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I know what you look like

This morning, someone emailed me to confirm an appointment to meet me at a local coffee shop. One of the comments they made when we were making arrangements to meet was “I know what you look like.”

The great thing about that is that we’ll avoid the clumsy “stumbling about looking like you’re lost” thing that happens when you arrive at a public place to meet someone and don’t have a clue what they look like.

It’s one of many reasons why my photo is on this blog, on my printed newsletter, on my personal site, and on my newspaper column.

“Familiarity breeds contempt” only when relatives stay too long:)

In business, familiarity is essential.

Repeatedly, I’ve noticed the looks that business owners get when I step up to the register, counter, etc. They may not know exactly who I am, but I look familiar – which puts me one step ahead of the face they don’t know from Adam.

This is true regardless of whether I want their business, or I simply want to be treated a little better in their store or restaurant.

To my clients and prospects, it’s super critical for keeping me at the “top of their consciousness” when they are thinking about the needs they have that are related to services and products I offer.

You should be doing the same thing. If you have an “about us” on your business cards, brochures, literature, on the wall of your store/restaurant, or website, you should include a picture of yourself, staff, family – whatever seems appropriate.

If you use social media tools like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, having your picture there is equally important for the same reasons.

People don’t care if you look like a movie star, but they do care about seeing a friendly, familiar face.

You want people to associate you with your product. Humans are very visual people. How many times have you heard (or said) “I remember the face but can’t recall their name”?

You can’t even count the number of times, even if you use every remember-the-lady’s-name scheme ever invented.

Familiarity… top of consciousness is what helps put you a little farther in front of those other folks.

Isn’t that where you want to be?

4 replies on “I know what you look like”

Hi Mark,

Excellent post. I would like to expand on that sentiment and make a case, too, for what you DON’T want people to think you look like based on your social networking pages and other related items.

That means ditching the party pictures and anything that could have a potentially negative impact on your brand. This is always a point of advice handed down from the seasoned professionals to those just starting out and I can’t stress it enough.

Honestly, if your Facebook photo features your typical weekend routine of chugging from a funnel, you need to ask yourself this: Do you really expect people to do business with you, let alone take you seriously?

All it takes is a little upkeep and vigilance to make sure that your online brand is reflecting what you can do for others, not what you do behind closed doors.

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In that case, find something that you can consistently use as an avatar that fits your name – such as a roll of $ bills. Choose something you’re willing to live with for a long time. If and when you go public, you can use that on cards, brochures etc along with your pic. It’ll tie the two together.

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