Being yourself online: should you use an avatar?

If you’re a “forum marketer” — that is, you use interaction on forums to promote your products — should you hide behind an avatar, or use your own photograph?

Internet marketing is becoming more much more competitive, no matter what niche you’re in. Therefore, it pays to become more professional, simply because professionalism engenders trust.

Definitely, you should use your own photograph.

It builds credibility, and relationships with your buyers.

Of course, if you’re active in several niches, and those niches have no real connection with each other, you may well use a persona you’ve created, which means you can’t use your own photo.

There’s nothing wrong with using a created persona, if you’re prepared to admit that this is what you’re doing if someone challenges you, and you’re not trying to defraud anyone, or harm anyone. Large companies often use personas in their letters to customers, so it’s an accepted practice.

However, as much as possible, aim to be completely yourself online. You’ll build your online business, as you build your brand and reputation.

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