What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

“Your name forms part of your Personal Brand, so it must represent you, inside and out. Always.”

KOSTA IATROU | Brandographer

Does your name really matter? After all, our parents gave us our name without even consulting us, for obvious reasons. So is it really all that important? Well, after being on this planet for almost 50 years, I believe it is.

My name at birth was Konstantinos, ‘Australianised’ as Con. My parents are both Greek and immigrated from Greece (Father) and Egypt (Mother) to Australia in the 50’s with the dream of a better life for themselves and security for their future family.

For years I went by Con, but in 1981 I decided to make a small change and go by Kon. The K was more in line with the Greek spelling and it felt more authentic. Although I still felt somewhat compromised in a way by using the English version of my name instead of the Greek version, especially as I was named after my Grandfather, so a sense of pride and origin were absent.

As I’ve gotten older, and hopefully a little wiser, I’ve come to respect and embrace my Greek heritage much more and feel that there is one more step needed to reach a level of authenticity in the name I go by. Plus, over the last couple of years, my partner and a few people close to me have started using the Greek version of my name, mainly Natasa Denman, who always calls out my name loudly whenever I enter the room for the first time. It’s funny and it makes me chuckle, and importantly it has also made me consider my name and has fuelled the spark of change. 

Photo credit: Quotefancy

So, I’ve decided that it’s time to make a slight change to my name once more to truly represent me, my origins and my personality.

The change is from KON IATROU to KOSTA IATROU

TADA! There it is, stated, loud and proud.

Photo credit: Quotefancy
Stephen Covey [QUOTE]

Stephen Covey [QUOTE]

Life is full of changes from birth to death and in between, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to make choices, or if not they might be made for us, and our journey will be guided by the principles and values we live by.

Being an Electronics Engineer and then a Snr. Project Manager before becoming a photographer and now having run my business for over 12 years I’m faced with changes daily, from minor schedule changes to photo shoots being postponed due to weather, changes in team members and the general business landscape as an Entrepreneur.

And with changes come choices. The journey in life, personal or business, requires choices to be made daily all with intention of still meeting the goals set for ourselves. The plans will change but goals do not! Is a principle I live by. Once you’ve made and set your goal you need to stick to it and make it work.

So every day expect change, make choices that are in line with your overall goals and use your principles to guide you in doing so.

Let me know your thoughts on this quote and what it means to you.

How to boost your ‘click-through rate’ on Social Media with your photos

How to boost your ‘click-through rate’ on Social Media with your photos

“In 40 milliseconds, we’re able to draw conclusions about people based on a photo.”

(ref: BufferSocial)

The stats are so conclusive, so significant in their numbers and researched over many years by the top markets that it’s crystal clear that the right photos with links are needed to maximise your all-important click-through rate. Photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook with a 93% interaction rate and they get 84% more click-throughs. Likes, Comments and Shares are nice but they don’t bring in the money.

Click-throughs mean that your readers, on Social Media, are clicking on the link that takes them to your website, or specific landing page, where you have the best opportunity to convert them from a prospect to a client.

Here are three key ingredients in boosting your click-through rate on your Social Media promotions using photos.

3 HOT TIPS

#1 USE YOUR OWN PHOTOS

As an Entrepreneur, we recommend you use photos of yourself because people are buying YOU as the expert, leader and authority in your field. And this builds the critical Know/Like/Trust factor as was proven in a study which showed that ‘35% of visitors would be more likely to sign up when they saw the real deal’, as in you, not some overused and cheesy stock images promoting your products and services. The types of photos that work really well are of you portrayed in a real and natural way that shows your personality and energy plus you in action delivering your content such as speaking, facilitating, coaching, consulting, etc. Additionally, only post photos you own or have the right to publish.

 

#2 UPDATE AND REFRESH YOUR PHOTOS

The law of diminishing returns, in respect to your photos, means that the more you keep using and re-using the same photos the less impact and they will have and therefore decrease the effectiveness of your promotions. By offering new content, as in new photos, to your prospects and clients you will keep them engaged for longer.

Think of it this way, photos for business have a Use By Date of about 1-2 years when used on Social Media, less if you use them heavily such as in ramping up a campaign. So you’ll need a reliable source to ensure you have a steady supply of great images.

#3 NOT ALL PHOTOS ARE CREATED EQUAL

There is a massive amount of competition for images on social media, so yours must stand out and cut through the noise. As reported, in an article by ConversionXL, ‘67% of online shoppers rated high-quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision’. So protect your brand, you will have a certain standard that you will want to maintain with everything your post, especially for your promotions, which you are using to drive sales. This is not the area to skimp out on as your buyers have an expectation of you, in order to attract them.

IN SUMMARY

Keep your photos real, fresh and of a high quality so that you maximise your click-through rate and increase your engagement!

Here are several examples by our clients on how they’ve used their photos to promote their events and products.

REFERENCES

1. Social Media Examiner: Social Photos Generate More Engagement: New Research
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/photos-generate-engagement-research/
May 13, 2014

2. VIRALTAG: 10 Statistics To Get You More From Your Photos On Social Media
http://blog.viraltag.com/2015/09/29/10-statistics-to-get-you-more-from-your-photos-on-social-media/#sthash.JQVUQYTR.obgmc4l8.dpbs
September 29, 2015

3. BufferSocial: 7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know for a More Engaging Facebook Page
https://blog.bufferapp.com/7-facebook-stats-you-should-know-for-a-more-engaging-page
July 23, 2013

4. ConversionXL: Stock Photography vs. Real Photos: Can’t We Use Both?
http://conversionxl.com/stock-photography-vs-real-photos-cant-use/
no date provided

5. BusinessDictiornary.com: Law of diminishing returns
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/law-of-diminishing-returns.html

How to humanise your ABOUT-US page with photos

How to humanise your ABOUT-US page with photos

“The About-Us page is the most frequented page on any website.”

(ref: MOZ 9 Simple Tips For Making An About Us Page That Works For Your Brand)

The About-Us page is the most frequented page on any website (source: MOZ: 9 Simple Tips For Making An About Us Page That Works For Your Brand – Mar 2015). And this is because people want to know about you, the person/people behind the company, what makes you tick, your story and your personality. Focus on what problems you solve for your clients, why you are the right choice for them and let your clients and staff sing your praises. This will show the true depth and volume you have which will go a long way in building the critical Know-Like-Trust factor.

In a visual way, share your wins, awards, recognitions, achievements, media appearances, testimonials, your VIP clients, events you attended or have spoken at and behind the scenes action of you and your team. Show more, tell less. It’s easier to absorb visual content that’s authentic and you’ll hold the viewer’s attention for much longer.

9 HOT TIPS

1. State the problems you solve

Show how you deliver on the problems you solve, what you have delivered for your clients and the end products/services plus include their testimonials with their photos.

2. Keep it real and authentic

No stock images, this is not the place for pretty people all smiling and looking fake or cute and cuddly kids pretending to be business people. Keep it real with actual photos of you and your team, in action, having fun at work so you can show some of that awesome culture you have created, you at events, out and about, etc.

3. Toot your own horn

Photos of you and your big name clients, sponsorships, promotions, exhibitions, VIPs, the people you associate with you at events. 

4. Include your team

At a minimum include a headshot of all your team and a short description of what they do for the customer and their role in the company. Go one better and show your team in action during their working day. The ultimate is to show a series of photos of your team having a great time at work, creating great stuff and delighting your customers. Show that you have a company worth showcasing and that people love working there. As a Solo Entrepreneur include photos of you in action – at events, on stage, conducting your business with clients, photos that give people insights as to who you are and what you do.

5. Keep it on brand

With the look and feel of the rest of your branding, your website and your marketing material. No blurry out of focus party drinking shots here please. Keep the look and feel of what you present, on brand. Show your personality, your character, something quirky about you and always keep it professional.

6. Be social

Include your Social Media feeds and timelines so you can share more visual content from other sources. Make your website easy for others to share.

7. Tell your story with photos

Include where you came from how you started, show some depth and volume in your history so that it gives people a sense of who you are as a person (people if you have a team) which adds huge amounts of trust and credibility. This will help fast track the Know-Like-Trust journey.

8. Add other photos for credibility

Your office, your awards, covers of magazines, the media you’ve been featured in (TV, Newspapers magazine or Radio), articles you’ve written, books you’ve published (contributed, co-authored or fully written) plus products/services.
 

9. Section off your About-Us page

Include small icons to head up each section so you can announce what you have to share quickly, like a Table of Contents.

IN SUMMARY

Your Profile Photos need to be on-brand with your styling, posed in a specific way so you look appealing and attractive to your audience and that you have at least 3 photos for maximum variety and cut-through.

Here are some great examples by our clients using their Branding Portraits to connect with their prospects, share their story and establish themselves as credible professionals on their About-Us page.

REFERENCES

HubSpot article: The 4 Most Important Pages on Your Website (& How to Optimize Them)
http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/optimize-important-website-pages
18th December, 2014

Hubspot article: 12 About Us Page Examples That Are Probably Better Than Yours
http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/remarkable-about-us-page-examples
24th July, 2015

BLOG TYRANT: 12 of the Best About Us Pages on the Internet

12 of the Best About Us Pages on the Internet


7th August 2014

INC magazine: 8 Ways to Improve Your ‘About Us’ Page
http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/8-ways-to-dramatically-improve-your-about-us-page.html
4th October 2012

INC magazine: How to Design a Great “About Us” Page on Your Website
http://www.inc.com/kerry-close/ss/2015-50-emerging-global-entrepreneurs-to-watch.html
18th October 2010

MOZ: 9 Simple Tips For Making An About Us Page That Works For Your Brand
https://moz.com/blog/9-simple-tips-for-making-an-about-us-page-that-works-for-your-brand
15th March 2015

How to use photos on your website’s Homepage

How to use photos on your website’s Homepage

“Your Home Page is one of the top 4 most important pages on your website.”

(ref:Hubspot)

Your Home Page is one of the top 4 most important pages on your website, according to a Hubspot article.

Knowing this, it then makes sense that you set the stage on your website’s Home Page by establishing the expectation in your prospect’s mind and positioning yourself as an authority in your field.

At the top of your Home Page is where you’ll need to place your Banner Images for maximum impact.

 

And yes, you can have several Banner Images scrolling to showcase the different aspects of your products & services.

A great way to do this is to have a Banner Image with a photo of yourself at the top of the page that authentically and realistically portrays you as a professional, shows your personality and connects with your audience.

 

3 HOT TIPS

1. Awesome Photos

Your photos need to be fresh and current so that you don’t look outdated and behind the times as this can have a negative impact on people’s perception of what you offer, your level of professionalism and experience. Therefore, they should be planned for when designing your photo shoot and then created as a Banner Images [landscape photos with enough room for you to place text and other graphic elements on two-thirds of the photo later on] during your photo shoot so you have total flexibility when creating your marketing collateral as cropped headshots won’t work as well and you’ll be very limited with potential designs.

2. Show That You Are Credible

Include some elements of credibility such as the media you have been featured on, the book(s) you’ve written/co-authored or contributed to, client logos, awards, and recognition, etc. so that you build your profile as a leader in your field.

3. Keep It Simple

Make sure they are designed to fit the full width of your website (typically 1024 pixels). The height will depend on what photos you have to use in the design and how much you want to add into the banner image, remember less is more as cluttering the Banner Images with lots of elements will have a negative impact. Each Banner Image should convey one message.

IN SUMMARY

Your Home Page is one of the four most important pages on your website so it’s critical that you use this ‘real-estate’ to connect with your prospects quickly, begin forming a relationship and position yourself as an authority.

Here are some great examples from our clients using their Branding Portraits to create eye-catching, engaging and powerful Banner Images for their website.

Download our FREE Personal Branding Accelerator Checklist:

55 Ways To SUPERCHARGE Your Personal Branding

Discover the 5 BRANDING CHANNELS you can promote yourself and raise your profile PLUS the 55 different practical and brand building ways that you can use your photos to build your best brand ever!

REFERENCES

The 4 Most Important Pages on Your Website
Hubspot, Dec 2014