Collision repair is about functionality, safety, and aesthetics. People take pride in their vehicles, and want them to look great. It’s embarrassing to drive around with dents and scratches, and looks matter. Documenting your repairs visually is a great way to market your shop!
Shoot Videos and/or Photos of Collision Repair Progress
If you aren’t sharing your work with prospects and customers, it’s time to break out the camera and get to work. Capturing videos of your repairs shows people how you transform vehicles from a devastating wreck to an impressive repair.
Where to Shoot
You can shoot your before and after videos in your lot, in a bay, or wherever is convenient, but if you have the right setup, here’s an ideal way to do it.
If you can designate a space inside your shop with good lighting, you’ll get more consistent footage. If possible, place your signage or logo in the background that can be in the frame of your pictures or videos. Shooting indoors with artificial light lets you control the exposure so each shot is properly lit.
You may only be able to shoot outdoors, but your shots are going to vary based on the time of day and shadows, cloud cover, weather, and if there’s anything in the background.
Now imagine how a page full of your thumbnail images might look on a web page - do you want them to look consistent, or each one unique? It’s your choice, but make that decision before you start shooting.
How to Shoot
First off, protect your customers’ privacy. Cover the license plates with blanks or with custom magnetic plates with your logo. You can always edit this out in a graphics program, but it’s far easier to do it before shooting.
Next, park the vehicle in your designated shooting area if you have one. If you decide you want your shots to be very consistent, then plan on parking each vehicle in the exact same spot, at the same angle and orientation.
If you’re only taking photos, snap the “before” shot when it arrives, from whatever angle shows the damage clearly. When you take the “after” shot, try to match the framing of the previous photo, so it’s easier for the viewer to see the difference between them.
For more precise control, use a tripod, and place tape on the floor to mark where the legs should be positioned. If you don’t use a tripod, consider marking the floor with tape to indicate where you stand.
For shooting videos, you can be more creative. Narrate your video to explain what happened in this accident, and educate your viewers on what might be involved in order to fix it properly and safely.
As you make progress on the repair, capture more footage showing what you’re doing to it along the way. People love getting to peek behind the curtain to see how you repair things. Finally, when the repair is complete, capture the finished project, looking like new.
Video is great because it can position you as the expert, and makes you more relatable. Don't be surprised if you shoot some videos and then people come in asking for you personally.
Post Your Videos and Photos Where People Can See Them
Once your before & after videos or photos are complete, you’ll want to post them where people can find them.
When creating videos, consider setting up a YouTube channel. Post the videos there, and then you can embed copies in your website. If that’s a bit more than you want to bother with, upload them to your shop’s Facebook page or to Instagram.
For before & after photos, upload these everywhere you can within reason; your website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your Google Business Profile, and so on.
If you’ve ever tried maintaining your social media pages, you’ve realized how hard it is to keep coming up with new content to share. Posting before & after photos solves that problem - as long as you have repairs coming in the door, you’ll always have new content to share.
Bonus Tip #1
When you add before & after photos to your website, be sure to label or caption the make and model in each picture. This can help people find your shop's website in search engines. For example, if someone searches Google for “chevy silverado collision repair” and you have a photo labelled that way on your website, it increases the chances that it appears in the search results.
Bonus Tip #2
If you don’t have a copy of Photoshop or some other photo editing program, you can upload your photos to Canva, and create a before & after image there, and overlay your logo or colors there.
Auto body repairs are very tangible and visual in nature, so show people what you do, instead of just telling them. Photos and videos let you do exactly that, and they don’t have to be fancy or highly edited.
Get in touch, and let’s talk about marketing your collision repair shop.
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