BrightLocal did some research on what makes your business more trusted.
When people arrive on your business’ website, they might not look at your photography consciously from the get-go, but a picture speaks a 1,000 words and images still tell them a lot about a business and the people who run it and work there.
BrightLocal wanted to understand how much Trust consumers attribute to a local business based on the quality and content of the images they display on their website.
The key question they wanted to get answered is:
Are images a powerful trust factor on a local business website?
They ran a test with members of their panel and created a couple different websites. They showed the screenshots of the website to over 1600 people to see which website they would trust the most, purely based on those screenshots.
The displayed 3 websites at a time, each website was identical except for the photographs used.
The three different photos they used are:
- Genuine photo of a business owner
- A generic product or office photo
- No photo/image
They tested different kind of companies and different scenarios, but the take away from this survey is that real people convey more trust.
And thus generate more business.
Stockphoto vs Branded Business Portraits
I think it’s hard to tell what makes people think the stock image is not the real deal, but I have a hunch that people have a spidey-sense to pick up on things not being genuine.
If your services are a trained skills, changes are there’s gonna be more people offering what you do. In that case, people will look into the person who is offering the service and that’s when branding kicks in.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains this phenomenon:
If we make a first impression of someone, that is not really a single impression. They are in fact two. We judge how warm and reliable someone is and try to answer the question; “What is someone’s intention to me?” In addition, we ask ourselves “How strong and competent is this person”. Actually we want to discover whether someone is capable of fulfilling his intentions. ”
The bottom line is: A first impression is about creating trust and giving people a reason to trust you.
And while I advocate using branded business portraits of you as a entrepreneur to improve your branding to help build trust, don’t take my word for it yet. Look at the BrightLocal result below: