Why Photos of You Are So Valuable on Your Website
When it comes to your personal brand and website, photos of your face are incredibly valuable to build trust and drive visitors to act.
Turns out humans are overwhelmingly visual creatures and since “a picture is worth a thousand words,” having the right visuals is something we should all keep in mind when communicating our personal brand.
The Power of Images on Your Personal Website
Not only do visuals help make your website aesthetically pleasing, images help users forge first impressions, are processed quicker than text by our brains and therefore help communicate our message, and can even lead to more conversions.
When users view a website, it takes less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression according to research from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
In that same study, researchers found that eyes rested on the site’s main image for 5.94 seconds and are critical to making that first impression and communicating your personal brand.
In fact, a visual component is so important that if you fail to include it when you communicate, it’s possible your message won’t be received.
Our brains are far more engaged when we create a personal connection through storytelling than when we share a list of cold, hard facts.
When it comes to helping others’ brains quickly grasp a story you’re trying to tell about your personal brand—and understand and remember it—images and visuals have an advantage over using text alone because the brain processes images in mere seconds.
We tend to understand images immediately, while the brain must take time to process text in a sequential manner to extract its meaning.
Not only does the use of images add variety and interest to your personal brand website, research and A/B testing show it can even lead to more conversions.
Not Just Any Image: Forgo Stock Imagery for Custom Photos of You
It’s important to carefully consider the photos you will use on your website so that you make the right first impression and position yourself in a way that’s relevant to your audience and the opportunities that you seek.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School studies how we evaluate each other when we first meet and explains that we really form two impressions of a person at the first encounter (whether online or in person) that account for 80 to 90 percent of an overall first impression—we judge how warm and trustworthy the person is and we try to determine how strong and competent they are.
While stock images might seem more cost-effective at first, there are several benefits to investing in commissioning your own professional photographs, particularly if you’re an individual professional or service provider.
Personal shots of you will help convey the trustworthiness and competence that are so critical in that first impression. Research proves that stock images are often ignored and “real” photos have a better chance of engaging your website visitors.
Stock photography won’t ever be able to articulate your brand essence or build trust the way custom photos will.
Photos of You: Even if You’re a Private Person
Even when you’re not comfortable in front of the camera or view yourself as more of a behind-the-scenes person, it’s still important to include images of you on your website because that’s what will make connections with your visitors and help you achieve your goals.
You don’t have to do it on your own. Personal branding agencies can develop a shot list that is customized for your personal brand and tailored to help you achieve the specific objectives of your website.
A creative director can select the right on-brand environments for your photos and direct you on set in terms of poses and styling. Professional photographers are experts in photo composition, lighting and know how to make you relax and look natural in your photos.
The right photos of you on your website can build trust and credibility with prospects and help people feel comfortable about the idea of hiring or buying from you.
Authentic, on-brand photos of you essentially convey, “You can trust me. I have nothing to hide.”
Pictures are powerful, so make sure you are making the right (and authentic) impression with the images you choose to showcase on your personal website.