Back in the days when I was actively teaching the Law of Attraction, I was doing a live workshop and I brought along all of my marketing materials to give to participants. There were several items including a note pad, a pen, a pencil, a box of colorful M&M’s (that had my name on each one), a package of post-it notes, and all the hand out materials for the workshop itself.
Every item was personalized with my name, my website, and my contact info. I’ve always promoted my name, Marty Marsh, as my brand. And as the workshop was getting started, one of the participants raised his hand and holding up a couple of my personalized items asked, “I was just curious when the workshop on ego control was going to be held?”
We all had a good laugh over that and it gave me a chance to give a quick little lesson on branding yourself and promoting yourself without apology.
You may have noticed that I use my picture on pretty much all of my marketing materials and some folks have tried to take me to task for being too ego-centric. But I don’t believe I’m being ego-centric at all. I want my clients and my prospects to know whom they’re dealing with and who I am and what I look like.
My name is pretty memorable to start with and coupling that with my picture really helps people remember me and that I’m the guy that can help them get past their fear of marketing and get busy actually doing some actual marketing.
There was a time in my career, however, when I did think that using your picture was an exercise in ego-stroking and that too often people used their photo – taking up otherwise valuable marketing space – in ads and brochures and on business cards, when they could have used that space to add more words to describe the benefits of their products and services or to show the actual product itself.
Not any more. Now I encourage people to use their photo everywhere that they can reasonably do so.
Your prospects and clients want to know what you look like. Including your photo on your websites, blogs, newsletters, eZines, ads, business cards, and brochures is another way to build trust with those whom you hope to do business with. They will know they are dealing with another real, live human being, not some faceless impersonal entity whose sole purpose is to part you with your money.
Putting your face on your marketing materials – especially on business cards – helps people remember you. And if you’re attending networking type events or just having a casual business conversation, that photo will remind the person that walks away with your card who you are and why they took your card in the first place.
Having your photo on your blog and website creates a genuine personal connection with your site visitors and blog readers. And since as marketers and business owners we are all in the business of building relationships, wouldn’t you rather see whom you are dealing with? Others do, too.
Many folks will not follow you on Twitter and other social networking sites if you use anything there other than your photo. People don’t want to follow an entity, they want to follow a real person.
Too often I think we forget that there is a real, live human being at each end of every online transaction – you and the person who is interested in buying from you.
As more and more of us are isolated working from home and using the Internet as our medium to reach out and do business with our perfect customers, anything we can do to add another level of trust and connection with those very real people will go a long way to helping us grow and sustain our business.
But you don’t like the way you look or you don’t think you photograph well, you say? Time to get over yourself folks. You are who you are. You look the way you do and if someone is going to reject doing business with you based on your looks, do you really want to do business with that person anyway? I don’t. I hope you don’t either.
If you don’t have a photo that you like then start taking some new pictures. Have someone take lots of pictures of you in all kinds of situations to capture the “real” you. Use the ones you like the most or that your associates like best.
If you have the budget and can afford the services of a professional portrait photographer, then by all means have some professional portraits made, even if that means going to Sears or to JCPenney Portrait Studios. A good photographer will capture your “essence” and that will shine through where ever you use it. Just be sure to ask the photographer about any copyright restrictions they may impose and make sure you can use the photos in the way you want. Best to buy all copyrights to your photos so you don’t have to worry about any legal ramifications down the road.
I’ve always discouraged people from having “glamour style” photos made because the very nature of these photos is to create an illusion of something other than who you really are, and that would totally defeat the purpose of making a genuine connection with other people.
If you’re still uncomfortable plastering your photo on everything related to promoting your business, then at the least, put your photo on your About page at your site, or even on your contact page.
Of course, a great way for people to get to know you better is through the use of video on your website, but we’ll save that topic for another day.© Copyright 2010 Marty Marsh