As small business owners we all strive to build a good profitable business. We all want to differentiate ourselves from the masses of other small businesses and competitors and win over clients.
One very simple way to stand out from the crowd and cultivate new business is by using a professional head shot or as I like to call them a business portrait.
By having a business portrait on your website and social media you are putting a face on the business, think of it a little like online dating. Your clients are looking for your services and in a sea of small businesses who will they pick? Like online dating the profiles with good quality photographs get the best response. Like it or not people do judge you on your looks and a professional headshot shows you take your business seriously and helps promote you and your business.
People buy people! People no longer only have that over the phone relationship anymore and like to see who it is they are interacting with. They are digging to find out more about who they are working with by searching google, facebook, linkedin etc. We all have a digital identity whether we like it or not. If you google yourself, what image comes up for you? People are making assessments about you because of those images.
So make your first photographic impression one that will engage others right from the start. You need a dynamic and individual headshot for your business needs. One that people will remember and feel compelled to connect to. Combined with your unique credentials this is what will set you apart from everyone else out there.
So believe it or not there is actually a science to getting the right business portrait and a professional photographer will either ask this or have done their research to ensure it is all covered.
Some of the key things you should think about before your business portraits.
- Where will the images be used, website, social media, printed material?
- What are the key components of your brand, for example colours or ethos what image do you want your brand to portray? For example a counsellor might want to portray friendly, trustworthy and good listening skills.
- Who are your target clients ? What are they looking for?
- Do you have props that could be used in your photos, ie a personal trainer with gym equipment, a chiropractor with a skeleton
- What social media forms will you being using them on – LinkedIn, FB, twitter, Instagram, Youtube, they all have different specifications and layouts
- What words would you use to describe your business, your style? Ie fresh, bold, friendly, approachable, professional
How can this information be used? Well, where your image is used will affect the layout so for example Linkedin it would need to be square, if facebook it could be the banner do you have a png logo to add to it? For the branding if you have a specific colour then perhaps include it in your clothing somewhere, if your style is friendly then your picture needs to portray this.
Perhaps most importantly a professional image by a professional photographer shows your clients that you take your business seriously and also employ professionals with in your business. It also is a business expense just like your accountant or bookkeeper.
The business portrait is your digital ‘first impression’ there will never be a second first impression.
Research has shown the most effective personality trait to show in our business portraits is likability!
But how do we show likability?
Key components of likability are subtle micro expressions that you may not even realise you are doing. Relaxed shoulders and just enough of a smile to get squinting in your eyes are a couple.
Having eye contact and no harsh light or shadows is also key.
Perhaps the biggest factor when choosing our business portrait for likability is that we are simply not able to choose the best image of ourselves. There is a scientific reason for this but still how do we choose? Well we can ask friends and family or if you want an impartial opinion then try submitting 3 photos to a website called photofeeler.com, they will take a short survey and grade your image on competence, likability and influence for a business portrait.
In order to get you started with your business portrait and catapult you into the serious professional I have a Flash Friday Headshot sale. On Friday November 3rd from 10am to the last apt at 4:30 pm. A 20min session with one digital image in 5 formats is £125, normally £160. To book yours call 07768 078 088 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org