Let’s talk about before and after photos. I have some thoughts on the matter and it’s time I shared them.
Yes, I know they are a popular marketing ploy with some organisers, but not this one. Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of good reasons to use photos in our organising work. Some good reasons are:
- Provide a reality check
- Narrow the focus of work
- Communicate during virtual organising sessions
- Show progress and transformation
- Provide motivation when the going gets tough
- Celebrate a successful transformation
- Record the “after” for easier maintenance
But here’s why I don’t like before and after photos in marketing…
They expose a client’s privacy and open them to judgement, ridicule and criticism. Once a photo is posted online it is out of your control. It breaks my heart to see some of the hurtful comments made by cruel, ill-informed people. Quickly, what started as a celebration becomes a tragedy. I could never expose a client of mine to that, and I will never use a person’s challenges to promote and market my business.
Besides, all too often the “after” photo looks like someone tidied up. Great. But organisers do a lot more than tidying. People don’t get organised so they can have a tidy house. They get organised for what the tidy house will give them. That is the real transformation. Things like:
- Family dinner around the table instead of everyone eating in their own bedrooms
- Lazy Sunday afternoon with a good book instead of catching up on housekeeping or paying bills
- Finding what you need when you need it, instead of shouting “I know it’s here somewhere!”
- Showing off a crafting haven instead of shutting the door on a crammed junk room
To really convey the “I’ll have what she’s having” moment (from When Harry Met Sally), tell the true de-identified story of transformation.
I’m curious to hear your views.