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Why "Before and After Pictures" Convert So Well
Last Updated June 16th, 2015

I know you’ve seen those “Before and After” pictures in marketing. They’re everywhere!

A bald guy alone on the couch to the left. A guy with a full head of hair riding a horse on the beach on the right.

A scraggly unshowered dude in a v-neck to the left. A dude who hates wearing ties (but wow that’s a nice tie) on the right.

Why do companies use pictures like these?

Because they work.

Even if you’re not selling fitness products.

That’s why today I’ll reveal the psychology behind why before and after photos work so well. I’ll also show you how you can use these same insights… no matter what industry you’re in.

The Psychology Behind Why “Before and After” Pictures Help Increase Conversions

The Secret Behind Why Before and After Photos Convert So Well

You’ve seen before and after photos in marketing, especially in the fitness realm. They’re everywhere because they work.

I’m Derek Halpern, the founder of Social Triggers. And in this video, I’m going to reveal the psychology behind why before and after photos work so well and how you can use these insights in your own business – even if you’re not in the fitness industry, no matter what industry you’re in.

Keep watching this video…

Why do before and after photos work so well?

There’s a few reasons.

First, ask any great salesman, and they’ll tell you:

If you want someone to buy from you, you’ll need a product that delivers results. But more important than that, you’ll also need marketing that persuades your prospect that your product can deliver THEM results.

Before and After Pictures Create Connection

Showing your prospects where others came from and where they are now helps PROVE to them, “this can work for you, too.”

As an example:

Let’s say you moved into a new apartment. You’d love to decorate your place so it looks amazing. You’ve got a few thousand dollars to spend, and you create a few Pinterest boards with room inspiration. But eventually, you think:

“These rooms are great, but there’s no way my apartment could look like that. I don’t even have enough money.”

This would be a typical response.

Now, what if you stumbled on an interior designer’s website. On the website, you see two pictures side by side of the same apartment. In the first picture, the apartment is real boring. In the second, it’s beautiful. Below the pictures, you see:

“We made this transformation with $3,000.”

Would you email that interior designer?

You’d do it in a second.


Because you’d think, “wow, I can really have a place like that at my budget!”

As a side note: I have no idea why all interior designers don’t do this, either. I also don’t know why web designers don’t do this either. So, if you know someone in this type of industry, whether a web designer, interior designer, professional organizer, house cleaner, or anything, make sure you pass this video to them.

What’s the second reason why before and after pictures work so well?

Here’s the deal:

Before and After Pictures Let You Control Your Story

As an example:

I’ve been doing these Social Triggers TV videos for a couple years now. And throughout these past couple years, I’ve definitely stepped up my style game up a notch or two.

Now, you might agree with me. Or you might not.

Maybe you run in high-end fashion circles and you’re used to seeing people who dress better than I do. In which case, you might think, “eh, you’re alright.”

If I just stand here and tell you I look great and dress well, I have no way of knowing how you’ll respond. And that’s a huge problem because for my business to succeed, I need to know how I’m perceived by my audience and prospects. Not knowing how you’ll respond to what I’m telling you will KILL the sale before it happens.

So, if it’s important to me that you think I’ve stepped up my style game and how I present myself, then it’s my job to make you believe it, regardless of your background in fashion.

Now, if I showed you two pictures of myself, one from a year ago and one from today, and said:

“I dress well now. This is how I used to look a year ago.”

Chances are, instead of thinking that I do or don’t dress well, you’ll think, “wow, you cleaned up nicely.”

That’s because I’m controlling the story. I’m not letting you come up with your own mental images because those mental images might make you disagree with me. I’m providing them for you so I know you’ll say, “yes.”

And this is IMPORTANT because when you’re selling someone something, they’re just waiting for the chance to find a reason to NOT believe what you’re telling them. When you control your story, it’s less likely that happens.

Finally, the third reason why before and after pictures work so well is this:

People Don’t Know How Good Something Is Until They First Know How Bad It Was

Or in other words, if you’ve got a six pack, I’d be impressed.

However, if you have a six pack, and 2 years ago you were 200 pounds overweight, I’d go from being impressed to thinking, “AMAZING!”


Because the result is rarely as impressive as the journey towards that result.

And before and after pictures show that journey PERFECTLY.

There are other reasons why before and after pictures work well, but for now…

Let’s talk about how they can work for you…

First, a word of warning: There are a lot of laws and regulations around before and after photos. Make sure you consult with a lawyer before using them in your business.

Now, I’ve already talked about fitness, interior design, and web design. But what if what you do isn’t that visual?

Here’s what you need to do:

Focus on creating a scenario of life WITHOUT your product and a scenario of life WITH your product.

You might notice how pharmaceutical companies always show people sad and dreary before the medicine and happy after the medicine.

You’re not seeing the results, but you’re seeing a change.

So, it’s not just about results. It’s about perceived results, as well.

That said, what if you’re selling something like an information product that helps people get more web traffic?

You might not be able to take a picture of their website or the person running it… But you could take a snapshot of their traffic before and their traffic after.

Remember, the point of a before and after is to show people how good something is by comparing it to how bad it was.

And a picture just like that would work extremely well.

Now, let’s say you can’t demonstrate results with a screenshot. What can you do?

Well, let me give you an example:

Let’s say you sell a piece of software that makes it really easy to design a blog without knowing code.

You could simply show them how easy it is:

“Look, with my product, you can decide that you want 2 or 3 columns all with a click of a button.”

Or, what would work even better is:

You start off by showing them how annoying it used to be to customize your blog, and then show them how easy it is NOW with your product.

This way works better because you’re controlling the story.

I find a lot of new companies, especially startups, focus on how cool their new products are now. They show off all the GREAT benefits.

But they rarely show you how annoying it was without the product. And that’s a HUGE mistake.

Because when you leverage both the before and the after, and control your story, you can make people go from, “that’s nice” to “THAT’S AMAZING!”

To recap:

Before and after pictures work extremely well in marketing. As long as you follow the laws and consult with a lawyer, before and after pictures can help you sell a bunch of stuff.

Just remember:

1. Before and After Pictures Create Connection.

2. Before And After Pictures Let You Control Your Story

3. Before and After Pictures Emphasize the Journey by showing people how bad a situation was BEFORE and how awesome the situation is AFTER.

If you’re at a loss for how before and after pictures can work for you, leave a comment letting me know.

Also, if you think this video is going to CHANGE THE GAME for you and your business, leave a comment. I’d love to hear more.

Or better yet:

Describe what went on in your head BEFORE you watched this video. Then, describe what went on AFTER.

And if you’re new to Social Triggers, make sure you hop on the email list and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

This is the place for entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to get ahead in business and life, and I don’t want you to miss out.

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126 comments Leave a comment

Great stuff, Derek – as always! I have recently started a service to help coders get past time consuming and frustrating code errors. We can describe the process of wasting a lot of time and hassle in our copy, but I’m not exactly sure how to create a before and after picture as you describe here. Do you suggest a video to show the process better, or can you think of a great picture highlighting both saving time and frustration? Thanks in advance!

Cathy Mayhue

Before and after always seem to work, even people very clearly know that it is nothing but sheer advertising, with out being backed by genuine scientific research, it affects them on a psychological and subconscious level.

Kent Wood Hogan

Great stuff! Gave me the idea of using before and after shots on my yoga site’s blog, http://www.yogamerge.com that way students can see how they progress with a yoga pose over time, should work really well for poses that focus on flexibility! I see this on Instagram fairly often with yogis showing their progress.
No doubt that before and after images work well across various industries and business, everyone loves to see progress and it for sure provides motivation.

Narendra Kumar

Oh yes before and after pictures really works. Majority of the people puts themselves in such positions and may be it looks too appealing for an audience.

Cathy Goodwin

I like the concept of controlling the story. You can compare things like how long it used to take versus how long it takes now, with your product. I’ve also used infographic to compare the way “they” do it vs . the way “we” do it.

And i’ve seen people do some before-and-after that’s a little tongue-in-cheek, where everybody knows they’re exaggerating but they still “get” the message and appreciate the value.


‘Before and After’ things are really effective in attracting audience. I’ve noticed some sites that have this and they really do receive lots of traffic.


you should have accepted what you did quietly with gratitude. Sorry i am not impressed your using this as a ps. sad really. y


How did I miss this video?!? Great tips as always!


As a Designer, I have employed the power of Before & After photos throughout my career. However, after listening to you and watching this video I understand the “why” they work in a way I haven’t in the past. I can actually improve my marketing and sales around the one gem of an idea. I do talk about the client journey but now I feel I can better tweak this in a way that is more meaningful for prospects – more specifically my ideal clients. I will keep you posted.


Thanks, Derek! I am an interior designer, and I have a couple before and afters on my site. Your video inspired me to create computer renderings of potential projects that haven’t been completed yet and post them next to the before photos. When the projects are done, I’ll add the after photos to show how well the renderings can communicate the design plan. I just discovered your site…loving everything.

Barbara Kaplan

So how come you have a photo of yourself with the old haircut in your About Derek Halpern photo?

Verena Czerny

Hey Derek, now that I know how much of a perfectionist you are, I have a tiny improvement to suggest to you about your body language in this video:
You talk a lot about “before” and “after” with your hands pointing to the left and right. But as we watch you from the camera perspective, you point to the right for “before” and to the left for “after”.
It is so hard to control body language and I very much appreciate yours for beeing lively and authentic. But you could try and use mirror-inverted pointing for time related phenomena.
Thanks for your great contents!
Greetings from Berlin


Hi Derek,

Great video! I’ve been a fan for a while, now. I’m curious, I’m in the business of selling products that help peopled (specifically children) how to read, spell and write English by using phonics.

How can I apply the before and after picture idea? I’d appreciate any insight you may have.


I think the before pic is cute !

Sara Young

Yup. I get it. I will do it by describing a situation before and after they buy my info. Also, show them the difference via visual metaphor. Because visual metaphors are the new black.

Melanie Nolan

Thank you for this video Derek! It was the inspiration for my latest blog, “Wedding Blog: Before & After, You Won’t Believe the Transformations!”


Love the idea but not sure how to use it in my business. I promote other companies and offer discounts to those companies to my viewers. Hmmmm, I’ll have to keep thinking on this one!


It took me a while to watch this one. I don’t know why. What I noticed:
You aren’t as loud as you normally are. Wonder if that had to do with the guy who imitated you. Was surprising!
You aimed this at interior designers, web designers, etc. but kept it general enough for all. That’s a trick from a previous episode.
Was surprised about the laws around before/after photos.
Great topic to discuss. No one talks about before/after.

Emma Ebhos

This video is really amazing. Before i never knew how to control testimony story from my customers until now. Thanks you alot. You’re truly a professional online marketer



I am the QUEEN of Before and Afters! It’s easy with the line of business I am in – glamour photography. However, I have just started implementing this in my very new blog (and with the help of completing your course, it will be better :D). In my blog , I offer posing tips – in a visual way. Another form of Before & After!


    Melanie Nolan

    Great blog! Perfect use of before & after


I think the white shirt should be blue and the tie should be different. The rolled up sleeves are good too. Dont put on a jacket. I think that white shirt kinda blends in too much with the background, and a little longer hair not too long just perhaps a different cut, that barber should be shot! JET 🙂

Hope this helps and please only trying to help you ARE as much a ‘product’ as anything…or WHY care about a BEFORE and AFTER and since you brought the whole subject up with your video and used yourself then I am just wishing to help you with a blindspot. Crucifiy me if you like….but this is just my take on this thing bye for now!!! And good night!!!


Hi again Derren,

I got an update on the comments made to this vid of yours. And I stand by what I said before. I think you look a lot more…well…creative…edgey(this is strong compliment)…fresh…new….original…etc…i could go on and on with your BEFORE…the AFTER is just soooooooooooo…well…you really look sort of ‘average’ and AGAIN i do NOT mean this to insult you but rather for you to think that perhaps i am suggesting something more true than not. For i swear not writing this to piss you off. Of course i do not know you personally so perhaps for you being more ‘dressed up’ equals ‘better’ but I’m sorry i disagree with this. So many men dress just like the AFTER whereas the BEFORE is unique. I am not saying the BEFORE is perfect, just that the AFTER is not what I AM AFTER (if i were a man trying to set the world on fire). I think you can do so much better than this cookie cutter AFTER ‘look’ which ….oh i am sorry….I shall send another comment when i can come up with something more concrete that could be changed in the AFTER that is BETTER than the BEFORE and for SURE better than your AFTER….just I think for starters take a look in the mirror and without going wacko with some strange clothing, just something more…..original …. you know ….elegant casual …nothing weird…. just not look like every cooperate exec and car salesman etc I used to see when i lived in the USA. This is not meant to be insulting so please i just trying to help you. JET 🙂

Tim Benjamin

Thanks Derek – very useful.


Hey Derek, You make me laugh all the time – thanks for being you. I work as an alternative therapist (Family Constellation Therapy and Hakomi). Any idea how I could control the story with before and after photos? Also, where would these be appropriate…on Praise page, landing page, advertisements, etc? Thanks in advance!


Hi Derek!

Great video! But I don’t know how to implement it for the travel
Industry. Any advice?

Thank you!

Josh Escusa

More extremely powerful advice from a master that understands what he’s doing.
In the niche that I’m in a lot of people post income reports. I think the idea of the before and after is a huge psychological motivator to show that not everyone is starting with tons of money in the bank. They can see a guy like Pat Flynn go from a few dollars to a 6 figure income.

Gail Robertson

Hi Phillip,

My suggestion, for using before and after pictures to showcase financial planning, is as follows:

Show father and son fishing from a public dock with a bunch of other people. Then show them and the wife fishing from a new-looking cabin cruiser. Perhaps choose a boat 26′ to 28′ long, so it seems financially within reach in a fairly short time. Show the father (complete with a ‘captain’s cap’) on the flying bridge, beaming down with fatuous pride at his family as they fish or lounge on deck, etc.

I’m assuming, in the above scenario, that the bulk of your clientele are male, but if they’re female, have the lady running the boat, to add humour.

Phillip Christenson

Great Video! I always knew before and after pictures/videos work but now i get know the Why.

However, I can’t for the life of me, figure out how to apply this to my practice of financial planning. Any thoughts from your or your wise watchers?

Wade McMaster

Top video as always Derek, I’ve used the exact strategy you mention, showing people how easy it is to change a web layout with a piece of software and it converts reasonably well – but I never considered showing a ‘before’ snap, I think I’m gonna have to make some additions and see how it plays out :).

Thanks again for the fantastic free information!


Great Post. This is Really Motivational Video also Great Blog. Thanks for Sharing with us.

AJ & Serenity Services

Another excellent video Derek! You make excellent points on how and why the concept of “before and after” works.

My online business involves doing logo design, WordPress website creation, and SEO help for other small business owners and entrepreneurs. I’m thinking my partner and I could find a way to create the perception of how someone’s business before using our services would not be as good as after using our services.

For instance, my partner and I could possibly “paint a picture” of someone’s current blog or website (struggling to get traffic, to convert that traffic, etc.) and how making certain changes could make an excellent impact after using our services (such as how writing+submitting a press release, creating social media exposure, redoing logo design, having the right keywords in place, etc. can improve traffic and conversions). We also do SEO analyses of client websites. We could maybe give a scenario of someone’s website before the SEO analysis and their website after the SEO analysis (demonstrating the benefits of this analysis and how fixing certain errors can lead to more organic traffic, more visitors, more customers, etc).

My partner and I will definitely brainstorm ways to apply this concept of “before and after”!

Carlos Bohorquez

Thanks Derek, you always gave me lots of new ideas for my business (for free ;)).


I think one idea that makes before and after so powerful to me personally, is the fact that it helps me relate to it situation. It’s like “if he or she can do that, I definitely can!” I enjoyed the video. Thanks bro.

Sara Dawn

Great video! I really liked the point about creating connection with customers and controlling the story! I just heard you recommend that businesses talk to a lawyer before using before and after photos. I’ve been a small business owner for years and one thing that has really helped me with the legal stuff is services from LegalShield. You can look at my website if you’d like more information. Thanks for the tips!

Sandra McCarthy

Hi Derek,
I am in the manual therapy field (massage therapist). How could I best use a before and after picture to promote my kind of work?
I really like what you have to say Derek,


Before I watched this video, I thought, “I can do that! I’ll show the differences between my quality product and others’ shoddy product!” After I watched the video, I realized my error. It’s not my *product* that matters. It’s the results my customers get when they use my product that counts. Thanks for the distinction!


My girlfriend and I just started to sell our handcrafted jewelry through our site. Would it be better to show our product from a year ago and compare it to our current more superior product? Or should we show how the customer looks before and after? Which would the customer value more?

Gail P. Robertson

As always, excellent points made in this video. I’m not sure how that might be applied to novel-selling, but not every suggestion you have will be applicable to every business. Still, it’s great food for thought and to keep in mind if an application comes up in which it can be used.

Many thanks as always for sharing this with the world. I now have my first blog up (http://readerslair.wordpress.com) and will be reading back from before I found Social Triggers to see what pearls of entrepreneurial wisdom I missed.

All the best,



Well I must say you’re are looking sharp 😉 Love this: “People don’t know how good something is until they know how bad it was.” So true.

Claire Mora

This is great, I have been inspired and will be using before and after photos in my SQL computer software and training company, something I never would have thought of but makes perfect sense after Derek explains it so eloquently. I will have uploaded new images on my website in two weeks time with a before and after theme.

Thanks Derek


Once again, that was brilliant!

What did I do? I had to stop the video halfway so I could pick up a pencil and start madly scribbling ideas for an intro video script that I’d been struggling with. Then I came back, listened some more and had to stop it again (twice) so I didn’t lose the rest of the ideas you triggered.

Thank you for the work you do!


As always, great video.
More of a before and after story. Going from friendless, bored and depressed to having work I love, great relationships and a meaning for my life.
How do I convey that in a picture? Very keen from people who are in the position I used to be to get themselves out of a hole. Do I just tell the story or do you recommend something else?


Hi Derek
As I have a tech blog so I think I should use this before after stuff to entertain my audience. I should make the images funny. As people tends to share funny stuff.
There pictures converts so if these would be funny then my traffic should get increased.

David Cunningham

As always, great video Derek. Even though before and after videos and picture do affect what I do and how I think and what actions I take, I never really thought about using them my self. Now I will. My blog can definitely benefit from this.

Beatrix Willius

Perception is important. But you also have to feel comfortable in your skin. In some of your videos you seemed not very comfortable with the tie. On the other side haircut and eyebrows also make a difference.

T-Shirts are perfectly fine, too. Just watch a video with Jeff Walker.


Good work Derek i agree with everything you said and will apply it to my business 🙂


I do this.

Before and After pictures are my favorite method to convince people that anyone who is great at drawing started out humble and had to put in work to become better. Most people think it requires just being gifted with talent and therefore they shouldn’t even try.

Using the Twitter account @EarlyAndLater allows me to regularly show how famous artist, from van Gogh to todays comic artists struggled to develop their skills by comparing their early and later work:

PS: I remember that look, have been a subscriber for years, you cleaned up nicely.

Maureen O'Neill

Derek, I’m a budding beauty photographer who has been schooled in how to take a before and after and that it’s a good thing to do, however I truly appreciate your explaining the why it works. I was concerned that since women know Photoshop can be used to excess, would they ever really believe the after photos. But you have give enough solid reasons that it’s worth a try. I think it would especially powerful when a prospect sees a before and after of someone she knows. Do you agree?


I can see how this concept will work in B2C, but I’m wondering how to do this in the B2B scene.
I perform performance development consult and train, so I’m a bit lost.


what if you are selling a physical product and you have 9 slots to put images how many of those 9 slots should you use before and after pictures and any more advice about images to get more sales?


First, love the tie Derek. And now off to see what I can use and before and after shots for my business!


tell it like it is, very good Derek. Feel free to do more comparisons to all media. Billboards, radio, television and print. Like to see those before and after …

keep it going

Christine Coleman

Derek you scrubbed up nicely!
Great post and perfect idea for my very visual sewing blog! I’ve hidden my earlier sewing makes away because I’m embarrassed by how bad they are but I’m going to use them now to show how my sewing skills have improved from crappy first makes to ready-to-wear-grade wardrobe of clothes (yosami.co). Thanks so much!

Peggy McMahan

Derek, you were a cute boy before. Now you’re a nice looking man. LOL.

I know successful people dress may up or down, ragged or silky. However, if I’m buying your product, I want you to look like you’re successful enough to support your wardrobe (even if sometimes it’s all show without substance).


I work in fitness and nutrition and i think it’s just a played out thing to put before and after pictures. I cant help but have my eyes glaze over when I see it for fitness. I think the before and after strategy is great for home design etc. So just my point of view but I feel in fitness when people see before and after online red flags go up.


Wow. I run a PT business and have clients that HATE before and afters…. I tend to agree that they will not add but detract from our new, classier branding (coming soon) BUT (yes I do need caps) I could do before and after workout / menu planning. Yippee. I just needed a different take on it! 🙂


I wasn’t even thinking of before and after pics. We’re in a hard space for content creation… Business to Business for the fashion/ garment industry… Different target demographics. After reading this we could do a collage of a designer before D2, running around town trying to source, on the phone, papers and disorientation everywhere, but after is calm, cool, relaxed, just searching through our directory! Great idea! Thanks!

Cathy Sirvatka

Derek, first of all I thought your before pic was from maybe 5 years ago! You do clean up nicely! This concept should have been a no-brainer for me as a web designer, but I have never implemented it. Unfortunately to this point I have not saved any “before” analytics. But I do have many “before” website screen shots. I WILL be implementing this into my newly designed site I’m working on. ALSO… from your video I’m thinking of ways to show how much of a pain it is to try to do your website yourself, as opposed to the ease of having me, a professional, do it. GREAT ideas!

Jamie Finlayson

Funny timing because I’ve just finished a one month transformation I did April for my fitness site.

I thought before/after photos might have been overdone, so it’s great to know they still work.


At least your t-shirt looked ironed. This is a way better haircut though.


I am a photographer / Video man. I recently did a 2 minute media information clip – video and stills of my dog before, getting groomed and after going to a grooming salon. I showed his long creepy nails and then soft paws without the long nails after. I also used text as though he was talking saying WOW – I could get used to this!

Client Loved it.

I am hoping to get more jobs like that!

Laura Ahnen

Thanks for the podcast and useful info within (and stay adorable!) I will be sharing this one with business peers.

Ruth Noel-Samaroo

Hi Derek, great video! When I first saw the title I thought “oh no please dont tell me to put up a corny fat loss picture ad” lol. but actually I LOVE this suggestion. Problem is I do online accounting for online marketing consultants so 1) I cant think of what to use visually 2) will my ideal client just think im up to something?!

Suggestions welcome!

Elba Maria

My problem is… as web developer is that usually there’s no “before” since majority of the sites didn’t have anything before OR, just they are going to do a new design on previous design that in most cases I did myself but they are just outdated designs; not good to say “this was before” because is MY design and usually I”m the one telling customer is time to update. What do you suggest for us web developers, designers where usually there no “before” picture.

The only way I use before/after pictures is for digital photography manipulation and restoration because there’s actually a “before” product.


Sorry i am a really casual type and i think you looked HOT in your BEFORE pic you looked really unique and like a true individual. The AFTER you look like EVERYONE ELSE….this is true…sorry i tell you this out of unconditional love not to be a bitch. I think your BEFORE is HOT…after is NOT.

The get in shape girl

What about when people completely try to discredit you because you edit out a person’s face in their before/ after photos?

Jimmy Jackson

I own a pressure washing business in Missouri. Before and After pictures are everything for my business. I was shocked when this was your topic.

I combine mine with testimonials to create a more powerful effect. I’m always looking for ways to make them better and convert more on my website.

Thanks for the great video.


Hi Derek, I really loved this video. You look very good 😉

Leigh Shulman

My top take away is the idea of emphasizing the journey, which fits in perfectly with how I present writing. It’s a process, not only the movement from start writing to finish but the personal journey that happens as you move through the writing process.

As with most of what I see on your site and in your course, I watch and immediately agree. It’s obvious, well, after you say it anyway. I admit, though, I’m at a big of a loss for how to represent books, the written word and online products to help you write (still in development) visually.

Craig Nixon

I run a martial arts school, and have just started filming and uploading video testimonials, mostly with the parents of the kids that I teach. Now though after watching this video, I’m going to be asking my adult students to do one and use before and after pictures on them to show how my school can change people physically, as I know I have quite a few success stories, from the physical side of the training that I teach but also the mental side that my teachings give and also the health advice.

Thanks, I have no idea why I didn’t do this before


Craig Nixon

Tine Vindeløv

I like your Video This is the best Before and after talk i ever seen 🙂



Yes, you cleaned up nicely! As I develop my business I will keep this before & after in mind. Thank you for sharing.

Daniel Boswell


Your video really touched home for me. As a web designer I had been thinking recently “I need some before shots of my clients crappy websites to go along with the shots I have of the new website.”

But I hadn’t gotten around to it. However, your video helped me realize I’m an idiot if I don’t get that done right away. So my new goal for today is to get done those before and after shots and put them on my website.

Thanks again for this awesome and extremely practical video!

Liza Ingram

“The result is rarely as impressive as the journey toward the result…”
-Derek Halpern

I find this quote to be profound and applicable to much in life. It reminds me of another quote:

“You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed.”
-Frederick Douglas (U.S. abolitionist and journalist, 1817-1895)

Amazing content. Thank you.


Thank you Derek. Can always count on you for another piece of great marketing advice!


Hello D.

I totally believe in B/A photos. I am an image consultant who works with women 40+ on the fashion, beauty and home decor styles. Just this morning, I put a few B/A interior design photos up (www.tracyfredericksbeauty.com). I am doing a photo shoot at the end of the month for the fashion & beauty photos. The reason for this is most of my clients do not want to pose for a B/A photo. They want to keep it private. They do not want their clients or their job to see them as a B/A candidate. It’s a real problem for me. I offer discounts on my services if I can use photos but you would be surprised at how many prefer to pay my full price instead of showing up on my website as a before and after. So now I am looking for models in my target market who will allow it. The other thing I would like to add is that I think when doing this it is important to get good quality photos. Thanks for your videos. They are always very helpful.

Kyle Alm

You’ve come a long way baby.

I’ve been on a gradual slide towards a more respectable wardrobe as well. Potential clients have ideas of what a professional should look like and I think they are less likely to pay the guy in a tshirt $100/hour or more. I’m in a somewhat forgiving industry as a “computer guy.” “Computer girls,” also dress better than me.

Mridu Parikh

Fantastic video Derek! I love the idea of controlling the story.


Thanks for a thought provoking video about how to use before and after pictures and the art off controlling the story to help shape your customers’ reactions to your marketing.

You talked some about how to do this in industries that aren’t particularly visual. I provide content for clients. I can see using a snapshot of a traffic graph as a before/after – is there any other way I might be missing that comes to mind?



Derek, I had several takeaways….

1- I talk out loud when I watch things. I said “You are a damn genius” when you suggested that you pass along the video to help someone. It’s brilliant because the ask was natural and it taps into people’s natural desire to be helpful and sincere.

2- I was already planning on re-doing my Web site, but it’s a subtle reminder that design is the new copywriting.

3- You look like a professional. You didn’t look that so much in your early videos, and yet here you are with over 100,000 followers now. You took the money you made early on and you reinvested it into yourself and your business. Better video equipment = better video. More practice = a more polished Derek. EFFORT PAYS OFF.

4- Similar… even though your early videos weren’t super professional looking, your content was good… people followed. All the haters out there saying “Duuuuh, I could never get a following on the Internet, I just don’t have the equipment or the polish”… FALSE. Pat did it, you did it, Dane did it, etc. etc. etc.

Thanks for the great video.

    Derek Halpern

    Great summary Daniel. Proves you’re watching the video 😉

Sarah Jordan

What an amazing video…Ha! I remember the days of your shaggy hair and t-shirts. What a great example.

    Derek Halpern

    I know, right?


Hmm this reminds me of another blog post about how this guy Derek stepped up his style. Oh, right, I wrote it:


I’ll assume it was your inspiration for this.

(kidding… kind of)


Before/After comparisons are powerful indeed and visual applications are endless! What might be a tactic in applying this concept to coaching/consulting with political spouses? If they were the candidate, it would be easy (they won the election or they lost); but since we’re talking spouses, what “story” of before/after could be told from their perspective that would have a “Wow! in-the-journey” factor?


it’s too long……………………

David Bennett

Well done. The biggest takeaway for me was the way you described the idea of controlling the story. You brought it to life with your scenario.

Francisco Israel

Awesome post man.
Cheers from Chile, SouthAmerica….follow u regularly, first time saying hello.
Keep up the good work. I know how it feels.

Sergio Felix

Hey Derek, you definitely cleaned up shop, that’s a fact!

However, I’m not sure if it is because I’ve been reading your blog since I first found it (I’ve been a subscriber since 2011) or if I’m just anti dressing up but the tie just doesn’t seem to fit or maybe I just like the polo t-shirt because that’s how I dress myself LOL

I know you’re the same guy and I’m not sure if others can see it like “Okay, this is just a guy who dressed up for the video and it surely looks that as soon as he’s done he’ll take all that off” but the content just keeps getting better and better.

That’s just my very personal perception btw (you already said you are a laid back kind of guy!).

About the “before and after” scenario, it definitely helps and will actually implement that on a sales page for local businesses very soon so thanks for the idea!

– Sergio.

PS. The hair definitely looks much better though! 😉

    Derek Halpern

    Yea, the tie is probably going into the garbage. We’ll see. I’m always experimenting.


Great insight!! Helped me to realize that I need to create the scenario of someone in a water/fire/mold situation and is totally frustrated and devastated. Not knowing what to do. Then I come in and walk them through.
Only problem is trying to figure how to portray this in still photos. Putting the thinking cap on and if you have any ideas – all ears!


Hi Derek, – I’ve been on the fence with B&A’s for a while, I’m a modern glamour/beauty photographer – my target client is a mom of (x) number of children, married, busy, and in her mid 30’s+. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to show the B&A’s of these moms and their transformations from their photoshoot, but now i see how important it is!
I’m sort of hung up on how this could translate into business promo videos though – that’s a side to my business that I’m currently starting. any ideas?? Thanks for all of the awesome videos!

Nyk Danu

Hey Derek,
Amazing what a great haircut and a nice shirt will do!
The tie might not be needed though just the haircut and nice shirt ☺️


This approach WORKS in copywriting and sales pitch too. Most of my prospects who are small business owners would definitely benefit from this idea if they implement it in their online marketing campaigns.
I’ve also noticed lots of scammy forex coaches constantly using this strategy for evil purposes too (most of the before-after testimonials are likely to be fabricated anyway).


Hi Derek,
In my industry (detox/skinny teas) there are a lot of icky before and after pictures, so I decided not to go down that road as a way of differentiating my brand and keeping things clean on my sites. I’m sure people are persuaded by other brands before and after pics, but I can’t bring myself to follow along.

As I think about this more, maybe there is a way for customers to talk about how they felt before using my tea, and then after. Not body focused but energy. hmmm…

Anyway, gave me something to think about! LMK if you have any thoughts.


Hey Derek,
Brilliant. Thank you. You’ve just helped me see how I can visualize the results I get for my clients. For corporates: before/after of their website or brochure or whatever needed creating or a do-over. For authors: draft typescript manuscript full of editing marks, changes, corrections … then printed books on the shelves of bookstores. (I know traditional book publishing is a probably a little old fashioned for you, but still.) So simple!
PS Personally I think that purple is a little too dark for you, but no doubt you are looking sharp!

Janis Meredith

I write a blog about character growth in youth sports… publishing a series called the SportsParenting Survival Guide. Not sure how the before/after would apply to me.


LOVE this! Can’t wait to implement this idea on my site to better tell the story of what I do – as a way to distinguish myself from the crowd doing similar stuff. Thank you!

Avram Gonzales


Love the way you simplified things with this video – it’s one of those ‘obvious’ things that people screw up constantly (myself included) which I now realize after watching your video.

The part that really stuck with me was #2 where you talked about controlling the story. I realized that I don’t tell people enough the reality of my situation over a year ago living in a mold-infested 2-bedroom home barely able to afford $650/month in rent while working at my dad’s dry cleaner.

I usually say (I’m paraphrasing) “Life was rough, we were living paycheck to paycheck BUT NOW 12 months later we’re living in our dream home blah blah blah”

It just doesn’t create the WOW factor that the story itself has the power to illustrate.

Now it’s time to implement 🙂

Thanks man!

Avram Gonzales

Dawn Martinello

Hey Derek!

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head for my business is to use stock images .. maybe that’s the best way?

I’m a VA but I’ve stopped taking customers. Aside from my regular client work, I help relatively new entrepreneurs come up with kick ass answers for their businesses, and I work with new and wannabe VA’s build their businesses.

Abhilekh Verma

Thanks, I would surely implement in my business website to increase sales.
I would also recommend other entrepreneurs who are in my network to watch this video.


And a perfect example as to why business owners should have a professional business portrait for their marketing. The t-shirt one is not professional and will reflect your business.

Lisa Robbin Young

As a musician, I’ve been doing this with some “behind the scenes” vids in my rehearsal studio. They get to see what I’m doing that leads up to the final song release, then they get to hear the recording once it’s complete. It’s been a fun way to showcase my 300 Songs project.

    Derek Halpern

    Great way of doing the before and after!

D. Schmidt

we all need a frame of reference to understand people best.

    Derek Halpern

    You are right.

Navid Moazzez

Hey Derek,

You have definitely stepped up your style game!

This is a very interesting video and topic. I’m using this currently for challenges I’m doing for videos, fitness and other stuff both in business and my personal life. I show people the journey, of how “bad” or “not so good” I was before, and how I improve over time, and a lot of people can relate to that.

I’ll pass this video along to a few friends in my network 🙂

Keep the awesome videos coming!

– Navid


This was great. I am going to use this, however thought of it before, in my webdesign business. I always take screen shots of clients websites, and i am thinking about doing a makeover show for websites, for marketing. Love your videos and tips. Thanks.

Tim Nybo

The best part of this video was the little tidbit about controlling your buyers thoughts and not simply letting them think what they want.

    Derek Halpern



First comment!
I do acupuncture specializing in women’s health. I should use the tricks of the pharmaceutical companies. Good idea!
You clean up nice, Derek 🙂


Hey Derek! You are amazing I love your video’s and I enjoy watching each single one of them. When I first read your e-mail subject line today , (my heart stopped for a second) am like wait are you talking to me? lol as I do have a before & After section up on my website.
For sure people love that 100% and I think it plays a major role in my business.
Thanks for sharing and stay awesome 🙂


I can definitely see how it would help a lot of businesses, but I sell jewelry and art, and I’m not sure how to put a before/after spin on that …


    You shouldn’t overthink it.

    What makes people were jewelry?

    To look better, to show class, to impress people? I am not sure but what ever it is.

    Find a picture that shows that, and shows a picture with the complete opposite without jewelry.


    People often say that a piece of jewelry can make the outfit. Show people that – a plain-ish outfit vs. the wow factor of a statement piece.

    Durango CO Photographer

    You could take a photograph of someone with no jewelry and then that same person wearing our jewelry. You could take a photo of a bare wall and then a photo of that wall with some artwork. Or table, or wherever your artwork resides.


This is sort of just a visual version of your ideal testimonial, yes? The one where you ask people to tell you where they were, what made it change, and what the new bliss was like.

You said “the result of the journey is less important than the journey itself”. This is EXACTLY why we love to work with clients who work on their own business plans along /with/ us. Their transformation from fearful people with great ideas into confident new entrepreneurs happens because they work with us through the process of writing a business plan – and then they understand how to use it as a benchmarking tool to guide their growth.

I’m still not quite sure how I’d turn this into a before and after picture – although I’m sure both me and my clients would benefit from some type of current state analysis before and after our work together, and I could build that out into a nice infographic.


Great info Derek, thanks.
It’s SO true and SO easy to forget how showing results are so much more powerful than just talking about them. Thank you for the reminder.

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome. How do you plan onusing it?


      I’ll actually use it the next time I run my Eat Like a French Girl course – I can talk about it till I am blue in the face, but showing the results… OMG that’s worth EVERYTHING!

Adam Baird


I actually prefer the t-shirt and shaggy hair look…

    Derek Halpern

    Ha ha, of course. Try that look, and walk into a restaurant that’s booked for the night. And you’ll have to find another restaurant.

    Dress to the nines and walk into that same restaurant that’s booked for the night, and they’ll find a way to seat you.

    I’m laid back. But I can’t argue with the benefit of… 😉


      Look Derek if you truly believe that dressed as you do in the AFTER is what it takes to get into the most chi chi restaurant in town you are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DEAD WRONG…i wrongly was arrested and spent 7 nights in a county jail…brand new experience i would not recommed and do not plan on this happening again. Suffice to say do to tech problems took close to seven days to bail me out which should have happened in less than 4 HOURS. I wore jail house blues didnt shower or do any hygiene i finally was FREE…all i had with me was about $50 which the jail kept and gave me when i got out and also my CDL and my little daily diary with THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in it…my AX Platinum CARD NUMBER and the phone number for AX Platinum travel. I had run down the street from LA county jail screaming with joy and my side kick was some young crack addict girl who asked if i wouldnt mind giving her a lift to where i was headed which was Westwood and so we both got in taxi and she smoked and i dont smoke which is real good for they dont allow this bad habit in LA County so she was puffing away at this pizza place patio outside and i bought her a pizza and me too and a couple beers. I looked awfu and i am sure smelled worse. I went to the pay phone they HAD pay phones then hahaha and i got my little trusty daily diary and phoned the toll free number for AX Plat and told them …’I have been in a most unfortunate situation and asked for them to book me a room at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Not only did i want to be pampered but KNEW that if i had tried with Holiday Inn or some other piss pour substitute when they took a look at me they would have laughed me out the door . But I also KNEW and KNOW how the rich ARE for i WAS rich till i hit a most dismal financial reversal all my life up till ten years ago i was born with silver spoon in my mouth and money meant nothing for we all had it and did nothing and no one cared how we dressed as YOU obviously are NOT aware. I KNEW that The 4 Seasons in BH would be very nice to me with my wrinked jeans and sneakers and 7 day greasy hair and the smell…yuk…i can only imagine…no make up. So i say bye bye to the crack girl jump into a taxi for the 4 seasons and precisely as i expected. I walked up to the desk clerk looking like something the cat would not even bother bringing in and i looked him square in the eyes in well modulated voice again…i have been in a most blah blah situation i have a reservation my name is i only have my driveers licnese and my AX plat number please give them a ring to confirm. All of a sudden i was treated like royalty. They could NOT have been nicer even UPGRADED ME TO A SUITE and toild me to just toss my clothes out the door of thed suite and they woiuld all be back all nice and clean pressed and stuff. They are USED to RICH people who are NOT conventional this is HOLLYWOOD and everywhere is Hollywood IF you got money and i had tons. The AX Platinum was plenty enough for the 4 seasons NOT some stupid outfit that all the secreataires who make min wage wear to work the female version of how you look cheap and proves nothing anymore than thesse stupid scam spam i get day in day out of the RED FERRARI and the HUGE house and the blonde bimbo with her laptop half lying in the water on some beach saying you can have this TOO for just $19.99 or whatever YAWHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHn so then i asked if they could have a car available for me to go to BH office of AX the next morning and of course Madame what time is 10 am all right for you. Of course. The bellman took me and only me up to my room and i tossed the filthy clothes out the door and took a very very long shower and washed my hair about 50 times got out they had tooth brush and nice facial stuff as they always do there at 4 seasons mind you i had never been to this particular 4 seasons and no one stoood by me certainly not my clothes hahahahahahaha or my smell. So i put on nice big white terry clothe robe and called down to room service ordered u a double Remy Martin and a pot of coffee and sat there watching the tonight show then off to sleepybyeland and you just got to get a 4 seasons bed they are the best and you CAN purchase on custom made online i have not for i move too much but they are the very best beds on earth.

      So next morning i awoke feeling nice and refreshed rested called my lawyer and then a knock at door and there were my clothes and nice and clean with my black windbreaker and my hair good no make up but not bad anyway so then off to the Beverly Hills AX store got a new AX Plat card within half an hour and went picked up my car which was not a problem and picked up all the stuff the pigs had held of mine so back to 4 Seasons nice nap….and stayed that night as well…had a wonderful time and NEVER needed to DRESS for SUCCESS so this is fact might write a kindle on this little vignette of my mad cap life but this is good start. So listen DEREK u do NOT need to dress like a shoe salesman at Pennys it wont get you anywhere u doing your people big disservice i should start my own how to succeed blog but i too busy having strange happenings. Last night the pipes in my flat busted and flooded and even toilet so i am now sitting in lobby of this hotel in Munich and will be here for a few days till they clean up the turds floating in todays version of Noah and the flood that happened to me. Tired now it is after mid night here. I go to bed now good night all or enjoy your evening. Bye Byte. JET:)

Simon Green

Derek, as a web developer and aspiring business video creator, I can see how before and after for something that is visually rich (like websites, video) etc – would work perfectly.

I also think the vulnerability of the before picture creates trust really fast.

The idea of contrasting frustration/failure next to ease/success is a very, very good idea.

Thanks for the video, and good luck next time with the wasabi.

    Alejandra Ruani

    LoL I just think it’s the tie! the power of the tie…!

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