I am an avid networker, I stand up at least every other week and tell my clients and my potential clients why they need to have their headshot done or redone, but its only just dawned on my I’ve never shared it on my blog.
So here it goes…. Love it or loath it a headshot is now a necessity for your business, the headshot is the new handshake, it’s your clients first introduction to you and your business and we all know how important first impressions are. Whether you’re employed or self employed, people buy from people and your potential clients want to know who they’re doing business with.
Some people may question why it’s important to have a professionally taken headshot when they have a perfectly good DSLR or Smartphone so that they can take one themselves. Selfies have there place. They are great for a night out with your girl pals and they can sit nicely on your personal Facebook page, but that’s where they must stay!
I have two sister friends of mine, both in the same industry and extremely qualified in their field, but on looking at both of their profiles on LinkedIn one of the sisters headshot had been taken professionally and the other sisters profile picture had been taken at an event looking a bit squiffy with a glass of wine in hand….this is a BIG No, No! Lets go back to that first impression again, is this the impression that you want to give?
On the other hand, you may have a fancy DSLR, a white wall and maybe you, your partner or colleague may fancy themselves as a bit of a pro. I’ve seen this situation so many times on LinkedIn and it makes me cringe. The subject is stood too close to the wall so there’s no depth to the photograph, due to the indoor lighting conditions the flash pops up and you end up with a big shadow cast across your face and on the wall behind…..sound familiar? It doesn’t capture you in the best light, at your best angle, and it certainly doesn’t capture that perfect expression. All it does is makes you look unprofessional, and as a result it makes your business look substandard.
A good headshot can make a massive difference to whether people do business with you. You don’t get second chances to make a first impression, so make sure you show yourself in your best possible light, especially when you are likely to often be “meeting” people for the first time online.
A question I get asked is when does a headshot need to be updated?
As a rule of thumb if your appearance has changed recently, if you have changed hair styles/colour or if you have lost or gained weight then your headshot needs to be updated.
We have a saying in my networking group which is know, like and trust. It really is so worthwhile building a good relationship with your photographer, give them an insight to you and you will reep the rewards in your final images. I make a point of getting to know my clients, to have a knowledge of their business, this gives me an indication of how to direct their photoshoot, whether it should be a professional serious headshot or an approachable ‘working for you’ style shoot. By the day of their shoot I have a story board waiting for them of all the shots I want to try with them, this visual also helps my clients, it puts them at ease. One thing I’ve started to ask my clients to do is to do a Pinterest board for me. This helps them to be prepared before the shoot, it can help them think about what clothes to wear, how they should wear their hair and also helps them to think about props and poses.
I also give my clients a little guide as to what works and doesn’t work. For instance I try to ask my female clients not to wear a blouse, they look lovely but can pull at the bust, I also ask them to avoid patterns, I’ve nothing against them, but it can make that profile picture date more quickly as patterns change from season to season.
All in all it really is worth paying to have your headshot done professionally. We are all experts in our own industries, a professional photographer has had the training, has the knowledge and has the equipment which will bring out the very best in your skin tones and will add that glint in your eye. As a professional I spend time with you positioning you in certain ways, I chat to you helping you feel relaxed, and finally produce a headshot which makes you look amazing, approachable, friendly, yet professional.
Please don’t put off having your headshot taken, you’re not perfect, but neither is the next person. The best thing you can do for your business is differentiate yourself from your competitors and stand out from the crowd.
If you got this far, thank you for reading!
And as always….helping you and your business make a statement without saying a word,