In today’s distributed workforce everyone is settling into a routine. Many, however, haven't really put objective thought into how their presence is viewed by their clients. We are still playing by old rules: dress nice, speak clearly, have a predefined agenda. This is no longer the case, and it takes a back seat to web presence. So, for those of you who don’t want to read this whole thing, here are the 3 things you need to know.
- Your web setup is too casual and unprofessional.
- Your current setup will cost you customers in the long run.
- For less than the cost of a new outfit you can distinguish yourself.
We have been given a lot of grace lately but this is going to change. There is a right way to present yourself online, just as there is a right way to present yourself in an in-person meeting. Would you show up to a meeting without considering your appearance? Right now you think you look nice but in reality you are coming across like a 5th year college senior. Let us show you how you could look with a little work and you can decide if it is worth it.
Honestly you are being outperformed by twitch kids in their mom’s basement. Let's fix that.
Your sound sucks
One of the problems we have with web meetings is that even if you are dressed for success you can still look and sound like crap. That three piece suit will not save you if your microphone makes you sound like you are under water. Let me say this clearly:
Sound is King.
It no longer matters how many thousands of dollars you have spent on a wardrobe, your customer will not pay attention if they cannot understand you.
For less than a pair of cheap shoes you can upgrade your microphone. Blue Snowball mics are pretty much idiot proof. However, feel free to do your own research. But get ANYTHING that is not a built in mic on a webcam or laptop.
You look terrible
Most built in webcams as well are horrible. Some of you are lucky enough to have a high def camera but they still have crappy lenses.There is only so much you can do with a tiny lens that was meant for quick conversations and government spying. A good camera is less than a sport coat from an outlet store. Getting a Logitech Brio will make that colorful outfit really look stunning even in low light.
Also lets talk light, your houses are dark places. Instead of new pants, get a ring light or soft box from your favorite vendor, brighter is better, but make it dimmable because you value your eyes. Open your windows, sit them on one side of you, do not look directly into them. One side of your body should be lighter than the other.
FLOOD your room with light.
If you think you have too much light in your room you are wrong. For comparison I have 3 west facing windows 9 sq ft each wide open and 2x15,000 Lux lights at 6800K. You should be able to do surgery in my room. So...no, your room isn’t too bright.
In web meetings your eyes need to stay focused just below the camera, not on the screen. Have a hard time with eye contact? Now is your time to shine. Do NOT look at people unless you are trying to read expressions, look just below your webcam while presenting, this will keep people’s attention and make them feel like you are talking to them.
Follow these basic rules and when you interact with people you will stand out. If you are bidding for new clients you will look amazing and they will want this professional to be on their team. The right basic setup will differentiate you from everyone else. All for less than the cost of a new outfit.