Do Your Online Images Align With Your Brand Message?
You spend a lot of time and energy carefully crafting your online content, but how much thought do you give to your public images? Have you run a Google search on your name or company lately? You might be surprised at what shows up. Many images are not original, formatted or even relevant.
How are you visually presenting yourself to the world? Do your online images symbolise and evoke your brand message? Do they portray your personality and ethics? Are they sending the right message to your communities, clients and potential speaking audiences?
An Avatar is the first thing we look at when we connect with someone online.
An avatar is a digital icon that represents you or your business online. Most online forums, social media platforms and email facilities have the option to add an avatar.
Gravatar.com is a widely used free service that enables blogs and similar sites to automatically display your pictures from a central database.
The space for an avatar is generally confined and limited in size, but there’s plenty of scope to be creative. On a business profile you may choose to have a logo or an image that represents your brand or business services. Even better for individuals is a portrait shot, as people like to see who they are communicating with.
Professional photos are ideal, but they can be expensive – so experiment with the now widely acceptable selfie. Most mobile phones have good quality cameras built in and take decent images. There are many apps available that can be used to edit and re-size images if they need a touch-up.
Choose an interesting shot and be sure to smile, no stuffy corporate ID type poses! Equally shy away from overtly sexy pictures that may send out the wrong message. Whilst it is important to be accessible and likeable, it may not be appropriate to post a picture of yourself in beachwear. And, don’t forget to pay attention to what’s in the background. Remember, images get cached online and are difficult to get rid of once they’re part of your digital footprint. It is important that your images are optimised for each platform and sized so that clipping doesn’t occur.
Get creative! Be different and stand out!
I believe the people (and companies) who stand out are those with well-crafted brands and active communities. Re-fresh your online image so it harmonises with your brand in order to get the world’s attention.