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How images convince people you're not lying (and 3 tactics for using it online)
Last Updated September 27th, 2012

When you’re selling ANYTHING, people must believe what you’re telling them.

Want venture capital? Need a promotion? Selling stuff?

In all cases, your success depends on your ability to make a key player TRUST what you say.

Question is how can you ENGINEER that trust?

First, be truthful πŸ™‚ That said, there’s some new research that suggests all you need is an image. ANY image.

How Images Make People Believe You

Now I’ve got a little challenge for you…

Leave a comment and share how you think this new insight applies to the “real world.”

In the video,I shared an example using lawyers and presenters, but I’d love to see how else this may be applicable.

P.S. I can’t say I’m surprised about this… we’ve long known that images can increase (or destroy) conversions.

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194 comments Leave a comment
Shawn Dady

OMG. Another huge long comment section. I’ve never seen anything like this, Derek.

So to answer your question the video, I plan to change my website of it and put a picture next to testimonials. I also plan to make claims on my images, and not just put the images with tiny claims under them. That’s what I have now. I think it will change that. Thanks so much.

Mario M.

Ahah! You’re awesome. Thanks


Oh my goodness. You’re absolutely right – just had not thought about it much. Guess what I’m doing today… re-doing my home.

Yes, you have my attention. I’m filling out the form for the updates.


Hey Derek, thanks for another awesome advice. I was wondering, instead of photos, would icons like the “thumbs up” from Facebook achieve the same result?

Gary Foster

Outstanding advice – just off to get my ‘download freeby’ audio created in graphic form for my sign up box – thanks Derek …

Laura Campbell

Great advice Derek- but you’ll need to walk your talk now & add images to your claims! πŸ˜‰ This was just what i needed to hear- I am writing a book and my editor removed the images – made the whole book a bit boring for me – pics are soooooooooo going back in now! thanks -keep on rocking- and more of the funky animations please – love the out takes too!


Great suggestion.

Put it into action by adding a small photo of me in my sidebar sign up. Already seeing an increase in sign ups!

Thanks Derek.




As usual, right on the money. I love how you present what research suggests, then application case study and finally how we can apply it in our own business. Awesomeness.

In most of my posts, I have an image or a video but I had not thought about the opt-in web-part. I like that idea!

Thank you, as always, for great content!


Mary Catherine George

Derek – OH so timely!! I am in the process of writing an e-book and this information is critical for what I want to share. Thanks for bringing research hot off of the journal pages..

Gary Bloomer

… and not just any old images: images with captions … AND, captions that tell a miniature story; captions that relate to the written content, and captions in which you can also place relevant links.

Andrew Martin

w00t! Derek’s gone CGI… and the affects are more believable than those from Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring.

Great article and video, love the examples as that’s really going to help it hit home. I’ll be sharing this with my colleagues.

Thanks once again!


Thanks Derek! It was on point. I recently conducted training with the focus being on adding visual content to everything. Now I can back it up with your video for future.


Thanks for this video!

Similarly to Jason (screenshots of video in emails), I’ve found that a posting a screenshot of a blog post on our FB page along with the link earns many more clicks than the link preview alone. If the content in the screenshot looks clean and engaging, people are likely to click on a “blind” link.

Kshitij Jain

Really images play a very important role for expressing what are you saying and whether it is believable or not. Thanks for publishing this post.

Veronica Varos

This is amazing and so true! While watching this, I had flashbacks of reading guides for various things and always thinking the people who included photos knew more about what they were talking about than those you didn’t. I never put the two-and-two together until now, though.

Thank you!

Heather K

Actually, this ties right in with an article that I read recently regarding how important it is to put images on commonly neglected pages, such as “pricing”, “reviews”, and “contact” pages. It backs up your information and shares other real-world examples of how to show value and reel in the “right” client, by careful blog/site design. It was the article that motivated me to completely re-design my blog structure that same day.

This article was speaking to the wedding photography world specifically, but the info applies to any field. Let me know if you would like the link. πŸ˜‰

(can you tell I just read your article on how to create an information gap haha? I can tell that I am going to be a very avid reader of yours! LOVE your site)

Ron L

This is pretty sick information. Learning little tidbits like this overtime is so useful.


Everything backed up by academic papers is welcome material like professor BJ Fogg’s work on website credibility


Images… Thanks … moving right along. love it! love you.. πŸ™‚

Rebecca rippelmeyer

Hi Derek, Thanks so much for this post (and your entire blog, for that matter ;)) This post was so motivational to me that I’ve added words to almost all of the photos on my website. It was a fair amount of work, but I’m anxious to see how it pays off. Also, I checked out one of my very successful competitors and guess what I noticed? They have captions on all their photos! Who knew?? Thanks again!

John Corcoran

I know you’re not, but each time I look at your picture above, I can’t help thinking I’m being given a profane gesture. You look kinda like DeNiro or Joe Peschi in Goodfellas. ; )

Ambassador Bruny

Another great video! I’m going to add an image to the pop-up on my page. Thanks Derek. Love the energy and the content.

Keep up the great work man.

Your Ambassador,
Ambassador Bruny


Ok, this is pretty darn cool and has my brain ticking! Officially a socialtriggers.com fan. First visit to the site, two posts in, and very impressed with the value. Just when I thought I’d become inundated with content that was more of the same said in slightly different words.

Great work Derek!

Lian Havro

I believe in images creating more interests. A personal photo or video can add validation to what is being said. Thank you for sharing your wit.


Hey Derek GREAT TIP! I have added the owner of the company’s picture next to the contact & Opt-out section of our emails. His “friends” had some crude comments at first but it told us they were reading to email to the end. I did this before I received this email because YOU always use a pic in your newsletters. and he’s just as …… oh never mind πŸ™‚ THANKS

Divine Yoganista

Makes a tone of sense.
Love it: thanks Derek.

Thomas Joe Akins

Hey Derek, I just found this website from “Scribe Testimonials” You just hit me over the head with this one! I recently started a blog about “My Online Marketing Journey” and the current blog template does not show thumbnails of the photos I post…only shows up when you click the link. It’s all about to change because of this message! Thanks for the info!


I’ve seen a few of your video’s now and each time I do, I feel like a light bulb flashed up in my mind and that I can really implement these tips into my work.

The majority of my sales are made via email, so I’ll be adding images in my emails from this moment on!

Thank you so much! πŸ™‚


Great video! I almost didn’t click on it if it wasn’t for the image. You’re advice could not be more accurate. I’m in the process of updating my website and the pictures I added to my blog made them more user friendly. A comment was made the instance it was published.


Hi Derek,

A great post and nice to confirm I’m on track. One of my clients is a publisher and I handle his advertising sales. He got hold of one of my PowerPoint proposals that included many images of our beautiful magazine covers through the years. He asked me not to send my proposals out to prospective customers anymore, but to instead send his version, which has absolutely no graphics, 100% text and numbers, and not a single visual hint about the magazine. Result? NO results! His proposals get zero reaction. Nobody even replies to them, expresses interest or tries to negotiate a better rate. Back to my highly-visual PowerPoint proposals with exciting images that confirm EXACTLY what Garage Style Magazine is about….”all things garage and the people who own them”….I’ve closed one account recently that I’ve been trying to reel in since the magazine’s inception. FOUR YEARS! It’s a very stuffy high-profile company, and the images brought them along nicely. Hungry for more, keep it up!

Monica Aparicio

Thanks so much, Derek. I am going to have create a slideshow with images showing the benefits of my services, for my new site. I enjoy the enthusiasm you have for what you do, thanks again!

Nate Myer

I just added photos to every one of our “Learning Center” articles. Your the man. Keep it up.


Wow, I use images but now I’ll be more thoughtful on the images I choose. Thanks so much. What a great idea. Thanks Derek.

I’m starting 2 new review blogs and will take this to heart.


Great content and very valuable info, Derek!
I am a new subscriber and just love the insight and value you deliver. πŸ™‚

You got a question earlier if you edited the videos yourself, where you replied that you had someone professional do that. May I ask where or how to find a person that can do this on-line?

Tone πŸ™‚


As an image-saturated style blogger… I wonder if the -opposite- would make my readers believe whatever I hash out. ;}

“I looked so amazing today in my $3k shoes…!”

Lisa Jennett Wood

Photo with testimonials… that is what I’ll create next. Love your stuff!


cool! i have a house right near Victoria University in Wellington!! that’s rad!

anyway, you (and that researcher) are right on with this. i’m a believer! i LIKED/shared, just because it’s great stuff. thanks, Derek! love your style πŸ™‚


I totally agree! Nothing worse than a long chattering email that you have to fish around to find out what they are talking about…I quickly delete those if I don’t know the person. If they are an acquaintance I’ll reply with “hey I’m running out the door, what is your question” they will usually reply with a shorter summary of their question. Now I have this video to send also if I see a “rogue email” haha. great post Derek!


    oops sorry, had both windows open, posted a comment on the wrong one. Can you write a blog post on how to get massive people commenting, wow, nice work!

Johan du Plessis

Great article and video, also very useful download – thanks!

Trisha Harner

Thanks loads for this insightful post! I am developing my website and creating my freebie for email sign up! I am a Vision Coach and Personal Growth workshop facilitator who craves more clients. I know that images create belief that anything is possible. Getting others to follow their heart’s desire is my passion and images are key to creating life! Great to hear you confirm it! Glad to have found you and I look forward to learning loads from you as I create my online presence.


    Offering something of value for free is a great way to get new subscribers, I’ve notice a huge increase since doing it and adding all the great tips on SocialTriggers! Trisha, never heard of the term vision coach, sounds interesting, what does that entail?

Urban Roo

Love incorporating customer testimonials on my product pages and I always try to include a photo of the customer with the product. I feel it gives the site a much more personal feel.


Derek – this is the best blog I have subscribed to this year.
Thank you! Hoss


Good info. I’m going to add an image to my opt-in form right now.



Brilliant video, loved it and I’ll be getting in touch to let you know the results soon.
Thank you!


Great advice and I love your video. Which software did you use to create it? We want to create more videos here at IXACT Contact..

Shameer Shah

Enthusiastically animated video Derek! Love it.

Images work their charm with recommendations. If you’ve got any testimonials or recommendations on your website or blog, having an image preferably a portrait of the person giving the recommendation works wonders. It strengthens the recommendation and brings validity to the claim.

Pat Bloomfield

Great video Derek!

I use images on every blog post. But after seeing this, I’m leaving out images in vital places such as, guarantee statements and form pages.

I’ll definitely be re-visiting this πŸ™‚


Caroline J

Derek – you are definitely growing on me πŸ˜‰
I’m a Psychometric Profiler, so I definitely understand where you are coming from in your teachings.
Another example of proof with images (albeit negatively) is showing the effects of smoking?
Anyway, am off to put a video camera on my optin box.
Caroline πŸ™‚


Just watched the video again and was able to pick up a few more tips I didn’t catch last time….this video is filled with great info! Thanks for posting, I’ll be adding some new images to my blog this week.

Michael Check

Just started posting CraigsList ads/ They’re sort of generic regarding REO properties in the area. Funny how the responding callers always ask for information about the two story one or the this one or that one. It’s always about the pictures. This has been true for a long time as evidenced in the success of the little real estate magazines at the store or restaurant. People pick ’em up partly because they like pretty pictures of pretty homes.


Hey Derek great stuff. How about all new insights for me! Definitely getting pics up for testimonials and big points on my latest programs copy. Thanks!


Awesome…..Awesome…..Awesome. Thank you.

Rocky Starks

Good content…You pay attention to the little things. I am with the Better Business Bureau. Many agents must articulate the importance of the Dynamic Seal that is used on Accredited business websites.

This is plain insight that can be used to consult with business owners with. I will forward the video to many people. Thanks. Take care.

J. Delancy

I started using images on each blog post months ago but didn’t know the importance of image placement until I heard your podcast with Carol Tice and got your perfect blog post template.
Here is an interesting question, does imagery in language have more power than regular speech? For example, is “the dog ran through the bush” have any different effect than, “The large German Shepherd tore through the bushes!” ?

Michael Belk

I have always believed images enhance what you are saying but as you always do you deeper into our mental beliefs and discover why we do the things we do.

Great video rel professional.


I have the same question as Susan Giurleo — does a relevant image work better than an irrelevant image? What about a graphic or clip art? what impact there? This has made me very curious about this issue.

Jennifer Nervo

Love it! I run a blog focused on healing food allergies and other chronic illnesses through real food. Having readers believe claims like animal fats are good for you and that grains are not is a super important part of getting them healthy. Thanks for giving me some ideas to add extra oomph to the important points!

Debi Slinger

Derek, another great video. You’re doing an awesome job of filling in the gaps.
When I add an image to a page, I get a massive increase in traffic and as my business is quite visual – Decluttering your head, heart and home – it stands to reason that this is a great lesson.
Keep up the good work.

Chris Potter

This video jogged my memory about a post where 37Signals did some A/B testing of the site for Highrise.

They tested the standard version of the site against a version that looked like a long-form sales letter, and a version where the background of the page was a real picture of one of their customers and their testimonial as the lead text that explained the product.

The version with the large picture of the customer increased conversion by 102.5% (and this is on a site that most likely had a relatively high conversion rate to begin with). The whole series of posts on this is well worth a read.



Dude! Just watched all three of your videos… Loved them all. haha

Consider this comment as me “Slamming the LIKE button” (from the last video haha)

I’ve known about your blog for a while ever since I bought Thesis Theme… But didn’t really come here too often, until you just started doing this “shows”

Can’t wait to see the next one. Nice work bro. Nice work!

Conny Loonstra

Awesome video; I’m definitely going to implement this!!!

Jen Gresham

Great video, Derek, which leads me to two questions:

– I’m a coach specializing in career change, and getting people to publicly give testimonials can be tough until they’ve transitioned to the new job. So I have a few video testimonials from those who have transitioned, but many more from people who don’t yet want their identity known. Am I doomed to not have visuals for these other testimonials? Or do I just focus on the video testimonials that I have, and use the others as back-up (i.e. the effect of the images of clients I do have “spills over” to the testimonials without)?

– I’ve started using videos for all my sales–no long page sales copy for this girl! They are primarily talking head videos as you do here (and a la Brendon Buchard). Is that enough, or do I need another image on screen when making claims like product benefits?

Thanks for distilling this down to such actionable content. Love it!

John Lee Dumas

Derek, I offer $50 cash giveaway to one lucky email subscriber every week. Should I put an image of a $50 bill or a plie of cash below the header? Is that even legal? What do you recommend?

Terry McNeal

Great tip Derek. I’m revamping my website and will add an image for my opt-in. Thanks.

Kevin Rape

I’ve used pics on sales pages on the web and sometimes in testimonials and I agree that it can dramatically effect sales and believability one way or another. I appreciate the research you do and citing your sources, it’s something that I’ve started doing too. I’ll be adding more images in key places now.

Jacine Greenwood

Awesome article. I went and searched for the research only to find you had a link to it down at the bottom πŸ™‚

How to apply this in busines….well I am thinking with posters making a claim with the picture rather than having just a picture with a brand logo on it.

Coffee places could have a picture of a mug filled with coffee with a smiley face in the froth. Again the assumption that it is good.

Having a picture of your ingredients next to the ingredients giving a sense of being completely natural. Even though it is the image reinforces it.

The combinations of use are pretty much unlimited.

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

I figured that would be the case for testimonials as people would be able to connect with that person more. However, I never knew that even a decorative picture could help people believe you more. Awesome tip!



I am a huge fan of consumer behaviour which is all about integrating psychology and marketing. I am glad I came across your blog. Great tips man πŸ™‚


Hi Derek. Great video. I had never thought of having pictures of happy clients next to testimonials…isnΒ΄t it weird to ask for those to the client? Like, Hey! Please tell us about your experience with us but please, donΒ΄t forget to add your little picture! Hmmmh.

Mike Abernathy

Thanks for the new information.

Im going to use this knowledge of people and images. With a picture of me holding my free ebook cover that I will be giving away for subscribing.

Andrew Cordova

Dang! I like how you back up everything with real research. I’ve always included images on my squeeze pages but never really knew why it converted better, now I know why. I’ll definitely be incorporating more images in my content. Thanks for creating awesome content for free.


Great video Derek! It kinda goes along with that old saying “believe nothing of what I hear and only half of what I see” -E.A. Poe (I believe)


I’ve heard other people say that blog posts need images. But you’re the first one to ever say why. It’s a crazy simple tip. So the first thing I did after I saw this video was to add an image to my welcome page. I’m hoping the greater believability will result in more sign-ups. Thanks for the tip!

Mark Graham

I am pretty darn happy I’ve found your site Derek!

I don’t consider myself a newbie, but I do consider myself a student of your work and a slowly, but surely reformed (in the process of) inadequate content creator. I’m promoting your site and your information to those that I am teaching some basic methods to and believe that this information will put new marketers and bloggers on the right track.

Once again you have created another powerful presentation. I will be creating some content and squeeze pages over the next few days and will be placing images around the information as you and Erin Newman have suggested. Thanks!


Great video this week. What impact does quoting scientific facts have on convincing people what you are saying is true? I love how you do your research on each topic and I simply just believe what you are saying and never look up the studies that you talk about. For me it makes it more believable but you really could be quoting fake studies (not that I think you are doing this). Just thought it was an interesting point of discussion.


Hi Derek,
Great information, I am going to start making sure I always use this strategy. Love what you do and the valuable information you share.



As always, your information touches on what I’m working on just now.

Yesterday I decided to include some testimonials on my subscription site sales page. I don’t have pictures of the clients so, instead, I’m going to put images of the products they’re talking about.

Don’t even think of stopping this video series! Thanks, Maria


Hi Derek, excellent information. Funny enough I’m already putting images in my posts to enhance the transparency of my articles or paragraphs. However these images are used in a broader spectrum (I mean they’re not as focused as in your method). So it’s great that suddenly Mr. Derek is stopping by and giving me this additional (needed) information. Keep in touch, Hans


Makes so much sense but would never have thought of it – thanks for the video!

So can it be any image at all – or does it only work if it’s an image of whatever you’re making the claim about?


Hey Derek!

You are right, smart and emotion provoking images increase conversion rates on product pages but real video testimonials is the best strategy ever.

Great video btw.

All the best,

Nathan Richer

Derek… this is awesome!

I was actually taking a break from working on my presentation for a client of mine (interestingly enough it is a Blogging 101 presentation).

After watching your video, I had to go back and add a few more photos into some key slides.

Thanks for the awesome info.


P.S. Your videos are unbelievably good. I can’t wait for the next one.


Hey Derek!
You make *Great* videos and I’ll do my bit to share them.

Its great how you make us understand the relation b/w marketing & psychology!

David Chin

Solid, solid video.

99% of my blog posts in the past are 100% text-centric.

From now on, I’ll make sure to include an image or two.

Thanks Derek!


Love this simple idea.Shared!
Thank you

Richard Bankert

Just started watching your videos this past week and have really been enjoying them. Keep them coming. I appreciate this tip on images.

It is also easier to read articles online when there are images in them. I wonder why that is different from a standard book that I can just absorb??? Maybe we have shorter attention spans online πŸ™‚ Sorry just rambling.

Geoffrey Gordon

Hi Derek

I agree with many who have commented, your video’s just keep getting better and better. I have to ask you how you created the effects in your videos. Which programs did you use or is this a product created by James Wedmore?

Lastly when using images which is more believable an image or a well designed graphic?

Michael Robert Powell

Greetings from China … Excellent as usual. As an extreme nomad – artist- photographer, I know the need for images with words and indeed, words with images.

PS: … a study from NEW ZEALAND: Victoria University of Wellington, I graduated from there a couple of decades ago to then hit the road as a nomad across the planet, since 1988

Jacqui Olliver - Relations Strategist

Hi Derek, your insights are great – but how about when you are dealing with a very delicate subject (ie ending sexual problems?) I receive GREAT testimonials; but clients prefer their first names only to be used and don’t want to have their photos associated with these problems.

Here’s my testimonial page – I appreciate your insights on the next best thing I could do πŸ™‚


    Katharine Trauger

    Perhaps not faces, and certainly not many procedures, but could you photo pursed lips, as in a kiss, as a cue for “this works”; and a stuck-0ut tongue for the opposite? Just a photo. Not necessarily of people or even of product. A smiling cat could indicate a happy woman . . .


Thanks for providing the research Derick! I know this works, now there is research to back it up. Thanks for sharing!

Rose Marie James

The visuals are excellent on sales pages and opt-in pages. Like you said, having the image of the hard copy product even if it’s digital gives some weight to the intangible aspect of digital products.

I also noticed you added plenty of images throughout the video to “back up” your claims. Great touch!


I always enjoy your enthusiastic videos…..you Derek, know how to engage people. When a person looks you in the eye you’re more inclined to trust.
Don’t they say that if you have a sign up form and have a photo of someone looking at it, visitors are more inclined to follow the way the eyes are looking?

Rose Marie James

Hi Derek,

You have made me a deeper fan. I was just cleaning out my mailbox unsubscribing from everything in sight when I opened your email and not only was compelled to not unsubscribe but I had to stop in my tracks out of curiosity for the answer to your question, “How to convince people you’re telling the truth.” The final nudge to stop what I was doing and watch the video was the link, “find out more in this SHORT video.”

Thanks for your clear marketing and setting a great example for the rest of us.

~Rose Marie James
Concert Pianist & Piano Teacher

Susan Giurleo

Did the research show ANY image made the difference , or an image related to the content? You mention in your comments any image works, yet the examples you show are images that relate to the content. Did the research test random images and come up with a significant result? A picture of a jack-o-lantern when trying to convince a jury of tire safety won’t really engender believability I’m thinking…but that would be fun to test : ).

Marilyn Kay

We’re on the same page, Derek. My new website has images with all my content. Great video and I’m sharing it.


I recently did some split testing for a squeeze page where I placed my own photo on a page and not on the other. All the rest was text and the same.
The page with my face converted more optins. I must be all awesomeness. ;>

P. S. I still want a search function on your website so I can find stuff I want to share. Like this one.


Derek, Your Videos are Fantastic. I adore your Charisma, its really cool to see you in action rather than just read your words. I’m organising pictures now! =)

Stephanie Campanella

Derek! I love this!!! I have been doing this in the past, and it’s always on the do to list for my proposals, but now it’s a must! As it’s got science behind it!!!

Gotta love science!


SL Clark

Derek, for the most part, I *can not stand* videos. I find Youtube to be a vast wasteland -BUT- I will make some exceptions, yours and TED.com come to mind.

I’m in the middle of licensing some of the images for our new website. This is inexpensive and much less hassle than creating in-house. Steve Jobs had Keynote created as a personal tool because he knew how powerful imagery is to secure a sales point.

st. mars

I am an artist & this makes me happy…. I love propaganda & love experimenting with it … examples at our Election Flickr http://www.flickr.com/groups/2078539@N20/
Derek is my virtual Big Brother!
–pun intended


Stylist and informative – “Backed up by research, data AND personal experience!” And look at all these relevant comments as social proof. Will definitely be using more images. Thinking about info-graphics…


So intuitive. Thanks. I’ve left images off of pages sometimes, because I didn’t feel like there was enough room. I will be going back and adding them in. Especially on our pop up.

Richard Hennessy

You are my number one favourite website at the moment! Your content is gold dust…gold nuggets…. nah …. GOLD BARS! I love psychology (kinda goes with being a hypnotherapist) and it is fantastic to know that many of the techniques I have been using the last few years have a proven psychological background (that I never even knew about!).

I think you should have called this article “3.5 ways to convince people you’re not lying” because of your mini-blooper right at the end of the video. I’m sure you know this already but by adding that bit of realism and genuine personality (and a bit of a laugh!) you made your whole message more believable because I see you more as a real guy as a result of that.

Inspirational stuff! Still can’t quite believe I’m getting all this content from you for free! You sure I didn’t subscribe to this??


The first thing that came to mind is how those photos of a person and some quote (even if it isn’t theirs) are always shared like crazy on Facebook and other social media… so I was happy to know that it is now proven!

On my end – I’m a food blogger and so I can also tell you the highly important nature of good photographs. WIth food blogs it doesn’t really matter how good your recipes are, but how great your photos are. Pioneer Woman is a great example of this – her recipes are pretty good, though I’ve seen better. She, on the other hand, markets herself extraordinarily well using her photography skills and her spunky personality and it has taken her from a simple food blogger to now a Food Network personality as well as published author.

Something I hadn’t thought about before is to actually put some of my photos with a quote inside the image itself! I’m going to try that and see what happens.

Richard Anderson

When I see great stuff like this from Derek, I realise just how much more work I’ve got to do! Excellent content indeed.

Looking forward to more…


So true. When the evening news tells us that Lindsay Lohan just got arrested again, we don’t believe it. She seems such a good kid. But then they plaster her mug shot on the screen proving she’s guilty as hell.

BTW, your β€˜image’ looks great. Oh wait, I didn’t post an image with this comment … so am I telling the truth????

Great work, Derek.


Is that your stunt double in the black shirt, I almost didn’t recognize you! ha. But when you showed the purple shirt wearing Derek, I believed it was really you. πŸ™‚

Again, this is one of those things that we all kinda knew, but it is great to have research back this up. I see your friend Lewis Howes does this a lot in his Newsletters. Still keeps it simple text, not too busy and problematic for all email viewers, but enough to get clicks.

Along this line, one of my best conversion techniques in Emails is to do a screen grab of my video embed, you know, the one with the red arrow in the middle, and add this next to my articles as an image. It converts like crazy. I think because people are not used to seeing video in Newsletters, but also, the video arrow is a trigger. Again assumption, no research, except my CTR numbers. Of course we cannot embed video into our newsletters, but people see it as a video and this gets people to the site!

Thanks again Derek. As always, you rock!

Paul Haarman

Hi Derek,

Your new video room really does the job (and you yourself of course). What you’re telling is right on the spot. From my experience there is one image that beats all others and that is the picture of yourself. People buy from people, so if you don’t know what image to use, use your own (even ugly) head. It works wonders. I even use it on ALL webpages of my website (but I’m a narcissistic person, what a difficult word by the way)and I always suggest my customers to include their own pictures or that of their employees.

Laura @MOMables @SuperGluemom

although I put images in all my posts, the images next to testimonials page is GENIUS! ok, don’t let that go to your head too much πŸ˜‰

Stanley Lee

Great contrast. So…think you’ll incorporate this into the next version of your premium training course?


Awesome material as usual Derek…also really appreciated yesterday’s replay on how to build a blog following, as I was unable to catch it the first
time around.

I’ve always believed in the power of well chosen images to to improve connection with the viewer, and use this in my design, however that it increases the perception of ‘truth’ is a cool new bit of info. Like you, I love the psychology behind what makes design and marketing work effectively and actively do my own research.

Thanks again!

Tahir Khawaja

Great to find a person who’s not a social media ****. I linked your video all over the interwebs, just like you asked. . ….

I like case studies backed by real data.


That’s actually logic, but nobody would ever think that it works SO well.

Love your page Derek, keep it up! I’m already waiting your new video!! =)

Chris Johnson


This is the best thing I’ve seen you do, nice job, and nice “middle ground”.

One thing to note: in software sales, SHOWING SCREENS has always been full of win. We can say “welcome to ________” product, but when we SHOW SCREENS, that (and gender) are the two biggest things that produce/influence lift.

For us.

For software.

Your milage may vary

Kevin Rogers

Another great video, Derek.

I’m planning my presentation for DCX right now and I’m stoked to implement this lesson on images with what I’ve learned from the book, “Resonate” (which I also discovered here!).

Not very often one man’s blog delivers THAT much actionable content. You are the new standard.

And thank you!

Ehsan Ullah

Derek, Youtube isn’t opening here in Afghanitan, It’s banned here! Is there a way to watch the video?


I was reading something about this a few days ago and now I can’t find it! The article was about how “less can be more” and the example it gave was an A/B test of a video: In both cases, the transcript was written as slides to accompany the audio, but in one version stock photography was used as well, and the other version was just text. The text-only converted 40% better.

I don’t think this undermines your point; my hunch is that most pages would convert better with images. I do think it would be interesting to know why sometimes images actually weaken trust rather than enhance it.

Great post! Thanks!

Mark Hermann

Thanks Derek.

This was great! I have a major guest post coming up and need to create a compelling landing page. I’m going to steal the idea about “featured in” and put up my mug with the logos for newspapers, TV networks and magazines that have featured my work before.

Excellent tip!



YOUR THE MAN, i would rate this as explosive content. Great work man, You’ve made my day, and taught me somethign extremly valuable in marketing (for free) of which i have never learnt in any othe course.

Outstanding Job.

bruce lee

An expansion on this article: write a fake review/testimonial yourself. download an image from Google’s image page that’s hidden in page 20+. Yes, I know. this is as unethical as it get and its the reason why people label get rich marketing scheme a scam. I’m just shouting out ideas. this idea is not recommended. πŸ˜€

Mike Ewing

Good stuff. I’ve always believed the web is a “visual medium”. Images help cut through the clutter!

Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson

It is cool to see that this has scientific support.

For me, it often takes longer to find and prepare an image for an article than writing the article itself. Sometimes I wonder why I bother, but I’ve always believed that the images are helpful to grab people’s attention. Now we see that it helps in other ways too.

I wonder if graphical bullets and icons have the same effect as photographic images?

Thanks for sharing this great info Derek! It’s neat to see you having fun in the videos — entertaining and educating.


Really good info, thanks

Brian Kwong

Awesome stuff Derek! I know someone is just about to publish a testimonial that I wrote them so I sent them your video and my picture to help them increase the believability =)

Keep these coming! Loving them!


Daphne Dangerlove

After discovering a mysterious package with a key in it, Violet Black sets off to find the door it unlocks. Finding the door is just the beginning as she unravels her family history. Before she’s had time to

This was a great video, thank you.

It is nice to know that the time that I spend looking for great images isn’t wasted. Is there any merit to pictures of people versus pictures of things? I have used the arrow/people looking at my optin form to great success.

Based on what you just shared, I think i am going to add a happy person on my optin page! I already have an image of my free Resource Guide but this sounds like an even better idea.


Thank you so much! I love all of your info and you are just hilarious. You really crack me up and deliver solid, usable information in an entertaining manner. HURRAH! Have a happy day…. ~Chandi

Thomas Frank

This is an AWESOME post, Derek. Putting images next to claims actually makes sense when I think about it, so thanks for making me think about it!

After I watched your video, I went and made a small change to my blog’s big opt-in box πŸ™‚

Old: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9376919/Screenshots/5.png
New: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9376919/Screenshots/6.png

PS – The white background in your videos blends perfectly with your website background and makes it look like you’re just standing right on the webpage. Not sure if that’s intentional, but it looks cool πŸ˜‰

    Jeremy in Scottsdale

    Great job on taking action on the change Thomas. I noticed the white blens in also, cool effect

Stephanie @ Fairground Media

I typically run from anything with gimmick-factor, but I have to agree that the effects in the video are awesome! They do really add something here. Well done. πŸ™‚

I have always been heavy-handed with images just because they do such an awesome job of breaking up text and making information look easy to read. The longer you go without an image, the less fun the text becomes, and the more likely your visitor will wonder off away from it. It’s for that reason my e-book lovepotionebook.com has images on almost every single page. πŸ™‚

Good to know there’s an even better reason to keep doing what I’m doing. It does take more effort, after all.


I love your videos! Especially the delivery, humor and content.

When it comes to testimonials, I have a bit of a tricky situation. Due to the nature of my work (I’m a healer), when people give me great testimonials they often want to maintain their privacy so I need to use a pseudonym and cannot use a photo. Since I’m also a painter, I’m contemplating painting fun, colorful portraits to use instead. Not sure how this will work, but I plan to try it.

Any of you ever have a problem like that? What did you do?

    Katharine Trauger

    Why not picture the healing method beside the quote. An MD might picture a thermometer or stethoscope, a chiropracter might display a photo of two hand “popping” a back, etc. You could vary it according to the method used, be it salts or herbs (great photos there!) or pressure, etc.

Iris H

Great Post. You have surely managed to convince me :). This is a good lesson for travel websites like us as well who operate in commodity business on how we can convince people in a better way.

Antone Roundy

Just thought of (and implemented) a way to put this to use. Over half of my blog posts are what I call “Blog Riffs” — I borrow a brief quote from somebody else’s blog and use it as the seed for a post of my own. (ie. it’s not just “curation” — I add my own comments, thoughts, agreements, disagreements, etc.)

Up till now, I’ve displayed the quote I borrowed as just the text. But now, to bolster the power of the quote, I’m adding the author’s picture next to it…at least if they’ve got a Twitter account. For an example, click my name — I went back and added this to an old post where I quoted Stu McLaren.

If anybody would like the PHP and CSS code I use to display the images (and make sure they stay up-to-date if somebody changes the Twitter profile image), let me know.

Heidi Hafner

Excellent advice Derek! Yes, I will be adding images to my testimonials… You have awesome tips here & I’m spreading the wealth!

Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

Thanks for the tip Derek,
A very helpful, and easy to implement tip. I’ll definitely be looking at where I can add more images to drive home the point on our site and in our videos. I wonder about going beyond images to sound and video, and what that would do to conversions?

I feel I do need to mention though, that I find the whole animated “I’m holding onto an image and moving it around with my hands!” thing, really distracts me from the very useful message you’re getting accross. To me at least, it comes across as kind of cartoonish, which doesn’t happen anywhere else on Social Triggers. In contrast, if you look at other video sources people are trained to find authoritative, like the news, that the images are generally presented next to the presenter. At the very least, it might be something worth testing.

Anyway, love your stuff, and this tip is no exception. Thanks again, Derek!


Dude, sorry I am not commenting on the content.
What is the video setup that you use ?

Lester Lim

Great share Derek! I will be using images more in my emails to my customers, as well as on blogposts, etc. Killer tips as always!



I 100% plan to use testimonials on my website but ONLY when I have images. I had a feeling that I should wait until I have some users who would allow me to use their images but this video proved it.

I also plan to redesign my beta program opt in email and include images of the give aways instead of all the text.

Thanks – you rock.

Designer Rob Russo

Great stuff as usual, Derek!

I’m going to add photos next to my testimonials right now!


Fabulous video Derek – loved it! And very appropriate as I’m currently searching for the right image to use with a Facebook ad.

Luis R. Silva

Thanks Derek for such excellent information. I use images for my articles but now I have another perpective of how to use them. You rock man!

Sean Mysel

I believed the Packers intercepted the football until I saw a picture of replacement ref signalling touchdown, didn’t completely believe it…but didn’t have much of a choice.

Seriously though, in teaching golf, if I include pictures and videos of my students hitting great shots, its actually garnered great feedback and referrals.

For instance, I had one new student tell me that he loved the idea that he could see a person’s actual progress in their golf game by looking at their pictures and videos.

Good job D!


Nice work Derek!

I hate it when people say share this and the [youtube.com] share links DON’T work. I went to youtube.com to share this because I think it’s worth it and I love your stuff.

Thanks for the great content. I hope to be in one of your classes someday.

Russ Hayes

This was a great video! Thank you so much!

I intend to use info graphic images for claims and statistics! I’m sharing this page with my Facebook group so they can gain more insight!



Good lesson there, Derek.

I also learned something else.

If you mess up the audio of your video, it’s completely distracting, and people stop listening to what you’re saying and begin wondering, “what just happened there?”


    Derek Halpern

    Don’t even get me started!

    I filmed this a few weeks back, and that part of the audio was MISSING. I had to rerecord it with a different mic.

    I almost scrapped the video because of it.

      Jeremy in Scottsdale

      You patched it up well man


      lol… don’t worry. I’ve forced myself into video lately, and it’s been a lesson in patience.

      I’ve been publishing online for 5 years, and sure there are times you write something you shouldn’t, or mess up your grammar. But it’s okay, you just edit it when you notice. No big deal.

      But with video! Ah… the frustration!

      Just yesterday I was doing a launch video for my new product. I went through the whole thing, put it on the computer for editing only to discover a ghastly shadow below my neck.

      So, I got the lighting sorted, but had to stop half way through for lunch. When I went back to it to finish it, I forgot to put on one of the lights!! Did the whole thing and only noticed when I went to turn it off and so I had to do the last half all over again. And this is no 5 minute video. More like 30 minutes.

      So believe me when I say, I understand your frustration πŸ™‚

      And I’m glad you did scrap it. I learned something today.

Holiday in Kerala

Great Post. This is a good lesson for travel websites like us as well who operate in commodity business


Great new video tip format! excellent tips, it’s funny I just wrote on a similar topic on my blog today also. Keep up the great work Derek.


Wow! This information is so clear and so good and so BELIEVABLE that it seems like cheating to read Social Triggers! No really, it’s cheating. Off to add images to my statements and blow some minds.

David Foster

Great video! We use images ALL the time, and so I feel this is very true. Thanks again Derek!



You have raised the bar for online marketing videos. Great stuff.

Just look at synchronizing the compression and gain on your audio so that the audio quality is consistent throughout the video and you will be ready for prime time.

Deana Ward

Sheesh! Fantastic info and video, Derek. Thanks so much:)

Joe Cassandra

Thanks for the good stuff Derek,

I have trouble deciding what pictures to put to blogposts. You need an interesting one to get people to click, but does interesting mean more believable?

Love your new videos

    James Kirk

    Hey Joe,

    Interestingly enough, based upon what Derek talks about in this episode of SocialTriggers TV, I shouldn’t matter WHAT image you choose. Put up a pic of your dog eating your homework. BELIEVABLE!

      Joe Cassandra

      I definitely agree Pictures > No pictures, but I find it hard to believe that you just slap up a picture of a baby eating cake and you’ll get more clicks/more “believers” in your content.

      But, Derek’s point I believe is that a picture needs to be there.

      Ameena Falchetto

      That is a kinda scary take away .. Sure Derek is actually doing his own research here to see if he can incite crazy image use … Guess the next video should be about creative commons!

Louie Bernstein

Really good stuff Derek. I believe in the Like-Trust-Buy theory.

P.S. Will definitely put pictures next to the testimonials.

John Ringgold

Awesome video and message again today Derek. Keep up the great work!


Love this! Another proof of the power of visuals.

I’ve just hit 1 million visitors to my blog and I know images helped me get there! Thanks Derek!


Derek, thanks so much for this video! I just gave my 1st presentation for a networking group this week. I decided to make a hand out for them to take away and hopefully remember me by. My 1st draft was all text. It was boring. I revised into an infographic and call to action on the front and then included testimonials from other clients on the back. The beliveablility came from the Facebook captured profile photos and names next to the testimonials.
The hand out and the presentation was a success. I had a decent conversion too – all from a 10 minute presentation to a group of complete strangers.
Your video reinforced to me that this tactic works and I need to do it on a higher level to continue to receive success.

Thank you!



I like the editing and the bloopers in your videos. Solid content, I knew that I believed a claim like free ebook or video more when there was an image attached, but never knew there is a whole study about it.

    Jeremy in Scottsdale

    Ya, its interesting how digital products like ebooks seem to carry more value when there is a book image designed.

Nick Ruiz

I think a huge reason for this tactic to work so well is because we all think in pictures and images. So what it does is connect with our conscious minds in a way that is very familiar to it.

Another thing is that we remember things better when we picture them in our mind. Having them believe your fact is great, and then having them remember your fact and where it came from is also a GREAT outcome when presenting images to your people…

Nishant Srivastava

Really awesome stuff,
Same Concept works in advertisements when we use advertisements on website image ads gets more clicks compare to text link ads.

    James M.

    Exactly. Why else would Google outlaw the use of images right next, or right above/below, their adsense blocks?

    Personally, I also have a favorite position of the image, e.g. the image is to the right of the text, as opposed to the image being to the left of the text. I hope there’s an academic research being conducted on this, too. πŸ™‚

      Katharine Trauger

      Reading left to right makes us imprint the text better. The image is the hook, but the text is the reason for it, the thing we want them to remember.


My goodness Derek, these videos exude confidence, education, examples, and entertainment. You rock man. I’m definitely going to start using more pictures in my content markeing.

Brian Keith

A client has many high google ranking articles. We added a lead magnet to the sidebar.

I’m going to use what I learned in this video to add an image to the lead magnet optin to increase conversions.


Martin Wedgwood

Hi Derek,

thanks for these insighst. I used to have a cool 3D product photo to promote my online workshop but didn’t use it on my new opt-in page lately. While your video was still running I already started to change this…

Besides that, I’ve got pictures everywhere. Would be nice to know how this supports messages or decreases the trustworthyness of messages in an inflationary way.

The next thing I’ll do: get some potraits to support my testimonials.

Thanks a lot and keep it up.
Cheers, Martin πŸ™‚


Interesting video Derek! Love diving into the psychology stuff that can help make more sales πŸ™‚


This is awesome! I’m having a bit of a revamp on the company website, was considering how I could optimise the images in the slider when people arrive to the site. This just basically backed it up!

Thanks Derek


This is great advice. Can’t wait to test it out!


Why do you always seem to make a video on just what I need to hear? Thanks for the awesome video. Now I’m off to get photos from customers for the testimonials they already gave us and add them to our sales pages.

You rock, Derek!

    Jeremy in Scottsdale

    Agree! This one was goooood timing

    Derek Halpern

    I have this weird ability to read just your mind. ha ha.


      But why no text transcripts?

Brian Bennis

This is great stuff. I can testify that putting pictures alongside statements and claims really does work. And if I could, I’d add a picture to this statement to prove the point πŸ˜‰

    Antone Roundy

    Brian, you can add a picture next to your statement. Just get upload a photo of yourself to http://gravatar.com/ and associate it with the email address you used when you posted!

Gabe Johansson

These videos are getting intense! Love when you peeked over the top of the tire picture, haha!

Anyways, I have been split testing squeeze pages forever and the ones that convert best always have images of some sort. One of my highest converting pages doesn’t even have a sub headline, but the image is massive and converts at around 54% on cold traffic.

It is awesome that there’s academic research to back this up, but I like split test data even more. My other squeeze page without an image only converted at a max of 30%.

Thanks for the awesome video!
-Gabe Johansson

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome Gabe!


Another great content Derek
By the way the videos you edit by yourself ?

Thanks again for wonderful content


    Derek Halpern

    No. I have a professional do it.

Loz James

Great stuff Derek – your videos are getting very polished and are very watchable. I love the research you cite in all these pieces.

I’ve found images are very potent when used on Adwords landing pages. Cheers! Loz.

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you Loz. Glad you’re digging ’em!

Will Mitchell

Good stuff…thanks!

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      Ameena Falchetto

      Ha! So disgustingly on brand Derek (and oh so hilarious).

      On to your video … Awesome tips. Visuals are critical. We are all visual thinkers – no one dreams in words do they? But I do wonder how many people are now going to go out and use crappy stock images to support their claims … Personally I think we all have cameras so why not take a pic so your visual is yours to support your claims!

      Spot on with the testimonials … I know at least 5 people who need this.

        Katharine Trauger

        I have dreamed in words. Once. It was totally weird, and my husband took my computer away for a day. πŸ˜‰
        And that did help. Don’t need too many of those busy nights.

        Derek Halpern

        Sometimes I can’t help it.


      haha might as well been “FIRST!!” – imagery always fascinates me… I’ve always heard faces and smiles really help, but the fact that ANY image next to a claim helps is new to me!

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