Imagine this…

You’re scrolling YouTube for something to watch while you eat lunch.

You wanna feel like you’re being productive, so you’re hunting for a little edu-tainment:

Educational + entertaining = edu-tainment

A thumbnail catches your eye. It’s Alex Hormozi. You recognize him from a few of his Instagram Reels that have popped into your feed.

You feel like he’s a credible source of information (considering he sold his company for $100 million).

In the thumbnail, Alex is making a frightened face while looking to the right at a woman in a red dress.

The title, “How They Keep You POOR Forever” catches your attention. Then, you notice the pile of money on Alex’s left.

“Hmmm. What could this woman in a red dress have to do with staying poor forever?” you ask yourself. Your curiosity piques.

That’s the question you’re asking yourself consciously.

But it was your subconscious mind that made you zero-in on this video in the first place.

Why did Alex’s odd facial expression grab your attention? 

In today’s edition of Why We Buy, we’re taking a look at Faces – how our natural instinct to pay attention to faces makes us watch, click, and buy.

Let’s get into it…

“Top Marketing Newsletters You Need to Subscribe To”

The Psychology of Faces 🧠

Humans are a herding species.

We notice faces because we’re constantly scanning our environment for friends, foes, or people we want to f*ck mate with. (Hehe. I love alliteration so I couldn’t help myself.)

Alex Hormozi’s face may register in your mind as a friend and grabs your attention.

Knowing you’d most likely recognize Alex’s face made adding him as part of our intro story a strategic decision to inspire you to keep reading!

Even if you don’t know who Alex is, his emotion-filled expression likely piqued your curiosity. 

When our mind registers a face, we subconsciously categorize it as trustworthy (friend), not trustworthy (foe), or someone we’re attracted to (a possible mate).

The human mind loves visual cues.

We naturally look for faces — and even instinctively create them out of inanimate objects.

(This same part of your brain that activates when it sees a face also lights up when you see emojis!)

Inside Your Buyer’s Mind🧐

Your buyers are instinctively drawn toward faces, which is what makes them such a magnetizing part of advertising.

Ads and content featuring faces are 11x more likely to get noticed.

By posting selfies in personal posts, people are getting 3x more engagement and 2.5x more reach on their LinkedIn posts right now.

This is old news to Netflix. The next time you’re scrolling through Netflix trying to pick something to watch: notice how many faces are in their thumbnails.

This isn’t a funny coincidence.

By running thousands of experiments, the streaming giant figured out that:

  1. Faces showing an emotion aligned with the genre of the movie or show performed best
  2. Showing the villain over the hero performed better
  3. People react differently to faces around the world

Your buyers will notice faces in your content. But, it only takes them 40 milliseconds to come to a conclusion after looking at a face in a photo.

Make sure it’s the right conclusion.

How To Apply This 🤑

Alright, so how can we apply this right now to sell more?

Use eye gaze strategically

Using images of faces is a common strategy for advertisers because they can use the face to direct the buyer’s attention. If the face is looking left, buyers will look at what’s to the left of the face.

Use faces in your content to grab attention by strategically having them look at the buyer, gaze at a value proposition, call-to-action, or product, or depict a specific emotion.

People will naturally follow the eye gaze and are more likely to read the copy or notice the product.

Feature diverse faces in your ads and brand images

Faces are more memorable than a cool brand logo (this is why so many companies are encouraging their teams to build personal brands). We relate more to faces than we do to brands. 

Many brands put their leader in the forefront to act as a personification of the brand—think Steve Jobs or Sarah Blakely. 

When searching for faces to use in your ads, remember to feature diverse faces and body types. As Robert Cialdini points out in Presuasion, we instinctively relate more to people who are similar to us, but if you brand is homogeneous, you could unintentionally be signalling to huge groups of people that its “not for them”.

Kim Kardashian recently launched her shapewear brand Skims with the tagline, “Solutions for Every Body.”

One quick shop through the Skims website and buyers are easily going to find somebody they relate to. By focusing their campaigns on diversity (as well as backing it up with XXS to 4x sizing), the clothing line hit a $3.2 billion valuation in just three years.

Use the same profile picture across all social channels

People remember the face behind your brand. They recognize your little icon pop up in their newsfeed and instinctively look at what you’ve shared. Keep that instinct going by using the same profile picture across all of your social media channels.

Make it easy for your buyers to know they’ve found you.

Stressing about choosing the “right” profile picture? Here are a few best practices from Buffer:

  • Smile and show your teeth
  • Don’t wear sunglasses or have a shadow over your eyes
  • Use a photo where your jawline is distinct from your neck

The Short of It 💥

Faces get attention.

So use them!

Show your face, your employees, buyers, influencers, or even stock images that portray the emotion or direction you want buyers to feel or look.

Looking for new faces to share in your D2C content?

Use minisocial to get paired with a micro-influencer who can create user-generated content for you on demand or at scale.

Until next time, happy selling.



Wanna really get inside your buyer’s head?

There are a few ways I can help:
  1. Get explosive clarity about what works with buyers by learning how to conduct 1:1 Clarity Calls (2000+ happy students)
  2. *NEW* Learn how to mine online reviews from real buyers to generate ideas and copy that converts (250+ happy students)
  3. Book a 1:1 strategy call with Katelyn and get the answers you need to get unstuck and move forward with confidence

Thank you to our featured sponsors

Written By Katelyn

Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO of Customer Camp, a 4X founder, and a cheese lover. She lives by a simple mantra: whoever gets closer to the customer wins.

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