Professional headshot of a person with shoulder-length blonde hair smiles warmly at the camera. They are wearing a black blazer over a floral top. The background is completely white, making the subject stand out clearly.

Five Reasons You Need a Professional Headshot in 2020

Now more than ever you need to represent yourself online with an authentic, professional profile image that people can identify with. Why? Let’s explore

Reason #1: First Impressions Count and Your Image is Your Digital First Impression

First impressions are more important than some people think. Most importantly, they’re sticky… like really sticky. What does this mean? Research by Cornell University suggested that the assessment we make of a photograph of someone endures, and is unlikely to change even after we meet them.

So, for your clients and potential business partners, the way you portray yourself online is going to inform how they get to know you, even before they speak to you, or meet you in person. The aim of a professional headshot is to convey exactly who you are! Your expression says it all, and we have learned over the years how to bring out your expression to best show your personality. 

Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are — and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness.

Reason #2: Your Headshot Tells People You Mean Business… Whatever Your Business.

We spend a lot of time on LinkedIn… and it’s frustrating to see a lot of connections who don’t have a professional headshot (hint! Give us a call people!). Here’s what we see a lot of…

  • Selfies – surprisingly most often taken while sitting in the car WITH A SEATBELT ON…. Why?
  • A photo from the last wedding/social event you went to – mostly cropped from a group shot.
  • A travel image. You, looking your best, tanned and healthy on an island somewhere with a tropical drink… or in the snow, with your ski gear. This is super common… but unless you’re a travel influencer what is it saying about you on LinkedIn? Think about it for a minute.

Your headshot should be showing you in your professional setting… by this we mean your professional clothes. A suit, dress, uniform, a tie? It could be your tradie shirt with your company logo… What you’re wearing should give the viewer an idea of what you do. It should also tell the viewer how seriously you take your work, and yourself. As for backgrounds… unless they also convey what you do, they should be simple, and uncluttered. Your image is the main attraction here.

So, a professional headshot conveys your intentions of doing business and makes you more approachable when it comes to potential clients, investors, etc. Leave the casual, fun travel shots for other social media platforms.

Reason #3: The Image That Keeps on Giving

Quite often in a headshot session you’ll be presented with a gallery of choices. We choose from different outfits and different expressions and at the end you’ll have a collection of images that are fun, serious, not so serious and there will always be one that you just know will be your go to shot. Whether you choose just one image from your session or several… your sparkly new profile images can be used for so many different things, from website bios, to an author profile, to social media. Choose to use them all at once, or add them to your media library to use in newsletters, email signatures and across marketing materials for the year ahead.

Reason #4: Investment

If you’re serious about getting that new role, or stepping up your networking to advance your career, chances are you’ll regularly be investing in seasonal outfits, hair, and for women, makeup, nails, shoes and so on. Your headshot is probably the equivalent in cost to your monthly visit to the hairdresser, but unlike your trip to the hairdresser it’s going to last you at least a year or two. So when you’re considering the value of a headshot, remember that this is an investment worth making. And the cost is minimal when compared to value it generates. You are investing in yourself and your personal brand. The return on investment… almost immediate I reckon.  The plus side, is that for some, it’s tax deductible. So remember to discuss this with your financial adviser.

Reason #5: Relevance

Relevancy, it’s a simple as that. A professional headshot keeps you up to date! There is nothing worse than meeting someone in real life, having connected with them online (or let’s face it – googled them before we meet), only to have them look nothing like the image we’ve seen online. We change and we age, there’s no getting around it really… and honesty, authenticity and integrity are key values we want to impress with, so make sure your profile image does exactly that. We recommend updating them often – at least every job change, or every year or so, depending on need.

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