I’ve been avidly reading Dan Zarrella’s book, The Science of Marketing recently. I really like what Dan’s done here, he’s taken tons of data from various sources and dug down to find out what real humans do online. And then he’s given us some great marketing tips, and exploded some of what he calls the ‘unicorns and rainbows’ myths about online marketing.
Here’s some bits from the Science of Marketing you can use straight away:
Science of Marketing take away 1
Put your picture up on Twitter
Dan found out that people who have a picture of themselves have more followers. And, the folk who have filled out their bio with a proper description of who they are and what they do, have more followers. Dan’s data makes sense in an obvious way, as there are millions of dead Twitter accounts out there, where someone started half heartedly to use twitter, didn’t really put much into it and didn’t bother with a photo or a description. But it fits with something else I’ve noticed in all kinds on marketing, both online and offline.
If people see a photo of you, they are more likely to trust you. I see many Twitter (and LinkedIn) accounts and websites where there is no photo of the people behind the company. I spend a lot of time persuading clients to put their photo on their website. Women are much more reluctant than men, probably because we’re more used to being judged on our appearance. For some tips about how to encourage trust by using photos of real people, read this… and if you need some more data to persuade you to show your face, read Dan’s tests in The Science of Marketing.
Science of Marketing take away 2
People need to trust you to give you money
If you want to do business with people, you need them to trust you. You’re asking them to part with their (or their company’s) hard won cash. We’re all cave men really, we’re not that far evolved from when we were running around on the savannah, eating insects and our entire social group was about 150 people.
This means even the most extrovert and gregarious of us have difficulty trusting people who we don’t know. Putting your photo out there is one way of your potential clients getting to know you, because they see your face. It doesn’t matter if you’re not stunningly beautiful; you don’t want your clients to marry you, just to start to get a feel for you.
If we were still on the savannah, your clients would probably stare at you and sniff you as the first part of getting to know a stranger to see if they should exchange their dried blueberries for some of your yams. In online marketing, we can’t (yet) allow customers to sniff us, but we can at least give them chance to stare at our photo.
Science of Marketing take away 3
Top tips for photo trust
If you want people to get to sniff you a little bit, here’s how to make the most of your photo, and make it less cringey if you feel a bit reluctant:
- Remember that photos do not really imprison your soul, this is just a marketing tactic you need to do.
- Get a good photo done. If you have a couple of hundred quid to spare, get a series of nice headshots done professionally – it will be worth the investment.
- If you don’t have any spare money, get your friend to take about 100 photos of you so you can choose one that looks okay. My pal Kay did this for me in 2006; thanks Kay.
- Use a sensible headshot photo of you full on to the camera, or slightly tilted away. No cartoons, kids drawings, or etch a sketch.
- Do not use your wedding photo or include your husband / wife / cat / baby.
- Do not use your wedding photo and crop your husband out (yes, I’ve really seen this).
- If you usually dress informally, like most of us, do not dress up in a suit. Your favourite t-shirt is just fine. After all, your clients want to know about you, not some made up version.
- Unless you are tweeting as part of a team for your company, use a photo of you, not your logo.
- Make your face big enough to fill the whole frame for your Twitter photo, otherwise you’re just a dot in the middle. See Jason Kitcat’s photo; that’s the right proportion for people to see that it’s Jason on a tiny avatar.