
The number one thing a family is looking for is trust.
Speak the truth of who you are and what you offer. Get to the subconscious level, to the emotional level, of their trust.
How do you that? You get photos of the people who live in your community, and you use language that is true and that is emotionally captivating. You must engage with people as if your website is an actual person.
What you’re selling is a community, it is a lifestyle, and it is friendship. You’re not selling your sparkly granite countertops or your state-of-the-art assisted living monitoring system. That’s important, too. But it’s secondary to the #1 factor, which is community.
To sell this, you must have great photos of the people who live in your community. These photos must be professionally taken, and they must be engaging. By professionally taken, we’re not talking about huge lights and flashes and staged photos. And we’re not talking about iPhone photos, either. The most important aspect of taking high quality photos is often the person behind the camera. If the person behind the camera is not engaging, you’re never going to get great photos of your residents.
First comes trust. Then comes the details.
Start with your current residents. Get their stories, and take their photos, and learn about their lives. Share this, as much as you can. With our client Sodalis Senior Living, we were able to capture their residents at a few different events late last year. We engaged with their residents and took their photos – real photos of seniors in real activities. The result is a beautiful collection of the people who have chosen to move into this community. It’s not all smiling faces, either, because let’s face it, senior living is not all happiness. It’s not staged. It’s real life, with real problems, and real people.
With stock photography, you get stock results. With real photography, you get to tell a story. You get to capture the essence of why each and every one of us chose to work in senior living: because being a part of a community is always better than being alone. Because changing the lives of seniors is always, always, always worth it.
Photography is the seed of the design process. Without high quality seeds, appropriate lighting, and a great environment, you’re going to get stock results. It’s time to thrive in your marketing efforts.
Let’s thrive together.
~ Rich and Jen Malloy
Craft & Communicate
Communication with Seniors is our Craft