It takes less than 3 seconds for someone to decide whether they like you, according to Jean Baur, Author and Career Coach widely known for her keen observations in business.
The bad news is, online it takes even less time to make that first impression. Customers visit your website to see if you can solve their problems. If they see a single thing out of place, they will move onto the next site and you won’t have a chance.
Many things send subconscious signals to a viewer that something isn’t right. They could include, outdated style, meaningless stock photos, ugly colors, or cheap looking design.
But I think the biggest mistake made by SMEs are poor quality photographs on the about page. Studies show that the about page is the most visited page after your home page. This is because people buy from people they like.
I’m on your site because I’m already interested in your services.Before I contact you, I want to check your profile. I need to see if you’re trustworthy, whether I can rely on all the things I’ve read so far. At this point I’m a step away from buying. Right now 4 things can happen.
Maybe there’s no photo. There’s a wall of text that I’m unlikely to bother reading. I’m wondering why you’re hiding. Most of your competitors will have a headshot in 2019. I don’t know if this person’s genuine. It may even be just an offshore business and template website with no real local staff. I might keep you in mind, but I’m going to keep looking.
Maybe there’s a selfie, or an awkwardly cut out group photo from a social gathering. It’s dark, unflattering, unprofessional. I wonder if you’re a brand new business, and just hired someone to make a website, and even write all the words for you. Right or wrong, it’s hard to imagine you solving my problem when you present yourself so inappropriately. If anyone calls you, they’ll assume you’re cheap, because surely you can’t cost as much as your competitor who wears a suit right?
Maybe you have a headshot, but it’s a bit awkward. Some people have dark eye sockets, look like a stunned deer in headlights, or look angry or generally uncomfortable. I’ll trust you probably know what you’re doing, but it’s probably just not the right fit.
Hopefully you have a professional headshot, that shows the right level of friendliness, competence, authority, and trustworthiness. It connects with the client, and I immediately feel confident you can solve my problems. You’ve just validated everything I’ve seen on your website as truthful, and I’m ready to make contact.
So basically there are 3 ways to drive potential clients to your competitors, and one way to encourage them to contact you. The key is to look professional, so that they can imagine you solving their problems competently.
So how do you know whether you’re sending the right message with your headshot?
Think about your ideal audience – specifically your best clients. What do they they seek in a service provider? Do they want someone with presence and authority? Someone who’s approachable? Someone knowledgeable? Each profession is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all.
Next is, how do you show each of these qualities? Is it by what you wear, the style of lighting we use, the colors? It’s usually a combination of all of these.
That’s why you can’t just “take a headshot”, at least not one that’s useful. It’s through guided questioning that we help you discover the right qualities for your headshot so that it has impact and connects with your clients. Sometimes we even find you have different types of clients who are looking for distinctly different things. We’ve found this exercise very useful not only for us to learn about your business, but to help you deliver your message more conveniently to your customers.
Do you wish you could show off your brand more professionally? Image is everything in the visually connected world. Make a bad first impression, and you won’t get a second chance.
My business, Valent Lau Photography, specialises personal and brand photography, crafting images that connect with your audience. I’m offering you a free ebook filled with easy to follow Pro Tips that make your Business Stand Out from the Crowd! Just click below!