Avatars vs. Real Photo

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I have been using a custom avatar I had professional made for all my social media profiles. Recently I was told I "hiding behind" my avatar. What is more better using an Avatar or a photo of yourself for your profiles ?


Here are some of the Avatars I have used in the past and a photo I have on many of my profiles.








I wonder if the Avatar is dead ??
#avatars #photo #real
  • Profile picture of the author MJ Sterling
    Lots of people will tell you that you need to show a real picture..

    Allen Says doesn't use a pic and Paul Myers doesn't use a pic or an avatar, and both those dudes seem to be doing ok.

    A real pic might gain you some trust when trying to establish yourself though, but I don't think it matters too much in the long run. I only use a real pic because I like to terrify the women warriors.
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    • Profile picture of the author petelta
      Originally Posted by MJ Sterling View Post

      A real pic might gain you some trust when trying to establish yourself though, but I don't think it matters too much in the long run. I only use a real pic because I like to terrify the women warriors.
      I agree here. If you are new to a market, you want to show that you are a real person. It's all about building a relationship with your following. Once you have a name, it won't matter though.

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      • Profile picture of the author Victoria Neely
        I don't think it matters all that much in the long run, at least when you compare it to other factors. Like how long people have known you, how you consistently present yourself, the quality of your posts, how good your offerings are, etc.

        I happen to appreciate colorful, cartoon avatars anyway. Sometimes they reveal more about a person than an actual photo does, at least in terms of interests and/or personality.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kat Bartone
          I only use a real pic because I like to terrify the women warriors.




          - Kat
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        • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
          I agree - I loved the way my avatar looked on my Facebook post and it stood out but I can also understand about the trust issue.


          Originally Posted by Victoria Neely View Post

          I don't think it matters all that much in the long run, at least when you compare it to other factors. Like how long people have known you, how you consistently present yourself, the quality of your posts, how good your offerings are, etc.

          I happen to appreciate colorful, cartoon avatars anyway. Sometimes they reveal more about a person than an actual photo does, at least in terms of interests and/or personality.
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      • Profile picture of the author KatyaSenina
        Originally Posted by petelta View Post

        I agree here. If you are new to a market, you want to show that you are a real person. It's all about building a relationship with your following. Once you have a name, it won't matter though.

        Travis
        I agree with this one.
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        • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
          So if your new to a social network or forum a real photo is best and then you can move to something else later ... interesting !

          Thanks for the response on this everyone - it seems that the Avatar is not as dead as I had thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    Paul Myers is too scary to have an avatar, so he's not allowed to.

    But having your real picture builds trust and relationships faster. I'm more likely to trust someone with their real picture than with nothing or a cartoon. I would be more likely to buy something from someone with a name and picture than Dude123 with no picture. Especially in a place where there have been a lot of scammers. Though a picture in itself doesn't build trust and you can be successful without a picture and be unsuccessful with a picture.
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    • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
      When the person mentioned that I did change the avatar to a photo and explained to him that my Avatar was a close likeness to me - I did gain his trust and I think on FaceBook this might be a bigger deal - they want to see a "FACE" I guess.



      Originally Posted by valerieSONORA View Post

      But having your real picture builds trust and relationships faster. I'm more likely to trust someone with their real picture than with nothing or a cartoon. I would be more likely to buy something from someone with a name and picture than Dude123 with no picture. Especially in a place where there have been a lot of scammers. Though a picture in itself doesn't build trust and you can be successful without a picture and be unsuccessful with a picture.
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    • Profile picture of the author Victoria Neely
      Originally Posted by valerieSONORA View Post

      I'm more likely to trust someone with their real picture than with nothing or a cartoon. I would be more likely to buy something from someone with a name and picture than Dude123 with no picture.
      That's sort of how I work too... if nothing else, I *prefer* seeing a real name (or at least a convincing pseudonym) before parting with my money. Even if it's just listed in the signature or set as their title.

      I feel funny doing business with "Dude123" or something, even if he IS using a real picture.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    I pay more attention to those who have a real professional picture. Builds more trust in my mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    I don't even know how much it matters. I just know I'm more likely to trust someone faster with their real picture. I don't know about others, it may not even matter. But even someone with their real picture still has to build their reputation.
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    • Profile picture of the author Goatboy
      Originally Posted by valerieSONORA View Post

      I don't even know how much it matters. I just know I'm more likely to trust someone faster with their real picture. I don't know about others, it may not even matter. But even someone with their real picture still has to build their reputation.
      This may be a totally silly question, but how do you know the picture you are seeing is a "real" picture?

      The concept of people trusting those who post a real photo is interesting, because it means that a scammer would be well advised to cruise photobucket and pick up a picture of a good looking, professionally scrubbed individual to help build trust.
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  • Profile picture of the author Poglia
    Real photos are pretty common there, I have never seen a forum with so many real photos as avatars. Anyway I don't care: if the content you post is good I'll like you, photo or not.

    P.S.: I'd use a real photo of mine, but my camera is broken right now, I'll buy a new one soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
      Your avatar vs. my smoking photo ...not sure which ones better lol

      I was just having fun with mine and I think if your avatar shows some personality cartoon or photo it is a positive.



      Originally Posted by Poglia View Post

      Real photos are pretty common there, I have never seen a forum with so many real photos as avatars. Anyway I don't care: if the content you post is good I'll like you, photo or not.

      P.S.: I'd use a real photo of mine, but my camera is broken right now, I'll buy a new one soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sparhawke
    Using a real picture is all very well and good when you are a 6" tall amazonian temptress with pneumatic chest adornments...but if you are 6"4, broomstick thin, with hair that sticks out in every compass direction and arms that are secretly plotting your own demise is it ill-conceived.
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    • Profile picture of the author CarloD.
      I prefer to see a real picture, In a gaming forum or something of similar nature I would say use an avatar, unless maybe you are trying to sell something or offer training... whatever the case, to me a forum like the Warrior Forum I would prefer to see a real picture because at the end of the day I am here for business... I wouldn't wear a mask during a meeting, training session, or online training.

      Would I hold out on an Offer because someone has an Avatar or nothing?
      Na....
      Doesn't bother me that much on the opposite end.
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    Ernie is supposed to look nice. Not evil!
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Ernie is supposed to look nice. Not evil!
      [ahem]

      "Evil Ernie" - Google Search

      It pays to be pop-culturally literate.


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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by valerieSONORA View Post

      Ernie is supposed to look nice. Not evil!
      Did you know Ernie is supposed to be Colombian? I don't remember what Bert is supposed to be, but their distinctive shapes were actually racial stereotypes of the 1960s - all these years, Bert and Ernie were secret racist statements, and I never knew.

      </hijack>
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      • Profile picture of the author Elle Holder
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        Did you know Ernie is supposed to be Colombian? I don't remember what Bert is supposed to be, but their distinctive shapes were actually racial stereotypes of the 1960s - all these years, Bert and Ernie were secret racist statements, and I never knew.

        </hijack>
        I learn the most interesting things from you! Just read your CAPTCHA post on another thread.

        You're just a regular font of information, aren't you??
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        • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
          Originally Posted by ElleJ View Post

          I learn the most interesting things from you! Just read your CAPTCHA post on another thread.You're just a regular font of information, aren't you??

          Thanks !!!

          I have been in online marketing since 1996 so yea I have gathered some good information over the years. I could talk about the Commodore_64 or the day I got my first Modem capable of speeds as high as 300 bps - blazing fast that year !!
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    Using a real pic is more important for local businesses. When someone comes in to do business with them, if they have seen their picture on their website or a forum before, the ease and speed at which familiarity, comfort and trust is achieved is a much quicker process.

    I think a real pic is less useful for national and international businesses. Ever see a pic of the Pepsi CEO? And do you think seeing it would improve sales of Pepsi? (Though that did work for Iacocca with Chrysler in the 80's).
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    • Profile picture of the author Sparhawke
      Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

      Using a real pic is more important for local businesses. When someone comes in to do business with them, if they have seen their picture on their website or a forum before, the ease and speed at which familiarity, comfort and trust is achieved is a much quicker process.

      I think a real pic is less useful for national and international businesses. Ever see a pic of the Pepsi CEO? And do you think seeing it would improve sales of Pepsi? (Though that did work for Iacocca with Chrysler in the 80's).
      Exactly, this avatar is well known as me on the gaming forum I frequent and people can just bounce quickly down the page and they know it is me, no one else has Ernie as their avatar those after I started using it there are quite a few Grouches and Elmo's :p

      It is about being instantly recognisable, a name can blend into the wall of words, an avatar that everyone recognises will stand out.
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      • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
        Originally Posted by Sparhawke View Post

        an avatar that everyone recognises will stand out.
        I agree I have had success using my green Avatar. You said that you use the same Avatar on different forums - do you think that is important or can you use a photo in one forum and a photo in the other with success.

        -Luke
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        • Profile picture of the author Sparhawke
          Originally Posted by ILUVCA View Post

          I agree I have had success using my green Avatar. You said that you use the same Avatar on different forums - do you think that is important or can you use a photo in one forum and a photo in the other with success.

          -Luke
          When I use a somewhat normal photo for my avatar I get depressed, I am not really all that great to look at...my older brother gets told he looks like Kiefer and I get compared to Donald, if I am lucky lol :confused:

          Besides, I prefer to melt into the background for some things, not sure I like the thought of any random person having access to my photograph which is why I only share it with people I know....

          I know people will yell "Have confidence in yourself!!" but it really is a personal choice for me, I have never been all that comfortable in my own skin and having to look at it constantly would probably just drive me away :p
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          • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
            I have posted videos of myself for marketing only to take them down after some comments similar to what you have.

            I can relate !


            Originally Posted by Sparhawke View Post

            When I use a somewhat normal photo for my avatar I get depressed, I am not really all that great to look at...my older brother gets told he looks like Kiefer and I get compared to Donald, if I am lucky lol :confused:

            Besides, I prefer to melt into the background for some things, not sure I like the thought of any random person having access to my photograph which is why I only share it with people I know....

            I know people will yell "Have confidence in yourself!!" but it really is a personal choice for me, I have never been all that comfortable in my own skin and having to look at it constantly would probably just drive me away :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Build your reputation with good, valuable content. Not a pretty face. That's what I did (and I still haven't gotten anywhere)
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  • Profile picture of the author Mrs_Mo
    I never used a photo. In my opinion I don't think it matters.
    What is this about hiding behind a photo???? How about hiding behind a blog or a computer screen LOL
    I dont' know how things are with affiliate marketing...but my experience selling design services through the internet are quite interesting.
    I have worked with some famous companies and clients who never even heard me on the phone nor saw my pics and yet trust me enough with their projects.
    So maybe it all depends on what you are doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
      Originally Posted by Mrs_Mo View Post

      ...I dont' know how things are with affiliate marketing...but my experience selling design services through the internet are quite interesting. ...
      Well I think affiliate marketers could benefit from gaining people's trust as many feel that affiliates are slightly shady.

      Sounds like you have some success in your online business - keep it up !
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Long
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is your own personal feelings on the matter.

    I've watched the perception of what is "right" over the years swing from nearly 100% internet "handles" to about 50/50 today. My original WF login was an old BBS handle I'd used since the early 90's, but I always felt like I was "hiding" behind it, which is why I finally abandoned that handle and created a new one with my own name and face.

    Does it help or hinder your marketing efforts? Well, this thread is certainly compelling evidence that it really doesn't matter a whole lot either way. So why not choose the path you are most comfortable with?

    You're either a trustworthy person or you aren't and having your name and face front and center isn't necessarily going to change that. Stick with the method that you are most comfortable with - the one that works for you - and do your nest not to let others influence what you know is what for you.

    ~Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
      Originally Posted by Mike Long View Post

      One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is your own personal feelings on the matter.
      Mike,

      My feeling is that having the a cartoon Avatar has only helped on social media and in forums where I want to be more personal I have used the photo.

      So I feel ok about using both depending on where I am communicating.

      The response here really just confirms that it is not really an issue and I am please to here that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Long
        Originally Posted by ILUVCA View Post

        So I feel ok about using both depending on where I am communicating.
        And I think that is exactly as it should be. Use what you feel most comfortable with - even if that means using one method in one area, and the opposite method in another.

        That's kind of where I was trying to go before I got too wordy...lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
    So I am going to use my carton avatar and also keep some photos on WF profile. Best of both worlds. - Luke
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    • Profile picture of the author LynnM
      Originally Posted by Don Schenk View Post

      Look at me. Isn't Photoshop wonderful!

      :-Don
      I've gone the dim light and soft focus route...
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  • Profile picture of the author ToniMaltano
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    • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
      I agree it helps !!

      Originally Posted by Toni Maltano View Post

      You just can't use the name Paul Myers here. He is a well respected markeer,
      has a great great reputation and everybody loves him and his great posts here.

      He doesn't need an avatar. But for anyone else wh doesn't have his rep I
      wouldsay that you should go with an avatar if you are planning to sell stuff
      here on the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Russ Emrick
    In the absence of data opinions rule.

    I think vs. I test
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  • Profile picture of the author tweetzon
    i dont think is necessary, but remember to build trust just be honest
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin.Zimmerman
    I was just wondering myself about If I
    should add a picture of myself an avatar
    or to leave it blank. I couldn't have found
    this thread at a better time.
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    • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
      It seems like people are saying that it helps if your selling something here and is 50/50 photo/cartoon avatar if your not selling something. But in all cases it helps.

      I added one to mine and made $5,000 in just two days just for changing my Avatar !


      - Ok,Ok only kidding but it seems to have helped !

      Originally Posted by Justin.Zimmerman View Post

      I was just wondering myself about If I
      should add a picture of myself an avatar
      or to leave it blank. I couldn't have found
      this thread at a better time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Z
    I prefer seeing pictures of people I am talking to online, it gives me the feeling of actually talking to a person and not just 'someone out in the interwebz'. That is the only reason I used my own photo, as I figured others might feel the same as me...
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    • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
      Avatars and photos do help and it's been great to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

      I have the Cartoon Avatar now and have photos on my blog here as well.

      Originally Posted by Bill_Z View Post

      I prefer seeing pictures of people I am talking to online, it gives me the feeling of actually talking to a person and not just 'someone out in the interwebz'. That is the only reason I used my own photo, as I figured others might feel the same as me...
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  • Profile picture of the author seoguy1
    There are so many online avatar makers that don't make very good representation of your photo. Personally, I think your photo is more highly regarded as a way to build trust online.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevor75
    I don't think you need to use a real picture, thousands of marketers use an avatar instead of a real pic, and do just fine. If someone has to see your face before they buy something from you, then they have trust issues. Think about it, we all buy things everyday without seeing the company CEO who's selling the product. Do I need to see who owns Pizza Hut before I buy one of their pizza's, no.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      I personally prefer a photo over an avatar.

      I like to see who I'm interacting with, and well, I'm a woman and I can't help but questioning a person's credibility, or purpose, or wondering what the person may be hiding, because I don't have all the details.

      To me, photos give much more detail, as avatars are a headline with no meat of the matter.

      However, my personal opinion does not make it wrong or right, only you can choose which is best for you.

      And, there's always testing and testing, and re-testing...it's a core part of IM. :p

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      • Profile picture of the author philbowman
        Some well known IM's have told me it's better to have your own photo. As soon as I
        find a photographer who's willing to take a chance, I'll put it up.
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  • Profile picture of the author JadeDragon
    I've got a real photo - just not of me. I like to entice the female warriors with a pic of my awesome daughter I think there is something to be said for showing your face in many places, but I'm on some forums where no one uses their own photo. I'm the only one with a photo of a person.
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