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What Does Your Photo Say About You?

posted 18 Feb 2013, 14:22 by Mpelembe   [ updated 18 Feb 2013, 14:23 ]
There is one graphic which you should include on all your
marketing materials, including your website, and no, it's not
your logo. It's your photo. It amazes me that people will spend
hours choosing the colours and design of their marketing
materials, pay hundreds to a designer for a fancy logo, and then
add a duff photo which does them no justice at all. So in this
article, I want to share some tips on how you can get a great
photo for your website or marketing materials that really shows
you off to your best advantage.

First of all, why is it important to have a personal photo on

your website or other marketing materials? Because people are
curious about you. It's true that 'people buy from people', and
this is especially true when you're the one providing the end
service to the client. YOU are the most unique part of your
business. So how can you make sure you get a great photo that
communicates who you are and speaks directly to your target

How can you get a great photo for YOUR marketing materials?

Here are my top tips.

Go to a professional.  If you want to have a collection of great
photos for your marketing materials, then go to a professional.
Find a local photographer who has a studio. (In the UK you can
expect to pay £50-70 for a sitting.)

Relative to the importance on your marketing materials, this is
a tiny amount to pay. What photographers normally do is give you
a contact sheet of all the photos taken during the session so you
can choose the best ones, and then you just pay for the prints
you want. My photographer gave me a CD of all the digital photos
so I could select the ones I liked.

Just one word of warning, steer clear of the 'fancy'
photographic studios who offer discounted sessions up front. They
want to sell you a £600 framed photo for your wall and  not a
collection of photos you can use in your marketing.  If you read
the small print carefully, you'll notice that you don't actually
own the copyright on the photos they take, they do. It's much
easier to pay the full fee and get what you want.

Take lots of photos.  Tell the photographer you want a range of
shots in different poses - standing, sitting, headshots, full
length. The last photo session I had I took a range of outfits
in different colours and styles so I had business, smart casual
and informal. You'll want to take lots of photos so you have
more to choose from. I get nice comments on the photo I use on my
website, but trust me, that was one of the best of the bunch.
Out of 100 shots taken, maybe 10-15 are usable.

Take a trip to the hairdresser's before you go.  This tip may
apply more to women than men, but it's worth taking a trip to
the hairdresser's (for a wash and blowdry, not a cut) before you
get to the photographer. This week I got an email newsletter
from an image consultant. She was doing an awful lot right in her
newsletter - strong headline, good writing, but the photo really
let her down.

She was captured in a pose and she looked uncomfortable, she had
a frozen 'rabbit caught in the headlights' look on her face, but
what really let her down was her hair. Her own photo did not do
her justice and called into question her credibility as an image

Think context.  If you're a coach who works with teens then the
image you portray will be different than if you are working with
senior executives in blue chip organisations. Choose colours and
styles that are appropriate to your target audience.

Connect with your audience.  Feel self-conscious? Hate having
your photo taken? The camera doesn't lie, and if you feel
uncertain or are asking for approval it will show in your photo,
so before your photo session, think about who you most want to
help, and why you want to help them. That sense of purpose
transcends self-consciousness.

Look into the lens, and imagine that your ideal client, the one
you most want to help, the reason you started your business in
the first place, is looking back at you. Imagine you are looking
into his or her eyes. That will give your photo warmth and

It's OK for you to shine!  In a world of insecurity, we need
role models who exude confidence, love what they do and aren't
afraid of sharing it with others. As Marianne Williamson said,
'as you shine, you give permission for others to shine too.' So
be bold and get yourself out there. I want to see great photos
of you plastered all over your marketing materials!

(c) Bernadette Doyle, 2008.  Reprints welcome so long as by-line
and article are published intact and all links made live.

Bernadette Doyle publishes her free, weekly Client Magnets
newsletter for trainers, speakers, coaches, consultants,
complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to
get clients calling you instead of you calling them then sign up
for the Client Magnets newsletter at today!