Here at Your Radiant Business, we aim to give you ideas for how to create a great online presence, week by week, step by step.
This week, we go beyond your name and get a little deeper into the nitty-gritty of your web presence. Yes, we’re still looking at you. (Or more specifically, your photo.)
Hands up if you love having your photo taken!
Yes, that’s not very many of you. Tracy is getting better at having her photo taken but Lulu actually really enjoys it (Tracy thinks that’s strange!)
But (and there’s no getting away from this) we all need to have a professional photograph of ourselves on our website. (Not to mention, our LinkedIn, our Twitter, our Facebook page etc.)
All of us.
(Even if we don’t want to).
So, hands up if you do have a professional photograph on your website and you hired someone to do it? If you did, pat yourself on the back! You’ll probably remember that it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought it was going to be. The photographer made sure they had a great backdrop. They made the most of natural lighting. They chatted away to help you relax. They asked you to change your posture so they could take pictures of you from different angles. When it was all over, they sent you a selection of the best photos, and then they photoshopped your final selection to make sure you really looked your best.
Now don’t get us wrong.
We love holiday photos. We love pictures that our friends and family take of us. They are wonderful. But they don’t belong on our website. Yes, they make us look normal, and they make us look human. But what they don’t do, is make us look professional.
As humans, we are designed to receive information visually. First impressions are formed within seconds. Words are important (more on that later) but the first thing that a potential client will look at is your photo. When they land on your website (or your LinkedIn, or your Twitter, or your Facebook) they will be looking for a picture of you and that is what they want to see.
Your future client wants to find someone they can trust. Someone they can talk to. Someone with professional qualifications. They will make a decision about whether or not they want to find out more about working with you based on what they see on your front page. Your photo will count more than anything.
Have we persuaded you?
Yes? That’s great! So where do you go to find a photographer? Asking your clients might be a place to start. You might be lucky enough to have a photographer as a client, who might be willing to exchange a photography session for a couple of homeopathy sessions (if that is something that would work for both of you). Or maybe you have a friend or a neighbour who is a photographer.
Why do we suggest you start with your own networks?
Well, networking on a real-life basis is always useful. Our relationships with our clients are valuable. As we go along we’ll be talking more about how to help those relationships to flourish. One way is to encourage ways for them to help us. It makes them feel good, and we all benefit.
Wait, haven’t we forgotten something? What if you already have a professional photo? Is there anything for you to do? Well, there are a couple of things. First, have you looked at your photo lately? (If you’re anything like us, you’ll have had it done, ticked it off the to-do list and moved on.) The thing about photos is that they date.
Second, are you using your photo consistently?
You may remember from last week that when Tracy did a Google search for herself, she realised she needed to update her photo in a few places. One of the places was on the website of the clinic where she works. They had a really out-of-date photo on there. Tracy’s had four different professional photos since she set up her first website. In fact (shock, horror!) she didn’t have a photo to start with, but when she asked people for feedback, everyone told her she needed one. When she had a leaflet made, she had exactly the same feedback. Ever since then, she has always included a small photo on her leaflet.
While we’re talking about photos, we have just one more thing to mention
It only applies if you are on Facebook, and it is this. Does your Facebook photo look like you? Is it a picture that makes you look happy, healthy and fun? Because, if you are anything like us, you will have Facebook friends who are clients. Or clients who are Facebook friends. Or friends who might refer you to their friends. Think about the impression that your existing profile picture will create. Do you need to change it?
We want to wish you all the best for having your photograph taken. If you do decide to take the plunge, here is a quick article to read to help you prepare. (And if you really don’t feel you have the budget to have a professional photo taken just yet, don’t worry, we’ll have another article to help you in a few weeks.)