You know how everyone and their hamster has these typical, pretty, sleek and friendly-smiley pictures up on their website? And they all kinda look the same?
Sure, I got these pictures too (and chances are: so do you!). It’s nice to have em, these nice-girl pics and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them.
But (did you sense this “but” was coming? ;) I say: your pictures are an opportunity to stand out like a flamingo in a sea of pigeons. (Not saying that everyone else is a pigeon obviously or that pigeons are bad just because they shit all over the place… and how did I just get myself into this awkward conversation about pigeons? Well, anyway… back to the point!)
The pictures you put up on your website are an amazing opportunity to stand out, define your brand and SELL your awesome shiz.
Are you taking this opportunity? Are you making the most out of your pictures? Or are they just some snapshots you randomly took with your iPhone? Are you putting thought and STRATEGY into your images? Or are you just smiling into the camera, hoping to look at least somewhat professional (like I used to do)?
“A picture says more than a thousand words” they say. And while I obviously don’t fully agree with that, pictures ARE a valuable and effective tool for you to make your people FEEL something.
Hey, we’re talking about emotions again — who would have guessed? ;)
Just like great copy, your pictures have to speak to your readers’ emotions if you want them to fall in love with you, buy all your products and services and then go on to sing you praises all over the internet.
Why am I even talking about this, you wonder? I had the coolest fotoshoot ever yesterday, so yes — I thought about pictures a lot over the last couple days.
(By the way: change is a comin’! Along with the new pics, I’m gonna pimp my website, create a German website AND I’m in the process of finalizing my online course that’s gonna teach you exactly how to write with personality! I’m out-of-my-body excited for all of this.)
Alright. Now on to the 5 simple steps that will get you extraordinary pictures to put all over your pretty website. Ready?
Step 1: Get uber-clear on your brand.
Don’t just wait until the day of your shooting to do this! Ask yourself these questions before you even hire a photographer:
What does my brand stand for?
Which 3 primary emotions do I want people to feel when they look at my website?
(I work on this with all of my clients, so if you need a little help from a friend — send me an email and let’s hop on Skype!)
See, I promised simple steps. It’s really not a lot of work but it makes all the difference in the world to be CLEAR upfront.
Did you answer the questions? Great, let’s move on.
Step 2: Write down all the specific things you need pictures for.
You think this is a no-brainer? Then ask a photographer! So many people just don’t take the time to finish this crucial step and then they end up frustrated because they would have needed pictures for 32 other purposes as well.
So maybe it’s not just your new header image. Where else can you use your gorgeous face to accelerate your business success?
Do your emails have pictures?
Your blog posts?
Your new course?
Does your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram account need a little update?
And please trust me with this: don’t just think about these. Write. Them. Down.
I know you’re super busy and your mind is full with 839 to-dos. So don’t give yourself the chance to forget all of this once the lights go on and it’s time for action.
Step 3: Don’t try to save money on your pics.
You don’t have to go all Kate Moss or spend 2000 Dollars, one arm and your left leg to get glossy-magazine-style pictures… but DO get help from a pro. Even a basic website looks awesome with professional pictures and even when you’re just starting out… these first impressions do go a long, long way!
Your copy sells but your pretty website is what attracts people first. So do yourself and your business a favor and TURN PRO.
Step 4: Emotions, emotions, emotions.
Do you get tired of me talking about emotions? Awesome, me neither! ;)
So why not take PICTURES that speak to your clients’ emotions as well? A smile is nice, but what if your brand is edgy and you actually want people to crack the fuck up? What if you’re a spiritual teacher, a healer, a therapist and don’t want to just laugh into people’s faces because they come to you with serious problems?
Why not take sad, irritated, annoyed, frustrated, angry and crazy pics as well?
Use your pictures strategically to support your claim! If you’re talking about how annoying and frustrating it is to set up your own website (because you’re a webdesigner and you can do it faster and much better), why not use annoyed and frustrated pictures to back up your statement?
This is an opportunity. You DON’T have to do what everybody else does so let your creativity flow and create something new, fresh and innovative.
Step 5: Have FUN with it.
This is the most important step of all. DO NOT take yourself too seriously! Allow yourself to laugh, fool around, be silly… hell you can even wear a raccoon hat if you like. (No, wait… that’s me!).
Just relax and have fun.
These are the best, natural pictures you can ever get. And I know what I’m talking about because I’m cool and relaxed in person, on Skype, in video interviews and when I’m teaching my live workshops… but try to take a picture of me and I fucking freeze.
I had to learn this the hard way (by taking 3000 pictures and ending up with like 4 good ones….) so please don’t repeat my mistake. Drink some tea or vodka — whatever calms you down — and have fun. Your pictures will then show who you truly are and your people are gonna love you for it.
Alright, now let me hear it in the comments:
Where can you use pictures to support your claim?
What does your brand stand for?
I can’t wait to hear from you!