“If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.”
~ Scott Stratten
Having a professional looking headshot or full body shot is an absolute MUST!!!
People will immediately make up their mind about whether they trust you based on this picture. It is so important to really think through the professional image you want to portray to your ideal client.
Make sure that your pictures are helping you build trust, not hurting your image before you even get started. A professional picture doesn’t just mean that you paid someone to do it for you. Nowadays you can get a very professional looking picture on personal cameras.
What I mean is… Does it represent you as a professional?
Does your style of dress resonate with who you really are, and will it attract your ideal client? If you are targeting working professionals, you may want to wear a suit jacket. If you are targeting artisans, you may want to show your artistic flare though your clothing choice.
Are you wearing clothing which distracts people from looking at your face? You don’t want people to be thinking about the strange hat or the crazy tie unless you’re doing it intentionally to connect with your clients. Even then, simple tends to be better.
Does the picture make sense for your target audience? If you are working with youth, having a graffiti wall as a background could make sense, but may not have the same effect if you were targeting a geriatric population. Remember your audience.
Consider the style of your ideal client and use that to inform your professional images. It’s not about pretending to be something you’re not. It’s about presenting an image your clients will positively respond to.
Your headshot should be clear and in focus with you looking into the camera. Don’t have shadows or other obstructions across your face. You should be the only person in the photo, don’t crop yourself out of a pre-existing image.
Consider your pose and facial expression. You probably want to appear warm and inviting, accepting, non-judgemental, confident and relatable. You may have other pictures of you on other pages of your site, but it is wise to have some consistency across all images. Variation in clothing, pose, setting, etc is fine and even encouraged. But always keep in mind your overriding brand image.