I know, not everybody likes having their face plastered all over the front of their website. But unfortunately, if you are a coach, or a trainer or another helpful bod that sells their expertise, support and advice (you lovely people) you are the most important asset in your business.
Your coaching business lives or dies by the types of relationships you build with your crowd. Its character is built upon your own personality and view of life, the universe and everything. No pressure there then!
So what is the best way to get your personality across and to build this super trusting relationship with the people you would really love to work with?
As always a picture can say it all. But getting this all important photo of you being you can be a bit tricky to get right.
I’m sure you don’t want one of those wooden cheesy ear to ear grins with the manic look in the eye that shouts ‘just get it over with’ heading up your biz, or a blurry snapshot from a mobile phone taken on a night out with the girls (phones can take great photos but your lead image isn’t one of them). Strike a pose doesn’t really work for most people, unless you are a trained model and used to pouting on demand and feel at home in front of the camera. I’m not.
[bctt tweet=”The best sort of image of you for your website is of you just doing your thing.”]
If you are a talker, get photos of you talking, explaining, presenting. If you are a bit off the wall a silly hat or, in the case of Marie Forleo, a silly pair of specs, can sum up your approach to your work. If you get fantastic results for your clients and get them to dream big, show yourself thinking and imagining. If you achieve freedom and a better lifestyle or more money for your clients show yourself living the good life, laugh and raise a glass. If you are a great listener and support your clients through their journey then show yourself listening to somebody talk or make a connection with the person holding the camera and you’ll be inviting visitors to your website to communicate with you.
Still unsure how you are ever going to look half natural in front of the camera? Here are 5 design secrets to getting the best photos for your coaching business…
Bring your friends along.
I know this may seem like you’re inviting an audience to your performance but, as a coach, you don’t work alone, you are best when interacting. Get them to play the part of your client. Talk to them, listen to them and laugh with them and try to forget the camera is even there.
Get photos taken in different locations.
Setting the scene can really help your image. Not only does it increase the meaning of your image and show your audience a bit more about you and your life, but it can really relax you to be out of a stark photography studio, limited to standing against a blank wall in your house or in front of the only tidy space you can find at home.
Choose your locations wisely though, that graffiti wall might be very colourful and a great texture but might not be communicating the right things to your audience. Just go with where you hang out and where you love to be.
Have fun with it. I suggest a café location to finish so you can sample the cake. Good things always come of cake!
Dress it up
I don’t mean you have to be dolled up to the nines, but having a few of your favourite outfits to change into can give you a wider range of images to choose from. Choose something you are comfortable wearing but that really sums up your character. Something your friends would say, ‘ooh, that’s really you’.
Whether you are investing in some professional photography or getting a friend with a good camera to snap away, you’ll be really glad you have some different shots of you to use in your marketing. There’s nothing that says amateur than the same old photo being rolled out over and over again.
Use the background
As a designer one of the most frustrating things about working with photos is when they haven’t got enough background. Sure, you can cut it out, but it’s not easy and not for beginners.
Try to frame some of your photos so the main part of the action is sitting in 1/3 of the picture. When it comes to using your images in your marketing, you’ll often want to place text over it, so leave some room. It will save you a lot of heartache later.
Try to show a bit of your location, but you don’t want the background to look too busy. A shot focused on your face can keep the background out of focus so it doesn’t interfere with your portrait.
Find some images you love
Don’t be frightened to be bossy. It can really help your photographer (both of the professional and friend variety) to know what you are looking for.
Have a peep at some photography sites, other coaches’ websites or even some stock photos. Pay attention to the backgrounds, positioning, location and colours of your preferred images. It’s great to get inspiration and you are more likely to get something you love and will work for you and your business if you do a little homework first.
Enjoy the process. There is nothing like being the centre of attention for a day and having a bit of fun with your friends for bringing out the true you. Get the best photos for your coaching business and you will start to build those all important relationships – and that is what sells.