Nov. 23, 2022

Building Likability and Trust with Professional Photographs

Building Likability and Trust with Professional Photographs

We humans are a visual species. We are also perceptive which means to like and trust someone we will observe different aspects of that individual. When a personal photo is put up on website or social media site, the likelihood of building connections get higher. A personal photograph showcases your personality and thus contributes to building trust.

With the remote and global nature of business today, to build trust and connections, a professional photo goes a long long way.

In the episode, host Surbhi chats with Alan Bell from Pixel Rose all about professional photography. Alan is a professional photographer and he shares some of the most common things people miss out when they DIY professional photograph. 

In this episode, find out

What are the missed branding opportunities?
Important things to know when taking professional photographs
What not to do while taking professional photographs?
Why your business needs professional photography?
How can thought leaders build a library of photos to show their personalities?
How Alan uses subliminal marketing and why taking action is important.
and much more!

Some of the websites Alan refers to on the episode are below:

Alan can be reached on LinkedIn too -

Thank you for listening!
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[00:00:00] Surbhi Dedhia: Hello, Alan, thank you so much for coming onto the Making of a Thought Leader podcast. It is such a pleasure to have you on board and speak to you on a very interesting topic today.

[00:00:11] Alan Bell: Thank you very much for having me. Really appreciate it.

[00:00:14] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes, and the topic that we are going to talk about is why is it so important to have a professional headshot when you are in a business environment?

[00:00:25] Alan Bell: Yes. Yeah, definitely looking forward to this. Yeah. Good topic.

[00:00:30] Surbhi Dedhia: I think it's an amazing topic. But Alan, you know what I want to start talking about firstly is the missed opportunities when it comes to branding.

[00:00:39] Surbhi Dedhia: And this is something that we have spoken about previously and I think that makes a great segue to, the depth of the conversation that we we're gonna have later. So, tell us about the missed opportunities in digital landscape for branding opportunities when it comes to personal imagery as such.

[00:00:58] Alan Bell: Simple answer is we live in a digital world. So, everyone has phones. Everyone's looking at content, whether it's video or images all of the time. Pretty much anywhere in the world. Yeah. Billions of people are online looking at this stuff. Images count. How are you being perceived? Through your images, is it good or is it bad?

[00:01:22] Alan Bell: Yeah. And are you doing business online? If it is, you should have a good image. Even thinking of the last three years and the, the prevalence of things like Zoom. Mm-hmm. , you know, online meetings cause of Covid, the pandemic and everything else. People forget that they're still on camera. Other people can still see them, the background on Zoom, what they've got, you know, rubbish in the room or whatever it is.

[00:01:48] Alan Bell: People just forget they're in the pyjamas. Image is so important and we should be so self-conscious of it, how we look, how we portray ourselves, you know, what, what those images say about us. It's so important for personal branding purposes.

[00:02:03] Surbhi Dedhia: True. It's not only how you look, uh, because you can't change much of it, but then what else you can do to present yourself better. So, like, for example, when you say the Zoom culture and people just forget that you know the backdrop or you know what is around you also reflects a part of you that is so important.

[00:02:25] Alan Bell: Well correct. Cause I do online networking events. Mm-hmm. And so often people just turn up and they're showing what's in the background. It could be a kitchen, it could be the kids running around it, whatever. Right. Very few people actually realize it's a marketing opportunity.

[00:02:41] Alan Bell: So, I look at your background. I see your logo. Yeah. Yeah. It's clean. It's simple. There's no distractions. That's what it should be. People should see that and think, okay, I can see who you are, digital genie, et cetera. That's great. If you didn't have that, what would I be seeing? Would it be a blurred background and what would, what would I be blurring?

[00:03:03] Alan Bell: Um, I know a lot of business people will have offices full of stuff, pictures, you know, bookshelves or whatever. I've seen people in Zoom meetings see a bookshelf in the background, and they're going like this because they're trying to read what the books are, you know, on the spine. In fact, I had one, financial investor and he had, um, finance for dummies on his bookshelf behind him, and I asked him the question offline. I said, is that really the sort of book you want to be showing multimillionaires that you are investing their money and you've gotta finance for dummy's book in the background?

[00:03:38] Alan Bell: Devil's in the detail.

[00:03:40] Alan Bell: And you know, you gotta think about these things. How do you wanna be seen? How do you want other people to see you?

[00:03:46] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah, absolutely. I think every person is the content, himself or herself. And professional headshot is so important in telling that piece of the story. So, for example, I run this other business called Jot my bio.

[00:04:00] Surbhi Dedhia: And through that business, we help, professionals to position themselves, on the social media in a way that they can narrate the story of their experience instead of just like a chronological order of what they did. And I feel, uh, the other half of that piece, or telling your personal story is, the professional headshot.

[00:04:22] Surbhi Dedhia: So, while you have a great headshot, of course most of the professional headshots, as we know, are taken, uh, with a good, backdrop or a plain backdrop and professional looking. How does it piece with that whole storytelling component

[00:04:39] Alan Bell: We are a visual species. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. We as humans are visual first, believe it or not. So, we will use an image to decide whether we like the look of someone and there's research out there, which says that we form a judgment. About an image, about a person from an image in, well, what? What do you think the time is? How long do you think it takes to make that judgment? Let me ask you that question.

[00:05:09] Surbhi Dedhia: Probably the first two, three seconds that you are seeing that person.

[00:05:13] Alan Bell: Yeah, it's been measured at 0.4 of a second.

[00:05:16] Surbhi Dedhia: Oh, not even. Not even a whole second, huh?

[00:05:19] Alan Bell: Yeah. I don't know how they measure it. You'd have to read the papers out there to see that, but I'm assuming it's brain waves or whatever. But we form those judgements in less than a second. So, you imagine your profile picture is creating an impression, whether you know it or not, amongst other people.

[00:05:38] Alan Bell: And if you've got a viewer, however, that picture is being used, let's say it's LinkedIn Yeah. And they don't like the look of your image. Are they gonna carry on and connect with you or not? And there's some interesting statistics that I saw from LinkedIn themselves say that people with a good photo image get 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests.

[00:06:04] Alan Bell: And I'm up to 36 times more likely to receive a message from others. And the other thing, you know, my background is sales. Mm-hmm. , 63% of buyers today in today's economy will look you up before they do business with you, right?

[00:06:21] Surbhi Dedhia: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, uh, you know, even as a general nuance nowadays is to look it up like. Even in personal day to day life, you always Google it up, like go into a restaurant for a brunch or something. You always check up things because you don't want to land up there and then discover other parts, which you may not, may or may not like.

[00:06:47] Alan Bell: Correct. And you, and you made a comment earlier about, you know, having a good image, you'd be surprised how many people on LinkedIn. They've got a selfie or they've got them skydiving. LinkedIn is a business platform, you know, and okay, you have these social activities, but make it appropriate for the platform that you're gonna be reaching out to people on? Yes. So, if it's business, LinkedIn, if it's skydiving, or hobbies, cycling, whatever, you know, Facebook or Instagram or whatever it is. Right?

[00:07:18] Surbhi Dedhia: True. And so, you are saying appropriateness right of the image to the platform. Now let's get into that a little bit.

[00:07:27] Surbhi Dedhia: What happens is that when, when somebody needs a headshot, it is usually at the time when they are asked by their company organization to go get a professional headshot. The funniest I had experienced this is when I asked somebody as a corporate communication executive to give me a professional headshot. They thought giving me the passport photo was the most professional photo that they had on them. And so, I was like, no, no, no, no, no. This is not depicting your true image. So, let's get into that appropriateness a little bit and share with the audience.

[00:08:03] Surbhi Dedhia: What do you think as a professional in the line what would be Alan's five top tips for having a great professional headshot.

[00:08:12] Alan Bell: A lot of it depends on who you getting to take the photo for a start. So, the first tip I would say is think. Well think about the purpose. Of the image. So, if it's someone that's asked you through work because they want to put your image on your bottom of your signature on a work email, or it's for internal use on their exchange servers or whatever it is for their internal directories, that that's one thing, the directory approach.

[00:08:42] Alan Bell: If it's something that you're being asked cuz you're speaking at a public event. Then that's a different style of image. Yep. So, think about what the image is going to be used. Is it going to be used in your WhatsApp? A lot of people have a little image in the, in the WhatsApp or is it gonna be used on LinkedIn as a professional headshot.

[00:09:01] Alan Bell: So, think about the purpose. The next thing I would think about then, once you've decided what it's going to be used for is to find a professional to take that. And the reason I say that is selfies are okay-ish if you've got arms that are long enough. Now, that may say sound like a strange thing to say, but if I, if I play this video, what's happening to the image on the right? Yeah.

[00:09:36] Alan Bell: The photographer's going closer and then

[00:09:39] Alan Bell: the image of the person, but the image is distorting.

[00:09:44] Alan Bell: Right. So, you look at the face and as he gets closer, the face goes narrow. As the predominant gets further away, the face gets wider, right? Yep. So, in a decent distance. So, this, this where he is very close. You can see the picture at the top is 30 centimetres away. The face is very narrow, right? Yeah. I'll stop that sharing for now.

[00:10:09] Alan Bell: But the reason why I'm showing that is, you need to be one and a half to two meters away, even using a phone to take an image and your arm is probably not two meters long. Yeah, definitely not. Yeah. So, you will get distortion of your facial features because of the distance, the lenses away from your face.

[00:10:33] Alan Bell: Okay. So, if you're gonna, you know the tip is if you're going to get someone else to do it, get a professional. If you don't wanna use a professional, get a friend. Don't do it yourself by doing, you know this with your phone towards and arm's length cuz it's not far enough away. Sure.

[00:10:51] Alan Bell: Also, one of the other tips is smile. We live in a world where I've talked about everything being online, but people today will investigate you across your social media for whatever purpose, good, bad, or indifferent, business or otherwise, and they want to see a rounded personality. They want to see someone that's not just corporate and serious, but they want to see you've got a personality and your fun and all those sorts of things as well.

[00:11:20] Alan Bell: And that's the world. It's just the world we live in. And because everything's online, it's much more accessible to see that. Showing, bit of teeth always makes a difference. Importantly, the smile is reaching the eyes. So, I don't know if your, podcast listeners would, would know about, um, these plasticine characters that were big in the UK called Wallace and Rot had really big smiles. So, whenever they grinned yeah, the mouth opened really wide and it was full of all these teeth in a big, big, cheery grin. Do not do that. Only a little bit of teeth is needed just to show, and a little bit of a smile.

[00:11:58] Alan Bell: Make it natural, make sure you're having fun. Yeah. And. That you've got the rapport with the photographer or whoever's taken the picture and that sort of thing. That's not actually an easy skill from a photographer's, photographer's point of view.

[00:12:12] Alan Bell: And it does separate, professionals from amateurs in a lot of instances. But it, it's worth thinking about. Um, another thing as well is think about what you need to wear. What do you want people to see you wearing? Is it appropriate dress, if it's business versus semi casual or what? And in the studio, you know, if a, if a man comes with a shirt and a jacket, we can take the jacket off. If we've got a tie, we can wear it with tie without tie. So, we can take different styles of images that could be used for different purposes. So, think about what you want to be seen wearing. The other thing is make sure your clothing is tidy. We use professional high-end cameras and they pick up the tiniest hair or lint or dandruff or whatever it is on the clothing.

[00:13:02] Alan Bell: So, go dressed to impress for a photo shoot. Yeah. So that would be another tip. Yeah. I could carry on those loads.

[00:13:10] Alan Bell: Yeah.

[00:13:10] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah. I'm sure there is loads. And I just wanted like the top five, but what you have said is really important because as you established right in the beginning of the call, devil is in the details and what you said, smile, but it should reach your eyes.

[00:13:26] Surbhi Dedhia: Now, this is something that a lot of times people miss out, because that's what brings authenticity. When you smile and your eyes show that that genuineness and authenticity is something that, uh, comes, comes around, through that. I feel one of the other things that has happened in my experience is when you said dress to impress. Firstly, not a lot of people just don't pay attention. They think it is their face that's going to be captured and not get dressed. So, they kind of overlook that part. And the second part for me, that I was always struggling to, for, for the men especially, was not to wear a checkered. Because when you have patterns and prints on, on the clothing, that also kind of distracts the person away from your face.

[00:14:13] Surbhi Dedhia: Right, what is an ideal time that the image should be updated?

[00:14:19] Alan Bell: Every, every two to three years. If, if you are changing, people go through paths, life's journey. Yeah. They lose weight. They gain weight, you know, all sorts of things. Stress can have a, an impact, health, all these things, family, whatever it is. Mm-hmm., keep up to date with it because it's, again, it's part of the personality that you're showing the world. And if you are trying to engage with people, then you need them to see you as they are. One of the worst things you can do is send someone a picture that's 10 years old and then you turn up and you don't look at anything like it anymore.

[00:14:53] Alan Bell: You know your hairs different. You got a beard, you haven't, or whatever it is, you know, your glasses is wearing. Not, not, weren't. Previously you fatter, you're thinner, you know? We can all change in that, in that period of time. And what we say as a, as photographers is we do image editing as well. My wife says, um, diamonds used to be a girl's best friend, but it's actually now photo shop because we can do all sorts with Photoshop. Yeah. Um, but we try and keep the person looking real. Yes. So, our motto is, if, you know, if they've got facial scars features, acne, whatever it is, we can change things, but we want the person to be recognized.

[00:15:39] Alan Bell: So, if, if I was looking for you from an image and then I looked up and I saw you, I'd want to be able to compare the two and say, oh yeah, that's, that's you. That's fine. Yeah. If, if not, I could walk right past you and not know.

[00:15:53] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes, exactly. And that's, that's where I feel the consistency part comes in. We started talking about this in tandem with the whole personal brand story, right? Your image really going in tandem with the personal brand story. And I feel that is true consistency, and I felt like during Covid, we had a lot of these episodes of looking at the photograph on LinkedIn and going on an online networking, event, and you just see that person has aged become fat. It's such a mismatch and that was very evident.

[00:16:25] Alan Bell: The interesting thing is you can actually find out what other people think of your image online. How do you think that? So as an example, there's an example. This one, um, is with, uh, an online called photo So, photo feeler spelt as it Yeah. Mm-hmm. . They will test.

[00:16:48] Alan Bell: There's a number of ways to do it, but they will test your picture with either an AI engine or a live audience, depending on, you can pick the audience size, costs a little bit of money to get that. You buy vouchers and then use them for it. But effectively, you see what feedback you would get for your image Nice. So, this image here where the guy's got his microphone looks as though he is presenting? Yeah. You see how he's shown as competent? Yeah, he's, he's okay. Very likable. Yeah. He's in the top 10%, you know, 9.2 out of 10 and influential. Mm. Yeah. I'm gonna show you an image before that I did previously when I, I did an event.

[00:17:33] Alan Bell: I put my image through the photo feeler and look at my score. Influential 8.7 because I've got a jacket and shirt versus this guy. 7.3. Yeah. Yeah. So more influential, competent 7.9 versus 6.5, right? Yeah. But not as likable Yeah, so this image, only 5.4. Now I see this is an image I still use, but effectively I need to update it. Yeah, and knowing this, I could say, okay, I could do a better smile. I could change shoulder position, I could do various things, but it just illustrates the difference an image and an image style can make.

[00:18:23] Surbhi Dedhia: Absolutely.

[00:18:25] Surbhi Dedhia: I think Alan, what you shared was so interesting because it gives you like that evidence of likability, trustability and the competence. After Covid, lot of people know that visually presentation is important, but I think this still sits on the back burner of many professionals and then, as we were talking about the headshots, actually, I was curious to know how many headshots is enough because you said that there is a variety.

[00:18:55] Alan Bell: But if you have to think of like mid to senior manager and wants to kind of build his thought leadership, like begin building his thought leadership, how many headshots is good enough?

[00:19:07] Alan Bell: So, three to five in that instance. If it's just someone that wants a profile photo for LinkedIn, probably a single image will do it cuz that's all they're gonna use it for. But if someone's wanting to build their brand online, for example, and do different engagements have their image, seen else will than three to five, right?

[00:19:29] Alan Bell: And, and those images might be one angle. From one side, left side of the face, looking forward, shoulders slanted, so on. If it's male or females, for some reason, females can do straight onto the camera. Males always look better with slant to shoulders. And that gives depth to the, you know, breadth to the shoulders. But psychologically as well, it, it's weird when you see a man stood straight on, yeah, it just looks slightly odd. But the other thing, and, and little things like arm position, folded arms, but not fists, cuz that's very closed. So, these sort of things you can do, you know, headshot, shoulders and above is one image.

[00:20:12] Alan Bell: Torso, yeah, so from waist upwards would be two images, either side, you know, make it four. Yeah. And then you've got potentially folded arms, hands in pockets, whatever it is, depending on other purposes. So somewhere in the region of three to five is a good thing. One, if it's purely for just single purpose, which is LinkedIn.

[00:20:35] Surbhi Dedhia: Right, and because I, I deal with a lot of thought leaders who are, you know, more influential, not only selling online, but also engaging with their communities online. You will recommend five to 10 because just as you showed with the other life coach example, we need to show some bit of personality?

[00:20:53] Alan Bell: Yeah, there's, there's that. And also, you can show when you get into that sort of number eight to 10 plus you are showing different looks so you could be seated, you could be standing, you could be at a desk. Again, you could be working different shots, different angles and everything else and there you're starting to get more into portrait styles as well.

[00:21:17] Alan Bell: So, you could be doing black and white, you could be doing high contrast, you know, which. For a man looks better, ladies look better. With a little bit less contrast in the face, men look better with contrast cause it, you know, implies strength and those sorts of things. So, it really depends. Again, think about the purpose.

[00:21:36] Alan Bell: We often for clients will do, what we call image banks for branding purposes. Right? So, we might do 20 or 30 different images, maybe in one or two shoots. Yeah. Some locations, some in the studio, seated desk, all that sort of thing. Lounging sat on a cell for whatever it is. So, you get a combination of things and they're not gonna use all of those images, all of the time.

[00:22:01] Alan Bell: Right. Yeah. It creates options. Even things like the one I showed you earlier with the LinkedIn approach or you could turn that into, I want to post messages, particularly for things like thought leaders. They need to stand out from the crowd and they need to get the message out there, how they're doing that through images, right?

[00:22:19] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah, true. I think that that is something. I firmly believe in that humans are visual people. even with food, it should look appealing. It should be plated so beautifully that you would wanna have it.

[00:22:32] Surbhi Dedhia: So yeah, we are definitely visual creatures and for thought leaders to stand out in this whole digital noise, I think that personal brand with personal imagery is so, so critical. And that brings me to this other area that I'm very curious about is organizations. I know you work with a lot of organizations and what happens in the organizations is that people at different levels, people from different departments. It's just like such a diverse place. And what can businesses do, brands do with having employee, photography then? So, can you share some insights from your experience?

[00:23:12] Alan Bell: So, if I talk about two examples in the last two weeks. One was a very large property developer who had a facility that they wanted images for their 28 sales people to use in their emails, things like that, that they were sending to clients, you know, that have a profile image and things.

[00:23:32] Alan Bell: They had a stylist. They had a marketing person involved who was setting the brand strategy and everything. They had brought clothing, jewellery, and other things, and were telling people what to wear and what not to wear to make sure it was brand com compliant. They had brought t-shirts, do you know, black t-shirts for men, that sort of thing.

[00:23:53] Alan Bell: So, they wanted consistency and presenting their brand style in a certain way that reflected what they thought was a high value, important business. for their clients, so, so that's one extreme. Yeah, I say extreme because we, that's the first time I think I've experienced it, where they've gone to that level of actually saying, no, you can't wear that jacket, or you've gotta take your wristband off, to that level. And then the other one, similar thing for sales people but much more relaxed. And then they're asking us, well, how do you think I should be standing? And we give that posing guidance anyway cuz we know what works from an image point of view. But also, we'd ask them, have you got any brand guidelines?

[00:24:39] Alan Bell: No. Okay, well, how do you want your customers to see you? So, we end up having that conversation. So, we're doing a little bit of branding for them. Yeah. And you sort of think, you know, you're a multimillion-dollar business already. You would've thought marketing and branding would be part of your strategy. But they don't have a marketing person in that sense. This was the sales director we were working with. So, it, it really does vary from organization to organization. You'll get people that think, yeah, it will be a good idea to have good images, but we're not really sure what we need.

[00:25:13] Alan Bell: And then we've gotta give them that guidance or we introduce 'em to someone to do that. And then you've got others that just turn up for a corporate edge shop just want the one for LinkedIn and that's it. So, they trust in us to give them that. But then that's it. We'll probably not see 'em again.

[00:25:29] Surbhi Dedhia: Right. Yeah. Right.

[00:25:31] Surbhi Dedhia: So, you have the whole spectrum, at one end you have to work with brand guide and all of that. So, when you enter into that, phase of taking the photographs, you have to really study their brand beforehand to be able to deliver what they're expecting and what they have set out for themselves. But on the other hand, as you were saying about this company who has multimillion dollar business, they have no clue what they want or they stand for. And you have to guide them, which means you really are sparking those very essential back to basic conversations with them and saying that, okay, where is, what are the colours and what do you wanna portray?

[00:26:11] Surbhi Dedhia: What is your personality or the tone? And you know, a lot of things that come into play.

[00:26:17] Surbhi Dedhia: And that's, that's I think one of the key issues marketing professionals like yourself need to help in that discussion. It's not just about, oh, it's a logo and it's this color scheme and this font and that's it.

[00:26:33] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah, and maybe a standard in images or whatever it is for products that they do or something, or catalogues or whatever it needs to be every person that works in a business is a representative of that business, and we're all sales people we're all upfront for that business. Yeah. Even the receptionist or someone delivering, products or whatever out the back of the van is still representing that business that they're delivering for.

[00:27:03] Surbhi Dedhia: Therefore, it's important that that brand is across the business and includes people and the type and style of images, and I'm not saying everyone should have uniforms and all those sorts of things. But a consistency and an approach and some thought around that. Needs to be more evident than it is true.

[00:27:23] Surbhi Dedhia: All right. I talk about thought leadership on the podcast. We are helping people build their thought leadership through consistent in a systematic way. Now tell me, how can a budding thought leader, one who's building his thought leadership, be consistent and systematic about his own personal imagery. Like what is something which will make him or her stand out when portraying this personal story through his professional image?

[00:27:55] Alan Bell: Yeah. So, um, one of the main things is get professional photos done.

[00:28:02] Alan Bell: Get an image bank that represent you and your brand as you are now. Photography's one of those things everyone's got a, camera, phone, and everyone thinks they're a photographer. In this region there are a lot of low-cost photographers that work hard during the week doing low paid menial work, and then will supplement their income at the weekend from photography.

[00:28:25] Alan Bell: It just, it's just one of those industries. Yeah. But very few of them are actually good, unfortunately. So, in my mission, to rid the world of bad profile pictures, I need to be educating other photographers in how to take better images as well, not just taking the images myself. Cause I can't, can't do it for everyone.

[00:28:45] Alan Bell: But find a good photographer who is highly recommended. You can see their work and then, put effort into your own brand and styling, and think about that when you talk with the photographer about the sort of thing that you're looking for. Cause if all you're gonna do is turn up and get what you're given and what you pay for. You're probably not gonna look at those images and think, yeah, actually that was a stunning experience, and look at these images and it's really gonna represent me out in the market. Yeah. So be careful on where you invest in your image because it's important.

[00:29:28] Alan Bell: Yeah, it's a lot more important than you think it is.

[00:29:32] Surbhi Dedhia: Absolutely. And I think that is such a vital thought that you have placed, on the show because come to think of it, you can, you are gonna live with those images once you invest in those images. It's going to live on digital landscape for a while. And some people may not even change it for a very long time, so then you have to think really long term.

[00:29:53] Alan Bell: So, we have an offer for headshots. So, this is timebound at the moment, so I guess it's gonna depend on when the episode goes out, but reach out to us anyway.

[00:30:03] Alan Bell: Which is, awesome profile, go there and then you can get this special offer on headshots.

[00:30:08] Surbhi Dedhia: Wonderful. For those, those of you listening in from UAE, I think I'll also put in the link that Alan mentioned earlier, it's awesome profile And if you're not in the UAE and listening to this episode, you still have, Alan on LinkedIn. Alan, yes. They can reach out to you because Alan runs this fantastic networking, um, uh, program.

[00:30:32] Surbhi Dedhia: Alan, you wanna speak about?

[00:30:34] Alan Bell: Yeah, it's Alan Dash Bell, photographer on LinkedIn, if you just look me up. And it breaks the ICE is the networking event. It's free for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Um, and it's to connect. So, it started off when I moved into photography. I had no following, no presence or anything.

[00:30:55] Alan Bell: I think I had 346 followers on LinkedIn and I, it took me 18 months to realize that. My audience is business owners and entrepreneurs. Yeah. Taking corporate headshots for the people, the places, the teams, that sort of thing. Premises products. Um, so once we'd figured that out over Covid, I needed to grow my presence.

[00:31:15] Alan Bell: So, I started doing online networking event, corporate, the ice. Mm-hmm. and I now just short of 12,000 followers on LinkedIn as a result. So, it's subliminal marketing. So, you've probably also noticed my background as changing for those that are on the visual version of this. Yes. Yeah. I've been all through this hour session been marketing pixel roses and some of the images that we've done in the background, you probably may not have even noticed, but it's been there.

[00:31:42] Alan Bell: Yes. So, I do a lot of this subliminal marketing just to get the brand out there and the awareness and everything else. Yeah. So, to break the Ice is a way of doing that as well.

[00:31:52] Surbhi Dedhia: Alan, you were talking about subliminal marketing, but all marketing without a any action is going to bring you no results. So, what do you have to say on this?

[00:32:03] Alan Bell: Well, that, that's precisely the point. So, I want everyone that's listening to think about their own profile image. And if it's not up to date, my question would be, okay, you've just listened to this hour-long episode, why isn't it, or what are you gonna do about.

[00:32:18] Alan Bell: And that's the important thing, is taking action. So, if you are using an image that's five years old or you've lost weight, or gained weight and you look different now your hairs different. Whatever it is, think about getting another image done. It's important that you get yourself out there, get that brand, you know, your personal brand known, and, that thought leadership process, it's all part of that.

[00:32:42] Alan Bell: You know, as we said at the start, people judge you from an image whether you like it or. Absolutely. So why not make it current smart? Stand out, you know, stand out from the crowd, differentiate yourself.

[00:32:54] Surbhi Dedhia: True. And absolutely the call to action is something that we, um, always talk about. In fact, as a thought leader, what you wanna bring out in people is that action towards your point of point of view.

[00:33:08] Surbhi Dedhia: And, this could be a very good tool, like what you said, the subliminal part of it. Like people see you regularly, people you show up for them through your content, but you also show up through to them with your images.

[00:33:22] Surbhi Dedhia: So, I think that's a very valid point and a great tip for the listeners too.

[00:33:27] Alan Bell: You know, people miss the chance. You remember, I, I introduced the, um, the whole concept earlier of, zoom, right? This is a typical Zoom screen.

[00:33:40] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes. That, that's how you started the call. Yeah.

[00:33:43] Alan Bell: How many people here are not branding themselves effectively, none of them.

[00:33:51] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes, absolutely. We've come a full circle. Thank you, Alan, for coming on the show. Absolutely. My pleasure.

[00:33:56] Surbhi Dedhia: Thank you.

[00:33:57] Alan Bell: Thank you very much. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.