What Your Headshot Says About You
Let's not beat around the bush - you need a professional headshot. "Of course a photographer is going to say that," you may be saying to yourself. But it's the truth. It's not hype - it's a requirement in today's competitive world. Whether you're competing for a new job, or for new customers, the bottom line is that you ARE competing. It's no longer enough to get a college degree, even an advanced one, thinking that will get you a gig. To land that new position, you need to stand out in a sea of job seekers that's overflowing. To bring in new business, you need to connect with potential customers, and simply building a website and a Facebook page doesn't cut it. That's where a professionally-produced headshot comes in.
A headshot tells a story. It establishes a connection between you and the viewer. It's your chance to connect on a level that transcends words on a piece of paper, or in a social media post. Imagine an HR manager, reviewing an unwieldy stack of resumes. For the most part, the qualifications of the candidates are similar, so much so that it's
difficult to justify one over another. At this point, the HR manager is likely to look for other indicators, which may be found on social media pages and online professional sites, such as LinkedIn. Now let's assume that they've narrowed the choices down to just two candidates. They're doing a side-by-side comparison of profiles. One features a professionally-produced headshot, and the other a selfie taken with a smartphone. Beyond that, all is pretty much equal. If it were up to you, which would you choose?
In that scenario, the candidate with the professional headshot wins, because the HR manager sees that the individual took the time to get a professional photograph, which indicates a serious approach to the job search. It indicates an investment in success, and let's face it, employers want people driven-to-success on their teams. Does it mean that the person with the smartphone selfie is unqualified? Not necessarily. But it conveys a couple of different messages. It could say that you weren't prepared to apply. Maybe it says that you're comfortable cutting corners to get something done quickly. Perhaps it says that you don't take things very seriously. Maybe it says something different, altogether. Here's the important question: Do you want to take control of the opportunity, or take a chance at blowing it?
When it comes to building your business, a professional headshot goes a long way toward developing customer relationships. It helps you connect with potential clients, and conveys how much pride you take in your work. Just as in the job seeker example, it shows that you are serious about your approach to your profession. Put simply, it shows that you care. When consumers feel a personal connection to the people they do business with, it makes it harder for them to cut-and-run, in the event that any mistakes are made in the course of doing business. We all make mistakes, and do our best not to. So, in the event something ever goes wrong, customers are more likely to stick with businesses who go the extra mile. Business owners who have a professional headshot for themselves, as well as the other members of their teams, are telling their clients that they're in it for the long haul, and that they are committed to customer service. They're not hiding behind a faceless page on a website, they're saying, "Here we are - we're here for you."
Stand out...be different...show people that you want to succeed. Tell them who you are, and what you're all about, without saying a word. Don't blow your opportunity to take control and make a strong first impression. Get a professional headshot produced, and rise above the crowd. *If you're in the Metro Atlanta area and would like to schedule a headshot session, give me a call at (678) 871-0147, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.