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I’m On The Market; Are YOU A Great Catch?

Okay,  I’m not looking for a date with an eligible bachelor, but I once stumbled upon (wink) an interesting statement on none other than the famous online dating site e-harmony that I must share with you:

“Profile pictures can tell your story. If done well, your profile pictures can act as a photo album of your life, illustrating the different layers that make you such a great catch.”

I am on the market, are you a great catch? The power of a profile picture in branding

Background Story:

I was in the midst of answering a question to a fellow mompreneur. She was puzzled as to keeping her profile picture online and wished to find out whether I had gotten any creepy messages over my profile picture. Valid concern. 

I answered with the utmost honesty:

I get many comments about my smile, from both men and women. I admitted to getting flirty messages now and then, and assured her the trolls can be blocked anyway.

I felt like she was asking for advice, but if she wasn’t, she got it anyway. I knew she needed to hear it… and that is my passion! It feels like I’m always coaching – in every conversation. It’s part of my DNA and something I’ve been doing since I was a child. 

I encouraged her to take advantage of the branding power of a profile picture. I always insist on this piece and make sure the moms I coach and mentor know how powerful a simple image can be to create a desire in others to get to know more about you, to make a contact, to establish a connection, to engage in conversation.

“People want to do business with real people (real people they know, like, trust and have a product/service that makes THEIR lives easier).

Whether you are trying to connect with possible partners or prospect clients, they need to know who you truly are and what is important to you. You become relatable to them as a human being.”

Amusingly enough, I was searching for an article on profile picture tips for her, because I hadn’t written one, and e-harmony.com about “how to make your profile picture more attractive”  came up.

I have no experience with online dating, so I am not endorsing or encouraging this practice or have a list of reason why it should or shouldn’t be done. I admit there was a time when I thought about it because Elyssa heard about it in the private school she used to attend and was obsessed with her mom getting a husband online. 

When I read the profile picture article, at first I thought, “wow, it’s crazy how much deliberate effort goes into this online dating thing!” Then, my inner marketer took over and it really made sense to me that online dating is a lot like online marketing: you brand yourself, you position yourself, and you market yourself as the best catch.

If you’re skeptic about it, then consider this: if people search for a significant other online, don’t you think they’d search for an expert?

I particularly liked e-harmony’s advice to:

“let your personality shine, underscore your interests and give a glimpse into your life”.

This is amazing advice for your brand! Ask yourself these three questions about branding:

1.     When your prospect is searching online, will you stand out as a great catch?
2.     Will you be the fortunate one to “take them out”?
3.     Will they be interested enough to want to be “in a relationship” with you?

When I moved to the United States, the dating system was very foreign to me.  In my culture, the boy comes to your house and taking you out happens after your mom and dad know everything there is to know about him AND his family.

It’s embarrassing to admit that I may have gone on a few dates without even knowing they were. I never knew dating to be so casual! So I am, by no means, a dating expert, and even less of an online dating expert, but I can point out the similarities of what I understand US dating to be and the marketing process:

1.      You say hi and get their name
2.      You get their e-mail address or phone number
3.      You go out for hot tea and you listen to what they’re looking for, and they find out you could be “The One.” Roles switch.
4.      Both develop a trusting, fun, and mutually beneficial relationship
5.      The relationship continues as long as it keeps meeting each side’s needs

The conversion process online starts with that very picture on your social media profile, on your website header, and your website’s bio sections (about page and media page).

The single most important first impression you make is with the 3600 to 5000 pixels you get for your tiny picture.” ~ Seth Godin

While some of the  e-harmony tips don’t really apply to finding your ideal customer/reader/client online (well, at least that’s true for me), I agree with five elements they mentioned as important:

  1. simplicity
  2. scenery
  3. lighting
  4. eye contact
  5. honesty!

Many people use the excuse that “Everyone knows this picture of me, even if it’s 15 years old, it’s my personal branding” (Elayna clears her throat in a very ladylike manner). The purpose of the picture is not to make you look pretty, but to get your brand seen, KNOWN, and heard.

[Tweet “Your profile picture can improve your brand and help you make a favorable impression. #mompreneur”]

So how can your profile picture improve your brand and make a favorable impression? It communicates that you are a great catch, because you are serious about your brand, about your image, about your identity.

My recommendations? I thought you’d never ask!

  1. Get your picture taken by a professional. Your dream is worth that investment.
  2. Use a white or neutral background, and wear your brand colors.
  3. Crop out useless elements (but do keep your limbs), and use props wisely and intentionally.
  4. Go solo, unless there is a purpose that aligns with your brand name.
  5. Don’t strike a pose! Do show off your passion. Your personality is the ultimate marketing plan.

Are you a great catch?  Does your expertise help others solve problems and reach goals? Say it with your brand picture and stop hiding!

I’d love to hear about your business / brand profile photos. How much did you invest in planning, shooting, or choosing your current photo? I look forward to your comments below!

[ela]

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