Showing your face

I was putting together a presentation this week and needed photos of some of the key people to put in the slides. So I went to google images and LinkedIn to find the right photos. And for about 60% of the people, I couldn’t find any decent pictures. I dug into social media and managed to find a couple more. But there were still some people for whom the only images google could give me were years out of date, or looking very bleary and foggy.

Now all these people I wanted to feature were proper grown-up business people. Some of them are running multi-million pound turnover companies. Others are consultants who sell their expertise, and their brand is all about them. But they had photos which were out of date, by about ten years, or with them in a group of other people, or them at their wedding with husband in tow.

It was particularly interesting that the men mostly had a good photo available, although not all of them. But about 60% of the women didn’t have anything recent or suitable that I could use.

Another brilliant Julia idea hits the dust.

What this made me think about

Firstly it made me go and check what google images had on me. Maybe I had the same problem. Now, google images can give you some weird stuff, such as mixing up one of the people I was looking for with a certain royal person just because her name is Kate.


And it gets me very mixed up with Michael Rosen, Paula Tomlinson and Caroline Lucas, plus giving a whole gallery of different glasses I’ve worn over the years. But at least I was there. If anyone needs to steal my image and do a presentation about me for some reason, I’m there.

Secondly, I wondered why all these people are hiding. If you’re the head of the company, or a single person business running a business with a brand around what you supply, you need to tell people what you look like. Otherwise, how are they going to trust you? Or recognise you when they meet you. Or know what gender you are. Or check that you’re the same Jackie Smith that they met at a networking meeting six months ago and they finally have the chance to recommend you, but they’ve lost your business card.

Not having your picture on your website, or having one that doesn’t look like you or do you justice means that you’re missing about a million tricks.

Why people don’t get their photo done

There are lots of excuses.

  • I’m too busy – rubbish, it takes about 30 minutes
  • It will cost too much money – Getting a professional set of headshots to make you look beautiful would be about £200-300. If you compare this with how much business you could be losing because of this, that’s nothing.
  • If you can’t spring for that sort of dosh, do what I did about 15 years ago and get a pal to take about 100 photos with natural light outside on a sunny day until you get a couple that looks okay
  • I need to get my hair done – get your hair done then; you need to look groomed for your next sales meeting anyway
  • No one wants to look at me – well, maybe they do if they want to do business with you
  • I’m not pretty enough. And this one is probably the real fear that stops you putting a photo online. We put off getting our pictures done because we’re scared that we’re not worth it, we’re self-conscious of something about our appearance, or we feel that it’s vain or narcissistic to get a good photo done.

Three ways to think about this

The first way is to look deep into your soul and think about how you are worth it, you are pretty, and the world deserves to know it.

The second way is to think of all the top business men in the world and work out if you’re better looking than them. Here’s a list of the 50 richest business people. I’ll bet my last month’s profits that you’re prettier than all of them. Except maybe Alice Walton.

And the third way is to accept that none of this matters at all. You are doing this for business reasons, just the same as writing a blog, picking up the phone to make a sales call, or setting up a Facebook ad campaign. And you’re going to use professional tools to do it, just the same as you would for all the other activities you’d do to market your business. The exciting thing is that if you use a professional photographer, they’ve got all these tricks to make you look good – have a look at these.

Next steps

Check out photos of yourself in google images. Would you want me to use these in a presentation?

If yes. Read my next article; you’re fine on this one.

If no. Get your photos done. Get them on the website. Job done

Top tips

If you’d like a proper set of headshots, or photos of you and the team, or maybe some interesting ideas about how to use photos to promote your business, get in touch with Susi Doherty at Vervate. They can definitely make you look pretty/handsome/trustworthy/interesting or all of the above. I usually look awful in photos, much worse than real life, and Vervate has made me look great.

If this article has made you stop and think about how you’re generally promoting yourself and your business online, maybe you’d like some help with getting your business noticed more. Here’s what I do to help people with their marketing and business strategy.

Why don’t we get together to talk about how I might be able to help you…

Photo credit – yes, this is one from Vervate, plus Kate Middleton (not my client) by Jeff Amann