Remember when you first joined Facebook and uploaded a profile picture? Did you have a headshot? You probably searched your computer or your phone for a selfie or a decent enough photo you could crop others out of. It was…good enough. As you’ve advanced in your professional life you have (hopefully) graduated to a professional headshot. If not, now is the time! Continue reading to see why investing in a headshot is worth it for building your personal brand.
With social media and online searches, you are open to countless people viewing your photos and profiles. You don’t know WHO is looking at you–someone who might want to hire you, partner with you, buy from you or recommend you.
You wouldn’t want to see your photo used as a bad example like in the LinkedIn article “The Crappy Handbook of LinkedIn Profile Pics” that circulated in December of 2017.
Six reasons why investing in a professional headshot is worth it:
First impressions. Your headshot on LinkedIn, on the company website, on your business Facebook page, or even in a conference program is what people see first and an opinion is formed within seconds. Does your photo show you at a desk, skiing, playing the guitar, or hanging with friends? What does your photo say about you professionally? A professional platform like LinkedIn is where you are trying to connect with colleagues, clients, potential clients, future employers, investors, and more. Seeing a professional or intentional headshot gives the impression that you are invested in your career and future.
Paul D. McCauley – Madison Group at Morgan Stanley created by UA Creative.
Quality. Photos taken with your phone or by “a friend who has a good camera” may result in a blurry image, shadows on half your face, a distracting background, poor composition or bad exposure. It may look okay when it’s a teeny, tiny thumbnail on your phone, but as soon as you click and enlarge, it doesn’t look quite as impressive.
An example of what not to do…
Your time matters. When you are fixing the less-than-stellar photo you tried to cut corners on, you have extended the timeline to get what you want. You kick yourself for trying to cut costs since you wasted a lot of time and money. Go to the professionals! At UA Creative we have a planning meeting to discuss your needs, inspiration, clothing, poses, backgrounds and more. We have professional equipment and have the proper lighting set up which has a tremendous impact on the feel of the image. The photo shoot at our studio or another location does not take long. (More time is spent in the planning.) Lastly, we retouch the photo for you. Retouching can mean fluffing hair, eliminating blemishes or dark circles under eyes, smoothing out wrinkles, or brightening eyes. It’s magical! See before and afters in our retouching gallery.
Karen Cookston – Ameriprise Financial created by UA Creative.
Makes it easy to share. Your professional headshot might provide content that your company or a client can use. They are more likely to use a photo that represents their brand or mission appropriately and professionally. There are opportunities and scenarios that you may not have considered:
- An employee or partner spotlight in the company newsletter or Facebook page
- A feature or interview for a print or online publication and they’ve requested an accompanying photo
- As a sponsor of a fundraiser or event, they might link to your profile or website
- As a guest panelist or speaker, your photo is requested for the program
Word-of-Mouth. People like to conduct business with people, not necessarily the company. Your professional network grows through your relationships. If a client has referred you and mentions your name in conversation, someone is going to be searching you. He or she will be looking at your business social profiles like LinkedIn or your company’s team page to see who they could be contacting or working with. Your image can build trust right away.
Jacquie Bickel – Improving created by UA Creative.
Looking like you. Does the photo look like you? You may already have a professional photo but look different now. Think how nice it would be to be approached at a networking event or conference, by one of your connections you’ve never met in person, because they recognize you from your photo. We recommend updating your headshot for the following:
- it’s been two years since your last headshot
- you now have a beard (or shaved it off)
- hairstyle and/or color has changed
- weight gain or loss
- you’ve visibly aged (it happens to all of us!)
- change in industries and need a new vibe
Tony Casa – Zoo Trippin’ created by UA Creative.
Our online persona contributes to us making connections. Starting with a quality photo that represents you gives you a solid foundation to start. It’s never too late to invest in yourself. When you are ready or would like to learn more, please contact UA Creative Studios.
This blog post was written by Jackie Murphy, UA Creative’s Marketing & Communications Manager. You can also read her original LinkedIn article about personal branding that inspired this post. Jackie is always happy to talk marketing! Contact her for marketing consultation in regards to your assets – firstname.lastname@example.org.