What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

“Your name forms part of your Personal Brand, so it must represent you, inside and out. Always.”

KOSTA IATROU | Brandographer

Does your name really matter? After all, our parents gave us our name without even consulting us, for obvious reasons. So is it really all that important? Well, after being on this planet for almost 50 years, I believe it is.

My name at birth was Konstantinos, ‘Australianised’ as Con. My parents are both Greek and immigrated from Greece (Father) and Egypt (Mother) to Australia in the 50’s with the dream of a better life for themselves and security for their future family.

For years I went by Con, but in 1981 I decided to make a small change and go by Kon. The K was more in line with the Greek spelling and it felt more authentic. Although I still felt somewhat compromised in a way by using the English version of my name instead of the Greek version, especially as I was named after my Grandfather, so a sense of pride and origin were absent.

As I’ve gotten older, and hopefully a little wiser, I’ve come to respect and embrace my Greek heritage much more and feel that there is one more step needed to reach a level of authenticity in the name I go by. Plus, over the last couple of years, my partner and a few people close to me have started using the Greek version of my name, mainly Natasa Denman, who always calls out my name loudly whenever I enter the room for the first time. It’s funny and it makes me chuckle, and importantly it has also made me consider my name and has fuelled the spark of change. 

Photo credit: Quotefancy

So, I’ve decided that it’s time to make a slight change to my name once more to truly represent me, my origins and my personality.

The change is from KON IATROU to KOSTA IATROU

TADA! There it is, stated, loud and proud.

Photo credit: Quotefancy
How to boost your engagement on Social Media with your photos

How to boost your engagement on Social Media with your photos

“In 40 milliseconds, we’re able to draw conclusions about people based on a photo.”

(ref: BufferSocial)

The stats are so conclusive, so significant in their numbers and researched over many years by the top markets that it’s crystal clear that the right photos with links are needed to maximise your all-important click-through rate. Photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook with a 93% interaction rate and they get 84% more click-throughs. Likes, Comments and Shares are nice but they don’t bring in the money.

Click-throughs mean that your readers, on Social Media, are clicking on the link that takes them to your website, or specific landing page, where you have the best opportunity to convert them from a prospect to a client.

Here are three key ingredients in boosting your click-through rate on your Social Media promotions using photos.



As an Entrepreneur, we recommend you use photos of yourself because people are buying YOU as the expert, leader and authority in your field. And this builds the critical Know/Like/Trust factor as was proven in a study which showed that ‘35% of visitors would be more likely to sign up when they saw the real deal’, as in you, not some overused and cheesy stock images promoting your products and services. The types of photos that work really well are of you portrayed in a real and natural way that shows your personality and energy plus you in action delivering your content such as speaking, facilitating, coaching, consulting, etc. Additionally, only post photos you own or have the right to publish.



The law of diminishing returns, in respect to your photos, means that the more you keep using and re-using the same photos the less impact and they will have and therefore decrease the effectiveness of your promotions. By offering new content, as in new photos, to your prospects and clients you will keep them engaged for longer.

Think of it this way, photos for business have a Use By Date of about 1-2 years when used on Social Media, less if you use them heavily such as in ramping up a campaign. So you’ll need a reliable source to ensure you have a steady supply of great images.


There is a massive amount of competition for images on social media, so yours must stand out and cut through the noise. As reported, in an article by ConversionXL, ‘67% of online shoppers rated high-quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision’. So protect your brand, you will have a certain standard that you will want to maintain with everything your post, especially for your promotions, which you are using to drive sales. This is not the area to skimp out on as your buyers have an expectation of you, in order to attract them.


Keep your photos real, fresh and of a high quality so that you maximise your click-through rate and increase your engagement!

Here are several examples by our clients on how they’ve used their photos to promote their events and products.

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1. Social Media Examiner: Social Photos Generate More Engagement: New Research
May 13, 2014

2. VIRALTAG: 10 Statistics To Get You More From Your Photos On Social Media
September 29, 2015

3. BufferSocial: 7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know for a More Engaging Facebook Page
July 23, 2013

4. ConversionXL: Stock Photography vs. Real Photos: Can’t We Use Both?
no date provided

5. BusinessDictiornary.com: Law of diminishing returns

How to build loyal fans with effective Timeline photos

How to build loyal fans with effective Timeline photos

“Facebook wants your Page cover photo to be an eye-catching photograph, not an advertisement or wordy graphic.”


This is the intended result from Facebook’s new cover design rules for this premium piece of real estate on your Facebook business page. In fact, this holds true for all your Social Media platforms, like Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Using your Timeline cover photos effectively will capture the eye and intrigue of your audience so that they continue to engage with your business on a regular basis.

4 Hot Tips To Create Effective Timeline Covers

1. What photos to include?

“Images are a powerful way to create an emotional state, so your Page’s cover photo should embody the essence of your brand. Use high-quality photos that are in focus, have a balanced colour and good lighting …”. Above all, be unique and use images that represent your brand and your business.

Here are a few ideas of photos to include:

  • Lifestyle images of yourself that portray you as the leader in your industry that conveys your brand essence.
  • Candid photos of your customers using and enjoying your products and services
  • Your core popular products/services
  • Logos of awards you’ve won and you winning the awards.


2. What text to include?

Engage your audience on an emotional level to grab their attention. Be inspiring and empowering, no one wants to be sold to.

Here’s what to include:

  • Company tagline or short phrase that explains what your business does
  • An impactful word that embodies your brand
  • An Inspiring and emotive quote
  • Names of people in your photo

3. Protect your brand by being consistent

“Establishing a consistent look and feel across pages and personal profiles, Timeline for pages provides significantly more opportunities to create a visually compelling page…”. You never know where your audience will be consuming your content at any one time, so you need to have consistency with your branding across all the platforms you engage in. A similar look will ensure your audience feels reassured that your message is consistent and congruent.


4. Update regularly.

According to ‘The Content Queen’ your Businesses Facebook Timeline photos needs replacing every 3 months! 
This is to keep your content, for your audience, fresh and current. And on Facebook updating your Timeline Cover will place it in the newsfeed which helps to promote your business a second time. It’s a good idea to create a series of Timeline images for the year, possibly based seasonally or in line with your campaigns so they are ready to use before they are required.


Include the right photos and text, be consistent across all platforms and refresh your Timeline photos regularly to maximise your opportunity at engaging your prospects and clients.

Have a look at these great examples by our clients …

Here are some examples by our clients, from Entrepreneurs with Alarm Systems to Personal Training and Marketing. Check out how they’ve structured their Timeline cover photos. And yes, you’ll see there are many from Ben Angel, and why because he does it so damn well! See the consistency between his Facebook (many examples), Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube banners, they’re all On-Brand.

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Learn the inside secrets these three experts use with Australian industry leaders

Download our FREE Personal Branding Accelerator Checklist:

55 Ways To SUPERCHARGE Your Personal Branding

Discover the 5 BRANDING CHANNELS you can promote yourself and raise your profile PLUS the 55 different practical and brand building ways that you can use your photos to build your best brand ever!

References 1. CopyBlogger: How to Create a Cover Photo for Your Facebook Timeline

How to Create a Cover Photo for Your Facebook Timeline (Updated)
May 11, 2012

2. Social Media Examiner: 5 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Timeline Page With Images

5 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Timeline Page With Images


March 11, 2015

How to design enticing YouTube Thumbnails that get your videos watched

How to design enticing YouTube Thumbnails that get your videos watched

“One of the easiest ways to get more views on your videos is to have an appealing thumbnail image.”

(ref: Social Media Examiner)

Thoughtfully planned, designed and created YouTube thumbnails play a critical role in whether your videos are viewed or not. You can spend thousands of dollars creating amazing videos but if they go unwatched it’s wasted time, money and energy. You want your Thumbnails to be clickable and increase your click-through rate.


1. Make it relevant

Your thumbnail must be relevant to the content of your video that you want people to view. If it’s not relevant, not only will your viewers leave immediately, where according to YouTube the average ‘time on page’ is 3 seconds, your rankings will take a nose dive. Plus you may just get a ‘Thumbs Down’ which might not affect your ranking all that much but will certainly look bad for future viewers. The image used must re-enforce the content and message, convey the subject of the video and differentiate your brand from your competitors. The key here is to be authentic, real and to the point!


2. Create instant rapport with the right photo

“If the eyes are the window to the soul, including emotive eyes can lead viewers into the heart and soul of your video. The added emotion will pique the curiosity of viewers and make them want to see what caused the emotion in the video.”

(ref: ReelSEO)

Use a close-up photo of yourself, because as an Entrepreneur you want to build a meaningful connection with your audience, instantly. So show some emotion and if possible have some movement in your photograph. This is where a professionally created Headshot or Branding Portrait, created in a 16:9 aspect ratio, will rule supreme over trying to use a still image from the video. Remember to use a photo that is relevant to your content and that clearly describes what the video is all about.

Ensure that your styling is the same form your Thumbnail to your video, including your hair, make/up and clothing so that you are congruent in your appearance which will show consistency with the message you’re conveying.

Also, don’t be fooled into thinking you can just use a still from the video, for two reasons. Firstly, if you try this it requires many key elements to come together at the same time, such as the lighting, your expression, your hands being in the right place, your hair falling in the right way and your clothes sitting neatly and looking good. Plus the still image needs to be sharp as a tack so including emotion and movement just about rules out a still image from the video. The second reason is colour, or the lack thereof unless you’ve got loads of bright colours in your video and contrasty ones at that, and let’s face it most Entrepreneurs won’t have, then your thumbnails may look flat and won’t draw the eye to them which means fewer views.

3. Write a killer title that packs a punch!

Add a benefit-driven title, one line that gets your viewer wanting to click on the video. Be specific, not general and vague. Pose a specific question that aims to solve a particular problem not the world’s problems with one video. Use as fewer words as possible, there is no space for explanations.

Use a serif font (one with no ‘tails’ at the end of the characters like Arial, Helvetica and Verdana) and ensure it’s large enough to be read on any device, like a mobile phone. And again, using a few words means that the text can be larger.

Remember, you want the right people to watch your videos, all the way to the end, and then take action.


4. Design it right

You must keep the overall design eye-catching, with as few elements as possible and spaced out to give it a simple, impactful and uncluttered look. The easier it is to view and understand the faster your viewer will get the message and be clear about what you’re saying.

Colours play a vital role in attracting the viewer to your thumbnail. Use bright contrasty colours and a solid colour for the background and remember to keep the colours on-brand and not make it tacky and cheesy.

Adding a border will help to again increase the contrast of the overall design and including some branding elements like your logo, fonts and colours will differentiate it from the other videos.

Re-enforce your brand by creating a template (with the main image, text, branding elements and a border) and use it for all your thumbnails to be consistent and on-brand so the viewer instantly knows they’re your videos and can find them amongst all the others.

Thumbnail specs for YouTube (1) and PODCasts (2)

(1) Aspect ratio 16:9,
Size 1290×720 pixels (min. width 640 pixels),
File formats: JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG,
Resolution: 72dpi

(2) Aspect ratio 1:1
Size 1400×1400 pixels
File formats: JPG and PNG
Resolution: 72dpi

In summary

Your thumbnails need to be relevant, create rapport with the right photo, be snappy with your words and designed to look on-brand.

Check out these great examples from our clients …

YouTube Thumbnails

PODCast Thumbnails

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Learn the inside secrets these three experts use with Australian industry leaders

Download our FREE Personal Branding Accelerator Checklist:

55 Ways To SUPERCHARGE Your Personal Branding

Discover the 5 BRANDING CHANNELS you can promote yourself and raise your profile PLUS the 55 different practical and brand building ways that you can use your photos to build your best brand ever!


1. YouTube: Video Thumbnails https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72431?hl=en Published: no date provided by source/author

2. Fullscreen: TIPS FOR A PERFECT YOUTUBE THUMBNAIL http://www.fullscreen.com/2014/06/17/tips-perfect-youtube-thumbnail/ Published:17 June 2014

3. Social Media Examiner: How to Create Custom YouTube Thumbnails http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/youtube-custom-thumbnail/ Published: 6 Nov 2012

4. MiniMatters: A Custom YouTube Thumbnail Will Make Your Videos Pop https://www.minimatters.com/need-know-youtube-thumbnails/ Published: no date provided by source/author

5. Reelseo: 6 Killer Tips to Make Your Custom Thumbnails Pop http://www.reelseo.com/custom-thumbnails-best-practice/ Published: 14 Oct 2015

6. The Audacity To PODcast: How to make great podcast cover art http://theaudacitytopodcast.com/how-to-make-great-podcast-cover-art-tap191/ Published: 22 Sep 2014

How to best use your photos in emails campaigns

How to best use your photos in emails campaigns

How to best use your photos in emails campaigns

so they build your brand as an authority

“… when used correctly, images can be a powerful tool to engage subscribers and get them to respond to your emails.”

(ref: Aweber)

“Images and visuals are absolutely a critical part of marketing your product or service. To send an email with no images would be both a branding and conversion error.” as stated in an article from Comm100. But how much text do you use, what photos are required, where are they placed, how many do you need? The answers to these and many other questions can be the reasons why your best emails have a low open and click through rates.
Research shows that 50% of emails sent have their images disabled/blocked by the email client of the recipient, eg. Outlook, Gmail, etc, (ref: Comm100). The best way to combat this is to cleverly use both images and text in your emails that maximize your open rate and deliver your content quickly. But you need to know what works and what doesn’t, so here’s our list of DO’s and DONT’s plus our tips on implementing them as well.

“Don’t use outdated images or inconsistent creative. The look and feel of your email marketing campaigns should be consistent with all other online touchpoints, starting with your website. Cohesiveness is king.”

(ref: YFS Magazine)


  • DO include text and images at the top, but leave the very top 5 lines for text only, make the text compelling in order to engage your readers, if you include an image here and it’s disabled/blocked there may be an unsightly empty space and you’ll miss out on making an impactful first impression plus any images or links will appear as an HTML code in the subject line and header of the email.
  • DO use the ALT text and the Title text, that’s part of every image, and make it meaningful with a call to action (CTA) because if an image is disabled/blocked this is all the reader will see.
  • DO add a caption under each contextually important image to further explain your point.
  • DO make all your images ‘clickable’ so the reader can be directed to your website or social media, where ever you want the reader to go to next. And remember to include a text link as well so this covers the scenario of the images being displayed/blocked. This also allows you to measure how your readers respond to each image with the stats from your email marketing software.
  • DO use images of smiling people because this creates an emotional and personal connection with your reader. Remember to connect with people’s hearts and minds and not their wallet!
  • DO use a ratio of 30/70 for your images/text for the overall space in your email. This is a balanced view and ensures you have enough visual content for the reader and if the images are disabled/blocked then the text should be able to convey your message, at least in a written form, to the reader.
  • DO use images when they add to your story/content/message because they help to convey your point faster, explain your concept easier or tell a story emotively. And remember never to use photos as a filler or for a splash of color, every element in your email must be present in order to support the Call To Action.
  • DO limit the use of images in the top 2 inches of your email, a thin header image can be used if sized to no more than 600px wide x 75px high.
  • DO place larger photos below the ‘fold’ to avoid big empty areas where the image goes in case the images are disabled/blocked.


  • DON’T use image based emails, where the whole email is one image. Remember, it’s an email, not a printed piece of marketing collateral like a flyer or brochure and some email clients will see this as a spam email and block you.
  • DON’T overuse images in an email, remember the 30/70 rule for images/text.
  • DON’T include links and important messages in the image/graphic in case they are disabled/blocked. If you want or need to include important messages and links in your images also include them in the text, so your messages aren’t lost.
  • DON’T use outdated or inconsistent imagery, fresh is best in what you eat and that you present to your reader. Make sure your photos are relevant, show variety. The same old Headshot used on everything you present to your audience will get tired very quickly. Keep your photos on-brand and consistent with other imagery across your marketing.
  • DON’T use a background image in your emails as this might not be displayed properly on all email clients and will look undesirable, hence damaging your brand plus distracting from your message.
  • ADVANCED TIP: DON’T include any images in the top 5 lines. This area will be taken as the start of your email (the subject line and header) so include relevant content that will entice the reader to click on your email and open it. It’s preferable not to include any images or links (for viewing the email on a web browser), place them further down into your email. Links to images and web browsers can be presented as HTML code in the minimized email list views and look awful to the reader and says that this is a typical newsletter so keep the subject line and header area clear of images and links.
  • ADVANCED TIP: DON’T embed large images, the fewer images that are embedded in your email the better. Use a link to the image using an HTML line of code (see below). This will reduce the chances of your emails being blocked and reduce the overall file size of your email. Both are factors in getting your emails through to the recipient’s inbox.


  1. Header images (that are placed at the top of your email) should be no bigger than 600 pixels wide x 75 pixels high.
  2. Other images should be no more than 600 pixels wide.
  3. The file types that are recommended are: JPG or GIF. PNG files can be used but are typically 2 or 3 times larger than a JPG file which unnecessarily increases the file size of your email.
  4. Image resolution should be set to 72dpi not 300dpi. Personally, I’ve found that 150dpi is a good balance between high-quality sharp images vs their file size.
  5. ‘Clickable’ images need a url associated with them so that the reader can click on them and be directed to a website, landing page, etc. Enter the full url with the http://www in front of your website. Simply using ikonimages.com.au is not sufficient, instead use http://wwwikonimages.com.au so you include the full url. And then, test your email to ensure all the links are working properly, the last thing you want to happen when your reader opens your email is to have them click on a link which goes nowhere or to the wrong page.

In summary:

There are several key DO’s and DONT’s and specific ways to implement them in order to balance the use of text and images and to cater for the 50/50 split between emails that your readers see, with the images presented immediately and those that need to click to allow them to be seen.

Here’s how our Email Campaigns now look when you take the above DOs and DON’Ts into consideration. Specifically, note that there are no images at the top of the page which leaves only pure content to be presented to the reader no matter how minimized their inbox view is or how expanded it is. Also, the main image is hosted on this website and is also clickable and the link goes back to this very blog post.

Now, this is what the recipient sees when they have the images in emails disabled/blocked. See how little information the recipient has to go on? The ATL and Title text doesn’t clearly communicate what the images are about. Using Infusionsoft – Display Images!, BLOG and SamBennett4_EC.jpg isn’t engaging and enticing to the reader. In fact, there is no good reason to continue reading this email, unless you were expecting to see it or you simply open everything from this sender.

Also, note the two questions MSOutlook Outline (the email client used in this example) asks relating tho the images. The reader already clicked on your email to view it and now has to again be actively involved in allowing the images to be displayed. This is another blocker in getting your emails read and actioned.

Here is what this email looks like when I click the link to see the images. The purpose and title of the whole email is in the image and not included in the text: “Get More Productive In 15 Minutes A Day …” plus there’s a FREE COUSE! But all this is hidden from the recipient if the images aren’t displayed.
Here’s a great example from MadMex, see how they’ve placed the content which is all text and no images right at the top of the email and the large image placed further down.
Now, this is what it looks like when the images are disabled/blocked from the minimal view displayed in MS Outlook Online and then when the email is opened. In both cases the reader is presented with the best content straight away, there’s no HTML code of links and images that are blocked, they get straight into it to maximize their chance of the enticing the reader to open their emails.
Here’s some examples from our clients on how they’ve used their photographs in their email campaigns. The main takeaways here are:
  1. Great use of their Branding Portraits, if we do say so ourselves, which are engaging and show emotion that connects with the reader and they aren’t the same ones all the time as variety is important. All are used fresh and up to date photos.
  2. There’s no distracting background wallpaper type images. the emails are clean and easy to read.
  3. The images are ‘clickable’ and take the reader back to the specific landing page.
  4. The messages in the images are also presented in the text including text links so both options are covered.
  5. The 30/70 rule for images/text is well observed, so they look balanced (although no all of each email has been presented in this article) and so there isn’t an over use of images.

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