Images strike faster than text. You have probably already written a few thousand words. Now it’s time to supplement those with a few pictures.
Pictures set the mood and lower the barrier to contacting you; they make you a human instead of a web page. They are your opportunity to create a great first impression.
Let’s start with the bare minimum.
You need a profile picture (a square image that would work if a circle frame was put over it) and a banner image (a long rectangle).
Search through what you already have
If you already have pictures of yourself, feel free to use them.
There aren’t many rules with using existing photos but we suggest that, at minimum, you pick photos that still look like you (and a stranger would say so too). We all have terrific photos of us that we lovebut perhaps we don’t look like that any more. Embrace it. You have changed. Now don’t create false expectations for a stranger by making yourself out to look different than you are.
For profile images, a headshot is best.
For banner images, an original image of you immersed in your work is ideal. Failing that, a photo that somehow shows the service you’re providing or a different photo of you will suffice.
Activity: Taking new pictures
You will need
A phone with a front facing camera
30mins or so
Today, you’re going to take selfies. You’re not necessarily going to use any of them – this is about getting comfortable with the camera. There is no need to put on (or take off) make up. There is no need to get changed (as long as your dressed).
You have a permission slip to take as many pictures as possible.
You have a permission slip to delete as many pictures as you’d like.
Keep going until (a) you’ve run out of time and need to do the next part of your day; or (b) you’ve got at least 1 that you don’t hate.
The game is to figure out what makes the ones you don’t hate.
How did that go?
Of the photos you were ok with, figure out what you like about it.
Of the ones you didn’t like, figure out what you didn’t like about them that you can change.
Next step (pick one):
- Pick a photo that you’re ok with uploading and use it
- Pick two photos and send them to 3 people you trust asking which they like best
- Message a friend to book in a time for a “shoot”
- Put in your calendar an appointment with yourself to take more selfies
- Put in an inquiry with a professional photographer to get some photos taken*
Try not to faff around for too long. Imagine giving up on starting a new income stream because you forgot to finish getting your photos sorted! (It has happened).
Once you have every option you can put your hands on, the one you like most (or dislike least) is fine.
If you do a round two
Here are some best practices:
- don’t cross your arms
- make sure you’re in a well-lit space and that the light is not coming from behind you – rather than in front and shining on you
- delete any photos that aren’t in focus
- avoid distracting objects in the background
- try a different angle to straight on – a slight angle
On clothing: wear whatever you would like that represents you but doesn’t exclude someone in your target audience from liking you (psst: this might mean wearing a button up shirt).
For banner images, anything that shows you andthe service you’re providing is ideal.
If getting a profile picture was enough of a hassle, consider using stock images for your banner for now: Unsplash does royalty free images.
You can use these until your first service/workshop happens. Because you’ll definitely remember to ask a friend to take pictures, right? You can also organise a professional photographer to bundle the time by taking a few in situ shots and your head shot (all while your patrons/students are writing you testimonials).
Look at examples
Check out our directory and see what other people have done for their pictures.
*Using a professional photographer
The process of getting professional photos done and the results it produces are often the confirmation to make your profession “real”.
If you’re going down this path, make sure you get your banner shots done too. Melissa Cadell, Joanne Shambler, and Bev Ryan did it. Click their names to see the results for yourself.
Are you a photographer? Consider listing your services on Wiserr and we’ll recommend you to Wiserrs setting up their profiles.