Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Is Your Image Distorted? (Part II of First Impressions of Your Online Presentation)

As a follow up to last week's post on online presence, I wanted to dig a little deeper into one specific area of online presence mentioned in the article I referenced. I think it's important to spend a little time on it because, for an up-and-coming artist who is working hard without the help of a large team supporting his or her efforts, it can mean the difference between getting overlooked and getting noticed from the right people. This is also true for anyone (entrepreneur/business owner, author, etc.) who needs to have their own web site to promote their career.

I'm referring to the part the author of the article mentioned about the artwork/graphics of a musician's web site: its visual appeal, its set-up, and its quality. One mistake I see both musicians and others make on their web sites (and even on their printed materials) is distorting the dimensions of a photo just to get it to fit on the page. As I've mentioned in one of my past blogs, this is a huge pet peeve of mine because it just shows a complete lack of professionalism (I think this is what the author of the article from last week meant by "half-assed"). It makes it obvious it was a DIY project. Don't misunderstand me: there is nothing wrong with having to do things yourself when you are starting out, just as long as it is not obvious it's a DIY project. If it is, then it's time to consider leaving the project up to a professional.

For those who don't know what I'm referring to, let me show you an example:

Photos with distorted dimensions

Photo with correct dimensions

Photos that are deliberately distorted (made skinnier or wider) just to fit a space never look good. When this mistake happens unintentionally, it can easily be corrected by first making sure the "lock aspect ratio" box is checked in the "format picture" option of your software program. If you're working in a web design program, you can try holding the "shift" key while resizing the photo, depending on which design program you are using. 

I recently was contacted by an artist promotions company in another state who is doing promotions for local artists within that state. I noticed on the promotions company's web site that many of its artist clients' photos were severely distorted, and in even some of the photos, there were band members cut off or partially cropped out! These poor unknown artists and acts were probably paying a lot of money to be promoted by someone who couldn't even make them look good on a web site!

The owner of the company asked me if I would be willing to discount my services for some of his clients if he offered to put a link from his web site to mine. Of course my answer was no, mainly because I didn't want my site linked to a site that didn't seem professional or legit due to its extremely poor appearance. I did, however, offer to give him some suggestions on how to improve the online image/presence of his company, to which he never responded (another example of lack of professionalism that tarnishes one's image).

As I've said many times before, if you want to be taken seriously by key industry players, you have to have a good image not just based on how you dress, but also in your online presence. This is something paNASH Style can help provide feedback on when you're ready to start improving your online presence.

Return to paNASH Style web site.

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