There was a new cafe near my house that just opened. Excited to try it I walked in. My heart sank immediately. Something was off. Nothing quite matched. There was no cohesive style. The menu was a weird mix of about 5 different cuisines. Sushi with eggs on toast anyone?
The couple who owned it were sweet and well intentioned but clueless about hospitality service. I just knew, this isn’t going to last. Sure enough about 6 months later it closed.
When you get your husband to take your headshot on his iPhone, you’re that couple. Sweet and well intentioned but signalling to potential clients you’re an amateur and don’t really know what you are doing.
Don’t be that couple. Read on for my 5 reasons professional headshots will supercharge your personal brand.
If you’re regularly pitching the media as a thought leader then you need a professional headshot. And not just any headshot. A quality headshot where the photographer brings out things from you no one has ever seen before. No public relations professional or journalist will take you seriously if you are using a selfie you took on your phone.
Don’t just take my word for it:
“Invest in photography. Most mediums nowadays are online, which means that these articles need visuals… With high-quality photography, you can really make your article stand out.” Remy Ludo Gieling, Editor in Chief at Sprout.
When you do include a professional headshot with your pitch, use a low res version in the body of your email pitch. Make sure it’s big enough to look sharp in the email, but not so big as to make the email slow to load and open. About 1000 pixels on the long edge is a good size. You can resize a large headshot in Photoshop, Canva or Paint. Make a note to the journalist in your email that a high res image is available. You could even include the link to the high res.
People make snap judgements about you and your brand and if you make a bad first impression, it’s almost impossible to win them back. Just like the clueless cafe. I couldn’t put my finger on it straight away but I knew something was off about the cafe. If you go to a website you might not be clocking the amateur photography straight away, but you will know if something feels off.
Show people you’re serious about your business by investing in quality professional headshots. Make every touch point of your brand scream from the top of a mountain: “I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!”
How much money do you make or want to make a year? Now divide the average cost of a headshot by that amount. Not much really is it? And you don’t even need to update your headshots every year. Every second or third year is enough.
Is this you? Come on! Show your amazing face. Nobody is going to find you hiding away like that. You might think showing up with a sexy new profile pic is showing off. Stop that thought immediately.
I read a quote recently by a LinkedIn personal branding expert which I low key love:
“Increased visibility is increased opportunity,” Carlii Lyon. Be The Brand In You.
If you’re trying to grow a personal brand on LinkedIn or want to become a thought leader in your niche, show people you mean business with a quality headshot. Make sure the look and feel of the headshot ties in with the look and feel of your personal brand though. Need tips on how to nail your LinkedIn profile picture? I’ve got a blog post for that.
Think out of the box. You aren’t limited to standard profile pictures for LinkedIn or Facebook. Are you a small PR firm? Make some stickers with your face on them for swag boxes. Do you regularly make carousels on LinkedIn or Instagram? Make transparent PNGs of your headshots to inject instant personality.
Give a recruitment drive more zip and personality with a headshot. One of my client’s Thompson Cook Recruitment use their headshots for all their LinkedIn recruitments.
You can also use a headshot in your email signature. Instantly add your face to your name. I’ve even got a GIF in my email signature. Click the image below to take you to the blog post to learn how to do it.
A client once said to me, “You’ve got your work cut out, you can’t polish a turd”. I quickly replied, “No but you can roll it in glitter”.
Once photos of you are out in the interwebz, they’re there forever. Do you want poor quality photos floating around? Or the best version of you?
Now you know why a professional headshot is a wise investment. If you’re in Melbourne and you need new headshots for you or your team – come see me at Photoform*.
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All images and text are the copyright of Myles Formby of Photoform*, 2023.