Are you the real you online? For small business owners like you and me, clicking the “buy now” button to purchase a product or service on someone’s website is most often an emotional response. Connecting with someone on social media is too. The thing is, if you’ve never met the person you’re trying to connect with or buy from in person, the emotional response that triggers the desire to purchase or connect is often fueled by their online persona.
I know when I check out someone’s website, their Facebook profile or page, their LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, I want to see the “who” behind the website or social media platform. I want to connect with a person. So when I’m checking out your website or social media platforms, I want to see a photo of YOU, not a cartoon drawing of your face, or your logo, or a photo of your dog or cat. And as much as I love children, I don’t really even want to see photos of your children – as cute as they may be. I simply want to see YOU, your face. I want to see who I am communicating with, who I am doing business with, and who I’m attempting to build a relationship with. For me, if If I go to a website or get a request to connect on social media and there isn’t a photo of the person behind the business, I’m less likely to purchase or connect.
In addition to having your photo on your website and social media platforms, your photo should be current. There’s nothing more disconcerting than getting to know someone online, and then, when you finally get to meet them in person they are 20-30 years OLDER than the photo they’ve been using on their website and social media channels. They are still using that fabulous head shot they had taken at the conference they attended long, long ago. I know it’s hard to stop using the photo that makes you look fabulously young and beautiful, but really … if it no longer looks like you, then you’re not really being very honest, are you? Truth be told, unless you are Dorian Gray and have a painting that allows you to never age hidden somewhere, you really need to invest in new head shots every five years or so. Oh … and as I’ve mentioned at least once or twice before, do NOT use that photo of you and your friend taken on the beach last summer and simply crop your friend out. OR … take a duck-faced selfie. Please don’t. For the love of all things good and holy, just don’t.Are you the same you online you are offline?Click To Tweet
The other side of sharing the real you on your website and social media platforms, is regarding copy. People should be able to read your website copy or your social media platform profiles and summaries and be able to “see” the real you. They should be able to get a feel for who you are as a person as they read. If you’re a fun-loving, casual person, but all of your copy is stiff and formal, there will be an awkwardness if you connect on the phone or meet in person. You can maintain a very high level of professionalism and still show the real you. You really want to be warm and inviting. It took me a long time to finally find my “voice,” but I think I’m finally at the point where people can see the real me in my copy, on my website, blog posts and on social media. I want it to always be a case of “what you see is what you get.” That way, when I meet someone in person for the first time or speak with them on the phone, there is a familiarity there that will continue to build the relationship.
I love it when I meet an online friend or colleague in real life at a conference or in my travels and they tell me I look just like I do in all of my pictures, or I’m just like they thought I would be. To me, that’s one of the greatest compliments I can receive.
Being the real you online helps build and promote that coveted “know, like and trust” factor we all want to achieve.
Are you the real you online?
Also published on Medium.