First impressions are everything. We’ve all heard this before. You only have one time to make a good one, and more often than not that first impression can set the tone for your interactions with others. Your picture is no different. If you are an entrepreneur, building a brand, searching for clients, partners, or investors, your picture is often that first impression. That’s why it is crucial to have a professional head shot in business.
A professional head shot not only sends the message that you are serious about your business, but it also shows that when it comes to business, impressions, and branding, that you don’t take them lightly. On platforms such as Linkedin (which is steadily becoming the number one place employers, entrepreneurs, and clients are searching for services), your photo is the first thing people see. LinkedIn says that profiles with head shots get viewed seven times as much as profiles without, and 92% of recruiters say that they utilize LinkedIn to hire potential candidates. Why wouldn’t you maximize your chances of being hired?
Oftentimes, you will be overlooked for a potential gig because your profile picture is not appeasing. A professional head shot will aid people in taking you and your career seriously. Taking time out of your day to see a photographer is an excellent way to show others that you take your career, brand, and business seriously. And if they were to hire or work with you, that they can expect the same level of commitment.
If you can’t take the time and initiative to seek out a photographer to create a professional headshot – which will be the face of your business, initially – then why would anyone take a chance on you with their business?
Here are a few tips:
- Make sure your image is of high quality: Make sure that when you get ready to upload your picture to your website, LinkedIn profile, or social media accounts, that you don’t lose its quality in the transition. No one wants to see a blurred, pixelated picture.
- Look inviting and happy: If you are sick or not feeling your best, it may be your best option to reschedule your shoot. Droopy eyes or dreary eyes can make you appear intoxicated or high.
- Don’t have other people in your photo: How many times have we seen a group picture on a facebook profile, only to be disappointed that the person you were looking for was not the person conversing with you? Make sure that there is no misunderstanding of who you are.
- Don’t wear sunglasses or have your hair covering your face: Your photo should be inviting and clear. Whether you want to use your head shot on your company’s website, or want to post it on your social media platforms, you are always representing your business.
- Don’t just use a digital camera or your smartphone: Why? Well, because it makes you look unprofessional, unprepared, and cheap. People are investing their hard earned money with you. They will not invest if you can’t invest in yourself.
- Hire a professional photographer and makeup artist (and stylist if necessary): A good photographer is worth his or her weight in gold. They have studied the art of photography and will know how to position you, understand the correct lighting, and know how to edit your pictures appropriately. Stay away from jewelry; it can be distracting. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle free. Also, be sure not to wear clothes that are bulky or over sized. Having the right fit is important and appears more professional.
- Every time you change your appearance you need a new head shot: The most important reason for having a head shot is so that people recognize you when they meet you. You are the face of your brand. Doesn’t it make your cringe in confusion when you see someone in person and they look nothing like their picture? You should update your head shot whenever your appearance changes. If you change your hair color, lose or gain weight, get a haircut, or make any other significant change, then your picture needs an update.
- Choose at least two looks to be photographed in: Pick a colorful jacket, shirt, or tie. Avoid black or white. Choose a color that complements your eyes and skin tone. Be careful with patterns, as they may be distracting and date your photo.
If you are booked for a speaking engagement, TV or radio show, or magazine, they may ask that you send over a professional headshot and bio. Don’t be caught with your pants down. If you do not send over a professional headshot, you might be booted. This is damaging to your brand and you may never recover from it. In addition to getting that perfect headshot, you may also want to consider having full body shots available. Make these photos fun and make sure that they showcase your personality. Often when magazines, radio, or television shows do feature articles, they request photos other than headshots.
Professional head shots are important to your business and brand. You want to make sure that you have the right look and that you are representing your business in the best light. Don’t lose the opportunity to land your ideal client because you are lacking an excellent head shot!
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