December 26

John Carlton Marketing Tips: How to Use Photos in Copy


HSS-Lorrie-FerraroIn this marketing hot seat John Carlton explains how to use photos in copy.  The picture must earn its place, and it depends on if you are branding yourself.

Their conversation:

Lorrie:  I am told that if I don’t have my picture identifying who is holding this…

John:  OK, the thing…what?

Audience:   When we use a photograph in our copy, we keep it up, we keep it away from the headline and the subhead…

Lorrie:  I think you’re right

Audience:  And then caption, caption, caption, have a caption that makes sense.

John:  Make the picture work for its real estate.  If you’re a writer, actually you are not a writer, you are being a copywriting consultant, a fellow entrepreneur  There’s one way, there’s a reason you might want to be lounging on the beach somewhere, and that’s the picture.  That’s the standard biz-op thing.  Or, there’s the writer thing.

My picture, that I’ve used, is from a 5-year-old shot of me at a seminar.  I’ve never bothered updating it.  I just don’t care that much.  But having the picture is more important than not having the photo.  But, it’s not, it’s only for a little bit of a reference point, really, for me.

Now, if you are going to make this part of your pitch…it’s not just what I offer, it’s who I am…and that may be a valid point to make, since you’re saying you may go after more women, or women are responding to you as a woman, that may be important.  You’re walking another tightrope there, because I understand that they’ve done tests, and women like to look at pictures of women as much as men like to look at pictures of women.  That’s why Cosmo has women’s photos.

But, there is a backlash element to that, too.  Women will judge you by your looks, so you’ve got to be careful about how you present yourself.  You can solve that a little bit with the “bozo tactic”. Just be a little bit outrageous.

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