It’s time to talk branding. Right now I want to talk about your personal brand – the image you project to the world that defines who you are and what you’re about. If you’re an entrepreneur or a business professional, your personal brand is essential in your success.
So what is one part of my personal brand that I can improve to make the maximum impact to my online presence? Your headshot. Yep, you heard right – one single photograph that can make or break your entire brand. Why? Because it’s almost always the first thing people see when they come across your website, socials or marketing materials. And you only get one chance at a first impression. What happens if you screw it up?
If we are going to nail our personal brand, attract new clients, establish ourselves as the leader in our industry then we need to focus on the following. Today I will share with you why your headshot is so important to your brand’s success and how to make sure you are sending a message that aligns with your core values and attracts your idea people. It’s time to take control of your image because no one else is going to do it for you.
First of all What Defines a Headshot?
A headshot doesn’t really mean a close-up photo of your head and shoulders like it used to. With the rise of social media and people wanting a personal connection with the brands they work with, headshots have slowly come to encompass so much more.
A headshot is simply the main image you use, of your face, to portray your persona to the world. This can be from the waist up, head only (do not recommend), shoulders and head or the whole body. But it MUST contain your face and your face MUST be the first thing people notice about the image. Otherwise it will fall short of fulfilling it’s purpose – a personal and emotive connection.
First Impressions are Lasting Impressions – Make ‘Em Count
We all know the old saying:’ you never get a second chance to make a first impression’. And when it comes to branding yourself or your business, that first impression is usually made with your headshot.
Think about the times you are looking at other brands online – before you read a single word, before you check out their logo, before you look at their past work – you are presented with their headshot. It’s the face of any personable brand and absolutely sets the tone for your entire brand experience. This is why it’s so important to have not only a professional quality headshot, but a non-boring, non-run-of-the-mill headshot that sparks an emotional response from your audience.
For Toowoomba locals Oh Tilly Brand Photography is the leading personal and corporate brand photographer. With over 20 years of experience Tilly knows what makes brands successful and how to evoke an emotive response from their audiences.
We all form an opinion of someone new within the first few seconds of meeting them. Those first seconds online you only have their headshot to go by and that can make or break you. Those initial moments are crucial because they determine if we trust someone, find their persona attractive, and decide whether we will work with them or not.
Never underestimate the power of a great headshot! A high-quality photo can convey confidence, approachability, and professionalism at a moment’s glance. It shows potential clients that you are a serious business and invest in yourself and your presentation. This says so much about their potential experience with your brand as well. Someone who takes care and consideration in their approach to their headshot is more likely to take care and consideration in every part of their business.
Now that we’ve covered why first impressions matter let’s look at how visual communication plays an essential role in building our brands.
The Power Of Visual Communication
Visual communication is the key to unlocking your brand’s potential. Just like how a painting speaks volumes without words, a well-crafted headshot can convey professionalism and authority in an instant. That’s why finding the right corporate branding photographer (Oh Tilly Brand Photography if you’re near Toowoomba) should be at the top of your priority list.
Oh Tilly Branding Photographer’s services are essential for building a consistent image that will set you apart from competitors. Professional brand photos aren’t just about pretty imagery, they are about communicating your message effectively and instilling confidence in your audience that they can know, like and trust you.
Diving deeper into the psychology of visual communication, we learn that it’s not just about having pretty pictures; it’s about telling a story through images that evoke emotional connections with people on a subconscious level. A show-stopping headshot captures your personality and conveys your UVP (unique value proposition) – showcasing what makes you different from your competitors.
Look at it like this: Your headshot is the cover of the book of your business – your clients are shopping in a massive visual bookstore and if your book cover doesn’t catch their eye and compel them to pick it up, then all the wonderful things about your business inside will never be seen. The same applies to your personal brand; if your headshot isn’t appealing enough, then potential clients just scroll past until one of your competitors stands out from the sea of visuals.
That’s why investing in high-quality visual communication services such as those offered by a skilled branding photographer is crucial for establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. So take charge of your branding today and make sure that every photo tells a compelling story!
Creating A Consistent Image
When it comes to your brand, consistency is key. Creating a consistent image across every place your brand is public is essential to nurturing trust with your audience. Your headshot plays the biggest role in your consistency.
I mean come on! It’s the face of your brand. It sets the tone for how they perceive your entire business.
But creating a consistent image goes beyond just your headshot. It means using the same colors, fonts, and messaging across all marketing materials. From social graphics to business cards. This helps create some familiarity with your brand, making it easier for people to remember and recognise your brand and what it stands for.
Consistency in your public persona also shows potential clients that you are a consistent business persona and therefore more likely to be consistent in your services which helps them to trust you.
Do not underestimate the power of creating a consistent image through every aspect of your branding – including your headshot. That way you will establish recognition and trust and set yourself apart from competitors who might have boring and/or inconsistent branding strategies.
As we think about personalising our brands further, keep in mind that consistency needs to be at the forefront of any changes or adjustments made.
Personalising Your Brand
Did you know that personalising your brand can increase customer loyalty by up to 60%? That’s right, when customers feel a personal connection with a business, they are more likely to become raving fans for that brand. And one of the best ways to personalise your brand is with your face.
A picture tells a thousand words and a headshot tells a thousand about you and your values. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, or corporate professional, having a strong and authentic headshot can make a difference in the way people see you and your brand.
In today’s crowded marketplace, consumers have endless options at their fingertips. They want to work with companies that align with their values and beliefs and they want to support local. By showcasing your personality and qualities through your headshot, you can attract your people. People who align with your values and will love you for that.
So how do you create a personalised headshot that accurately represents your brand? There is so much to consider like lighting, background, wardrobe, hair and makeup, posing and facial expressions. It may seem overwhelming but don’t worry – we’ll cover all of these topics in detail in our next section on ‘professional headshots vs DIY options.’
In short, personalizing your brand through your headshot is crucial for building customer loyalty and standing out in a competitive market. Don’t underestimate the power of this small yet mighty image- it could be the key ingredient that takes your branding efforts from good to great!
Professional Headshots Vs DIY Options
Your headshot is the face of your brand. It’s what people see first when they come across you online or in person. That’s why it’s crucial to have a professional headshot that represents you and your brand accurately.
Professional headshots vs DIY options – which one should you go for? While there are plenty of tutes out there on how to take your own headshots, nothing beats the knowledge and experience of a professional like Oh Tilly to capture you in a way that sends the exact message you want to send. Tilly understands how lighting and background can instantly change the mood of a photograph, how different poses and angles can make you look and can change how people perceive you, and ultimately how to make you look your absolute best. Tilly also retouches all of her images professionally and this is evident in the contrast, colour and clarity of the finished product. Basically an unretouched, unposed, poorly lit image screams DIY and that’s not a message you want to send to potential clients. What other areas of your business have you failed to invest in that may affect their experience with you?
It may seem an easy place to save money in your business bus your headshot may be one area you simply can not afford to skimp on. Poor lighting or unflattering poses can make all the difference between attracting potential clients or turning them off completely. And while filters and editing apps can enhance an image, they cannot replace the expertise of a trained eye.
In the age of Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn people are scrolling through visuals all day, you have to grab their attention, you have to have a strong visual presence. A great headshot acts as an anchor for your branding efforts by providing consistency across different channels. It reinforces what you stand for and helps build trust among potential customers.
So if you’re serious about building a successful personal brand that resonates with others, investing in a professional headshot is a non-negotiable. Don’t let poor quality images hold back your growth potential. Invest in yourself and watch your personal brand soar!
FAQs – Some Questions I Receive From Other Brand Owners Looking to Up-Level Their Brand Visuals.
How Can I Make Sure My Headshot Stands Out From Others In My Industry?
If you’ve read all the way through this blog post so far, I am sure you realise that you NEED a fabulous headshot and you’re probably ready to update that old drab one you have. How can you make sure that your headshot stands out from others in your industry? Here’s the best ways to get a headshot that will attract your ideal clients and be the envy of your competition!
Most importantly you need to be authentic. Yeah, it’s a buzzword and I hate buzz words. But it’s true. You have to reflect who you really are, don’t try to be someone you are not and definitely never try to emulate your competitors. That’s a quick road to never standing out. Instead, showcase your own unique personality and style so that people can see what makes you different from everyone else.
Next, nail the details. Hair and makeup for the ladies, outfit, background (do you want a solid background or an environmental background?). Ensure your choices align with your brand values. If you’re an artist, then you could wear your apron with paint on it, if you’re a lawyer then you should be clean and polished.
Most importantly, hire a professional branding photographer, it’s not as expensive as you think. This is not a job for a wedding or family photographer, you need to choose someone who understands branding and brand story telling. If you’re in Toowoomba that is always going to be Oh Tilly Brand Photography, Toowoomba’s best corporate brand photography specialist.
Lastly, remember to have fun during your shoot! When you feel relaxed and confident, it shows through in your pictures. Play around with different poses and facial expressions until you find ones that best represent you. Tilly has a posing guide that can help you out, head to the link at the bottom of this article for access to Oh Tilly’s FREE posing guide.
In essence, having headshots that stand out all boils down to being true to yourself while also paying attention to quality and detail. By following these tips, I’m positive that not only will your headshot grab people’s attention but also leave them wanting more of what you have to offer!
What Do I Wear for my Headshots?
This is a great article on what to wear for your branding session, your headshot is a less complex. Headshots can be shoulders up or waist up. Headshot has simply become the go-to term for the main image of you used in your branding. So what you wear on the bottom may be just as important as what you wear on top. Think about the length you’d like your image to be before deciding on outfit.
A professional will always be wearing something different to a tradesperson or artist. Choose clothing that represents you on your best day of work. It is also important for more creative brands to showcase their personality. So wear your favourite pair of statement earrings or that headband that everyone knows you for. Your personal brand is YOU. So be yourself and wear what you would normally be recognised for.
At the end of the day there is no universal rule for whether you should wear professional attire in your headshot because it depends on various factors such as industry norms, target audience preferences, and platform requirements. Ultimately, the most important thing is that your headshot accurately represents who you are and what you stand for while appealing to those who matter most: Your ideal customers.
Should My Headshot Be Updated Regularly, And If So, How Often?
You probably agree now that your headshot is one of the most important parts of your branding. But have you ever wondered how often it should be updated? Regularly? The short answer is yes, you should update your headshot regularly. Here are some of the reasons you should.
Think about your own experiences in this situation: you’re meeting someone for the first time, what’s the first thing you notice? That’s right, their face! If the last time you updated your headshot was two years ago and now you look completely different (think haircut, hair colour, weight loss/gain, new style), then there might be a bit of confusion when people meet you in person. Updating your headshot regularly ensures that potential clients or customers know exactly who they’re working with before even meeting them in person.
Another reason to update your headshot regularly is because trends come and go. What looked trendy and modern five years ago probably seems outdated today. By keeping your headshot current, you show potential clients or customers that you’re staying up-to-date with industry trends and are invested in presenting yourself professionally. Once again setting their expectations for their experience with you.
So how can you make sure that updating your headshot doesn’t become an overwhelming task? One way is to schedule regular photoshoots with a professional photographer. This allows for consistency across all platforms where your photo appears – from LinkedIn to Instagram to business cards – while also eliminating any stress around finding the perfect shot at the last minute. Pick a month, YES January is my busiest headshot month but you don’t have to choose them!
Remember, investing in quality photography is an investment in yourself and your business. So take some time to evaluate whether it’s time for an updated headshot and make sure to prioritise scheduling those photoshoots moving forward!
Can I Use A Candid Or Informal Photo As My Headshot, Or Does It Need To Be Posed And Formal?
Well, in short, it depends.
First of all, it’s crucial to understand that your headshot is the first and biggest way potential clients will get a glimpse into who you are and what you do.You need to be professional but also relatable. So making the right choice is essential.
While a candid or informal photo may seem like a more relaxed option, it might not necessarily reflect your professional persona accurately. Your brand image should align with how others perceive you in business settings. Maybe opting for posed professional photos is the safer choice if you’re looking to create a strong corporate brand. As an artist or someone who works with children, a candid image may work well. Especially if you have a massive grin on your face or are laughing naturally.
But this doesn’t mean that every aspect of your headshot has to be rigidly controlled. You can still inject some personality into it by selecting clothing and backgrounds that speak to your unique style. And working with an industry expert like Oh Tilly will ensure that you are relaxed, comfortable and approachable in your images.
How Exactly Can My Headshot Convey My Brand’s Messaging And Values?
You have to understand the power of visual communication. Scroll some ‘headshots’ on Pinterest/Google Images and ask yourself what you think about that person when you simply look at their photo. Take note of the elements in that image that are making you form that particular opinion about that person. Which of them are favourable? Will that work for your brand?
The elements of your image that convey a particular message are: MOOD: Lighting, shadow, background, colours. POSE: Standing or sitting, side on or posed directly to camera, tilted head or straight, chin up or chin downwards, looking up into the camera or looking down into the camera. EXPRESSION: Smiling, laughing, neutral, serious, flirsty. OUTFIT: Formal attire, black tie attire (yes you can take your headshot in a ball gown!), paint covered apron, high vis branded tradie shirt. HAIR AND MAKEUP: Are you wearing a formal amount of makeup, or natural and light, are you wearing bright lippie or neutral? GROOMING: Have you had a fresh haircut, men are you clean shaven or well groomed if you have facial hair.
All of these elements form a tiny piece of the puzzle that altogether make people form opinions about you within moments. You have to align them all to your message or you may miss the mark.
Fortunately Tilly has a session workbook and a guide to help you nail every tiny detail of your headshot or branding shoot.
(TLDR) What is the Take-Away Message?
Your headshot is the cornerstone of your brand. It’s what creates that crucial first impression and communicates who you are before people even read your content. A picture is worth a thousand words, and with so much visual noise out there, it’s essential to ensure yours speaks volumes.
Your headshot is the storefront of your business and/or personal brand. It has to be welcoming, inviting, and reflective of who you are as an individual or company. Don’t settle for anything less than amazing – invest in professional photography services if you can!
And remember, people connect with PEOPLE – not businesses or logos. So put yourself out there and let them see the real YOU through a visually stunning representation of yourself, your story and your values.