Two of the most important pieces of content you'll write for your business are your elevator pitch and the text on your homepage. I think of them as foundational elements, from which the rest of what you say and write grows. So it's really important that you get them right.
A while back I talked about the importance of the visuals that go along with the words that describe your business. I think it's safe to say there is no more important visual for a small shop - especially a one (wo)man show - than your head shot. And I just had mine re-done so I thought the timing was right to have a little chat about why they're important and what makes for a good one.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of a) having a head shot and b) having a good one.
You need to show your audience your mug. But, more importantly, the photo you use should (just like your copy) be professional yet real, which is a balance that is sometimes hard to strike. 'School photo-style' professional head shots often look stiff and lack 'real-ness'. On the flip side, I've seen many people crop their head out of a group shot at a bar. Real maybe, but definitely not professional. What you're going for is something in between.
Although I really hate having my picture taken, I'm pleased to say that I think my new shots (taken by the wonderful Emily Doukogiannis) hit the mark for me. My old photo served me well, but it was taken a few years ago when both me and my business were quite different. I feel like these new shot reflects me and my biz as I am right now.
So if you've got a grainy head-shot, or one that's more than five years old, I'd suggest a refresh - it's a really quick and powerful way to give your potential customers a feel for who you are. After all, a picture really does tells a thousand words.
Last night I spoke to a group of 35 entrepreneur mamas (like mah-self) about how to create clear and authentic copy for their small businesses. I went through the importance of being authentic (so important!), how to create a messaging framework (the key to achieving clarity and consistency), and shared several writing tips to make their copy easy to read and engaging.
There were two little nuggets of information that resonated most with this group - and I thought they might for you too:
Janet Nielsen is a communicator with a passion for helping small businesses succeed.