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You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And the importance of that first impression in today’s world is becoming more and more important. And today I have with me, Alan Bell. Alan is a dear friend, a consultant, a sales consultant, and a partner at the Academy for sales. Who has some very special I would say gifts. Thank you. Yeah, and today we’re going to make it all about helping you get that right impression and build the story in a visual story around your brand.


Alan, welcome to our podcast.


Thank you for having me very much appreciated.


We’ve known each other now for almost two years since the beginning of 2020. Tus a bit about your story.


Sure. I’m Alan Bell. I’m a co-founder of a business here in Dubai called pixel roses, photography business. But my background is quite unique. I quit the corporate industry about two and a half years ago. My background is 33 years plus in information technology sales, from the ground door knocking as we will call it cold calling right through to enterprise sales were $25 million deals, so I’ve done it all. Loved it, loved it. I thought I would finish my career there but decided I found a completely new passion. And that’s what I decided to pursue two and a half years ago.


So, what is that passion all about?


It’s about helping people get the right branding personality vision be the front and centre of their businesses through images and video. So I’m a photographer, completely changed career from it. To photography, and I love every minute of it.


Well, I can maybe just build on that I think with your background in in sales and in your experience, your depth and breadth and understanding of that. That image I think you bring in a sales lens into the photography that you do.


I guess so. I think so. We love capturing personalities. But in my experience being able to relate to someone to build a rapport, to break the ice, if you like during a shoot is it makes all the difference. And it’s the same in sales. You’ve got to be able to you know people buy from people. So you’ve got to be able to relate and build that rapport and relationship with them. So I bring that to the photography and that’s why we get wonderful results.


So Tell our audiences How do you help me or help anyone watching today with the photography to make that better first impression.


Some of it is an education process. A lot of people don’t realise I think I think in today’s digital world are beginning to realise more, but you’ve got to educate them about the value of images. That first impression. We all it’s sort of published papers and research and things. We can view someone’s image and make a snap decision about them. Whether that decision is right or wrong. We formed that first impression in less than half a second. And there’s lots of research in out there about that. And if your image that first impression isn’t right, you could lose a sale you might not even get involved in a sale, because in today’s world 62% Or more 62% of buyers, look online before the lead make contact. So, on that basis, you know if part of it is that initial impression and thinking I don’t like the look of that person, they’re not smiling they’re not engaging on to the next swipe left.


And really what that does is whether you’re a sales professional, you are running a sales team or you own a business, basically it’s you won’t even get a second chance that they’re not coming back because that first impression made a lasting impression and then on to bigger and better things down the line.


And sometimes you might not even know that you’re being scrutinised if you like. I’ve seen this from a sales perspective, but even things like recruitment so much recruitment these days is done online. And research is done around the person and their social media status, what they’re doing on LinkedIn, and so on that, again, you’ve got to create that right impression online. It’s a digital footprint. So, it needs to be at your best and that’s where what we do comes into that, you mentioned more than 60 plus percent of people wanting to do business with someone will look them online. And I think that number is just going to keep, you know, increasing as the years continue moving,

indeed, very much so I think so.


So, Alan, I am a let’s say a business owner. I am an entrepreneur. I am a sales professional. Right now, am I just a picture of my orders that are multiple pictures that can be captured, to build a better connection with potentially clients potentially opportunities? What do you think or what have you done on that?


So that’s an interesting question because it’s not about a picture per se or multiple pictures or an image bank as we would call in the industry. It’s about you as a personality and as a brand. So, anything that supports your personality, your brand, your essence, if you like your story, behind the person behind the business, is what’s crucial. And anything that you use in this digital world to present that. If it’s high quality, and that’s aligned to your brand, then fantastic. If it isn’t, then I would be questioning why not? Because you also want to create that leadership position in terms of impression in terms of the essence of the brand and a lot of in my experience a lot of particularly in the SME space small to medium enterprise space. A lot of business owners don’t understand how important they are to the business as the top salesperson because they’ve got that passion that drive that motivation for the business and what they do and why they do it. That needs to be captured in that media. of images video, you know the product is everything about themselves. His brand is part of the brand of the front and centre of the business. But also, the business itself is part of that brand. Yeah, so everything underpins each other. But unless the leaders got it right, then who knows what’s going to happen, right, you know, today, the concept of people learn by watching by seeing by hearing by doing so.


Other three visuals most of humanity our visuals. Yes, very true. And building on what you’re saying is today what story you know, as you put pictures, they’re not standalone pictures, pictures put together the right way builds a story. Yep. That story then connects onto the emotional level with individuals and today you know, there are opportunities that you know what they say, and research shows you know, there’s a saying that goes people buy people, people. People buy emotionally, but they

justify it logically.


Yes, very true. I’ve done that myself. And the reason why, you know, people have noticed this pattern and then why did I buy that but at the moment they were emotional and research today on what drives buying patterns, is there is a hormone called oxytocin and oxytocin releases that you know, is it’s a hormone that’s released, that is that builds you can say kind of like intimacy builds trust and, and the way you can actually release oxytocin in someone’s brain is to make them see certain images to you know, and research shows if you put certain images you know, with a certain storyline, people that saw these images when they were being studied, actually, we’re more likely to give money to charity, for example. Yes, yeah. And that’s, that’s an angle where today, science is showing us that unless you’re utilising imaging unless you’re utilising pictures, images, videos, to connect with your audiences, you could be leaving some opportunities on the table

very much.


So I think an analogy for me is think about when you’ve ever been to a restaurant, and you look at the menu, and you see images on the menu, some restaurants don’t even put images on there, which again, I would question why not as a photographer, as well as going to menu go into restaurants myself, but if you look at that menu and you see food that looks visually stimulating, you create that emotional connection you think, Oh, I really liked the look of that kind of a healthy salad. I’ll have that salad Yeah. But it if you if you see images which are substandard or not great quality, you’re thinking am I in the right restaurant, should that dog want to go somewhere else? So, you can create that that emotional connection just in that example of food, you know, food and beverages same thing, but you can use that in any form in the business around. People particularly for me as a photographer, I love connecting with people. I love hearing their stories, what journey they’ve been on, why do they do what they do what gets them out of bed in the morning, but also, I’m a great believer in my long its sales career.


I came across many people that you’d start that connection you’d be having a conversation and then the person Oh, I used to play country level tennis, or I used to play at this level on cricket and things like that. And it’s that’s what I would call it English terms. an alter ego, but it’s the essence of the person the bringing the same drive, passion motivation for what they do, and their business to something outside work. Yeah. And that. In today’s world, we live in this digital world. There’s no getting away from it. We need a 360-degree view of a business owner, an entrepreneur, a sales leader, salespeople. Yeah, people are looking for that. We just live in that world now.


Absolutely. Yeah. You know, talked a bit before about some restaurants, not putting an image on the menu. Yeah. And it’s like as if they don’t want to sell you know, and it just that one example when somebody spends all this time, effort, energy, resources and building the back of the business or the kitchen, putting menu hiring staff that data and then the one thing that can throw the whole thing away is this front end of the business. It’s that moment the customer walks and start looking at the menu.


To give you an example, and this is classic as I was coming to the office, in the corridor, there were some menus on a poster board. And you think during the current the pandemic, how many people have been buying food delivery services, particularly here in this region. You look at the menus that are there and there were two without any images at all. So, it’s assumed I’m assuming by the restaurant, the food delivery service that you know what x y Zed thing is going to look like. And yeah, assuming you know how it’s going to taste. If you repeat ordering you might do and that’s fine, but if not, if you’re a first-time customer, you’d automatically for me gravitate to menus with images. And then of the two that had images one looked nice and the other one I thought it’s not selling the brand. So, if I’m a first-time customer that’s just seeing a menu. Yeah, and I don’t know anything about the restaurant. I’ve not eaten there. Which one would I go for? I would choose the one where the images are more enticing.


Absolutely. Being working in the food service industry for many years before. We had the saying that goes beep The AI eats first. Yes. And it’s how you know whether you take a picture or some of something or have a very advertising dish displayed in the you know, in the in the cafe or the restaurant and that really makes a big difference. Yeah, I know that from a sales coaching perspective, from your experience we’ve had, we’ve been working together for quite some time and I’m really, I get excited every time I assign you, you know or we find the right opportunities to work on and I know you’ve worked with sales, with sales teams together with at the same time with business owners that are involved in the in the selling. So, from your perspective, what are some of the biggest, let’s say challenges that those whether it’s the entrepreneur who is involved in sales or their sales teams, what are the challenges that we can possibly pinpoint so that our audiences can be aware of?


I think it’s worth putting that question in a context in in terms of it will depend to a large extent on the size of the business and the size of the opportunities that had been worked on as to what the sales team looks like, what the organisation looks like, I’ve worked on, you know, $25 million deals where I’m running a campaign with 18 people as part of a team across multiple organisations on behalf of a client. Yeah, that’s completely different to a small business entrepreneur with three or five employees where they are the front and centre of the business and taking it to market versus some of the coaching we’ve done with different organisations. So, if we take the small to medium enterprise market as an example, I think there’s an education piece. What I said earlier about entrepreneurs and business owners have that drive and passion and customers prospects want to see that drive and passion in the business. You also in often get like for like peer matching. So, an owner of a business is more likely to see the owner of a business they want to sell to. Yeah, they’re not because of that peer matching in terms of CEO, title co-founder, whatever it might be, versus a salesperson who is still being blocked by the CEO secretary, if they’re going that high, or an operations manager or whatever, you know, there’s people in the way so there is that aspect to it. But what I also find is for small businesses, particularly that education piece, think about selling as both an art and a science. So, I was working with one client recently doing a little bit of coaching, where they were, they were having to write down questions that they were wanting to ask the client to try and guide a conversation. But they were so focused on I’ve got a list of questions. I’m going to go through the questions one after the other, that they forgot to turn it into a conversation. It was question answer question answer Question. And, you know, after three or four of these, I said, well, just hang on a minute. Let’s have a conversation because you know the material in your head, but you must adapt and listen. And this is a key thing for salespeople, particularly salespeople tend particularly if they are still learning to be speaking and waiting to speak. And by that, I mean they aren’t listening to what the customer is saying.


 So I could ask you a question. Ramez, be an open question or a closed question. You will answer it and I’m not thinking about how you responded. And I should be as a professional salesperson thinking, why did Ramez give me that answer? What lies behind the answer? I should also be showing interest in what you’ve said.


Yeah,even what did I mean by my answer? Because sometimes you don’t know what people are saying that that’s true. So we’ve got to interpret it. And part of the another coaching we do through the academy is that interpreting, it’s that checking that check and balance of have I heard you correctly? This is what you said. But then it’s also the implications.


So you said this, why is that important? What happens if you don’t do it? And by doing that, we’re using questioning and listening skills, active listening, to be able to then come up with guiding the conversation, making the and helping the customer feel good. That we’re listening. We’re actively listening. We’re interpreting what the saying. Yeah. And then we’re coming up with the solutions. Again, something I’ve seen a lot in entrepreneurs. I have a product. So if you have if the only product you’ve got is a hammer

and everything is a nail Correct?


Yeah. Isn’t it just so what you have when you see everything that’s all you’re gonna try and sell and a lot of business owners I’ve seen again in the SME space. Well, I want to sell you this because this is what I’ve got. Not and the jump straight into the solution, the hammer, rather than understanding Well, actually, do you need a hammer? What are you trying to pin up? You know, put on the wall? Why do you need a hammer nail and you know, what, what’s the outcome that you’re trying to achieve? Yeah, so those are some of the things that I’ve seen in the, you know, we’ve been doing this building on what you’re saying, what are the biggest elements that drive the emotional aspects of a buyer is feeling that it’s trust? Yes.


 So one of the elements that actually builds trust, according to research is active listening. What you’ve just said, you know, when someone is saying something, and you don’t just go to the next point, someone said something and you say, you know, tell me more. Why is this important? How long has this been going on? And has that caused this then maybe asking some of these implication questions? Now, in our hour, let’s say when our world some of the beliefs that people have, yeah, could hold them back from digging, like, for example, does the customer have enough time to talk to me? Does he want me to ask these questions? Or let me just go in and out and just vomit my product or service on top of them and then go out and hope if they’re actually or not or not want to buy this and, and what we find that what we what the research talks about what the ratios you know, mentioned is the those representatives that had a better engagement is better two way conversation with clients. Were the ones where when the client when they left the client felt like I liked that person. They listened to me.


So I think there’s a whole there’s a lot of stages in that process in the sense of you have to build that credibility and rapport. Why if that person’s approach to you, first question is, you know, what, what can I do for you, but why have you picked me out? In this scenario? I mean, I get this from a photography point. Of View. And the reason people pick pixel roses out in my business from a photograph perspective is because we capture personalities of the brand, the business, the person, we do the product, we do various facets of that in amazing images. So a picture paints 1000 words, and I use what we do in social media and elsewhere, I’ll carry it if I’m doing a networking event. I’ll carry an iPad with images on it, but that is building credibility. And it helps break the ice again, in terms of rapport and everything else and build a trust. People can visually see I’m good at what I do, or my team’s good at what he does. Yeah. And that I think is a key component. You’re right in terms of building that that trust and rapport. I think beyond that. We need to then show that interest in the client and or the prospect and their issues and challenges that they’re facing. I in my it sales career have been in positions where someone said, Oh, you’ve only got 10 minutes. Yeah, and we’re still there an hour later because we’ve built the rapport. We’ve demonstrated credibility, and then we’re showing interest in them, who they are as a person, why they do what they do, what business challenges and things are they facing, you know, what’s keeping them awake at night, and without jumping straight into the solution with getting that understanding and then thinking is there effect? And sometimes I’ve walked away from prospects, customers, whatever and said, sorry, we’re not able to help. I know someone that can though, and that is a useful thing to do in terms of building credibility. And hopefully one day we’ll be able to get back in touch and work together.


If we go back to the challenges, you know, that you’ve talked about, sales professionals are sometimes one sided, so they go in, don’t have the proper ability to, you know, ask the questions you’ve transitioned into a bit of that first image and first impression, let’s build something that we have or let’s talk about something we have from our systematic selling strategy programming. And that is known as your story, building your story, right? You’ve said, when you’re maybe talking with potential clients in the photography side, you bring some of your pictures and you do that and imagine, imagine people buy from people they know like and trust and what can professionals do today? To be ready, better prepared to share their story which helps them build that first initial conversation and find a possible common ground with the with the potential client that they are interacting with.

I think it’s an again, another interesting question because many of us and I would put myself in this bracket initially, uh, not willing to talk about ourselves at that personal level. Yeah.

I remember having a sales director who said that to me. He said, not that I was an interesting department that really matter. But what he was saying was, he said, you know, you don’t tell people about you, the real you and I said, well, why do they want to know that I’m there to sell my product or service? Why do they want to know what I do is good? Well, you’ve just written some music that you’ve had played in public. You’ve done this. You’ve done a skydive, you’ve done that. Those are interesting topics to talk about. And I was very much Oh, they won’t know want to know that. Because yeah. And then I had that lightbulb moment and thought, you know, what, the right. So, when we’re talking in this, I’m sort of giving you a long answer to the question. Yeah. But when we’re talking in this context, if I now say to people, I spent 33 years in it sailed in the corporate world, and then all of a sudden I took the decision and had enough and I was going to pursue my passion. People want to know why.


They want to know what it about photography was that just had you So wow, this is what I want to do. And I can go into that story. So, I think,

and it will trigger commonalities, because a lot of individuals maybe are in jobs that they don’t like as much, particularly today. Yeah. And they maybe have other passions, and they want to know about how did you make that transition? And that builds, that builds trust, credibility, and connection before anything else before you buy from an individual. Yeah, you know, you have that so Sorry, I interrupted you there. So, but it’s a it’s a key point and you know, having gone through that whole process myself, set up a business, trying to make it work in a pandemic, when we need to be in front of people and a lot of people are, you know, well can you take a picture of me wearing a mask makes it so much challenging to bring out the personality unless they’ve got you know, different facemask and so on. But it’s a process and the journey that I’ve been on and actually on that now that’s why I started my own networking event, break the ice, and that’s why I called it break the ice

and then wonder that ice a little bit about your break the ice event

so break the ice is an online networking event on Zoom.


A year ago, yesterday, did the first session I run it every two weeks. And it’s for business owners and entrepreneurs based in this region, although it seems to be extending into the throughout the Middle East and beyond. It came about because when I left and it took me a while to figure this out during COVID and everything else but when I left the IT industry on a Thursday night because we’re in the by the end of the week, and on Friday, I’m sat there at home thinking right? I’m going to be a photographer now how am I going to make that work and where my customers coming from? Completely different to being you know; Alan Bell has a brand versus having a $70 billion company behind me with all its marketing and brand awareness and everything else. Took me about a year to figure out well nine months to figure out I need to do something different. And I needed to build a LinkedIn profile to develop Alan Bell, get my message out there for pixel roses and so on. But also, as I was transitioning working hours, I was building my skill in photography, doing all sorts of different things, but needed to build a following. And the way I did that was starting an online networking event called break the ice aimed specifically at entrepreneurs, business owners SMEs and connecting them as a free service so they could do business together. Where it led to is I get people keep wanting to come back to it. But one of the ways that we can sell in today’s environment is relationship networking. So, people get two and a half minutes talk about themselves and their business.


No sales pitches allowed. One is because we need to educate them how to do a good sales pitch, to be honest, in a lot of instances, too, because people buy from people. Yeah. So, if they can get their story in a minute and a half of the two and a half minutes, that’s what I allow them to do and I prompt them to bring their story out. Why do you do what you do? What made you move from engineering into setting up a fintech? Cryptocurrency based business. These sorts of things. So, it becomes almost like a mini-interview as an approach. And as a result, I’ve been getting my subliminally, I’m getting pixel roses brand out there into the market. And I’ve grown my LinkedIn following from 346 followers to 9000 in less than a year. So awesome. So, I’m going to go back to something we started talking about, which is that first impression. Yep. And we were mentioning the story and today we know that in sales, that are the touch points are no longer face to face, but it’s also moving on to the online world. So Alan, from a sales photography photographer perspective, you know, what can you tell individuals to do in order to improve some of that online touchpoints. So they grab the attention without inform these potential clients could be in a document. We’ve already talked about importance of interaction. So having a good profile page on things like LinkedIn is primary, the book that engages in a sense of business, you know, the products or services your team is important letting people know about it on the website is key. So, I’m not even sure you want to mention his little things. So if you’re doing I’m not going to talk about social media, per se, because a lot of organisations are specialists in doing that on behalf of business. But little things if you are starting a Zoom meeting, what’s your background? What is around you?


How are you portraying yourself so I’m going to give you a couple of examples. You’ve got a bookshelf full of interesting books. Yeah. Mainly actual atomic habits, that sort of thing. Yeah, sales books and so on. But I’ve been in zoom sessions with a financial senior financial analyst, who has got finance for Dummies on a bookshelf, and he’s talking to clients and I’m saying, you know, do you want that book showing to a client. So, think about your background and your surroundings? And don’t miss the opportunity to present your brand, with the logo and yourself and so on. Don’t fill the screen with it, but just keep it simple. Yeah, represent your brand and your brand through zoom because that’s a visual experience. Yeah. And that’s a simple thing you can do, which a lot of people don’t think about. Absolutely. So simple backdrop makes a big difference. Watch what is behind you. Because at the end, I know today there is a thin line for us, you know and this is going to continue utilising the online medium to connect with individuals and whether we like it or not, our personal life is showing up in our business life. Yeah, and I totally get all those joke’s on you know you see them on social media about someone in their pyjamas or whatever Sure. Realising and then zone. Yeah, but yeah, if your brand and you are important to your business and how you represent yourself, and it’s a quality image you want to present get it right. It’s not that hard to do, right. Yeah. So, let’s, let’s look at the, you know, we’ve talked about challenges from a sales perspective. So, what are the typical challenges that sales professionals do about business owners or those that lead the sales team that you’ve coached? What are some of those challenges that maybe you’ve seen that were holding them back in the in the past? Yeah, so certainly I’ve seen in my career that sales leadership needs to adapt to an environment in which a lot of what we do now isn’t a case. I personally don’t believe not a like face-to-face interaction. And if we can go for a coffee, I mean, these times I will do that. But a lot of the time, zoom or online can be good enough. So the cost of sales can come down because if I have, let’s say, half an hour 45 An hour meeting with a couple with a prospect. It’s not taking me an hour to drive there and an hour to drive back yeah, I’m more efficient. Yes, maximising the time maximising the time but when I moved from the UK to this region to Dubai, the immediate reaction I spent, like 15 years being a travelling salesperson, in the sense of I could work from anywhere. I would work from appliance premises from an office in London, from home at weekends or evenings or wherever I just worked, but for me, it was about making my number or exceeding the number and as long as the management was accepting that as long as I was doing the right things and blowing my number, always got if I want to take Friday off and play golf, which I don’t play golf anyway, but if I did, I could have done that. And I think in this region, it’s the pandemic has driven a lot of management to realise, they don’t have to be in the office anymore, and we can still get the work done. But from a sales point of view, I think some sales leaders in my experience are still adapting to that and thinking how do I control? They have a control freak about how I control myself, people have made sure that they are putting the hours in anything else, whereas in reality, it’s all about it being effective, but are they delivering the number and then watching the trends. The other thing I found, and this is a digital thing, I think, CRM customer relationship management systems, many of them the sales, management and leadership in an organisation gets so in depth about completing CRM inputs for every action and task and because many things perform, Yep, great. I don’t mind doing that. I’m quite processing myself. But it got it was getting to the stage and I think it still is for a lot of organisations where there are tools like medic, which is great for deal management, but it’s been so long filling in forms and putting data into Siebel or whatever CRM system out there you become ineffective because you’re not from the customers. And if you don’t from the customers, you’re not really saying, you know,


it’s ministry you know, yeah, I spend the more the more time minutes we spend on our clients, the can I build on something I think you’ve talked about a lot of different ideas and first that I that I want to talk about is this efficiency. So time efficiency, I think today, we are becoming more conscious of the need to to be more efficient, but at the same time I can have a quicker meeting but am I actually properly equipped to have an effective meeting effective the word so effective here that involves as we’re talking about the the process of storytelling, the ability to enhance your listening and questioning skills, your ability to know that you’re not so so those are some things that we took for granted. You know, someone said to me, one is the face to face world when you could meet someone face to face, you know, it kind of shadowed the importance to be an expert at this technical ability to to properly connect with someone to really find your ability to speak to say things so your presentation skills, your storytelling, your image, all that got magnified because you’re looking at a screen right now when you’re seeing me or Alan and all your focus is on that every movements that we make is like a amplified bunch them. And in a way, again, traditional world call traditional sales activities, all that pre work needs to in terms of planning a meeting, you know, why are you going to be a customer? What’s your objective for you? What’s their outcome that they’re likely to want and how do you get them to articulate that during the meeting are all key points so understand questions, you know, the techniques and so on. Just doing the research on the customer. So many times I can talk to a business owner and you know, in terms of coaching and I’ll say well what do you know about plant? Well, I looked at the website, okay, which bit of the website did you look at? Well, I did the about us page, okay. What about the products? What about their industry? We are what it is plastic now so many component shortages, shipping gone from six weeks to 12 weeks and beyond in terms of availability of parts and so on. It’s a mess. Yeah. So what is a business owner facing in that environment? And how can I leverage that industry knowledge and expertise just to ask a couple questions? What keeps me awake at night? What is the impact of this global whatever the pandemic, what how is it affecting the business? So just do the basics and, you will stand out amongst the crowd. And thanks a lot for sharing a lot of these insights and I know we can spend hours digging into you know, stories and examples of how to really help our audiences improve and get better and watch out for certain things. I’m going to call on your sales photography expertise and you know, if we can get some tips for our audiences today, you know, let’s I have a profile and I want to do a small audit, you know, and you know, what can you tell me to improve my the way I come across the way I communicate my personal brand by company image in my, on my on my profiles, that’s the only thing.


 Okay, so if we’re talking about LinkedIn, the first thing I’m going to say is everyone’s got one of these not necessarily iPhone, but a phone of some capability with a camera. Yeah, the key about a good profile image and therefore I always recommend you go to a professional photographer, because they have the experience and should know what they’re doing. I’ll talk about that a minute should know. But for LinkedIn, particularly all you’ve got, well, you’ve got two things immediately in terms of a small circle, which is your profile image. And the recommendation is 60% plus of that should be your face with a plain background. This is LinkedIn recommendation, Hootsuite, and others have come up with all this sort of stuff. Yeah, and psychological papers again, to help you form the right impression. Now the reason I picked the phone up is many people do a selfie off of Facebook and Twitter and put it on Instagram or whatever. Yeah. Not for your professional image on a business network, which is LinkedIn. There’s plenty of photos out on LinkedIn that are well not that not that great. I’ve done a skydive. The bomb in Dubai also did one in Nottingham, my profile picture on LinkedIn but it could be some people do that. But it’s not the business that I’m representing. I didn’t do the stuff himself anyway, I’m too busy for them. To be terrified that as a process, you need to think about what’s the purpose of your image is it for you for your brand to give the right impression so that people aren’t going to go, I don’t have to look at it first. I’m not going to deal with them. You want them to engage with you. And to do that is go to a professional. If you can’t afford a professional photographer who has the experience and knows what they’re doing. Do not do a selfie. Give someone else your phone and get them to take the image for you. Let’s look at this picture. And if you can talk a little bit about this picture. This picture is an image of someone that we did photography for, and I just wanted to use it as an example to illustrate the difference between taking a phone picture the cameras pretty good. I use the iPhone 12 In this instance it works versus a professional picture when I use them studio lighting and a Sony is an awful professional camera. And the differences are interesting because if you look at the picture on the left, the one shot by you the idea behind that is I’m looking straight on I’m not instructing the person how to pose, and I’ve just taken an image using the portrait mode in the camera. There’s no lighting to it. There’s you know, the picture under the chin is quite dark. He’s smiling. So, he’s still engaging, had a bit of an angle and that sort of thing. But it’s for a month you do not take as great on picture and professional photographers should notice. Even on LinkedIn, if you show that image where are they doing? This doesn’t look great because that is Bollywood. Why is it for a male particularly you can do open arms and these other things but just little things. So part of going to professionals you should know how to help you to pose the contrast the pose straight on the camera. So the image on the right you’ll see we’ve got the shoulders slightly turned the head and the chin is towards the camera. We’re getting the job to lean forward to a nice profile image, and we’ve got the lighting right a little bit contrast on one side and some lighting on the right side or live in the back. And even though it’s a white background, he stands out from the background he’s not blending in. The image is much sharper on the right as well. We’ve gone from plain white background which LinkedIn themselves recommend for use on LinkedIn if you use a plain colour of black or whatever, but white tends to be the one that makes the face most obvious. Or there’s also image that stands out that more sharpness this blood yeah can be difficult to get a sharp image with a phone.


I mean most of them these days with several pixels and it was pretty good people to watch for that. It also because of that it makes the image look slightly flatter. And this is where lighting comes into its own in a professional studio. And certainly, for people roses, we shoot in our own studio, or we go to location we have all the gear and wanting to do that. And the last point is if you get a if it’s an image with a bone, getting ready to either by yourself or someone else that knows what they’re doing, because again, that makes a subtle difference and it’s subtle, but it’s important in the quality of the profile image. People see the image on the right, and they will become engaged and some of that is just the angle the pose and nothing else and the smile is reaching the eyes. Days. Another big thing so showing a little bit of the smile must reach the eyes. It’s not always from the UK, you know wasn’t wrong. It’s the characters. Yeah, where you got these big teeth. So, you don’t want to do that because, yeah, we’re crossing characters not for humans. So look at the images and think about the pose but the other reason I say don’t use the camera to do a selfie yourself is you distort the features of the face. If your arms don’t long enough, you need to get someone to take an image for you or have you from some distance to three metres. In the US economy the exact number but there’s a report by the number of surgeons plastic surgeons, where the cases of people asking for nose and facial adjustments.


 Plastic Surgery, because of selfies has tripled in the last two or three years and that’s because the scene this image where the nose is looking a bit wider and all you know the face because cameras distorted the to close. Yeah, and certainly in WebU somebody education is a WebEx I show a visual of the difference between using a camera with the same lens going from close to bar and just you can see the way the features distort. So lots of tips. Thank you so much Alan. I think today the main I guess goal was to again, bring value to our audiences introduce the audiences to give them a bit of a better understanding of who is an entity that you know, width and depth of knowledge and expertise. I think your able to improve skills that can give someone a toolkit that allows them to achieve more sales. Until then, sell more, sell faster, and sell profitably! 

Ramez Helou

Ramez Helou

CEO and Founder
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