by Nick Gromicko, CMI®
Inspectors focus on the words they write in their reports and often continue this habit when they build their websites. The images they use on their websites are typically stock photos, and they’re often little more than background or filler between the written words of their text-heavy websites.
However, images are the best and fastest way to convey a message. That’s why the images on your inspection business website should tell a story—the right story about your inspection service.
Think back to the images you have seen in your life that convey a message:
- A pickup truck pulling something heavy—what message does that image convey?
- Michael Dukakis wearing a helmet in a tank—what message does that image convey?
- The Marlboro Man—what message does that image convey?
The most memorable movie scenes made by the greatest filmmakers are based on images and little or no dialogue. The best writers and reporters live by the axiom “Show, don’t tell.” You can make the same powerful impact with your website.
Here are some images inspectors should use on their websites:
- The inspector is lying on his back in a crawlspace with his flashlight aiming upward. What message does that image convey? "I look carefully in places that most people don't."
- The inspector is wearing eye protection and gloves while opening an electrical panel. What message does that image convey? "My work is dangerous, but I'm careful."
- The inspector is holding an IR camera or a gas leak detector. What message does that image convey? "I bring specialized tools to the inspection."
- The inspection report pages are fanned out on a table, and some have annotated color photos. What message does that image convey? "My report is detailed, yet easy to understand."
- The inspector is being presented with the Certified Master Inspector® award. What message does that image convey? "I am the best and proud of it."
- A wall is shown covered with inspection course Certificates of Completion. What message does that image convey? "I value training and Continuing Education."
- The inspector is standing next to the sign on his dedicated inspection vehicle while wearing a shirt with his business logo. What message does that image convey? "I'm a full-time inspector."
Remember: A picture is worth a thousand words.
Try this experiment when you start building your inspection website: Do the entire thing using only images and no text. Imagine that the images you use are chapters in a book, and that each image has to tell part of your story. Don't use any text at all—just build your entire website using images that convey a series of messages, and together tell a story... your story.
If you can do that, you're really only one small step away from having an awesome website. Your last step is to add supporting text.
Also, read these two documents: