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Not Just Another Pretty Face!
by Judy Wogoman

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately. More and more websites are featuring photos of young, attractive, impeccably-dressed 'Net- marketers. You may wonder why that bothers me.

Study after study has shown that, in the "offline" world, "image" is THE most important factor in business. More important than common sense. More important than honesty. More important than ability--or experience.

So important that entire segments of society are routinely denied the opportunity to prove their qualifications. So important that ACTING professional has taken a back seat to LOOKING professional.

Too old. Too fat. Handicapped.

I used to manage a sales office. One of the "coded" entries at the end of the application was designed for me to rate whether or not the applicant was "socially handicapped"- which was simply a notation of whether or not the applicant "fit" the company image, and, if not, whether it was "correctable" with training.

Personally, I would rather have 1 motivated employee with average looks than ten "superstar" lookalikes who can't figure out how to fill out the order form and call in because of "emergency" beauty parlor appointments or develop an "attitude" with clients on the phone because their new diet makes them grouchy.

And I would rather do business with someone who is qualified by what they KNOW, not by how they LOOK.

How do we know that the face in the photo is the person behind the website?

We don't. I have a daughter who competed in "Miss Teen Indiana" a couple of years ago. I could put her picture on my website and nobody would ever know the truth.

Except me.

The Internet has been called THE greatest opportunity in the world today. And one of the things that makes it such a great opportunity is the fact that we can be OURSELVES.

I don't WANT people to decide whether to do business with me because of the pretty picture on my website. I want people to do business with me because they know they can trust me to tell them the truth and deliver information that will help them.

I don't notice any difference in the quality of my writing whether I'm wearing my "legal-professional-going-to-court" Costume or sitting here in jeans and a t-shirt. Whether or not I'm wearing makeup. Or whether my long hair is neatly tied back or falling down into my face.

"Who I am" is an important facet of my business. I'm proud to be a grandma. ( I feel "especially" qualified to seek out free resource links after many years of managing a home and large family.) Online, I've found the opportunities -- and respect -- that I feel I deserve.

And no invasion of young whipper-snappers in Armani suits and designer hair is going to make me go quietly back to my rocking chair. At least not unless I can take a laptop with me.


�2000 by Judy Wogoman