“you’re not looking, they are”
When promoting your professional self online, be sure to show a serious representation of who you are in your professional profiles in order to accurately represent your brand. I actually can not even believe how many people have either a bad linked in profile pic or no profile pic. Why even bother to be on a professional social site without a great headshot?
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as first impressions any more, especially when it comes to first face to face impressions. Often times, in today’s professional online world, we first come into contact with other professionals via email, social media, and other online platforms.
No matter someone’s intentions, people will look at your photos, profiles, and information and come up with their own preconceived idea of who you are:
- People are looking – Anyone and everyone. This includes potential clients, networking opportunities, and even future employers will look you up and judge you based on the information and visuals you provide.
- No photo – now way! People will always trust and relate more to a profile that shows your face. Putting a human identity with a name will provide you with 100x more exposure than if you don’t include a photo. Trust is everything in business and you don’t want to do anything to hinder trust from the start.
- Approachable, confident, intelligent – A strong professional headshot can achieve all of these things and more, in a simple brief second in which someone is looking at your profile.
- You are your brand – Think about some of your favorite brands and professional leaders – what do they all have in common? (Other than brains, expertise, experience, and financial stability) – great photography! They make sure to present themselves and their creditability in the most approachable, professional, and impressive way. Photography is a huge part in that.
- Face that FILLS that frame – Check out a post I wrote earlier this year on the effect of the “cropped top” here. Also make sure to dress in tailored well fitted clothes that flatter you. Neutral background so no distractions, just a whole lot of YOU!
- Consistency across platforms – Consistency is Queen. Using the same professional headshot will help aid in your recognition across all your various online platforms, increasing the online trust and dependability you’ve established through your following and professional community.
Having a professional headshot is crucial to personal branding and your professional image. Whether you are an innovator, educator, artist, executive, or entrepreneur, the ability to visually communicate you is crucial.. Headshots are so much more than a close-up of your face, but a valuable communication tool used to express who you are and what you do.
“…entries in LinkedIn search results with photos beside them are 7 times more likely to be clicked than entries without photos. So, that recruiter looking for someone with your job title will probably not click on your name unless there is a photo beside it in the search results listings.”
LinkedIn even has it’s own rules and regulations for an appropriate LinkedIn Headshot. All photos must comply with their User Agreement – “Your photo can be removed by LinkedIn if your profile image doesn’t include your likeness or a headshot photo.”
Some photos that SHOULD NOT be used are:
- Company Logos
- Words or phrases
Going back to Susan P Joyce‘s post on tips for your LinkedIn photo, she recommends on following the tips below when selecting the perfect LinkedIn headshot:
- Use a headshot photo of yourself, not something or someone else.
- The image should be recognizably you.
- The pose should be relatively “mature” – not mugging for the camera.
- Simple headshot photo of you, in a relatively professional-like pose.
- You should be alone in the photo.
So this clearly rules out selfies, cropped family photos, vacation memories, and that adorable Halloween shot of you and your cat.
“You do not build the trust of your customers by showing them your company, you build their trust by showing them you.” Having a professional presence on-line is crucial in today’s marketplace. A cohesive collection of headshots for your team strengthens your brand and communicate your professionalism to potential clients.
It’s my job as your photographer to help you articulate your message through photography. To do this, I coach you into the best poses and expressions, ensuring that you get the best headshots possible.
Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, freelancer, corporate professional, student, or stand up employee – putting your best face forward and representing the best you possible is always the best way to go.