The essential website photo you might be resisting

essential website photo

Last week a friend who is a psychologist asked for my help. She was getting lots of visits to her website but few bookings. 

I took an initial look: there was nothing actually wrong with it - it had all the right information but potential clients were just not getting in touch. Sarah's website just felt 'flat', not very warm. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with you and your tourism business? 

You and psychologist Sarah make people feel better, directly or indirectly. 

You both need potential clients to trust you, before they make a booking or decision to visit. You might be doing the same as Sarah?

When I looked closer at the site, I felt that her logo - intertwined letters - felt nondescript, maybe even a little harsh. It was at the top of every page and didn't feel very welcoming. I suggested moving the logo to the bottom of the page and replacing the top image with something friendlier. 

At first she used photos of flowers but they looked bland and lacked any impact. A bit like psychologists who use photos of boxes of tissues. Or tourism businesses that show photos of glasses on a bathroom shelf...

I suggested the photo I knew she'd resist: one of her. 

What is it about photos of ourselves? 

Every day people see our faces. They see our faces and they keep talking to us.

They don't go "ugh I can't possibly look at your face".

They don't say "I can't talk to you because your hair's not right".

They don't take a look and say "I can't stay at your B&B because you're looking older and your laughter lines really stand out". 

So why do we resist using photos of ourselves in our marketing? 

I'm not talking about a perfect well-groomed, well-dressed, poised studio-quality photo. 

I'm talking about a quick 'snap' that shows the reality of who you are. Something that shows you're a real person who potential clients can trust. If there's something about your photo that gives a little more insight into who you are, even better. 

Back to Sarah and her photo. She was really resistant. I did something a little naughty: she'd given me her website log-in so without asking I found a photo of her and put it at the top of the site. Her website looked instantly warmer, more real. Sarah admitted it wasn't 'that bad'. I promised to have another look at the site in a few days when I had more time. But she messaged me a couple of days later. She'd had several bookings...

I don't use many photos of myself when I promote my training and business support services but I am changing that. Could you do the same? 

We all need to show we're real and approachable. 

I'm not going full selfie-close-up: that's just not me. I'm just not good at brushing my hair. But I am increasingly using the photos that show I'm a real person. Like this one showing how my hair looks on most days, and how I spend a lot of my time. My eyes aren't even properly open but it's a start... I think from this you sort of know I'm a grass-roots, practical person? 

Susan dogs and wild hair copy

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