Let’s say you’re shopping online for something, maybe for a specialty part. Let’s also say two sellers have that same part available. One offers several high-quality images of the product, from different angles and in good lighting. The other offers low-quality, poorly-lit, blurry images — or no images at all.
All other things being equal — product quality, price, location, shipping, reviews — which seller or product do you choose?
Naturally, you go with the seller who offered quality images, because in today’s world, seeing is believing. And profile picture mistakes can cost you.
The same can be said for photos posted by transport companies on their uShip profile pages. In fact, one can even claim it’s MORE IMPORTANT to post high-quality images, and lots of them, since a potential shipping customer is entirely unfamiliar with your services, unlike the product example given earlier.
In general, your photos should tell a bit of a story. In other words, who are you? What kind of equipment do you own to get the job done? What kinds of items have you hauled? Can you show that you’ll “take care of items like they are your own”?
That might sound simple, but every day at uShip we see carrier profile photos that leave a lot to be desired.
Here are three profile photo rookie mistakes, along with three transport companies doing a bang-up job telling their story on uShip through images.
ROOKIE MISTAKE NO. 1: THE SQUISHED SPRINTER VAN
This approach says “I didn’t take the time to upload a properly sized image.” The result? A sprinter van, pickup truck, trailer, shipment(s), and more appearing as though they’d been squeezed between two semi-trucks. While it shows equipment, it’s just not gratifying to the potential customer.
If you have a difficult time with the right sized upload, there are plenty of tools that can help you resize to the proper dimensions. Or ask someone, like that nephew of yours who’s “in computers” and knows all about that stuff. It’ll probably take him 5 minutes to help.
You can also use YouTube. Here’s one tutorial on how to resize images right in your Internet browser, like Chrome or Safari without additional software.
Best Practice: Exclusive Distribution
One carrier doing it right is Exclusive Distribution. Along with a nice company description, the company shows five images: a logo, one external truck-trailer shot, one inside of a very clean trailer, and two shrink-wrap shots of furniture. It’s a nice combination that avoids the “squish effect” and also demonstrates how Exclusive Distribution cares for items they are shipping. And they do all that in just five photos.
ROOKIE MISTAKE NO. 2: THE BLURRY BOX TRUCK
We know you’re busy and things are non-stop on the road. If you’re going to take photos of your truck(s) and/or trailer(s), at least stop moving when taking them. Or take a photo of a truck that’s parked and not moving down the road. Like our compressed counterpart, blurry images are very frustrating to look at, especially when you’re competing against 3-4 other transporters with strong photographs.
Another contributing factor to blurry photos is poor lighting. To avoid this pitfall, some basic photography principles apply here: Make sure the sun is directly in front of your subject to avoid shadows and backlighting that can make it hard to see your equipment.
Also consider taking photos at the “golden hour,” that period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer versus when the Sun is higher in the sky (causing photos to come out harsher or with lots of shadows).
Best Practice: 4K Motorsports Towing
One carrier doing it right is 4K Motorsports Towing. This provider ships motorcycles, trikes, and powersports — and a lot of them. It’s no surprise 4K ranks among the top 20 carriers by volume on uShip in just three years. His photos show his GMC pickup, his 26’ and 16’ trailers, along with the high-end motorcycles, including Harleys, getting loaded. He also took the time to display a glamour shot of his clean, polished, well-lit pickup (far left above). It’s a super cool shot, something that’s easily done on any smartphone with a basic photo filter. Nice job, Ken!
ROOKIE MISTAKE NO. 3: NO PHOTO(S) AT ALL
The typical smartphone contains 630 photos, according to GigaOm. That’s a 2017 stat, so there’s a very good chance that figure is much higher today. Clearly it’s very easy to take photos. This means there’s no excuse not to have at least ONE photo on your carrier profile. Again, it’s like selling a product online without any photos.
If you are trying to build your business on uShip, we highly recommend taking the few minutes to snap a photo or two of your truck, trailer, equipment, and shipments, and get them posted on your uShip carrier profile, but make sure to skip on profile photo rookie mistakes #1 and #2.
Best Practice: Watson Motor Enterprises, LLC
One carrier doing it right is Watson Motor Enterprises, LLC. They complement a very complete company description with 48 (yes, 48!) photos showing all the types of things pulled with their various dually pickup models. It instills confidence that whatever you need to have hauled, they can do it. Now, 48 photos may be more than needed, but even a handful of photos should do the trick.
SHOULD YOU DO YOU?
After learning about these common profile photo mistakes, you’re probably wondering, “Should I also post my own personal headshot or selfie on my uShip carrier profile as I’ve done on Facebook or other social media profiles?”
The short answer: it’s up to you.
It’s a personal preference. If you do, great. If you’d rather focus on your equipment and shipments, that’s great too. Some people prefer to remain more private these days, declining to have their photos out on the Internet. Instead, they choose to focus on the equipment and job at hand.
We recommend avoiding these profile photo rookie mistakes because a strong uShip Carrier Profile is your chance to make a great first impression with potential shippers and book even more business. See what else to include on your profile page to make it stand out from the rest.