I talk a lot about how we as humans, are visual sense users first. As such I was reading the book “How to connect in business; in 90 seconds or less” by Nicholas Boothman. Which is a great book by the way and the info he provides is relative for any business and any person; I highly recommend it!
Here is the link if you would like to get a copy
Boothman mentions a study done by University of Southern California professor Dr. Albert Mehrabian; “ Decoding of Inconsistent Communication.” In the study Dr. Mehrabian found that 55% of what we respond to takes place visually; 38% is the sound of the communication & only 7% comes from the actual words we use. Boothman then goes on to describe how our body language really impacts the way people perceive us as friend or foe.
For me I saw another connection in the world of photography and business. Its vitally important that the images you use to portray your brand take advantage of our instinctual visual ques. In essence when people view your marketing materials, IE website, social media sites , direct mailers etc, people will give credibility to what they see regardless of what may be written on the page; solely based on our instinctual reactions.
Another great book on social psychology “Social Intelligence”, by Daniel Goleman, also drives this point home. Goleman talks about the natural human reaction to mimic the emotions of those around us. Try it for yourself. Browse the internet and look for a really scary figure, IE Jason from the movie “Friday the 13th” or any one of the characters from the Rob Zombie films. As you look at these images take note of how you feel in that moment; or better yet hold up a mirror and watch your facial expressions. Then look at the work of any one of the great portrait artists, my personal favorite is Peter Hurley. Look through Peters work and take notice of your emotions and your facial expressions. See the difference?
The reason this becomes important is that I see images everyday of “Blue Steeled” faced customers sitting in their barber’s or stylists chair posted all over the web. For any potential client that is looking at these images, their first reaction is “That person looks miserable!” Whether you like it or not your potential clients are mimicking that persons emotions and making a decision in a micro second of what its like for them to sit in your chair. This now becomes your brand and your identity for any one viewing your imagery.
As a professional photographer I tell most people my work is 10% photographer and 90% therapist. Sure I may know a lot about all the technical aspects of photography but what really makes me successful is being able to pull out a persons true personality when they are in front of the camera.
Whether you are a barber or a hairdresser you have one advantage that you can use to take better images and connect with your customer base. You know them! They have sat in their chair for countless hours and told you a number of personal stories. So use this to your advantage and talk to you customer about some funny story they have told you, get them to smile and look like they are having a great time. If you can do this, then you will be truly in control of your brand and how the world wide web views you.
If your ready to take your marketing presence to a more professional level email at Clint@LathamJrphotography.com to discuss what we can do to increase your overall perceived value and help you #StartLivingForMonday