A recent Insiders column from Lesley Nakonechny inspired me to take the plunge and finally, after 15 years of working in the media, get a headshot taken by a professional photographer.
It was quick and painless and has had a number of benefits for me that I’d like to share.
- It helps me make a good first impression. With a professional headshot, those who don’t know me or have never dealt with me before will instantly know I am someone who cares about the impression I give. There’s no substitute for making a good first impression.
- It makes me look even more credible. Anyone who deals with me knows I’m a professional already, but in the online world, it’s a little harder evaluate someone. Like it or not, we are judged by our social media presence. If someone goes to your LinkedIn or Twitter profile what is your photo saying about you? Are they going going to get the best possible image of you as a businessperson? Seeing I have a great-looking head shot signals to them that I am invested in my business. Plus, like it or not, image counts!
- It boosts my brand. We all have a personal brand, whether we know it or not. In the online world, your headshot is your brand. If your headshot is lacking in quality, so is your brand. It’s that simple.
- It helps me feel better about myself. I don’t know about you, but when I present myself in a good light to the public, I feel more positive about who I am. There’s a reason you don’t go to the office or to a conference dressed like Jeffrey Lebowski (The Dude). Knowing my public/social media face is a professional one helps me feel more confident.
Are you still using that old headshot you cropped from the last semi-formal event you attended that made you get dressed up? If so, give some serious thought to setting up an appointment with a professional photographer. It’s a small investment of your time and will pay big dividends to your professional image.