Is There A Photo Missing From Your Website?
Some guests arrived at my B&B this week and one of the first things they said to me was “Your photo isn’t on your website”. I was a bit taken aback and couldn’t manage anything more in response than “No, I suppose it isn’t”.
Actually there’s no “suppose” about it. I purposefully don’t have a photograph of me, or indeed any of the family, on the website. So why not?
There’s a degree of vanity. I haven’t liked a photograph taken of me since the one taken in Boston in 2002.
I’m also concerned about the security side of things. I used to use the Boston photo of me as my Twitter avatar and got some rather unwelcome attention from some male followers. So I’m now a duck on Twitter.
The main reason, though, is that I have a real dislike of the “About Us” approach on some B&B websites. You know the ones. You visit the homepage and you’re told that the owner is keen gardener, member of the fine art society & likes to cook – so what? It’s really not About The B&B Owner it’s about the guests.
My guests are looking for a romantic luxury break in the countryside. They want to know it’s going to be somewhere beautiful where they can relax and chill out. At some point they may be interested that I used to work for BA and escaped the rat race to run a B&B, but not on that Home Page. For me, a photo of the owners in a prominent place on the homepage is completely offputting.
However, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in 6 years of running a B&B it’s that everyone is different. So whilst, there are many, like me, who’d much rather see a picture of the room than the landlady grinning at them, there will be some, like my guests this week, who want to see the people they will be staying with.
So in conclusion I’ve had my mind changed. A photo is a good thing but , for me, I think there are some guidelines:
- Have a photo of you on your website but not in a prominent position. If people want to find it they will.
- Make sure that photo shows you as you want to be perceived as a B&B owner. I do have a rather good photo of me taken for Good Houskeeping magazine last year. Someone the other day described it as “rather boudoir” – not someone you’d want to serve you breakfast!
- If you run the B&B on your own, and you’re female, I would suggest you think carefully about having a photo of you on your own. If you don’t have a partner – maybe a group photo with you and staff or friends who help out?