What not to do when Putting A Professional Face To Your Business
People are already searching you and your business on all types of platforms (websites, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google etc). Clients research business and brands before they interact or buy you or your offering. So it is essential to make the right first impression. Getting the right professional headshot not only puts a professional face to your business, it also makes you more relatable. Being seen as real person validates you, keeps your business up to date, and adds a level of communication to your audience. It is a business tool to show you at your best
My aim is to provide my clients with a professional service, give them an empowering experience and an image they can be proud of and use over and over again. So many people hate having their photo taken, and believe you me, I am one of those people, so I totally understand the dread people have in getting their portrait taken. My aim is to alleviate that stress and make the process fun.
I do that by listening and understanding exactly what my clients want. Giving them all the information they need prior to the shoot.
What Not To Do
If you want to look professional, please don’t use a photo that was taken in your kitchen (unless you’re in the food industry or make kitchens) or at a friend’s wedding with the person beside you cropped out! I’ve seen that way too often on professional sites. You may love the photo and it reminds you of a great time in your life. But this is not about you personally, you are representing your business brand. If you want your customers to see you as a professional you have to show them that you are professional.
No matter what your business is , you want your clients to trust and buy from you. I’m sure you have all heard it before, but it’s so true – People Buy People. How you present yourself, the clothes you wear, your pose, the background – say it all. So it is vitally important to make the right impression.
My first failure
I had only just set up my business (over 20 years ago now) and I assumed that people knew what they wanted in their photography. I had a female client coming in to the studio for a professional headshot. I went through the usual questions:
- What are you looking for?
- What platforms will the images to be used on?
- What style would you like and what look do you want to portray?
So we set the date and she was to bring a selection of clothes, have her hair and make-up done the way she wanted it for the shoot. And when the time came, I realised we had two totally different understandings of how she wanted to represent her business.
What I learnt from this was, never assume! I asked her to bring a selection of clothes, but what I DIDN’T do, was prompt her with the right questions that made her consider the suitability of clothes she was bringing. Such as: do they fit, are they clean and ironed, do the colours work well for you, will the look represent the brand you want to portray?
Never assume the customer knows what you know. Educate your client to the best of your ability. Provide them with all the information they need to make the right choices.
What is the message you want to give out with your photo image? Are you presenting as professional yet approachable, do you want to portray trust, is your business all about fun and energy?
An overlooked, but important aspect of a person’s image are the colours that best suit them. Do the colour of your clothes suit your skin tone and eyes? Personally I know the colour pink really doesn’t suit me and can make me look ill, so I know to avoid that colour.
If in doubt or unsure, bring a few outfits, different colours and different necklines and get the advice from your photographer.
Simple and obvious but yet easily forgotten.