Saturday, 27 August 2011

How To Choose A Picture That Sells

Internet Marketing has a huge disadvantage over brick and mortar businesses because we do not have that physical contact for our prospects (our visitors) to judge us on. We therefore need to build trust in other ways. The correct choice of picture in your articles, your websites or your blogs will serve not only as a way to build trust, but it is an essential part of Internet Marketing because it let's the visitor know that they have found the information they are looking for.

It also helps to break up large blocks of content and helps to keep the reader engaged. Engaged readers do not hit the back button. Pictures really do tell the story of what it is you're webpage is all about.

There are two types of pictures that I use on a regular basis. The Problem Picture and the Solution Picture. There are other pictures that serve other uses too.


The Problem Photo:
This picture is all about the problem in the heat of the moment. It may be a picture of a couple in the midst of a break up, a car broken down on the side of the road or somebody like me about to take a hammer to their computer after some tech troubles.
These pictures can be fun, sombre, serious or downright insane.
One way to catch a cheat!!
A self portrait (^_^)

The Solution Photo:
These pictures are a great way to let your readers know that you have a great solution for them to consider and they have found the right place to be for the answers they need. These pictures carry a sense of accomplishment and of trials overcome.

These are the happily ever after photo's - the happy mother baby moments, the Olympic Gold medalist crossing the finish line, the rescued baby whale return from the beach to be reunited with it's mother. The classic Disney feel good moments.

The Trust Building Photo:
These are pictures that help to establish a relationship of trust with your readers, the most common of which would be a profile shot of you with a quick bio, Don't limit yourself to mugshots though - there are other ways to build that trust.

People love a laugh. Even if they don't have a sense of humor, they still have a sense of fun. If you can weasel a smile or a giggle out of somebody, that feel good moment is credited to you.

You can also build trust by giving people a visual "testimonial." This is proof that you you know what you're talking about because you've been there done that. Before and after weight loss pictures are a good example of this type of trust building photo.

And last but not least, the "Insiders sneak peek" photo - this could be a screenshot of the inside of your membership site, your Clickbank balance, your PayPal account. All these photo's are testifying that you know your business.

The Instructional Photo:
These are visual instructions. Pictures with a tutorial purpose. These are going to help your Internet Marketing efforts on so many levels. They build trust with your readers, they engage your readers and they assist your readers. These pictures might show your prospects how to download a file or give them a overview of how to tackle a problem.

Just For Fun Photo's:
Engaged readers do not hit the back button. Using relevant photo's is going to help break up large bodies of text and keep your readers interest. There are heaps of great "just for fun" pictures you can access online - photo's, cartoons, comic strips. If you can use photo's to recall fond memories in your reader (like wedding pic's, cutesy baby pic's, etc) or get a giggle out of your reader, they will associate your site with that good feeling.

Where Can I Get Photo's Legally?
If you Google "free photo's" be cautious - there is a difference between royalty free stock photo's and free stock photo's. It all boils down to usage rights. Royalty free stock photo's are photo's that you can purchase and use any which way you like. But then again, so can your competition.

Dreamstime.com have a range of free photo's and they keep track of the number of downloads so you can see how many other people are using them. You can also purchance images from them at a reasonable price.

FreeFoto.com is another one that I am less familiar with. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.

The bottom line is photo's sell. They help draw the reader down the page and keep them engaged. And if it didn't work, then you wouldn't be reading this sentence right now - you would have hit the back button 4 boring paragraphs ago.

The thing I love most about photo's in Internet Marketing is that you can turn them into banners or links. When your visitor clicks on the photo it takes them to your money generating web page. So think outside the square and invest a little thought into using the right photo to send your readers the right message.

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