Do you take a good photo or are you one of those people that the camera plays strange tricks on and every photo of you looks as if you’ve had an all-nighter and 2 hours sleep. The camera doesn’t lie? Oh yes it does!!!

Well, that’s what I tell myself when I’ve dolled myself up, actually put some makeup on and changed out of my mummy uniform only to find out that my hubbie has taken a photo of me where I look like the monster from the black lagoon! Surely the camera is lying!

But I’m afraid that when it comes to marketing our businesses, those personal photos are the best thing to engage with our audience. Yes, even the picture of the monster from the black lagoon. An over polished photo can look a little fake and remove that personal connection we are trying to form. It can even put people off. Especially in the UK. The number of times I have heard that somebody is too polished or too fake or even too American.

gurning sellsIt’s good to look professional, but it’s even better to look like a real human being. That’s where we start to connect and respond. So when you look enviously at the over-polished, beautifully produced, preened and plumped images of some of the big marketeers out there,  just think about your ideal customer. Are they perfectly produced and always made up? Or are they struggling, feeling pants and have lost their hair brush (I speak from personal experience here!)?

When I set up The Business beautician I got a friend with a good camera to take some shots of me demonstrating the kind of frustrations my ideal customer’s feel when the words techy, website and design are mentioned. I didn’t look ‘professional’, ‘polished’ or even very sensible, but these photos have been used many many times in my marketing and the sillier photos get more clicks, comments and sales than my first attempts at ‘professional’ photos.

It’s the same for video. As video is getting so much attention on social media the short soundbite is getting more and more reach. EVEN those videos shot on webcams (you know the ones – the ones you don’t want to post), with no makeup, no statement jewellery and no script. These honest little bites of info connect with the audience like nothing else.

So the next time you need a photo to demonstrate the pain points your audience are feeling, try using yourself as a model. Emotion, silliness and gurning will be much more genuine and get more engagement.

And the next time you have something to say. Pop onto your PC, turn on your webcam and speak from your heart. Rejoice when YouTube picks the worst screenshot you can imagine … people like to press play on those ones  J