How ever technical you may be there is every chance that you have some sort of online profile (or at least I hope you have!).
Whether you have your own website, facebook profile or you are part of an online community, you always have the opportunity to add your photo.
But how important is your photo?
Will your photo really have an impact on your business success?
People buy from people they like. And it doesn’t matter how non-judgmental you really are, it is human nature to make a snap decision on someone when you see a photo of them.
When you meet someone in the flesh, you aren’t just taking in their appearance. You also use their body language, such as the way they shake your hand, as well as how their voice sounds as signals to whether you trust them, you like them and do business with them.
But a photo is two-dimensional. It’s flat. There’s no moving body language or voice to go with the picture. You have even less information to make your judgement on this person.
And if you come across a profile without a photo – usually the mystery question mark – there’s even less information for you to help judge whether you could do business with this person. You may even wonder if they are trying to hide something!
Having a photo on your online profiles is essential but knowing which one to use could make or break your business success.
So how is it that some people’s photos just sing out to you? And other photos just make you shudder and click away?
Here are some top tips on how to get a photo that sings out to your potential clients:
1. Show them the colour of your eyes. Your profile photo could end up looking very small when added to your forum comment or news feed. A full body shot will just blend in with the web page. And if you are looking at the camera for the photo, you will be looking straight in to the eyes of your potential clients when they see your photo.
2. Smile! If you meet someone for the first time at a networking event, you would smile at them, wouldn’t you? So give your online contacts a smile, too.
3. Avoid glamour. OK, this one may be more for the ladies, but glamour shots should be left for those of you who are promoting your business in a glamorous way (if you know what I mean!). Be professional, be relaxed but be you. Don’t be tempted with these glamour make-over photo shoots which give you a rosey-glow. You may look gorgeous, but is it congruent with your business?
4. Get professional. You don’t need to spend much to get a professional photo-shoot. £75 to £100 is a great investment, especially when you consider how often you will use the photos. And it will certainly avoid those holiday snaps of you holding up a glass of wine or your partner’s arms around your shoulders. Again – make sure your business photo is congruent to your business.
5. Don’t hide behind your company logo. When you are online and adding to the conversations, you are a person. You are representing your business, but have the confidence to be “you” when you are out and about on the web.
(Quick note: It is actually against facebook policy to have a profile set up in your business name and company logo. Your facebook profile could be deleted and this is exactly what happened to a client of mine last year – she lost more than a 1,000 strong network contacts because she was using her business name & logo instead of her name.)
About the Author: Karen Skidmore helps self-employed professionals and home business owners to create successful (and profitable!) business from home. To subscribe to her free email newsletter and get access to practical advice and marketing ideas that will move your business forward, visit www.CanDoCanBe.com
Photo credit: Photo taken by Autorrato