Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First Impressions: Why Your Profile Photo Could be Costing You Clients

There is no doubt that we live in an image-driven world.  As we've seen with the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, photo sharing is huge.  This makes me wonder why so many people are content with shitty and unflattering profile pictures.  Don't first impressions matter anymore?

Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 for nearly 1 billion dollars and apparently there are more users on Instagram now than Twitter.  That alone should be motivation enough to encourage people to get a new profile photo for 2015.

CTV News at 6 Anchor, Tamara Taggart
Realtor, Shannon McComb
Realtor, Sonja Jones
President of Metropolitan Fine Printers, Nikos Kallas
Public Relations and Communications Expert, Tiffany Soper
Public Relations and Communications Expert, Samantha Geer
Money shouldn't be an excuse either.   Aspiring actors know the value of a great headshot and will invest their last dollar to get the right one.  There's no reason why the rest of us shouldn't either.  There are many photographers that will do a day of "LinkedIn" photos at a discounted rate.  Or,  give up that Starbucks latte for a year, and you'll have more than enough for not only a photographer, but hair and makeup too.

But, you ask, what does my Facebook or Instagram profile picture have to do with my business?  Everything.  Here are three more reasons why you should invest in a getting a great headshot:

1. First impressions matter now more than ever!
I can't stress this one enough.  Your potential clients/collaborators/employers are inundated with choice and you better believe they'll be checking out their options on every corner of the web.  Given that employers google applicants and look them up not just on LinkedIn but Facebook and any other social media platform they can find, there is no doubt we are judged by that profile photo.  With so many options at our finger tips, why would anyone spent time reading about your credentials and experience when your photo looks unprofessional?

Interior Designer, Anna Dhillon
Restauranteur, Patrick Corsi
George Retsos of Enviro Image Solutions

2. It shows you care.
Whether it's your personal brand or professional one, a great portrait or headshot shows you care about yourself and/or your business.  And when you show that you care about yourself, your associates or clients will trust that you care about them.

Artist, Bobbie Burgers
Claudia Alan Eyeglass Designer, Carla D'Angelo Thomas
Chef Tret Jordan of Homer Street Cafe
Movie Producer, Dave Valleau
Nutrionist, Haley Barton
3.  Currency is important.
I can speak from first hand knowledge about this one.  For the longest time, I had a headshot that I loved...but it was 8 years old.  (Like a lot of photographers, I'm camera shy).  Not only that, I'm camera shy.  My good friend and colleague Linda Mackie finally convinced me to update it.  And boy am I glad I did.  It's important to have a current headshot as it representation of who you are today.   Maybe you were 20 pounds lighter and had more hair, but it is deception.   After all, you don't want to start new relationship off on a level of distrust and skepticism.


In this photo saturated world, a great headshot is like a really good handshake and your visual elevator pitch.  Done right, it conveys confidence, trust and strength of character, while inviting viewers to find out more.


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