Why are so many people afraid of their own picture? I’ve been to a few events recently, and I always have my camera with me. As a content marketer, I constantly need pictures of myself and of the organizations I work with for newsletters and posts. But so many people, women in particular, balk when I ask to take their picture. A few of them have literally jumped out of the shot.
Naturally, if these people are not willing to be in group pictures, they are also unlikely to have individual portraits of themselves on their materials. And when it comes to video - no way! What they don't realize is that they are hurting their own business by doing this.
Putting pictures of yourself on your marketing materials is a powerful tool for building relationships with people and gaining their trust. People are wired to relate to each other face-to-face. We like to "put a face with a name." We automatically make judgements about a person within seconds of seeing them.
That last part is what scares some people. But the truth is that people do this all the time, and it is part of the relationship-building process. You've all experienced a face-to-face meeting with someone who didn't end up being a good match for you. If the goal of content marketing is to make the relationship-building process more efficient, wouldn't you rather they figure that out before you take the time to meet them face-to-face?
You want your prospects to get to know you, and like you, and trust you through your marketing materials, and using pictures of yourself will help them do that more effectively.
Now, many people get a professional portrait taken of them, pick their favorite, and think, "Okay, that's done." Then they use that same picture on everything for as long as 5 years (or more!). While that's better than having nothing, it doesn't really give people a chance to see you change, or move, or do anything. You aren't really a human being, you are more like a statue.
Of course, it it always important to stay in alignment with your business brand. If you are a divorce lawyer, you probably don't want pictures of you laughing. But if you are a personal trainer, you don't want a business portrait of you in a suit. Keeping that in mind, consider some of these ways to use more pictures of yourself in your business and marketing:
#1 - Get your portrait taken as often as you can. I recommend at least once a year. The trick is to make sure that they look different. Use a different photographer each time, change the background, change your expression. Try not to make it look like a mug shot! A good photographer can make you look your best and share your personality through a picture.
#2 - Carry a camera around and capture candid pictures of yourself. Of course, you can't actually take pictures of yourself. You'll have to enlist some help. But, be sure to get a picture when you are at a business event, working with a client, doing something philanthropic, and even doing something outside of work, like a trip or a favorite hobby. These kinds of candid pictures really show a human side, share your personality, and draw people deeper into a relationship with you.
#3 - Use them! So often, pictures get stuck on a camera, which doesn't do you any good. Get the pictures off of the camera or the computer, and put them on your materials. Your portrait should be on your business card, on your website, and on your social media profiles. Candid shots are great for blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts.
To really increase the effectiveness of your content marketing, stop being camera shy, and put your picture out there!