More and more people are using photos and videos to promote their business. These visuals can make or break you. Viewers make assumptions about how well you do what you do and what it’s like to work with you. Good pictures promote your business by building trust, demonstrating professionalism and making potential customers feel comfortable enough to contact you. At best, bad pictures make you look like an amateur, at worst, they create distrust that chases away potential customers faster than you can say cheese!
It‘s hard to look good on camera. It’s much easier to create bad visuals than good ones. How do you look good? Here are some suggestions for creating videos and photos that support you.
1. Look like what you do:
The photo/video of you is a representation of how well you do your job. If you are a financial planner, look like you are successful with money. If you build things, look like you can get your hands dirty. If you are an interior designer, design the photo and the background.
2. Look like who you are:
If you are serious, look serious. If you are fun, look fun. If you are smart, look smart. Viewers want to know what it’s like to work and be with you and will expect you to be like you are in your picture.
3. Look like you:
Be recognizable. Look like you do in real life. If you are 50, it’s okay to do some touch-ups, but it’s not okay to take off 20 years and 50 pound! Your hair, makeup, clothing style, expressions and posing in the picture should resemble what you look like in real life. This speaks to your honesty. If you hide what you really look like, viewers will wonder what else you are hiding.
4. Choose the background carefully:
Does your background reflect what you do and the way you do it? Does it flatter you? Do you stand out? If you choose an old-fashioned canvas backdrop or the fake autumn vista from your 5th grade school picture, viewers will assume you are old fashioned or imitation. The background is an extension of you.
5. Pay attention to the technical elements:
The technical elements of the picture make a difference too. They speak to whether or not you pay attention to details.
· Lighting: Avoid shadows on your face, body and background. Bad lighting and un-calibrated cameras will emphasize fine lines, under eye circles, distort your features, create distractions and shift colors.
· Makeup: Everyone needs makeup (even men). At a minimum everyone needs powder and lip balm. Women usually need full makeup, even if it’s applied in a very natural way. The makeup should counteract any shine and color-shifting caused by lighting, background colors, and photographic equipment.
A picture says a thousand words, so here are some examples of pictures that don’t work so you can view them for yourself. There are also two videos on the same topic – one works and one doesn’t.
Do you want her to help you sell your house? Do you think she’ll do a good job advising you about how to stage your house to sell fast?
She’s a realtor too. What’s going on with her posture or hair? Can she be trusted to carefully review your purchase and sale agreement, seller’s disclosure or closing documents? Will she be out late partying and show up to your closing late?
Do you want your fitness trainer to leer at you like this when you’re wearing your workout clothes?
Where are this fitness trainer’s hands? Is he going to touch you like this when you workout with him?
Can you find the stylist in this messy room? Is this the before or after picture?
The stylist teaches you how to wear red shoes. Is she or the model enjoying the experience? Do you want to work with her? Do you want to wear an outfit like the model?
With some planning and attention to detail, you can avoid these pitfalls have pictures and video that support your business and yield the results you want.
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