A few days ago, I was sitting in La Colombe, one of my favorite Philadelphia cafes, when I noticed an old friend of mine just posted a link to his new website. So, of course, as I was sipping on my draft latte, I clicked on the link. Immediately, it was obvious that he was starting a boutique marketing company.
His style and brand were quick and easy to understand. His work looked great, truly beautiful. So I spent a few more seconds poking around when I ended up clicking on his About Me Page. There he was, one of my oldest friends, staring back at me, with a picture clearly taken at least five years ago. I’m not going to go into detail, but let’s just say, it looked like a photo he pulled off of Facebook and thought “Well, guess that’s good enough.”
Don’t get me wrong, it was a fine picture of him, but compared to his amazing talent, incredible work and outstanding website, his headshot did not measure up… So, for him, and all the other talented, incredible and amazing people out there, this is why I believe, full heartedly, that every career person, in every industry and in every position, needs a good and professional headshot.
1. First Impression.
In today's society, a headshot is way more than just a photo on your company’s website. It is your first impression. When you are looking for someone to hire, what is the first thing you do? Google. That’s right, we head straight to this incredible thing we take for granted called the internet. We can see hundreds of websites and advertisements in just a click of a button. You have 8 seconds to grab a potential client's attention which means you only have 8 seconds to make a first impression. Don’t you want your first impression to say… “I am a professional. I am warm, welcoming and confident.”
"You have 8 seconds to grab a potential client's attention which means you only have 8 seconds to make a first impression."
2. You are your brand.
You’ve heard it once, and you have heard it again… You are your brand. You could be one of the most talented IT Guys in the world, but if people don’t feel like they can trust you or want to be around you, they won’t hire you. It’s unfortunate, but true. People spend more time looking at your photo on your website than the content around it. If they don’t feel like they can talk to and trust the person in the photo, then they will move right past you to someone who looks trusting, welcoming and easy to get along with. People trust photos more than they trust content.
"People trust photos more than they trust content"
If you have a consistent look in all of your Social Media profile photos it creates a familiarity for your potential client. It’s a game of stability. If they see one photo on your LinkedIn page, then click on the link to your website and see a similar looking headshot and then find themselves heading on over to your Facebook Business page to check out your reviews and see another similar looking headshot, it will create consistency. Consistency creates comfort. Comfort creates clients.
"Consistency creates comfort. Comfort creates clients."
4. You mean business.
It takes time, energy and usually some internal convincing to get yourself in front of that camera for your headshot. A professional headshot shows the potential client that you mean business; it says that you take what you do seriously and you are someone who will take their business seriously too. It tells the client that you invested in yourself, you are confident and you are ready for their business. You welcome their business with your warm demeanor and knowledgable insight.
"It says that you take what you do seriously and you are someone who will take their business seriously too."
5. The Social Media Society.
In 2004, Facebook changed the game. Now, friends, exes, enemies, and even a potential employer had the opportunity to ‘Facebook stalk you’ for lack of a better term. 13 years later, it is an even bigger deal. People spend thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours and tons of energy creating their online presence. Who you are online, how many followers you have and what the ratings say on your Yelp Business page can make or break a potential client's interest. Let me ask you this… if a company doesn’t have a photo up on their Yelp or Facebook Business page, do you trust them? If instead of a nice photo of the restaurant, you see the big fat question mark, does that make you a little suspicious? Instead of letting a potential client be influenced by just any photo of you, don’t you want to put forth a photo that you are proud of and feel good sending out into the world?
"Who you are online, how many followers you have and what the ratings say on your Yelp Business page can make or break a potential clients interest"
6. Boost Self-confidence.
I know, I know, I am a photographer, I have to say this. But it’s true. With today's technology, we are so used to having all these photos taken of us; between selfies, snapchat, iPhone, instagram, and Uncle Henry’s obsession with family photos, it is a constant part of our world… But here's the question, when was the last time you felt really good about a photo of yourself? When was the last time you thought “Yes! That is a photo that showcases how I want to be represented. That is a photo I can feel good about people seeing and judging on a professional level. That is a photo that makes me feel good about my LinkedIn profile or my About Me page on my website.” You should never dread the idea of your About Me page. You should never role your eyes at the concept of people getting to know you as a professional. Your headshot on your About Me page is a way to put your best foot forward and connect with your target audience on a slightly more personal level. It’s a way to say “This is why I am awesome. Take a look at my warm, yet knowledgable smile and pick up the phone and call me!”
"When was the last time you felt really good about a photo of yourself?"
7. Keeping it classy.
No matter how clean, user-friendly and attractive your website is, if you don’t have a headshot to match the professionalism of your brand, your online space and your product, then your client will take one look at that headshot and leave your website with a bad taste in their mouth. Your headshot should be be handled with just as much care and effort as any other part of your website. You put a lot of thought into your logo, into your layout and into your content. You deserve just as much love, don't ya think?
"Your headshot should be be handled with just as much care and effort as any other part of your website."
8. Do you hate money or something?
According to salesforce.com email signatures with headshots have a 24% higher response rate than those lacking photography. Let’s think about this guys… How much harder is it to say no to a personface than it is to reject someone via text message, Facebook messenger, email etc… If you include your awesome and professional headshot in your email signature you are essentially giving a face to the email. It will be a heck of a lot harder to not respond to your beautiful face. Responses equal interest. Interest equals business contacts. Business contacts equals sales… Do you see where I am going here?
"How much harder is it to say no to someones face"
Let me make one last thing clear, when I say professional headshot, I am not only referring to a photo of you in a suit in front of a plain background. If that is what you are looking for, great, let’s make it happen. But I am also referring to a photograph that portrays you, as a professional and as a person. I am referring to the type of photo where you showcase who you are and what you are all about. Every profession is different. Every person brings a distinct perspective and every headshot should be as unique as the person it is portraying. If you are a yoga instructor, we will go for bright, light and calming with a sprinkle of personality. If you are a lawyer, we will go for confident, intelligent, welcoming with a hint of humor. And if you are an entrepreneur, we will go for creative, innovative and motivated with a splash of warmth. The list can go on and on.
Having your professional headshot taken can be fun, easy and extremely rewarding. So go on, go book your headshot session. Go get your About Me Page looking just as impressive as you are. Go get a headshot that will make you feel good about your LinkedIn profile page. And go take a photo for the sole purpose that you deserve to feel confident, knowledgable and unique.
Since I believe that every one should have a good headshot that they can be proud of, Yael Pachino Photography is offering a headshot special. Sending you good vibes and a bunch of happiness.