What Makes You Memorable?
"I just need a simple headshot for my LinkedIn profile"
This is a phrase I hear all the time, and it’s a bit unsettling, especially for a professional headshot photographer, such as myself.
The misconception is that a headshot is just a close up photo of a person's face. It is reduced to a quick snap of the shutter, instant delivery of an image, and voila...social media profiles are alive with claims that you look like Brad, or Angelina...or... (insert your favorite celebrity).
This is the reality of social media. We post a photo, a bunch of friends and family members give the coveted "thumbs up" or "heart" and we think that the image is amazing! We are En Fuego!
Of course this is misleading. But, social circles aren't going to give you much more than the love that friends and family are known for.
From the Perspective of Your Clients
Clients and potential clients don't care about the number of "likes" your profile photo has received. They don't care about the really nice comments or the general social response. What they DO care about is whether they can build a connection with you, whether you radiate confidence and approachability, and whether you appear trustworthy. They care about Return on Investment.
If they believe you are the person that can deliver that return, they'll be in touch! There's no reason for them to connect with you if you haven't made an impression. Which brings me to my point:
What makes you memorable? Has your picture resonated with your audience on a level that makes them think of you after they have clicked away from your profile photo?
Think about this for a second: An impression is formed within 7 seconds of meeting or seeing someone. 22% of the time someone commits to researching you and your service(s) will be spent on your picture. You definitely want that image to make a positive impact.
Your expression tells the story. It gives the viewer a window into your character and personality. This is a great opportunity to impress them!
If you sport wide eyes, like a deer in headlights, you could be communicating a sense of fear or surprise. Narrowing the distance between your lower lids and pupil (also known as a Squinch), is a great way to show off some confidence (and look cool too!).
If you are furling your brow and frowning because you are adamant about "not smiling," you are showing your clients that you aren't ready to listen. In fact, there's some misery happening there.
Coupling the Squinch with a small smile communicates a sense of warmth, without appearing overeager.
Incentivizing your audience to stay in touch is as simple as showcasing an expression that presents you as a confident, competent and friendly human.
Your expression matters! And, the biggest consideration is how your audience will receive your expression. Of course, the expression should be uniquely and authentically you.
Let's Sum This Up
Your headshot is more than a pretty picture. It's a marketing and branding tool. It's your introduction to the world, or more specifically, your target market. Don't waste the opportunity to make a positive impression! Grab their attention with an amazing expression and polished presentation.
For corporations, this is a great opportunity to present a unified team of professionals. It's better to be consistent and polished than to use subpar photos of your staff. How will prospective customers view your team?
Your professional headshot specialist should guide you to expressions that not only showcase personality, and meet your branding needs, but resonates with your audience as well.
We are talking about quality here. Not quantity. When you think about the value of your dollar, consider the return on investment. The Return on one amazing image will always be much greater than the return on 100 mediocre images.