As a writer who understands the multiple sides of business, I often cringe when I go to a fellow author’s website and the first picture of them I see is a selfie. Not to mention, many people use pictures that they downloaded from their family vacations or when they were just lounging around the house.
Selfies could be killing your business. One, your personal photos, which includes selfies, and your business shouldn’t mix. When people go to your website or pages, they expect to find exactly what your brand is about. Prospects can easily be turned off when the first six images or posts that hit them, are selfies and personal business.
It’s okay to show you’re human and have a fun side, but there’s a time and place for everything. Recently, a colleague and good friend of mine did a book signing here in Philadelphia for Black History Month. I sought out five authors and when I asked them all to send me a photo for the flyer I would be creating, her and I were the only two that had professional shots.
Not everyone can afford a photographer, but as writers and entrepreneurs, we have to cut back and sacrifice for things that matter. I’ve learned a lot being in the literary world and one thing I’ve learned is that people will only take you seriously when you take yourself seriously. So, how do you keep it professional?
1) Find a student photographer who would be willing to take photos of you in exchange for written copy on their website. Creatives love to barter with each other and this helps build your network. This doesn’t need to be a full two-hour photo shoot. You just need two to three good shots to get you started.
2) Keep those selfies to yourself. It’s a wonder to me why they’re called selfies, yet everyone sees them (pun intended). Showing body parts in a selfie could essentially brand you as someone who is being careless about their presentation. Don’t let your need to show every picture you take overwhelm the talent and skill that you have.
3) Make sure everything on your social media pages speaks to your skill and not just to your personal life. I understand that you could be in a season where you have too much on your plate to manage two pages – a personal one and one for your business. Until you get to that point, having one page is okay. Just make sure there’s consistency and nothing vulgar or offensive that will steer people away before they even get to know you.
4) Check out the page of a few people who you see as a guru or trailblazer in your industry. Take a look at what they post on their pages, not to copy, but to see how they are branding themselves professionally. This could help you understand why it’s important to keep a business mindset when posting, even on a day off.
Because this generation is over-saturated with selfies, I recommend entrepreneurs and writers who are building a career off of their writing to stay away from them when it comes to your business. The truth – they could be killing your business and you don’t even know it.
Mya Douglas is a bestselling author and writer who is currently signed to The TMG Firm. Her coaching business, Masterpiece Inked Publications, LLC., helps writers see their masterpieces come to life. Her recent release “Don’t Time Your Masterpiece, Take Time To Write It” is free when you sign up for a coaching package.
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