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An appealing image or a hard boiled egg: Which Would You Engage With?

Written by Steve Clarke of Eureka Sales

Leading UK expert on grassroots sales Steve Clarke talks about the importance of using an engaging profile image for social media.

Which would grab your attention and which would you rather engage with?

In the world of social networking, marketing yourself has become every bit as important as marketing your product… for most of us. You wouldn’t dream of producing flyers or brochures of your products without an image of what it is and what it does… would you?

Yet so many people in business are starting to push themselves out into the social media jungle looking like a hard boiled egg. (admittedly, a guy on one of my courses recently – did actually look just like the Twitter egg, but that’s not the norm).

You need to understand that nowadays more than ever before, people want to get to know you, like you, trust you and then consider buying from you. Now when someone checks for example your Twitter profile and sees the Twitter egg. What does that tell them?
  • You want to remain anonymous?
  • You’re too shy to be photographed?
  • Or maybe, that you can’t be bothered.
The image that you use must engage with your target audience It must let them see who you are and show you to be personable and trustworthy. Letting them look you in the eye can go a long way to helping this. The key today is engagement.</p>
  • It shouldn’t be an image of you had laying around the beach from your holidays 10 years ago.
  • It shouldn’t be a quick snap shot of yourself taken in a mirror with your mobile phone.
  • It shouldn’t be a cropped image from a group shot.
If you are going to have a go at taking your own corporate “head-shot” then here are a few simple tips for you;
  • Make sure you have a nice plain uncluttered background.
  • If you do want to show your business in the background, make sure that
  • the area is clean and tidy.
  • DON’T use the inbuilt flash on your camera. It will often give you the ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look.
  • Make sure you look presentable and that you are smiling.
  • Go for head and shoulders only.

Think about it. When you meet someone for the first time where do you look? Men… you should answer – “you look at the eyes”! Make sure your photo let’s people look you in the eye.

Of course the best way to get a good head-shot that really works is to hire the services of a professional photographer.

When I wanted some fresh image shots I called on Paul Simister, here’s a link to his site (http://www.paulsimis...tography.co.uk/) I’m too busy to get time in a studio. Maybe you are too. Brilliant – he came to me and did a great job… (at least my wife thinks he did… still, he’s a photographer not a magician, that said with a little help from Photoshop – he can work wonders).

These images were taken on location after one of my sales mentoring sessions. He used simple equipment and lighting to turn a plain meeting room into a photography studio. By changing the direction of the light (this is done by having a separate flash gun and soft-box to soften the light apparently), he was able to produce nice shadow and contrast across the images.

I’ve no axe to grind here – but if you don’t have time to get to a studio – let the studio come to you, give Paul a buzz on 07970 978345

So – social media…

Tip number one - use an engaging image on all your profiles.

Tip number two - complete the Bio in your profile using keywords for what you’d like to be found for, i.e. “Sales & marketing” for me… If you’re a hairdresser include what you do in your Bio. Don’t make it a sales pitch.

Tip number three - Find relevant people to follow. One place you can start is to look who is following your competitors… and follow them. Sound sneaky? Not at all. Use the various search tools and get following people.

Tip number four - Engage. Join in conversations, get to know a few people. Re-tweet interesting tweets. You’ll soon get the hang of it.

Tip number five - be consistent, keep at it. Be interesting, relevant, knowledgeable, controversial, amusing… or a mix of all of these.

If you’d like some help in how to integrate social media into your marketing strategy – just let me know.

Email me at steve@eurekasales.co.uk or visit my website for all sorts of free resources at www.eurekasales.co.uk.

Feeling like you want to be old school? That’s OK to. Call me on 0845 053 4937.

About Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke is one of the UK’s leading experts on grassroots sales and marketing strategies. He has owned and operated business in the UK and USA. He has taken them from start up to stock market floatation. He helped grow his last UK business from scratch to £30 million in revenues in just 8 years. In 2005 the company was sold and he was able to retire at the age of 45. Now he spends much of his time working with business owners and entrepreneurs that want to achieve growth and success through improved sales and marketing. www.eurekasales.co.uk 0845 053 4937


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