As an entrepreneur, you are the face of your business. Do you realize that? Ideally, people wouldn’t rely on their first impressions to judge you and your business, but with the abundance of marketing and information available, potential clients indeed make split-second decisions about your worthiness as a professional. What does your current headshot say about you? Was it taken ten years and several haircuts ago? Or did you take it with your iPhone and put a fun filter on it (which immediately dates it)? Here are some things to keep in mind when you are considering updating your headshot this year.
1. An awesome headshot updates your brand. It is common nowadays for business owners and staff to have their photos all over the business’ website, social media, and in printed promotional materials. When those images are up-to-date, friendly, and clean, a potential client receives a positive message about the business. When the image is outdated or unprofessional, it creates a whole other perception in the client’s head.
2. Photos are a great way to match you to the right client. Are you fun and outgoing? Your headshot should communicate that to the client and connect you with someone looking for an exciting experience. Or perhaps you want to appear trustworthy and calm? A good photographer will make sure that your photos match your brand and are appropriate for the type of business you are in. Your headshots should communicate your values and make it easier for you to attract the type of client you are looking for.
3. Just like any other marketing photo, a good headshot will capture positive attention. We are more drawn to aesthetically pleasing images than bad ones (ones that are blurry, underexposed, or poorly posed, for example). If you get one shot to draw someone into your website, why not make it a good one?
4. Success draws success. You don’t have to wear gold chains around your neck in the photos on your website (actually, I would probably suggest that you do not), but looking healthy, put-together, and well-dressed will actually make your brand appear more successful and therefore give you more value. It is the same reason why we are more willing to pay for an overpriced meal in an expensive-looking restaurant than a fast-food joint.
5. I saved the most obvious reason for last - you have changed since your last headshot! I know, I know, it would be great if you still had that snazzy perm or mustache you are sporting in your current headshot (or, if you are younger, that great contrasty ombre that you were so proud of) but sadly, you do not. Would a client be able to pick you out of a lineup based on your current headshot? Personally, I like to know who I will be dealing with when I am first meeting a someone so if reality is way different from what I’ve been told by their website, I get suspicious and a little uncomfortable, which are certainly not how you want your potential client to be feeling when they first meet you!