Meet Mary. She’s real

Which are the more effective photographs for your website or newsletter? Handsome executives, purchased as a stock images, or a down-to-earth portrayals of actual staff?

Authenticity is a buzzword, but few of us have the courage to show our employees, uneven teeth and all. Some law firms do. A handful of engineering consultants. And one or two brave hardware chains.

How about the sales rep who has a nice face but is twenty kilos over the recommended weight for a person of his or her age?

Actually, it’s such incongruities that make people come alive and appear real.

The same principle applies to the photographs used with testimonial stories that encourage prospects to buy. An endorsement from “Susan of East Beach”, accompanied by a stock image, convinces nobody.

Companies that have the courage to show actual customers and supply their full names will benefit from this frankness.

This is us, the messages will say. Yes, we have flaws, but these are irrelevant to what our company is all about, which is great products and service.

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