It is that time of year again! Time to get a new photograph of yourself – one that looks LIKE YOU, without a camera in front of your face, and get it online so you have a consistent avatar. Everywhere.
I just heard every photographer reading this groan loudly. Something about photographers, we would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it.
Put the camera away. I don’t need to see your fancy L series glass to know you are a legitimate photographer. When we meet each other at Imaging USA, WPPI, or just on both Twitter and Facebook, I want to know what you look like. Your clients do as well. People connect with people, and they want to see YOU.
We also don’t want to see your children. Or your dog. Or your logo for your business. Or your favorite football team. We want to see you.
The Story of the Red Wall
A few years ago my hair was shorter and darker (before I went natural and stopped coloring it), and I had a distinctive red wall behind me in my photo on Twitter and Facebook. When I went to WPPI that year, over and over again people would say, “I think I follow you on Twitter?” I would reply with a wave behind my head and say, “Red wall.” Then we would both laugh, and strike up a conversation. I joked one night that I was going to go to Walgreens to buy a piece of red posterboard and a stick and just have a fake red wall behind me at all times.
Point is, people recognized me. I looked just like the photograph I use online. Minus the red wall, of course.
You don’t walk around with a camera up to your face all the time. The point of social media is being social, and if you want people to remember you and connect who you are in person with who you are online, then you need to update your avatar! You are marketing YOU. Make sure people find you relatable!
Which Social Media Sites to Focus On
You can’t really go around and update every single site where you have an avatar or photograph of yourself, can you? No, that would be crazy! So often you sign up for sites and then never use them after the initial registration. We aren’t going to concern ourselves with those sites!
Where do you spend the most time online interacting with clients and peers? I’m willing to bet that you have five or six places that you can name that take up 99% of your time. Those are the places you care about. For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Gravatar and Flickr. I can change my photograph on all of those, plus add it to my boudoir blog, all within an hour. Then keep the file handy on your computer desk top, and any time you come across another site where you have an avatar, update that one too.
That is my snazzy new photo above on the right. My hair is longer, and a completely different color. I wanted to take one without glasses, because my glasses are hard to photograph, but if I didn’t have them on then you might not recognize me in person when we meet. I want my personal branding to be the same everywhere, so I use the same avatar photograph of me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Gravatar, and anywhere else I can online.
Speaking of meeting each other, I’ll be at WPPI this year, and I’d love to meet you! If you spot me, stop me and say hello!
Photograph above left courtesy of Marcelle Lucena, used under Creative Commons License.
7 replies on “Why You Should Use a Consistent Avatar Photograph Everywhere Online”
This is fantastic advice and I agree. Plus, I would much rather see their faces too! 🙂
So true!! It’s so important to have a friendly face on your website!
I would also suggest having someone who can be honest with you take a look before you use it and tell you if it’s getting across the mood you want to get across. I’ve seen a few truly creepy avatars (some people just have creepy smile/body lingo poses in their shots and didn’t notice), so it’s good to make sure that everyone else is drawn to that shot, not just you!
Christine, you’ve always had a lovely disarming smile in your avatars- it makes it easy to “listen” when you speak online! 😀
Great point! I have definitely made the mistake of featuring my dog instead of myself. Time to make some changes!
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