People Are Already Searching You and Your Business.
Have you ever googled your name and gone into Google images? Did you like what you found? Would you like other people to see those images as a representation of you?
With the age of social media, Linkedin, websites and Instagram, photos of ourselves are everywhere. It is easier than ever to search people and brands before we ever interact with them. This makes first impressions even more important. Your image online becomes the first interaction with your business.
Solution: Get a professional headshot, because your friend using the fancy new iPhone camera won’t cut it.
Not everything is about gear, but it is important to hire a professional photographer. Make sure you see your chosen photographer’s headshot and portrait work before you book. You may find a cheap local photographer, but it may be that all they have ever photographed is club portraits on a Thursday night. Find someone who knows how to pose for portraits, light for portraits, and style for portraits. It will make a world of difference.
Below I’ve listed five reasons why you and your business will benefit from a professional headshot photographer:
1. First Impressions:
First impressions cannot be changed. Clients research businesses and brands before choosing to interact with them. If they don’t like what they see, it is unlikely they will consider you. A strong and professional photograph will create a great first impression when clients see you behind the business.
2. Puts A Face To Your Name:
You become recognisable and familiar. People are no longer viewing just your business, they are now viewing a real person. Your business is effectively personified, and you become more relatable. If you were to hire a real estate agent, and had the choice to contact an agent with a photo or one without a photo, you are more likely to contact the agent with the photo.
Being seen as a real person validates you, keeps your business up to date, and adds an additional level of communication to your target audience.
3. Shows You Are Serious About Your Career:
I see websites all the time with headshots that have been cropped from family photos or a night out with friends. Even selfies, or an image taken by a friend on a phone comes off looking incredibly sloppy and “half-done”.
When I see people who have invested in high quality professional headshots I immediately recognise that they are serious about their career and their business. If you have invested everything else into your business, there is no need to cut yourself short by using a poor image of yourself.
4. Can Be Used Across A Range Of Media:
Business is no longer just about single websites now. Businesses who aren’t on social media are seriously lagging behind from their competition. People go straight to social media to research a business, and you even have customers contacting businesses via Facebook Messenger rather than picking up the phone or sending an email.
Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram are just some resources that a headshot is helpful. This is in addition to ‘About’ pages and company profiles on websites.
Professional headshots even extend to printed media such as flyers, business cards and billboards. They can be used on your email client, across your Google Account, and when you’re featured in an article/blog/website.
5. Say Something Extra About Yourself:
What do you want to show about yourself to your target audience? Are you serious, happy and relaxed, friendly and approachable?
Headshots aren’t mug shots or cheesy family photos. They are a business tool to show you in your best light, and to communicate a little more about who you are. A strong portrait will convey more than just appearance.
So How Often Should You Refresh Your Headshots?
As a general rule, you need to stay recognisable. If your weight has fluctuated, you have a completely new haircut/colour or change to your facial hair, or have had any cosmetic work, it is best to book in for some updated shots.
Like dating profiles, nobody appreciates somebody who lies through their headshot. If you were 10 years younger in your headshot you create a sense of distrust when people finally meet you.
Every 1-2 years is pretty standard to refresh headshots if your appearance hasn’t changed in any major way. It keeps you recognisable, trustworthy, and shows your professionalism.
What Makes A Bad Headshot, and What Makes A Professional Headshot?
Headshots are important, but there are definitely a few things that you should avoid with your headshots. Als have a read about the results comparing a selfie to professional headshot here.
- Taken in bad lighting conditions.
- Have been cropped from another personal photo.
- Are a selfie.
- Taken by a colleague in the office.
- Are taken with a phone or entry level point-and-shoot camera.
- Group photos.
- Do not line up with your personal brand.
- Low quality image, not taken by a professional.
- Good lighting, exposure and technique.
- Suitable background and styling in the shot.
- Taken specifically for the purpose of being used as a business headshot.
- Show something about you and your personality.
- Are up to date
- Work well with your personal brand.
- High quality and High resolution image.
- Taken by a professional photographer.