Your headshot matters.
Let’s be honest, a headshot is usually an afterthought for most professionals. The fact is though, your headshot matters. Why do you need a professional headshot? Outside of actors and models people don’t usually put a lot of fore thought into their headshot and unfortunately it can show. The fact is that people should care about their headshot. It’s the first thing people see when they look you up or see the signature block of that email. It immediately makes an impression on the viewer and this is the one chance you have to be in total control of that first impression (more on that later).
Your headshot matters to your business and to your online presence. The first impression can happen before you meet a potential client or new employer. Having that new headshot that represents you in your best light can be the difference between sealing the deal or wondering what happened.
A professional headshot is worth it.
Trust a professional with your headshot. This is your image and your brand you need to take ownership of. There are certain times when you can DIY things to save money or time, but this is not one of them. A professional will know how to pose and light you in the most flattering way possible. They will guide you along the process and make sure the end result is something that will serve you well and make you stand out (in a good way).
Update it often.
Actors and models need to update their headshot as often as every year or when their looks change. How they get booked has a lot to do with there. The casting directors and modeling agencies need people to show up how they appear in their images. If not, this could pose a problem for the role they are trying to fill. This kind of misrepresentation can create an issue in this situation and is time waster for casting calls. Business professionals can take a cue from actors here.
Have you ever seen something in real life and thought that it looked nothing like the picture or advertisement? How did that make you feel? Yeah that’s what happens when you are using a an old headshot or one that does not look like the real you. People are not going to trust you right away when you misrepresent who you are in your professional headshot. Being genuine and confident in your headshot goes further than trying to hold on to that 10 year old picture you really like but secretly don’t want to change.
First impressions are made before you meet.
You wouldn’t have improper grammar or spelling errors on a resumé, you wouldn’t show up to a business meeting with a wrinkled suit, why would you use a headshot that does not show you at your best? Your headshot speaks volumes of who you are in an instant and it can often be the first impression you make with others before you meet. Luckily you can be in total control of your headshot. Getting it updated by a professional can help you show you as confident, approachable, and genuine. Additionally here is a Forbes article highlighting the impact of a quality headshot for your LinkedIn profile.
If you need help getting ready for your headshot here is some helpful information.
Thanks to my Canadian friend Mathieu Deslandes for helping me on this, checkout his headshot work.
Headed to Las Vegas for a trade show or conference? Check out my trade show survival guide here.