Everybody knows a picture’s worth a thousand words. What people don’t realize is it can get you a thousand dollar business deal. Yes, you read that right. A good picture can get you a business deal. And no, this doesn’t just apply to models.
You see, when expanding a business people always emphasize the importance of having an easy to navigate website, marketing materials, a well written bio, etc. What they forget to mention, is the importance of a good photo of yourself. Chances are you have a Twitter profile, Facebook page, blog, website, and Linkedin profile. I’m willing to bet that you have a photo of yourself on at least one of those websites. How much thought did you put into selecting that picture? For business sake, I’m hoping the photo of you throwing back a couple beers on your Facebook profile is not the same one you use for Linkedin. That is definitely not good for business. But if it is your photo on your professional networks, you may be one to something. Why? Because it’s interesting. A photo of you with a couple of beers may not showcase you in the best light but it will get people talking. And you want people talking to you and about you to other people. Of course, you’d prefer they talk about you in good terms (and that photo may not help) but at least they are talking.
Interesting photos get people to talk and keep you in the buzz. That means it may be a good idea to shy away from the graduation type photo of you with a cheesy grin on your face. It doesn’t say anything about you other than you are happy to graduate. A good business photo shows your personality and/or something of interest. It’s got to be slightly different. You want it to capture attention while not venturing too far away from your true colors. After all, people don’t hire a business. They hire a person – a person with a personality they like. So a profile photo is a great way to showcase that winning personality of yours. I can’t even begin to tell you how many business owners chatted me up just because my photo intrigued them.
It’s nothing special. My guess is the sly smile, outdoors background, body positioning and coffee mug comes off as warm and very inviting to most people. I tend to get the most comments about the coffee mug. In fact, I tend to get a lot of LinkedIn messages complimenting me on the choice of photo and ask what inspired me to include a coffee mug. Others say, the soft smile and direct eye contact is very captivating and inviting. The most common comment: “I love that smile and coffee mug. What a great marketing ploy!” Next thing I know, I’m drafting a contract for a new client ready to take advantage of my copywriting services or looking at someone ready and willing to refer me thanks to my fabulous “photo marketing ploy”! So what makes a great business photo? I’m no expert but in my experience a great photo for business purposes does the following things:
1. Shows your personality.
2. Intrigues your target audience.
3. Inspires conversation.
If you are completely lost when it comes to your own photo, take a cue from me. Experiment with props. Take the photo shoot outdoors or search for interesting backgrounds. Work on a stimulating facial expression. You’d be surprised what you might come up with. But whatever you do, make sure you stick to your true colors!