Boost Your Business With Brand Images

Guest Post By Melissa Henry, CEO of Melissa Demple Photography, LLC

“Having good images allows you to claim higher prices.”
Melina Palmer, Behavioral Economics Expert and Host of “The Brainy Business Podcast”

Exactly when WAS the last time you had photos taken for your business?

I know, I know…getting your photos taken is about as much fun as going to the dentist. No offense to the dentists out there but if you are one, I bet you don’t like having your photo taken either!

When you started your business, you needed a headshot for your LinkedIn profile and website. So, you found a photographer and ended up with a decent professional photo of yourself on a boring gray background that shows people what you look like, right?

And hey, that’s all you really need. I mean you aren’t trying to become an Instagram influencer, you just want to have a successful business, right?

Well, let me ask you…

  • Do you dream of creating a wildly successful online business?
  • Are you a speaker who wants to land big stages and get paid to speak?
  • Do you dream of becoming known as the expert in your industry?
  • Do you want to be a best-selling author?
  • Do you want to easily pivot in your business and bring your audience with you?

If you said yes to any of these, then stay with me.

Brand_Photo_Melissa Demple Photography

What are personal brand photos?

Personal brand photos are images that result from intentionally creating a visual interpretation of the concepts you want to communicate to your target audience and transformations your product or service provides to your ideal clients.

Yes, that’s my “technical definition” but since that’s pretty boring, I’ll also put it this way:

Personal brand images help you:

  • Stand out online
  • Build the know, LOVE, and trust factor
  • Show your audience why they must choose YOU
  • Sell out your offers
  • Sell more books!
  • Show event organizers why YOU should speak at their event

Besides all of those pretty amazing things, here’s something really interesting. Did you know that social media posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text only posts?
(www.inc.com/larry-kim/visual-content-marketing-16-eye-popping-statistics-you-need-to-know.html)

Yes, that saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is totally true!

Brand_Photo_Melissa Demple Photography

What images should I have?

The possibilities for your brand images are practically endless. Since the whole point of branding is to highlight your uniqueness and why your ideal client should choose you, no one list of specific images will work for all people. However, I’ve put together some general ideas for images you can, and should have for your business:

A high-quality horizontal image that can be used as the “hero” image on your website. For most service-based business, you can make this an image of you, you working with a “client” OR a client after they have experienced “transformation” as a result.

Create images that show your most important personality traits or aspects about your life that connect you with your ideal client. The key is to be intentional about truly connecting with your audience.

Create images that show emotion! If you want your clients to feel empowered and confident, an image of a client standing in a power pose looking towards the “future” with a smile really drives home the point!

Create some “behind the scenes” images too. It’s a fact that people will feel closer to you if you show them that little peek behind the curtain in your business.

Brand_Photo_Melissa Demple Photography

Using your brand photos

You may be thinking, “Hey Melissa, thanks for the info but where the heck would I even use photos like these anyway?” I’m here to tell you that you can use your images to connect with your audience in tons of ways.

Here’s how my speakers, authors and entrepreneurs have used their images to grow their business and their impact:

  • Website
  • Profiles and banners for social media
  • Speaker bios and one-sheets
  • Blog posts
  • Media kits
  • Podcast art and video podcast intros
  • Social media posts
  • Newsletters
  • Lead magnets
  • Webinars
  • Book covers
  • Magazine articles, and much more!

Get the tools you need

If you’ve read this far, I am guessing that at least one of these statements are true for you:

  • You are sick and tired of attracting price-shopping clients
  • You are frustrated that you get little engagement on your social media
  • You want to attract the RIGHT clients without being pushy or having to “market” AT them all the time

Imagine if your website and social media platforms enticed your ideal clients to comment on your posts, grab your new freebie, and schedule calls with you, without having to keep proving that you are the expert.

Wouldn’t that feel amazing?

If this sounds like you, grab my FREE “Boost Your Brand Toolkit”

This toolkit will help you identify actionable steps to take to:

  • Attract more of the kinds of clients who are ready to buy
  • Land more speaking opportunities to grow your audience and get more leads
  • Have an irresistible brand that helps you call in the RIGHT clients with ease
  • Up-level your look and scale your business
  • Show up as an expert and thought leader in your industry

I cannot wait to see you SHINE online!

About the Author

Melissa HenryMelissa Henry, CEO of Melissa Demple Photography, helps speakers, authors and entrepreneurs become KNOWN. Walk away feeling like a rock star with powerful clarity on your personal brand, including unique images that wow your target audience and help you sell out your programs, books and win those coveted keynote spots!

Quoted in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and featured in Thrive Global as well as on podcasts such as The Rita Made Me Do It Show, No Fat Cats, and Two Girls Talking, Melissa understands the challenges of standing out in the crowded marketplace and will make sure you and your business do too!

How Telemarketers Can Effectively Communicate with Customers and Maintain Compliance During a Pandemic

Guest post by Paul Gipson, Director of Marketing Compliance Services for CompliancePoint

External communications are one of the most important elements in business operations today. However, many businesses were not prepared to face a global pandemic, and communications can become more complicated in unprecedented times. This has left many companies to wonder the most appropriate ways to engage prospects and customers while maintaining legal compliance.

An important factor in effective communication is customer empowerment, meaning the customer feels their individual voice is heard, trust is built, and relationships are enriched. It is even more crucial for telemarketers to be knowledgeable about the laws that govern them, which includes the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). When engaging in outbound communications, its important to understand the pandemic’s effect on TCPA guidelines. While the TCPA remains intact, there are several restrictions that have been implemented because of the pandemic.

A telemarketer’s biggest challenge is often ensuring effective communication in an environment where spam calls are prevalent. Robocallers are thriving on the large number of people working from home. Many can impersonate the IRS and health-insurance companies and collect funds. This leaves consumers feeling warry of telemarketers, and many often refrain from answering the phone entirely, especially when calls reflect no caller identification. This can have a drastic effect on a business and its sales if the business is reliant on telemarketing as a sales mechanism.

A best practice for effective telemarketers is to monitor practices to ensure they comply with any calling prohibitions outlined in the TCPA.

The TCPA and the TSR (Telemarketing Sales Rule) have specific requirements for sales call practices. One of these sales practices includes the prohibition of call abandonment. This means that when telemarketers dial in a “predictive manner,” a call is answered by a consumer but no agent is available to talk on the other end of the line. This happens when a predictive dialer  places multiple calls at once and “predicts” that only one consumer will answer, but more than one actually answers. If companies are calling predictively, a message must be played to the consumer to indicate who was calling and why, as well as an automated opt-out mechanism. If the company does not have an automated message that is played, they are not within the compliance requirements of the TCPA and the TSR. Abandoning more than 3% of phone calls (per campaign per 30 days) is prohibited.

Companies must also be cognizant of calling times. Outbound calls can only be completed during the hours of 8AM to 9PM based on the consumer’s location.  Further, telemarketers must also be aware of the customer’s time zone. In an instance where an address and phone number hail from alternate time zones, telemarketers would be best advised to use the time zone in which the address is placed. Addresses are more likely to be updated and changed over time.

It is crucial that telemarketers deliver a disclosure to the consumer stating the company’s name, reason for the call, and whether the call is being recorded. This allows for the avoidance of any illegal recordings, even if they were unintentionally illegal, that can lead to complaints and lawsuits.

Calling individuals against their will could lead to legal enforcement and will certainly reflect poorly on the business. The TCPA recommends keeping do-not-call requests for five years, so record-keeping is crucial when navigating calling lists.

Auto-dialing, originally deemed the dialing of random phone numbers, now includes predictive dialer calls. If a device has the capacity to dial phones without human-intervention, it is likely an auto-dialer. To send marketing messages/calls with an auto-dialer, prior written consent is needed. Of course, do-not-call lists still apply in these cases and should be observed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, answer rates have been increasing. Despite changing restrictions due to state of emergency declarations, only New York and Louisiana have made restrictions on telemarketing. Calls about debt collection have additional restrictions in Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, and Washington DC. As per state of emergency guidelines, all states must allow emergency calls, which includes robocalls. Emergency calls or text messages containing information affecting the health and safety of the consumer are allowed.

In the current pandemic, if a call or text is in relation to the virus, it is only deemed an emergency if it is from a hospital, healthcare provider, or state health official, or details an imminent safety risk. The national state of emergency is not a time to avoid call-restrictions and claim there is Coronavirus relation. To ensure that dialing and texting records are maintained, company executives should listen in on calls. If an agent seems to have a lesser volume, organizations would be wise to investigate whether they are dialing on a personal line without record.

Home offices are now an extension of the office environment. Collecting information should be done through a different mechanism, for example, a transfer to a supervisor or putting the call through an interactive voice response.

Companies should be sure to educate employees on ongoing TCPA laws. They should further review third-party and client contractual requirements to ensure that security responsibilities are defined and addressed. Overall, this challenging time presents many changes but staying compliant and communicative ensures a productive and cohesive work environment.

About the Author

Paul GipsonPaul Gipson is the Director of Marketing Compliance Services for CompliancePoint, a subsidiary of PossibleNOW. Learn more at https://www.possiblenow.com/do-not-call-compliance

 

Tips to Make Your Website Accessible

Accessibility is about improving the web experience for everyone. Accessibility barriers make it difficult or impossible for visitors who are blind, deaf, hard of hearing, or disabled to use your site.

WebAIM analyzed one million homepages for accessibility issues and found that 98% of websites had at least one Web Content Accessibility Guidelines failure on their homepage. Common issues are:

  • Low-contrast text
  • Missing image alt text
  • Empty links

Audit Your Site

The first step in ensuring your site is accessible is an audit. The WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool will identify errors on your site.

Tips for Improvement

Make sure all images have alt text, starting with your logo. Alt tags will show when images are not displayed. Think of your site without any images, and make sure the alt text will help the user to make sense of the site in that mode.

Structure your content with appropriate headings. Make sure your page has one H1 heading and that subheads follow a logical descending structure.

Select fonts and colors for legibility.  Avoid font styles and sizes and color palettes that make your site difficult to read. Pay attention to contrast, or the difference between the darkness of your text and the lightness of your background.

Clearly describe your links.  When linking to another page or post on the web, make sure your linked text is descriptive. “Click here” is not as effective as “learn how to fix accessibility errors.”

Give clickable elements space. Make buttons, icons and clickable elements wide-enough so they are easy to click or tap from different devices.

Include captions or transcripts for multimedia content. If your site includes videos, add captions or  transcripts. It’s best if video and audio content do not auto-play, but if that’s not possible, options to pause or adjust the volume should be obvious on the page.