October 24th, 2018
I talk a lot about authentic writing around here because authenticity is hugely important if you want to create connection with your reader through your words.
Which – spoiler alert – YOU DO because a feeling of connection is what makes someone want to read more, get to know you, and become a loyal customer.
(For the inside scoop on why authenticity is so critical – and the other two critical ingredients in my secret formula for copy that connects and converts – click here.)
All the while, I’m sitting over here with a business head shot that’s alllll polished up – to the point where it doesn’t look much like me at all (a fact that has become abundantly clear as person after person tells me how surprised they are by my hair or my glasses when we meet.). Womp womp. #authenticityfail
When I had those head shots taken a few years ago, I did what I thought you were supposed to do for business portraits: put on a blazer, straightened my wild hair, and put on a whole bunch of makeup – even though I almost never do these things in real life. (Which, for the record, is exactly what’s going on when people scrub the personality out of their copy; they’re doing what they think they should in the name of professionalism.)
So, while my photos were beautifully shot and the person in them looks pretty great (if I do say so mah-self), they don’t say much about who I really am. And that’s a HUGE missed opportunity – every bit as much as carefully polished copy that doesn’t give a feel for the person who wrote it.
I knew it was time to address this elephant-in-the-room (/on-the-website) – so when the lovely Nathalie of Pictonat Photography asked for volunteers to test run her branding packages, I raised my hand faster than you can say double latte.
We took pictures in my house (where I do the lion’s share of my work)….
…and my favourite coffee shop (thanks, Lit!)
I wore regular clothes, natural hair, minimal make-up and my signature specs (in most shots) and, as a result, I feel like it’s really me staring back from those pics. And I love them because of it.
My little business has evolved in lots of ways this year – but one of the most significant shifts is that, after more than five years, I’ve finally come in to my own as a business owner.
I know who I am, feel confident about what I offer and my place in the market, and am committed to doing things my way. And I think these photos reflect that.
So here’s to putting ourselves out there (in print AND in photos). To progress. To connecting on a human level (which you can do with me anytime here). And, perhaps most of all, to taking our own advice 😉
Photo cred (& thanks!) go to Pictonat Photography