When a friend of mine got into real estate, he asked me what photographer I used for the photograph that is on my business card. He liked the quality and the message I was sending by using a professional photographer as opposed to having my partner snap a quick picture against a white wall. He wanted the professional look for his card and ads as well.
That made me step back and really think for a few moments. Why on earth I had I originally put my photograph on my card? Had I been peddling my hypnosis practice like selling Austin real estate? Well?
So, as I sipped my free-trade cup of Joe and looked over the rim at my would-be-real-estate-mogul friend, I asked him why people in real estate put their likenesses on everything from cards to signage.
He sipped his expresso or rather tossed it back like a shot of libation.
“I want people to know who I am. My face is my brand recognition. Just because my company was rated the number one residential real estate team in Austin by the Austin Business Journal, I want them to know me, the human element of the company. If they like the way I look, they will come to me. If they don’t…”
Hmmm. I see that. Had I become snarky in my high-brow healing modality? Had I begun to think I was better than everyone else and was now questioning my own purposes in having a picture on my card? Were my reasons any different from the millions of real estate agents who do just that?
No. Subconsciously I guess I have always known that my picture might influence someone to try my services. The picture shows people “me” (or my outer representation). Maybe the set of my jaw or the closeness of my eyes will make some people feel more comfortable and for those who do not like red heads, well…there are other hypnotists in the world. I had never really thought of myself as the “brand,” though, thinking more conservatively that branding was the logo, the consistency of materials I use, and such. But maybe there is something to the idea that I am part of the brand, just like soda is part of the Pepsi branding. It may be the product as well, but the taste is part of the package. Who am I to deny that people do judge books by their covers and so on. I am guilty of purchasing items because I like their label design. I image I am not alone.
Do any of you use photographs of yourself to self your services? Do you think it helps of hinders?