Man Playing ChessThe majority of emphasis is placed on how audio demos sound, however, it’s important to remember that website visitors will often *look* at your website first before listening to your demos.

How can you make this work to your advantage?
What does it take to get noticed?
Make your move by creating a stunning visual identity that is unique, instantly revealing something about you that evokes emotion.

When people visit your website, what do they see?
First impressions are lasting and you only get one chance to make a good impression on visitors who are finding your website through search queries online.
What can you do?

1. Brainstorm Words and Images
You’ve likely already thought about which words and adjectives best describe your voice. Now, take that to the next level by jotting down pictures that come to mind when thinking about your keywords. You may find it’s helpful to do this activity “offline” with a pencil and paper when you are sketching out your vision and setting your mental juices in motion.

2. Be Unique
Differentiate yourself by using alternative imagery that evokes emotion. You don’t have to go with a microphone or mixing board, that’s been done (and then some). Try something new like a plant, animal, household appliance, something conceptual, a play on words, or something completely off the wall. The point is, be different.

3. Use Royalty-Free Images
Online services like iStockPhoto or Getty Images offer up royalty-free photographs, royalty-free illustrations and digital artwork. For a few dollars ( most images are $1.00 ) you can promote your business with an image that’s likely not being used by anyone else. You may have noticed that I use iStockphoto images on VOX Daily to brand my articles. We have a subscription with them and find their service extremely useful. If you’d like more information, leave a comment here on this post and I’ll answer those questions for you.

4. Edit Your Images with Free Online Software
Image editing has never been easier. Cropping, color adjustment, adding text overlays and special effects can all happen with a few mouse clicks. For the desktop, try FireWorks, PhotoShop or Gimp (free), or for online image editing, go with Flickr.

5. Hire a Graphic Designer
If you have a budget you are working with that you can invest in professional graphic design, consider working with a professional graphic designer to craft a logo for your business. A quick search on Google will reveal thousands of people who specialize in creating visual identities. These people are freelance professionals just like you are so keep in mind that they’ll be charging professional rates as well.

6. Write a Slogan
A smart one-liner can do wonders for staying front-of-mind. As an example, voice talents on include “Cowboy Dave, The Voice of the West” or “Melanie Haynes, The Tasty Voice”. That’s just a couple of slogans but there are so many more out there that are absolutely amazing. Have some fun with it.

7. Crop Your Image Appropriately
The dimensions should be 180 pixels wide and the height of the image may vary. Ideally, you should display a square, so your image will be 180 pixels by 180 pixels. An image that is cropped correctly will load much faster, use less bandwidth and create the positive first impression that you’re aiming for.

8. Use .gif or .jpg
If you’re working with a graphic designer, they can send you a web-ready image in the appropriate dimensions and format. Stick with .gif or .jpg file formats as they display best on the Web.

9. Upload Your Image to
Upload your image to your profile. This is done by clicking on Profile, then by clicking on Files. The first image you upload will be automatically placed on your website.

10. Select a Matching Website Theme offers a set of 10 themes for your personal website in blue, green, orange, pink and white. Pick the one that works best with your image and overall visual identity. If you’re unsure, stick with the default blue as it matches the website colors and branding.

Have a Suggestion?
If you have other recommendations or tools that you’ve found useful for editing pictures, add your comments below.
Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

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