Every job I’ve ever had has taught me something I can carry into my next job. I’m lucky to have had so many experiences that constantly help me to grow. Now, as a commercial photographer, I’m able to draw from my past to inform how I photograph food, products, and businesses.

Back in 2005, I was working in sales selling electronic components. At the time, I had no idea how much this job would teach me about photography. Now I know this experience was invaluable.

At my sales job, one of the main things I learned was that the way you look can have a big impact on the sales you get. Sales could be gained or lost based on the way I presented myself to my potential customers. Customers trusted me more when I put effort into looking professional and knowledgeable.

Before ever speaking to a customer, that customer would read my appearance. It became a part of my brand message. When that brand message communicated that I could help them find what they needed, they would come to me. If my appearance didn’t communicate that well enough, they’d find someone else to speak with, and I’d lose my chance at that sale.

That’s something that I carry with me as a photographer now. The way something looks can have a big impact on whether or not someone buys it. It can make a difference between whether someone connects with your product or looks for a different product elsewhere.

If you think about it, generally we choose what looks good with our eyes first. Especially when it comes to things like food. But it’s not just visual products that we make judgements on based on images. We also make judgements about the services that people could provide based on appearance and images.

When customers are trying to make a decision between a couple of similar products or services, every chance you have to communicate your brand message counts. The way a building looks on the outside can be the difference between a customer walking inside or walking past it. The way it looks inside can determine whether or not that customer stays.

Websites are another way to showcase your brand message. Customers make choices based on how marketing looks. It’s something that all people need to think about as they put images up online. Do those images communicate what your product will bring to your customers? Do they show how it will improve their lives? Do they communicate professionalism through the images?

As you create marketing materials, every image and word matters. Take care to make sure they are communicating the exact message to your clients and customers that you want to communicate. It can be the difference between a sale and an almost-sale.

If your marketing materials aren’t sending the right message or you want help crafting a message, go and hire a professional. There are plenty of people with the skills to help your brand be presented in just the way you need it to be.

This may mean that you hire a graphic designer, a stylist, a photographer, or a combination. They’ll help you to communicate the right message, and this will help you to get the results and sales you want.