Images for your Posts

It is important to include images with your posts.  People are so very visual. Like me for example,conundrum I read headlines, look at pictures and maybe read captions before I determine whether or not an article is going to hold my attention enough to read the balance of the article.

Similarly, when I look at Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and blog posts, my attention is drawn to the posts with the images.  I don’t know if that is the right side of my brain taking over or the fact that people are so much more visual these days.  Always being bombarded with TV, computers, billboards, smartphones, imagery has become even more important than before.

google_image_conundrum

#1

In a recent article from Dreamstime about the new Google Image Search, the discussion focused on the image search function. I thought I would illustrate this for you.  I searched the word “Conundrum” (#1 image) to find an image to use for this article.  Not seeing what I really wanted, I created the image above.  Not everyone has the software, the skills or the desire to create an image to go with their blog article.  Many people don’t have the resources to purchase images. (There are free resources – read another Time2Mrkt blog article on this.)

google_search_conundrum2

#2

When you select an image, you are given three choices – View Page, View original image, Image Details (#2 image).  If you view the original image, the full size image appears in a window. This gives the view the ability to save (#3 image) (download) the image without paying for it.  The companies that sell their images use watermarks to prevent you from using the image without paying, but what about the company that actually bought the image to use on their website or marketing materials?  Do they need to watermark their images so that you don’t use them?

google_search_conundrum3

#3 image

Going directly to the site, gives you access to the image as well, but at least the company gets the “hit” to their website and you might see something that you might need from that company. You can see in the #4 image what the image looked like on the website. And I added a link back to them here for the courtesy of using their image.

The last image (#5 image) in this article represents what can also happen with images that you find.  I am not positive which image was the original, but one of them was manipulated with editing software to change some of the words.

google_search_conundrum4

#4 image

Being aware that photographers and graphic designers have worked long and hard to achieve their goals, it is a conundrum how to fulfill your desire to have an image but respect the rights of the people and companies that have posted the images for sale and/or purchased them for their company branding.

One person I know, had images that he had grabbed on his website at some of his images.  It caused some legal issues.  Make sure that you won’t be getting into any trouble.

#5 image

#5 image

What is your favorite image sources?

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Your LinkedIn Photo

Your LinkedIn photo is one of the first things that seasoned LinkedIn users look for when they search your profile.

  • To see if that is you when they invite you to connect
  • To recognize you when meeting face-to-face for the first time
  • To check out how serious you are about yourself (I am not sure if this is a valid reason, but it could be)

When I coach people or teach LinkedIn classes, I discuss the benefits of having a professional image attached to their profile.  That image should be used across all of the professional platforms you are using.  It is one of my top 5 tips that I have written about previously.

Your profile image does not have to be a professionally taken image, but don’t fall victim toThis LinkedIn profile image shows a man with a huge cocktail that has two bottles of beer being poured into it. thinking that something cute will suffice.  This image is one of those things that you should definitely NOT DO.  Can you tell me why? Your image represents how you want to represent your personal brand.  In many cases, it will represent your business as well.

Unless you are a pediatrician or day care provider, no kids.  Unless you are a veterinarian or animal shelter, no pets. Unless you are realty team, no spouses, and that is iffy.

In my opinion, people want to see your face, smiling with limited props.  It gives them a good feeling about how your business relationship might proceed.

 

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LinkedIn – Top 5 Tips – Photos

Whether you are trying to expand your business network or searching for a new job, LinkedIn can be your “go-to” social media platform.

When performing a social media audit for a new client one of the first things I look at is the presence they have on LinkedIn.  Whether you are B2B or B2C (business-to-business or business to consumer) you should have a profile on LinkedIn for you AND your company.  Your personal profile is your on-line resume and connection file.  It is a living representation of your career and should represent you.  There is a specific area to represent your company.

My question to you is – Do you use LinkedIn or just collect connections?

To help you move past the “collecting connections” phase, I offer my Top 5 LinkedIn Tips. We will be covering these over the next five articles.

Photo – There are two schools of thought on this option. The detractors feel that having a photo of yourself can lead to discrimination.  My philosophy is put on a smile and snap a headshot that is professional in appearance (doesn’t have to be professionally done) that is tight and well-lit with limited background distractions.

One of the benefits of having a good photo on your profile is instant recognition.  With a good photo, gone are the days of discussing what you will be wearing or your appearance when have  a meeting scheduled with a new client or a prospect for the first time.  If you take a look at their LinkedIn profile, you will be able to recognize and greet them right away.

Let’s spend a minute on what I mean by limited background distractions.  Plain backgrounds work best.  Bookshelves, an American Flag, or perhaps your “tidy” desk are all acceptable.  What is not considered professional is your kids (unless you own a daycare), your dog (unless you are a dog groomer or veterinarian), and especially you in a tiki-hut with an umbrella drink in front of you. Don’t laugh to hard, I actually had an invitation from someone with a photo like that.

Try to have the photo be close enough to allow facial recognition.  Group shots and further out than than the waist really don’t achieve the purpose of the photo.  Branded images are, if they are used in your marketing materials are fine, but logos should be reserved for the company pages. Speaking of branded images – you should use the same headshot across all of your professional platforms. It helps with your personal branding. Differentiate your profiles by your LinkedIn image vs. you and the family on your personal Facebook page.

Worried about discrimination?  Caricatures or black and white images help eliminate the representation of age.

Check back over the next several weeks as we discuss the other 4 top tips:
Complete | Connections | Invitations | Participate

 

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