Your profile photo says a lot about you.
Today we will go over the best practices for your profile photo.
Communication online and offline is 93% non verbal ( body language) and only 7% the words you use.
You should have a photo of you on your website, on your ActiveRain profile and on your social media platforms.
Websites: People want to get to know you. They also want to know how to find the person they are meeting. Humans use face recognition every single day.
Make it easy for people to find you when you meet at the office, at Pinera Bread or Starbucks, or at a networking event.
Buyers and sellers want to have a heads up on what to expect so first impressions are very important.
On your ActiveRain profile you need to have a current photo of yourself, not your company logo and not your dog or cat. Members want to have a face with the comment. It helps us to know who we are having an online conversation with.
Social media profiles need to have your photo on them as well, as the main profile image.
Again this is because people want to get to know you. You want to make a positive and friendly first impression.
Here is a photo of Sandy Wallace, an agent in Santa Cruz California who sells beach front and ocean front properties there.
She is showing her true self and she looks amazing!
Now, here are some best practices rules to follow when choosing which photo to use:
Update your photo!!! If you have not aged one bit in the last 10 years then you can keep your photo from ten years ago. Nothing wrong with that but be honest about it.
- Don't use your highschool reunion photo when you are 60 years old! There is NOTHING more deceiving when you meet someone to find out they are not the hot chick or stud they saw on your profile!
This also gives a subliminal message that you are not trustworthy. If you lie about how you look what else do you lie about? It sets you up on the wrong foot in a new business relationship.
It also gives off the impression that you are ashamed of the way you are aging. Be gracefull, we all age, we all will change... be accepting of this and people will accept you.
- Take a photo of you in a natural setting preferably outside next to green trees, flowers, or by some other natural setting, on the beach, at the river, etc. Match this to your niche. The days of the fake looking indoor portrait studio photos are gone. People connect with people who are authentic, unpretentious, and transparent.
- DUMP the glamour shots! You can't get much phonier than those!
- DO NOT CROSS YOUR ARMS in front of your body!!! I see SO many agent photos with arms crossed in front of their bodies and I just cringe. I want to shout out... take a body language class! People don't have to know body language to be affected by it. We all as human beings subconsciously tune into body language. Pay attention to the signals you are sending to other people.
Crossing your arms in front of your body means that you are defensive and have a negative attitude. It is a gesture people use when they feel uncomfortable like when they get in an elevator. This is universal across all humans not just Americans. Please change your photos if you are using arms crossed in front of you poses. It is considered an "arm barrier". In the business of real estate you already have enough barriers , don't create more.
- If you are a couple- DON'T use those back to back phoney photos. They are so unnatural looking. But they also carry with them negative body language. That is double the effect of one person crossing their arms! Don't do this! Get rid of those photos pronto! Keep it real and natural. No one naturally stands back to back and especially not with their arms crossed in front.
- Don't use poses where you have your face resting on your chin. This body language screams you think you are better than anyone else. It is a negative pose because it comes across as very snobby.
- Throw out your photos of your hand on your hips! This one is the most obnoxious pose there is and I see so many agents using this pose, especially women. The body language signal of hands on your hips is one of aggression and intimidation. Not exactly what you want to portray to new buyers or sellers! It also can come across as you think you are better than others.
Remember that first impressions are very tough to alter once made. Within the first few seconds of someone meeting you online or in person, they make the judgment call if you are their friend or not. If they like you or not. If they trust you or not. As a real estate agent you already have strikes against you as to the public's perception, don't make it any harder!
It is a business decision whether to have your photo on your business cards and on your car and on your for sale signs. That is a discussion for another day.