What do you do with your headshots? Your image is a vital part of your personal and professional brand. You’ve invested in it by having a great set of photos created. Now you need to maximize your investment. Here’s how to get the most from your professional headshots.
How do you appear on your social accounts?
I usually follow-up with clients six months after a shoot. Before reaching out, I check online to see how they have used the headshots we made. There are many more places to use them than most people realize. Your online identity is how people see you most often. The following is my list of where you should be using your professional headshot to elevate your brand and your business. How many of the following can you check off?
Your phone – What image shows up when you call someone?
WhatsApp – what are you using for your profile picture?
All of your email accounts – Yes, even that one you use to receive all your junk email. Be sure you use the same professional image on all of your accounts. You never know what strange place your next word of mouth referral will come from.
Your Gravatar – Certain online resources, including WordPress, Mention, Hootsuite, and Convertkit, ask for your Gravatar. Create an account if you haven’t already and put your headshot on there to make sure the best version of your face shows up on the online tools you use.
Networking sites – Many people put their professional headshots on public social networking websites, but are you using yours any private membership groups you’re a part of? What image is on your profile right now? If you belong to a private Facebook group and you joined using your personal profile, is it a professional image or one of you in Disney World? To keep things professional, use a shot from your most recent headshot session.
All of your online tools – almost every online tool asks you for a profile picture. Check Dropbox, Zoom, Skype, and Eventbrite accounts, and any other sites you might use for business. You’ll be surprised at how many tools you can name.
Where you shop – When buying for your business, present yourself as a professional. If you are considering making inroads on affiliate income, branding your online presence this way can only be a good thing. I’d NEVER show up to my photography print lab to settle my account in swim trunks with sunburn, so why do it online?
How to make use of professional headshots on your website
When you have your professional headshots session, consider your website layout.
Do you feature a panoramic photo on your homepage?
What is your layout for your “About Me” page?
Cropping in-camera, or proactively allowing room for multiple crops can save a lot of time and money on retouching for your site layout later.
When you are booking your headshot session, also consider where else you could use them, like on a campaign or launch.
What do you want your images to portray?
Your images can be used in a variety of places, so it makes sense to have a plan for what you want the images to portray. Get shots which can be used for:
• Press releases
• Social media (not just your profile picture but adverts, cover images, and promos for live sessions.)
• Your podcast artwork or video channel
• Lead magnets
• Guest blogs
• Your bio for speaking gigs
You won’t want to use the same image for all of these. You might also consider splitting your session so that you can have pictures of yourself “at work” as well as profile photos. Or you might want multiple shorter sessions throughout the year. Will the background or your outfit look out of place in summer or winter? Got a new hairstyle?
Keep in mind you can always dress for an occasion even if you’re not really there. I’ve created personal branded Christmas cards in August. (It’s usually cheaper to have them printed then too.)
Photograph how the magic happens
A narrated headshot can give prospects a visual sense of how it feels to work with you.
Does it make your clients cry with joy when you deliver your skillfully made bespoke cakes? PHOTOGRAPH THAT!
Do you hosting intense coffee meetings to provide your consulting work? PHOTOGRAPH THAT!
In some cases, you may need to find models. One of my clients used his mom and dad, but real clients can work just as well if they’re game.
Capture how the magic happens.
Use your headshot as a talking point
An interior painter wanted more business. We shot him wearing his overalls, covered in paint, holding a can of paint in one hand and a brush in the other. He used the image on his business cards, and they got him a couple of great commercial jobs. He discovered he got more business by word of mouth referrals because people had been sharing his headshot business card and talking about it.
Use your headshots to incorporate your personal brand onto your products. Design a product story notecard with your photo which accompanies your goods. Or put your face on a sticker on the packaging design or wrapping paper for your products. Have fun!
Place your face on your brochures, be they printed or online. People love to see the person behind the brand, and it builds trust.