Picture Perfect

I’ve just read an article from Andrew McDermott with Grade.us who says that now more than ever, people are judging you on the quality of your content and the photos attached to them.

In fact, McDermott says there are five things customers evaluate – automatically – when they come across one of your photos. Are you curious to know what they are and how you stack up?

1. Ingroup/outgroup.
Simply put, customers ask themselves the question, “Are you like me?” If the answer is
yes, the conversation continues.

2. Social class.
Sadly, classism is viewed by many as the last acceptable prejudice
in the world today. Customers use this to vet/validate the social standing of
those they associate with.

3. Ethos and values.
Every group has its own culture, its own set of values and norms.
Customers expect your Ethos and values to align with theirs and the ethos and
values of the group to earn their business.

4. Trustworthiness. “Will you hurt me?” Customers want to know they’re safe with you. They’re looking to decrease risk, pain, and suffering.

5. Social status.
Businesses with high social status and high social capital command a considerable amount of respect and prestige. As people, we’re drawn to those around us who are exceptional in some way.

So, when it comes to you, your business, and the photos you’re using to represent yourself is what you’re doing hitting or missing the mark? I wish I could say that all you need to
worry about is quality but as Andrew points out, there is a ton of backstory to
be applied to the selection of photos you post.

Watch Those Hands!

So here’s a tricky one. See the fingers this woman is holding up? As an American, this is the nonverbal way to say, “peace”.

In England, it’s the “V for Victory” if the palm is facing outward but something considered very rude if the hand is turned the other way.

Which, if you’re creating content for a global audience (something you should be doing) means when you use stock photos you need to be especially careful to not send the wrong signal.

In fact, quickly Googling “hand signs around the world”, I found that there are so many ways you can get yourself into trouble that you need to seriously be careful when you select your stock photos!

Don’t believe me?

Read this article and then tell me what this photo means to people from Latin America.

Catching Their Eye

Where do you stand when it comes to standing out?

I’ve got to admit, personally, I’m the least likely woman I know to need or want the spotlight and yet … what I realize when I look at this photo is the same thing I realize when I look around my home.

Beauty, personalized and meaningful, stands out and grabs my attention every single time. If you come to my place, you’ll find things you might not see elsewhere that I’ve surrounded myself with. Things that have meaning and memory – even if not “designer”. That, to me, is the ultimate expression of beauty.

Translating that back to this picture, you may see a woman holding a plant. If that’s all you see and it does nothing for you, no harm, no foul.

But, if, like me, the first thing you saw was an “offering” or the giving of a gift, then maybe you also looked even closer and saw this wasn’t your ordinary plant and these weren’t your ordinary hands.

If so, then the standout part for you might be, like me, that you approach the viewing of things (and people) differently.

Which is where I’d encourage you to focus when you think about your business, your customers and how your content, social and digital marketing efforts are having the impact you want and shining a spotlight on what you’re offering to others.