Yesterday, I wrote a bit about why your avatar is important to your image. Today, I wanted to share some tips on getting some great photos for your avatar – and other marketing needs.
A key principle of marketing is to find something unique about what you offer as the basis of your sales message. Even if what you offer is a commodity, there is always one thing unique in your business – you.
People don’t buy a product or service from a company; they buy from a person. They want to get to know and trust you, that is, they want to have a relationship with you.
That’s why having a good publicity photo or head shot is essential in your marketing efforts. You’ll need it for your press kits, marketing materials, websites and for journalist to use.
That’s right. Many times a media outlet – especially a small newspaper or trade magazine – wants to do a story about you but doesn’t have a photographer available to take a photo. So having one that you like available on a moment’s notice is essential.
How you look in your photos tells the world a lot about how you do business. So shouldn’t you make sure yours convey who you are?
Here are some tips to make sure your photos are deal makers, not deal breakers:
1) Meet with several photographers to get an idea of his or her style and personality. Does it mesh with what you want to convey? Are you comfortable with the photographer and have a good rapport? Is he or she willing to work with you to look your best? This last question may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve seen professional photos with the subjects hair sticking out of place, wrinkled clothing, or even worse, lipstick on the teeth!
2) Bring examples of photos and poses of others you like. This will help the photographer get an idea of exactly what you have in mind.
3) Bring a couple of different outfits to change into that express your personality. I recommend bringing on a bit more ‘business-like’ such as a suit, and another more ‘business casual.’ If you have a signature accessory, such as a tie, scarf or pin, make sure you bring it along.
4) Have fun. Bring music if it helps you. Laugh and enjoy yourself. It’s what makes an otherwise boring photo have personality.
5) Keep your outfits simple. Avoid lots of patterns and stripes or too many accessories. And don’t wear all white. Apply your make up a bit darker than you normally would. The bright lights can make anyone look pale. (I even have Matt dust on a bit of powder to eliminate shine.)
The final tip is also very useful to remember when you are scheduled to do a TV interview.