Friday, January 31, 2014

Unconventional: 5 Reasons To Include a Profile Photo On My Blog

Maybe you noticed a photo of ME is missing from this blog. Maybe you didn't. Anyway, I came up with an explanation for you.
Reason 1: So I Can Be Recognized By My Audience

For real estate agents who are out-and-about in their sales territories meeting with people face-to-face, including a photo makes sense. But, for me writing in virtual reality to an audience I can't see, it doesn't make sense.

     This argument takes me back to my first job out of college as an advertising coordinator for the largest real estate company at the time in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shortly after my arrival, the company launched an image campaign to help defend its title of "biggest and best" from an upcoming competitor. Marketing materials of every kind were being updated with the new logo and tag line, business cards being an important marketing tool for real estate agents and brokers. So the battle began: include the agent's photo on business cards or not?

     Those in favor of adding photos of agents on the cards argued that it increases recognition and therefore recall, and maybe brand awareness.

     OK. Maybe.

     Those against the idea believed that people judge you by your appearance: they will choose to work with you or not work with you based upon your appearance.

     OK Maybe.

I'm not selling real estate, or anything else right now, so why do I care?

Reason 2:  My Appearance Affects My Content

     Really? I can tell you I'm 5'6", 130 lb, brown hair, blues. Right? Do I need a photo to prove it? And, how do you know that photo I use is me if you haven't met me and you don't know anyone who has? And, the real point, what does my appearance have to do with my ability to communicate to you through this blog? I can't come up with any reasons. Can you?

Reason 3: Print magazines don't sell well because every article doesn't include the writer's photo.
     I still read printed and bound, hardcopy magazines and I don't see a head-shot photo along side every article. Often there's a photo of the editor, but not one of every writer. And people still read the articles, clip the articles, share the articles, etc. Nuff said.

Reason 4: Privacy is overrated
     None of the companies benefiting from Google's newest plan to include Google user profile photos in ads hired me to be their spokesperson. (Did they hire you?) It seems they want my endorsement for free-whether I like the company or not. Sorry, Google. I'm going to cling to what little privacy I have left. You'll have to manage to get along without my photo.

Reason 5: Conventional blogosphere wisdom advises to include profile photos on personal blogs 
    Oh yeah. This is key, really. You're not likely to find me doing anything conventionally. I'm a homesteader. Nothing we do is conventional.

What say you?

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