The Headshot is quickly becoming a must have piece of many professionals marketing arsenal, previously reserved for people in the public eye (mainly actors) it has branched outward from the performing arts circle and entered a new realm of business. Now that word business can mean a lot of things to a lot of people but mostly it means you’ll be dealing with people, people you’ve never met, people you’ve never seen and most importantly people you need to trust you. Statistically people have made their mind up about a person with 7 seconds of meeting them and 55% of their judgement comes from how you present yourself. Now this is all well and good if you’re meeting face to face, you can prep your hair, straighten your tie and you can make sure you smell good, but what if you’re only meeting people for the first time at 3 a.m when you’re asleep? A lot of communication and research on future interactions is now done online and as such you’ll be introducing yourself to people without even knowing it, and what will they receive as a first impression, a selfie taken outside a sandwich shop which you think is ok because you’re hair was on point that day. Trust me, that’s not ok, if you want to be approached and treated like a professional, no matter your profession, you must present yourself professionally, if you don’t take yourself seriously, why should anyone else?
People are judgemental, its that simple. We judge books by covers for crying out loud, when we know full well that the outer cover does not reflect the actual contents which lay beneath it. This is where the Headshot comes in, studies have shown that on websites such as facebook and linkedin changing your profile picture from a selfie at a sandwich shop to a professionally lit and co-ordinated headshot can increase interactions by 10%! 10% just by changing your picture! This may sound ridiculous but lets think about it, do you want to do business with someone who doesn’t take their business image seriously? If you appear more approachable and well put together then more people are attracted towards your business, and getting people through the door is what its all about as a business.
But what if you’re not a business, lets say your working professional looking to change jobs, lets say that a prospective employer is trawling through applicants social media accounts (because they do that for some reason) who looks better, Greg with his mates dabbing at a bus stop, or Sarah who’s taken the time to show shes got her s**t together with a professional Headshot? As cool as Greg may be, they’re not going to choose Greg.
This seems almost like a nothing thing, but its huge, whats the first things a new social account asks you for after your name, upload a photo of yourself. That right there is how important it is for people to see you, and what you choose to show them in that tiny 170 x 170 pixel box is going to influence 55% of their decision to work with you.
Headshots or profile pictures or account headers or whatever you call them (call them headshots, definitely headshots) need to present the best version of you so that people aren’t deterred by that basic human trait of judging a book by its cover.