Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Image IS Everything

Best image forward at SMB NowThere is an old campaign slogan that says “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That is a very true statement and an important rule for selling just about everything… including yourself!

You wouldn't meet a new client in ragged jeans and a sweatshirt or wear the same outfit two days later for a first date, or, at least I hope not. Your online image is just as important as meeting someone in person, probably even more so. Let me explain… when you upload an image to the internet it’s presence gets picked up by spiders that reports new content to search engines. In other words that image becomes searchable. This is just one of many issues in regards to using images. I have decided to compile a useful list of things to think about when you are posting images on the web.

1. Don’t upload any images that you would not want your boss, clients or mother to see. – Think twice before you post that crazy picture of you passed out in a dumpster after a night of partying, even though you might post this picture using an alias, if you registered your alias anywhere on the net with your real name, search engines could index both names together so your image of you in all your glory, could pop up in a search, which doesn’t exactly portray the image of someone trustworthy.

2. As I said before, first impressions are very important so consider your profile images. I am going to use a dating site as an example, with so many great digital cameras out there that are affordable and easy to use there is really no reason to upload that old Polaroid picture of you from prom in1982. Smudging out the face of the girl that you were with makes it look even worse. Taking the time and effort to put up good quality images shows that you are considerate of the image you put out and that reflects the effort that you are going to put into a personal relationship or the relationship with your clients.

3. You can make a large picture smaller but you cannot make a small picture larger – Images are usually uploaded in a JPEG format. This format is designed to compact information in your image and editing and re-editing can degrade the image. When you make an image smaller it throws information out so when you go to enlarge it again it cannot replace the information lost so it begins to pixelate and pull the image apart making it look fuzzy or distorted. Save your pictures in three’s, one original burned on a CD to preserve the image, the second in a large format (300 dpi) for printing or creating new files to edit, and third a smaller (72dpi) image for the web. This one you also want to burn on a disc because the more you work with it the more degraded it can get.

There are many free editing tools that come with most operating systems or can be downloaded from the web that are easy to use that you can adjust color, crop, and touch up or ad a little art. So with a little time and effort you will always put your best foot forward. Quality shows it what you see so regardless of whether it is working to draw in a mate or a client make sure it works in your favor.


invisik said...

I agree! I frequently use my company logo for pictures when it is business related.

There is a liquor store near a restaurant we frequent. I regularly see company vehicles in the liquor store parking lot. The next comment is always "Don't let company X work on your stuff, they're hittin' the liquor store!"

Not sure the best way to curb company vehicle use off hours, but it sure is visible!


Miles Technologies said...

Very true! With the rising influence of search engines, how you are portrayed online is just as important as how you are portrayed offline, if not more so. Miles Technologies offers Online Reputation Management Services that help to proactively maintain a positive online reputation or to repair the effects of a damaged reputation for an individual or a business.