No question that a “customer” looking at a website, LinkedIn Profile, or visiting a store, is looking at EVERY DETAIL.  The consumer is reacting and considering hundreds of emotionally-charged thoughts while looking for assurances of reliability, attention to detail,  legitimacy, trustworthiness, how good you are at what you do, and much more. Everything about your profile, business website, or bricks and mortar store,  must convince the customer to spend his or her time, effort, money on you or at your place of business. To do that, everything about your profile or your business must have and must strongly align with your value proposition.

I can’t stress strongly enough that not only do bricks and mortar businesses fail or barely succeed, but so do websites, and profile presentations, when the “value proposition”  and your presentation of it is mediocre or inferior. So, if you are not meeting your success goals, IMMEDIATELY analyze your statement and reinforcement of your  value proposition–[Type into the search box: “Value Proposition”.]. It’s your value proposition AND method of presenting it that creates the overall image conveyed to the customer.

Among the first things I seek and critique is the value proposition. Most often there isn’t one or, if there is, it is weak. Such value propositions demonstrate a lack of respect for the customer/visitor and a high degree of laziness. At a minimum you should have a value proposition that can stand toe-to-toe when compared to your competition. Remember, your competition, these days, is more macro than micro. The net opens the door so though you are located in a small town, your customers are checking out that gigantic “competitor” in Chicago or Europe. You may not think of those remote locations as your competitor, but your IMAGE will be compared to others globally.

Next I look for the FLOW.  Whether a bricks and mortar location or a business website or a LinkedIn Profile, how useful is that website, LinkedIn Profile, or “place of business” to the potential customer and to the repeat customer? In other words, how are you selling your value proposition throughout the store, the website layout, or the profile?

There is plenty more to the process of locking in your image and convincing the visitor to buy from or work with you.  The above is a good starting point. The next MOST IMPORTANT matter or element is that of the photography, or in the case of the bricks and mortar store, the signage component.  The illustrations, graphics, and photos must be high quality and serve a common theme, that being your value proposition.

The photo, in my professional opinion, must create the mood, experience, and convincingly show how the product, (you, your product,  or your business) is useful or desirable. Don’t skimp on the product photo. It’s okay to be creative, but never at the expense of the product itself or of the story line that sells the product. It’s okay to have a friend take the photo provided it meets minimum professional criteria. It okay to be sufficiently creative to capture and hold attention and interest, but no so much so that you obscure the theme or “sales pitch”.  Do be careful to prevent props, surroundings and backgrounds from overpowering, dominating, directing attention away from the product. Example: what does a diamond ring sitting on a green leaf tell you?  Beats me!  I used a dud of a photo in my profile so you can see what NOT TO DO…read my nugget by searching in the search box. There you will find lots of tips and a checklist to make it easy for you. That checklist can apply to product photos or to working with the theme and signage in your store. Being able to see the product in the photo is often not enough. The viewer has to “experience” and react to it.

The making of a great image or presence, whether bricks and mortar or online, can boost your results. At the heart of it rests the value proposition and great photos, neither of which are simple to produce. Neither should be left to the amateur. When either is missing or done poorly, it can destroy the results you are hoping to achieve.  [You can glean more information from my checklist by entering “Profile Photo Smoking Hot or Dud”, in this website’s search box.]