One piece, in particular, strikes me again and again, as I think about it in terms of my business as a whole. It’s a relatively simple suggestion: you should put a picture of yourself on your website.
The idea behind it is that doing so makes it easier for readers to connect with you emotionally. They know you’re a real person and generally respond better. It’s a piece of advice that applies to business owners beyond bloggers, though— when is the last time a real estate agent handed you her card and it didn’t have her picture?
On the surface, it seems like a good idea — although I don’t have any numbers on whether a photo actually brings more readers to a blog. But I’ve never been entirely sold on it.
Part of the issue is my background; once, a very long time ago, I wrote resumes. I learned quickly that any hint of physical appearance was a bad idea. The closest most human resource managers are willing to look at is a confirmation that an applicant is able to handle any particularly physical duties adequately. Attaching a photo is a big no-no!
The issue is that no one wants to be in the position where she can be accused of discrimination during the hiring process.
A photograph of just one person on all your business materials can send many messages. In my case, I’m worried it sends the message “this all about me”. There are other people involved in my company and I haven’t branded it as Thursday Bram Co. or anything like that.
But I’ve also seen situations where the right photograph can make a world of difference in how someone feels about your business — it can be reassuring. The right photograph at the right time really can be worth a thousand words. I think that there’s more room for using a photo if your clientele needs a more comforting experience, such as with real estate, where they might be laying down thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye.
I’m interested in hearing your experiences. If you use your own photo in branding your business or promoting it, how has that worked out? Have you gotten any feedback? Leave me a comment and let me know, please!
Image by Flickr user Ed Schipul
Thursday Bram offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She’s also the co-creator of Constructively Productive, the blog that’s bringing perspective to productivity. You can find Thursday on Twitter.