Your Headshot - Why & How?

June 03, 2019

WHY HEADSHOTS?

A professionally created headshot for use on social media, websites, online directories and in print is the very most important thing you can do to increase business, grow your network, and increase your profitability.

Chances are high that a person will research you by doing a Google search before they meet you for business or for a job interview. Potential customers and connections aren’t just researching ‘what’ you do. They are just as interested in ‘who’ you are.

People want to see a photo of the person with whom they’re doing business. Whether on your company’s website, or on your social media pages, you are always representing your personal brand and business. 

A quality professional headshot will help gain confidence in your business and make your clients and connections more willing to deal with you; they start to feel a trust in you that can’t be conveyed with just words, and that gives you a great place to start.

A professional portrait on your “about us” page gives your business a personal touch. When you include a portrait on your website, your business becomes more personal, making it look more human.

 

First Impressions

Most business is done online these days.  With the click of a mouse or the swipe on a phone, people make instant judgments and decisions. It is essential that you have a headshot that makes you stand out and above the crowd and noise. 

The reality is that we are all judged and perceived by the way we look. When it comes to professional situations — business deals, job interviews, making connections, and networking — we have a very short amount of time to make a good first impression. Good first impressions make for lasting impressions.

 

If you want to be treated like a professional,
you must look like a professional.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to always appear professional, both in-person and online. While most career-driven people understand the importance of business professional attire in-person, many fail to present that same professionalism online — the very first place, or next place, most professional contacts will see you!

 

Branding

Branding is much more than just a catchy logo or tagline. Your face is your company brand. You are the face of your business. That’s why having a professional headshot is so essential.

Headshots are an important branding component to professionally represent an individual or a company. A positive profile on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ is an absolute necessity.

The expectation on photos is greater than ever. Now is not the time to not have a photo on any social or business platform. Research shows that social media profiles with photos are reviewed seven times more often than those without pictures.

A professional headshot shows you take social media seriously with a level of professionalism; it shows you do social media well.

Including a professional photo on your social media accounts allows people to put a face to a name, making you more likely to stay top-of-mind and memorable.

 

BAD HEADSHOTS

Are you using a photo from 10 years ago?  There’s nothing worse than providing a photo taken from your recent trip with your spouse cropped out. It will look home-made.  It'll look unprofessional, and it'll make you look cheap.

Would you want a client to see an amateurish image of you online? What does that say about you and your business? This doesn’t establish you as a professional person who is serious about their business. You could be losing out on career and personal opportunities. In less than one second you can lose the customer or miss the connection. 

Amateur headshots are pretty obvious. Anyone who’s tried to use a personal image or attempted to take their corporate portrait themselves are well aware that they just don’t come out well.

Taking a photo with your phone’s camera just doesn’t cut it. As important as a professional headshot is to landing a job, new client, or connection, many adults still rely on the poor quality cell phone photos they ask their friends to take. 

Is your picture in focus? Does the picture show you in your best light? Do you look professional? Do the colors and environment fit your brand? Lighting, posing, background, the right angles, and clarity are key to having a good headshot.

If your headshot isn't professional, it doesn't inspire confidence in you, it doesn't help people trust you.  You send mixed signals if your business is professional and has professional standards, and your headshot doesn't.

 

GOOD HEADSHOTS

The important thing is that you look like the person in the picture. Clients and new friends find out what you look like when they meet you, so don't surprise them by providing them with something that sets up improper expectations.

You’ll make recruiters, potential employers, and important contacts take a closer look if you’re sharing a photo that’s high-res and visually pleasing. 

A good headshot makes you stand out from the crowd!

In this fast-paced, digital world, people are often too busy to read more than a few lines of text. A good headshot is your best chance to make an instant, and positive, first impression. Don’t waste it. 

 

A Good Headshot:

·         Is well Lit. The light is flattering without being too dark, washed out, or creating “raccoon eyes”

·         The pose is flattering and matches your personality while creating the desired impression.

·         The background should be exactly that, the background. YOU should be the center of attention.

·         Your face should be large enough in the image to be instantly recognizable in the smallest of social media profiles.

·         It should be flattering and make you look your very best.

·         It should be not be blurry, but in focus, clear, and sharp.

·         The colors should be accurate. You should not be blue, green, red, yellow, or purple.

·         The color scheme should be in harmony.

·         It should be effective in presenting the image, personality, and impression you want to portray.

 

WHY A PROFESSIONAL?

Making an investment in a professional photo shows that you take yourself and your career seriously; few things are more appealing to a professional contact than that. Give your headshot the attention it deserves.

A professionally taken headshot shows people that you care about the details and how you appear to others.  It doesn't look cheap, it looks professional, captures you in a positive light, and creates a good first impression. 

You can’t have a professional head shot without going to a professional photographer.

You invest in a photographer for their ability to use expensive equipment that creates quality images.  You invest in a photographer for their expertise in the way they position you, the things they can say to you in conversation to evoke expressions which make you look approachable, friendly, yet professional.  Those looking at your headshot should be able to discern the kind of person you are simply by taking a glance at the photo.

A good professional photographer is worth their weight in gold.

A well photographed headshot is a show stopper.

 

STAYING CURRENT

Keep your headshot updated and current. There may come a time when you need to meet your clients. An important reason to update your brand photos is to make sure people recognize you when they meet you in person. A photo that doesn't resemble you could confuse people, or even put them off.

Your headshot should look like you! Regarding your age, it’s best to be honest. You don’t want to mislead your customers. Rather than using an old photo of yourself when you were younger, get a headshot that depicts what you look like now, on your best of days. 

Update your headshots when your appearance changes. If you’ve lost a lot of weight or have had cosmetic dental work done to improve your look, have a professional photographer take a new one.

Consistency is key in creating trust, and recognition. Locate everywhere that you've used your old headshots and replace them! It's important that you change it everywhere you have a presence online; that means every online account.

A professional, consistent approach across your active channels will vastly improve your networking efforts.

This could also be useful for networking. You might be surprised when someone recognizes you from your headshot picture and approaches you to give you praise or to network.

 

THE RESULT OF A GOOD HEADSHOT

Give people a reason to want to know, like, trust, and do business with you.

A headshot that differentiates you and makes YOU STAND OUT in the crowded marketplace.

Even if you're not in business, if you're on the job market, it can make a massive difference to whether people pick up the phone to talk to you, or send you that email that could mean a very lucrative opportunity for you.

A professionally taken headshot is vital! 

A great headshot or portrait is the very best investment you can make in your brand, your business, and your social life. One great connection made because of the impression you made could be the catalyst for that:

·         Big sale

·         New long-term contract

·         Corporate merger

·         New job

·         Career change

·         Life-long relationship

The potential and possibilities are literally limitless!

 

DON’T PROCRASTINATE!    DO IT NOW!!

Written by Bill Sargent, CPP, of Photos Limited and Milwaukee Headshots

©Bill Sargent, Photos Limited, Milwaukee Headshots

 

"Let's Talk" a blog about Art, Photography, Portraits, People, Excellence, Vision, and Creativity

by Bill Sargent, CPP, of Photos Limited - Milwaukee Wisconsin 53214


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