We all study faces. We're programmed from birth to look into faces and read every nuanced expression. So, when it comes to being uniquely memorable to the right people and creating connection and trust, why do so many of us use terrible photos to represent our single most important differentiating asset?
Baffling isn't it?
So, to help, I've listed some major reasons your current headshots may need replacing with ones that actually work in your favour rather than against you.
What a great headshot does for you:
1. It shows that you take yourself and what you do seriously. A cheap, amateur-looking portrait is likely to convey that you, your product, service, or art will be of similarly low grade. Who wants that?
2. It shows your personality. A good photographer will work hard to capture images that actually look like you — you in your best light. Your headshot portrait will attract people who will want to know more, think they'll like you, and will want to trust you.
3. It keeps you current. I know someone who still uses a headshot I took for him nearly 15 years ago! Granted, he hasn't changed very much and can get away with it, but for the rest of us, doing that risks allowing a disconnect to happen if your photo and the real you are noticeably different. I'm thinner on top and fatter round the middle than I used to be. So, rather than sink into denial, or buy a wig and girdle, new headshot photos quickly fixed the problem.
4. It increases your self-confidence. When we feel good about ourselves, other people relax quicker and a healthy relationship is easier to establish and maintain. If we are confident that our first impression is favourable then the next steps are so much easier.
5. The investment is worth more than you spend. If you make use of your new headshot portrait consistently everywhere that you're represented, you'll quickly gain new credibility, influence, and trust. Use them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your own website, guest blog posts, press features, agency listings, dating sites etc
It's cliche but true that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Very often your headshot is your first impression. And you've got under six seconds to make it.