What does a bottle of wine have in common with realtors?
Here’s a hint: It’ the same thing that it has in common with doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, job seekers…..
The answer? They are more often than not, at least initially, selected based off of appearance.
Sad but true: We are ALL guilty of judging by appearance!
Think about it: we’re all guilty. You’re off to a dinner party and stopped by your local wine merchant. It’s just a bottle of wine, but we always want to impress our friends with our excellent choice. But most will agree that our process has little to do with the wine itself. Fact is that we are more influenced by the look of the label.
Wine marketing is a huge business and wine makers are always fighting for the most appealing label for obvious reasons: They want to win your decision.
Shopping for wine vs. doctors. A terrible comparison, right? Wrong!
The process for selecting professionals, even doctors, start the same way! I, for example, just moved to a new town and needed to find a new family doctor. I did what most people would do: I went to google and searched for “[enter your city here] family doctors”. And up popped a list of doctors offices in the area. Upon clicking through, I was presented with headshots of these highly skilled professionals.
Why don’t professionals fight for that first impression?
But something amazed me. Their profile photos were about as opposite as you’d expect they’d care to represent themselves. Many photos, darkly lit, taken with a smartphone, just horrible photos. Naturally I caught myself clicking through to the doctors that looked the most professional. As most of us follow this same process, I began to think: what a shame for all of the truly skilled doctors and professionals who are missing out on prospective customers simply because their photos are terrible.
If you’re a professional who must compete with hundreds, maybe thousands of others in your area, why are you not fighting like crazy to have the best first impression of them all? The first impression should be a marketing priority. Because you’ll never get to show off your credentials via click-through if people are passing you by based off of your looks. It’s the sad truth.
Prioritizing your marketing expenses: It appears the headshot is your greatest opportunity to stand out!
Here’s a challenge that I’d like to offer to any professional with their own business or practice: Google search for your competing professionals in your area. If you’re a realtor, search for “[insert zip code] realtor”. Then click on “images”. Look at your competition. You are going to see a lot of awful headshots. These are the wine labels in your market. How do you compare? Could the be a good opportunity to win that first impression?
Now think about your marketing budget. If you are allocating 0% for that first impression, you’re doing your business a disservice. Of all of your expenses: advertising, PR, or even paid listings online, the headshot is the most affordable option to make what I believe is the biggest impression.
So, consider your headshot your wine label. Are online shoppers going to stop and read more about you? Or are you just another face in the crowd?