Why Are Professional Portraits Important?
In todays world, a large majority of "first impressions" are often digital. Both professional & business related interactions often start online whether it’s through a company website or social media. Your professional headshot goes a long way in delivering a consistent digital identity & personal brand across all platforms that you choose to utilize. A professional headshot can help you establish credibility & trust when you’re connecting with other professionals on social media networks like Linkedin. Approach these digital interactions as you would any first impression.
People don’t buy from companies, they buy from brands. Everyone has their own personal brand. Even if you work for a large company, sales are often generated as a direct result of a one on one interaction with a personal brand within that company. Whether you’re happy in your current position or you’re looking for new career opportunities, your personal brand is the catalyst for professional growth.
Your digital identity is a representation of your online self. A great headshot goes a long way in creating a respectable online presence and a personal brand that people trust. Think about people you know and trust. Chances are, you have a clear and distinct visual of what they look like. It’s hard to trust someone you can’t visualize.
Imagine this. You're thinking about taking your spouse out to a nice meal for your anniversary. You decide you want to find a nice Italian restaurant. With a quick search online and you've found two local Italian restaurants. But one has a way more intriguing website than the other. They've got these beautiful images of the building's exterior architecture & dining areas, everyone in the images look like they're having a great time. The food photography looks like imagery you'd see in a Food Network magazine. They have this amazing portrait of the Italian chef who's parents started the restaurant back in the day. And the other guys....well their photos are terrible. They look like snapshots taken from a cell phone or point and shoot camera in terrible lighting. Not only that, their website isn't mobile friendly which is a big deal, because chances are, you're searching for restaurants on your mobile device. So where are you going to take your spouse for dinner? Which one looks more appealing & appetizing?
Let me answer for you. Based on the websites you just viewed, you're going to choose the nice Italian restaurant with the best digital identity. The place with the amazing chef portrait validating the authenticity of the establishment on their "About" page. The Italian restaurant with better food photography, and the nice interior space where everyone is having a great time. Why is this? Because you had a great first impression based on the restaurant's digital identity. You haven't even stepped foot onto their property. Yet you've established an emotional connection with the beautiful imagery and a perceived value of that restaurant. Even though the interaction was purely digital, your first impression was a good one.
What does an Italian restaurant have to do with a portrait? Much like the Italian restaurant's digital identity, your portrait is a digital representation of your online self. Often times your first impression is happening whether you are aware of it or not. If you're using social media, or your portrait is on a company website than it's safe to assume that your digital headshot is communicating with potential sales leads, new business ventures, new clients/customers, maybe even new job opportunities. But what is it saying about you?
Why Your Cell Phone "Selfies" May Be Hurting Your Personal Brand
Chances are, if you're using a so called "selfie" as your portrait on professional networking sites or company websites, you are being perceived as unprofessional and may be missing opportunities. Or perhaps, you're a CEO and have a missing headshot. What does that say about your company & personal brand? It may come off as untrustworthy & unsure. That mediocre Linkedin headshot taken with your cell phone camera doesn't matter....until the next big company is looking for real talent.
In today's age, your portrait/headshot is extremely important to your personal brand & digital identity. A great headshot should project confidence & professionalism. Having a great headshot for your personal brand can lead to some amazing opportunities in the future.
Here are some things to think about:
- How do you want people to perceive you in person & online? Do they currently align with each other?
- Are you using social media to search for career opportunities or advancement?
- Do you run your own business? How do you want people to perceive your business? It starts at the top.
- Do you want job recruiters to show interest in you? A great headshot can grab their attention.
Contact Brian Rodgers Jr. at Digital Art That Rocks LLC today if you're interested in seeing what a professional headshot from Digital Art That Rocks can do for your business!