Did you know your headshot is your digital introduction to your business? That means bad headshots are like a dirty welcome mat to the entry of your business.
Strong words? Maybe, but hear me out.
EASY AND FREE SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
We’ve all seen bad headshots on plenty of social media profiles and websites. Even worse, in professional directories.
Lots of selfies or cell phone images taken by friends are used to represent professionals everywhere.
I get it – it’s easy and free.
You were in a hurry to get your website up, or started a new social media page, so you put your headshots off until a better time. You fully intended to find a brand or headshot photographer, and schedule your appointment, but then you got busy and the headshots needed to wait.
You knew a cell picture was not the image you wanted to present to future clients and co-workers, but procrastination won.
No matter how good your intentions, your potential clients aren’t judging you on your intentions. They’re judging you on your headshot, which equates to actions, or lack of action, which can make or break you and even worse – cause those potential clients to keep scrolling.
So, what does all of this have to do with a dirty welcome mat?
THE DIRTY MAT = YOUR BAD HEADSHOT
I was walking in the mall yesterday on my way to find something specific for a styled shoot, and I saw a store that looked promising.
I walked towards the entrance and before I even got to the threshold, I could see it.
This nasty, filthy mat, dirt staind, and edges pulled apart, laying on the beautiful marble floor right outside the door.
I have never encountered any business using something in such bad shape to welcome patrons.
It was the only thing standing between me and the store.
As a business owner, I was indignant that anyone would put a mat in that condition down at the entrance to their business.
For one, I was at the mall and you KNOW how expensive the rent is at the mall. And two, this ugly mat was my greeting to their store; the place they want me to spend my money.
Unfortunately, this torn, filthy mat spoke volumes about the business.
We turned around, and went to find another store, and had a little lesson in ‘marketing and presentation 101’ along the way.
HEADSHOTS – FIRST STEP ON THE RED CARPET
The ideal customers that you are trying to attract may know little to nothing about you.
Your headshot is the first thing your potential clients will see. It’s the metaphorical welcome mat to your website, and should be the first step on the red carpet of your business.
When they look at your headshot, it should give them a sense of confidence they’ll have an amazing experience, with someone who clearly demonstrates they’re a professional.
YOU HAVE SECONDS TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION
Your headshot, and their initial look at your website, and brand photography will form their first, and maybe their only opinion. So, it needs to be a good one or you may lose them.
Is your headshot creating trust? Does it say you’re competent and good at what you do? Do you appear friendly and easy to work with? Are you forward thinking, and on the cutting edge of your profession?
Your style, posture, confidence, and smile will tell them what they need to know.Is your corporate headshot a stuffy and boring studio shot? Or even worse, does it say you’re dated, and obsolete?
DEMONSTRATING PROFESSIONALISM IN YOUR FIELD
During a Personal Branding Session for a psychiatrist, I started my research by looking at her competitor’s branding, and what I found was astonishing.
Nearly 80% of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists were using cell phone images to promote themselves to patients!
If I were looking for someone to treat me for any type of mental health issue, I would like to know that they aren’t working from the back seat of their car, which unfortunately, is how many of their profiles looked.
If I were a potential client, I would find someone who looked trustworthy.
Your headshot is vital to creating trust with potential clients. Having a bad headshot can lessen your credibility as a professional, and cause you to lose business. Good headshots are the first step to creating a solid online presence, so start by finding a solid photographer who will help you create the type of image that will represent you well!
Next, we’re going to talk about Personal Branding Photography, how it differs from headshots, when and why you need it. In the meantime, take a look at Your Guide to Great Headshots.Please comment below and tell me what you think when you find a professional with a cell phone image representing them? Also you might want to check out Why Personal Brand Photography Is The Key To Building A Successful Brand.