Recently I saw a Facebook ad inviting me to click on a link to watch a video and register for a webinar. The photo of the person in the ad was both fun and gorgeous, so I felt excited to click through to learn more and maybe even sign up.
After clicking the link, I arrived on a webpage with a video of the person in the ad, but when I clicked "play", it was very obvious that the picture in the ad was taken a LONG time ago! The person in the ad was vibrant and spunky and the person in the video was much older, had gained weight and did not match the person in the picture. Now don’t get me wrong, the person in the video was fine too, but I felt tricked by the “promise of what to come” and began to doubt the authenticity of the person behind the ad and video.
So I ask you… Is YOUR headshot hurting your business?
If you’re not sure, here are 5 ways to decide if it’s time to have a re-shoot:
1. You don’t look like your picture anymore. It seems obvious, but if you have lost or gained weight, your hair is much longer, shorter or greyer, or if it's been more than 3 years- it’s time for a re-shoot. Hair is the reason I just had a new picture taken. My last headshot was taken in December of 2011 which isn't too bad, but I was training for a marathon so I cut it very short and now my hair is about 10 inches longer!
2. The picture of you is too small. People love to connect with your face, especially your eyes and smile, and if they can’t see you, they probably won’t get a feeling for the type of person you are. Don’t be afraid of an extreme close up either. This was how I solved my long hair problem. I cropped my picture down to mostly my face with only a hint of hair, and then my hair was no longer an issue and the viewer was able to connect with my personality. Try it- zoom in and don’t be shy!
3. Your picture is too casual or too formal for the audience. Depending on the type of business you’re in, you may need to have a more formal shot or a more casual shot (and no, a selfie from your trip to Margaritaville last summer probably isn't a good idea!). Your wardrobe usually determines the tone of your presentation so think through colors, collars and jewelry to ensure that you are presenting an image in alignment with your brand message and promise. If you sell products, shoot a few pics holding or surrounded by them and show your fun side if it makes sense for what you offer.
4. Your picture doesn’t match your video. I’ve already shared with you my experience, so remember, if you are using video to market your services and products (and if you aren’t, get started ASAP!), make sure your current self and your frozen self aren’t too far apart.
5. No picture at all. No picture might even be worse that an old picture! Today’s sales and marketing is all about transparency (trust me, they’ve already googled you before they called you), and if you don’t post a picture of yourself on your social media profiles and website, you might just appear… CREEPY! I know, creepy is a dramatic word borrowed from my 14 year-old daughter, but how can I do business with you if I can’t get at least a small feeling about who you are? Bottom line- don’t be a creeper, post a picture!
I just had the pleasure of a new photo session with Nancy Rothstein Photography (I highly recommend Nancy if you’re it the San Francisco Bay Area!), and while it wasn’t inexpensive, neither is the value of what I teach about how to grow a profitable and sellable million dollar business (my brand promise), so it was money very well spent to illustrate my brand and content quality.
Lastly, if you aren’t ready to invest in professionally done photos, you can use a high quality camera (a newer smart phone camera will work just fine too) and have a friend take a close up shot so your clients can see your beautiful, credible and current face!
Have you had a positive or negative experience based on someone’s headshot? Post a comment below (I read every one personally!) and tell me what happened…
Until next time! xoxo, jgw.