How the right professional headshot can improve your image
What does your Headshot say about you?
Whether you are a professional in the the corporate world, an entrepreneur with a start-up, or a job-hunter looking to land a new position, you need to convey the right image with the right headshot.
You are your Brand
These days, it’s so important that your professional image represents you and your brand. You are your brand, regardless of what role you play in your professional life. So when getting a headshot, it’s good to know what kind of image you want to convey and what your key personality traits are in business. A talented photographer can pull your best qualities (and expression) out of you with the right headshot.
Why you need a Professional LinkedIn Profile
No matter how long you have been in the professional work force, you need a LinkedIn account, and one that is up to date with your current position, and with a current profile photo, too! I am amazed at how many poor profile photos I see out on LinkedIn… some are selfies, others are vacation photos (and you’re in a way too casual clothes!). Unfortunately, none of those photos are going to work to your advantage. You need a sharp-looking, professionally-taken portrait of yourself. And one that’s up to date, too!
Why you need LinkedIn to get hired
A polished resume is key to landing a new job, but don’t ever overlook the power of your LinkedIn account on landing that next job! A fully functional Linked In profile is like having a resume on steroids. Fill it with keyword-rich language that will attract and delight your next employer. And most importantly, you need to have an amazing professional headshot! You need a crisp, clean, honest portrait of yourself. A profile photo that tells the employer that you care enough about landing this job that you took the time to have a professional photo taken. That alone tells the viewer that you take things seriously.
Why you need an effective About Us page
You’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner. You’re probably so busy working on the business and getting that new company website launched to highlight all your fabulous products and services… that you forgot to pay any attention to the About Us page. If you have one, it’s likely filled with an uninspired paragraph about where you came from along with a terribly dull list of accolades. But does it speak about who YOU are, really? Does that page inspire someone to actually do business with you? A professional photograph or headshot that announces who you in a split second is so necessary to help you stand out over your competition.
Does your Website convey the right message about you?
When you go pull up the About Us page on your company website, consider for a moment if you would want to do business with your company? What does the page say about why you do what you do, and how committed you are to serving your ideal client. Take a look at the photos of your key team members… do you all reallylook like a team? Ask yourself, if you all look like you belong to the same place… or are the photos a jumble of mis-matched photos from here and there. I’m guessing that if you have any photos at all, most were taken hastily against a plain wall down the hallway. Just having a flashy new website is not enough to convert a prospect into a client. It takes a personal touch. People like to do business with people they like, and trust.
What does your Business Card say about you?
If you’re a working professional in the business of selling real estate, mostly likely, you carry a set of business cards with your photo on it. And if you’ve been in the business for more than a few years, I’ll guess that you have an outdated photo that you can’t bear to let go of, mostly because you dread the thought of having a new photo taken. But honestly ask yourself…. do you even look like that photo anymore? Will your clients be able to recognize you by the photo on your current card? If not, it’s definitely time to update your photo!
Your Dating Profile Photo Does it show your best qualities?
Most profile photos on dating websites like Match and Chemistry have photos taken in a bathroom mirror with a cell phone. Not ideal if you plan on attracting the right person. Most other shots are blurry, have your sunglasses on, or aren’t the most favorable to show off your best image. A few lucky shots from a recent wedding get used.. y’know the ones where you have your arm around your cousin and they have been cropped out. If you want to stand out and be seen, there’s nothing like a dynamite portrait to place you in the best light.
Your Excuses …why you have put off that new headshot for too long
I hate having my picture taken.
I look so much older now.
I get nervous in front of the camera.
I need to lose 10 pounds.
We get it. It’s hard to cowboy up and make the move to get an updated headshot. All of your excuses to avoid getting that updated headshot may feel valid, but they also may be coming at a cost to you. To your career, your business, your brand, your life. It’s time to recognize that we live in a world of social media and in a world where we all google everything. Nowadays we need to be transparent in business. Staying current as well as being true to yourself with an honest, authentic portrait of yourself will bring you great rewards. Getting an updated headshot does not have to be painful, if you choose the right person to bring out your best qualities.
What’s your image?
For your new profile photo, ask yourself: do you want to look smart? powerful? approachable? eager to do business? Do you want to look younger and more hip? Maybe your last portrait made you look too corporate, like a stuffed shirt, and didn’t match your personality. For those of you who are newer to the work force, there are times that you want to look older, more mature, in order to look even more experienced in your industry. I always ask my clients what image they want to portray in a headshot. Because it can be so different for so many businesses or individuals. These are questions to ask yourself, too, when crafting the most effective headshot.
If you are in the greater Boston area, we can help.
Bobbie Bush is a Massachusetts based photographer, located north of Boston in historic Salem, MA, specializing in people portraits from corporate headshots to children and families. In 2011, Bobbie was featured on a nationally broadcast episode of MTV’s hit series Made.