Do you remember when you first joined Facebook and uploaded a profile picture? It was probably a photo of you and your friends that you most likely cropped them out of so that you were the main focus… I bet you look back on your first Facebook photo and cringe (I know that I do!). I have to be honest, when I first joined LinkedIn and started my first website, I probably took the exact same approach.
Back in the early days of Facebook when social media was mainly about talking to your friends, this was acceptable, but times have changed and social media for many is all about business. I know that selfies are all the trend right now and they are a quick and easy way to get a photo of yourself for your online profile, but when posting photos of yourself online you need to change your approach and think about your future.
“You only have one chance to make a good first impression.”
Yes, I know, that quote is extremely cliché for this type of blog…but it has never been more relevant. With all of the social media platforms and online searches, you never know who is looking at your photos, that person may be a potential client or employer, or maybe someone looking to recommend you. If you have a professional portrait on your social media profile or website, it gives the impression that you are more committed to quality and professionalism, your media represents your business. You need to make that first impression count.
Here’s something to think about, your profile photo isn’t only visible to your connections, it’s visible to everyone who views your profile or website. On LinkedIn alone, there are approximately 500,000,000 users! That’s 500 Million users who could come across your LinkedIn profile. My main reason for mentioning LinkedIn is because many people use LinkedIn to make business connections, and I see SO many profiles on LinkedIn with really bad profile photos. If you have a duck face photo on LinkedIn that comment is most definitely aimed at you!
Here’s a before and after example showing how much difference a professional photo can make to your profile. Now, I know that my client in the images below wasn’t pulling a duck face in her original LinkedIn photo, and of course, she looks beautiful in the first photo, but as previously stated a selfie doesn’t set the right impression on a business profile. Looking at the comparison below, which one would you want to make a business connection with? I’d like to also mention that my client hadn’t used LinkedIn for a really long time so this was a very old photo that she didn’t feel the need to update, you may be in a similar position, but that means it’s time to update your photos (and please remember to upload a professional cover photo too!).
Your clients want to get to know YOU and having a professional portrait of yourself and your colleagues on the “About Us” section of your website gives your business a more personal touch. Your Biography or “About” page is usually the page that attracts the most traffic, so it’s really important that you have professional photos on there. When people look at potential businesses they would like to connect with, they want to see that person, not just read information about what they do for the company.
Professional Portraits will help your branding
Branding is one of the main keys to a successful business. A strong brand is more than just a logo and colour scheme, it’s also an emotional tie that you make with your customers. Your headshot is a significant part of your marketing collateral, so it should be created in a way that best represents your business. You may also need to occasionally supply a professional photograph for press releases, company brochures, interviews, and other forms of media, it’s really helpful for your potential clients or employers if it’s an image that is clear and fits in with your brand.
Different styles of Professional Portraits
There are many different types of professional headshots that can be taken, and I am going to cover just a few of those in this Blog, but as I said earlier…it’s key that you decide on the right style photo to fit your business branding.
Black and white headshots are probably the style that I get asked for most frequently, and I love them! Black and white photos work very well for larger companies in addition to smaller businesses, this is because they may have many employees and the black and white photos can be helpful to hide any distracting coloured clothing or makeup. People sometimes also prefer black and white photographs because they feel they are more effective on their website. The plain backdrops are particularly good because they have no distractions in the background at all.
Lifestyle business shots are one of my favourite styles to photograph, you can be really creative with this style of photo and they give a completely different feel to a website or social media page. Many people prefer to use lifestyle portraits on their business or social media pages because they feel they are more relatable, they are also really good at showing the personality of the person within the images. For this style photography, it’s always best to get to know your photographer first, this will help them capture the essence of your personality within the images.
Photographing people in their place of work can be extremely beneficial to support the branding and the photos also help tell a little bit of a story about the subject. This is really effective in press releases and company brochures, pick up a magazine or newspaper and look at the photos. In an instant, you can tell a lot about the subject before reading the caption…it’s the same with your social media pages and website.
Another reason why people often like photos in their workplace because it makes it easier for them, both because of time and organisation of staff; when I photograph my clients at their offices I take my lighting kit there, set up where there is space and I can take up to 40 portraits in one day without them having to leave their place of work!
On Location photographs have a very similar effect to those shot in the workplace, but they can sometimes give a more personal feel to the viewer, as you can see from the images above you are automatically drawn to the people within the image, these are best when photographed with very little distractions in the background. Many businesses like having on location photographs taken to avoid their website or social media pages having too much of a corporate feel to them.
Having photographs taken of your team is really great when it comes to company branding. They represent solidarity. Group photographs also make great cover photos for social media business pages and it’s also a good idea to have group photos shown on your website. No matter how many people there are in your team, it’s a really good idea to show your potential future clients that you can work well together, this makes it more appealing for them to want to do business with you.
Please do me a huge favour and Google yourself and your business, click on Google Images and have a good look at the photos on there, you might be surprised at the images you see! If you think it’s time to update your business portraits send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out which style suits you and your business the best and get you booked in asap.