The Importance Of Professional Headshots
Most of us have heard the idiom, “a picture paints a thousand words.” It conveys the notion that a picture can communicate in a second what would typically take a full page of text. Well, according to brainrules.net, this idiom is very true. Statistics show that when we read a piece of information, we will forget 90% of it after just three days. However, if that same information is paired with an image, our brains will remember 65% of it after three days. That is a striking difference! How does this apply to web design and digital marketing? We all want future clients to still be thinking about our business long after they’ve left our website, encouraging them to come back and make a purchase or engage with us. According to this data, including really great photography on your website that represents your brand is especially important. Now, let’s apply this to your team’s headshot photos... Although having really great written content on your website is awesome, your clients do not want to just read a blurb about who you are, they want to actually see your face and get to know the people behind the organization. Let your potential client know that they are working with real human beings, helping to build trust with them, and making a personal connection. Who hasn’t dialed a 1-800 number answered by an automated machine and thought, “I just want to speak to a human!” That is how people feel when they look at websites, deciding if they want to work with your business. Did you know that the second most visited page on your site is the “about” page? This is because, yes, people are interested in what you do, but they are also interested in who you are. If you want to start getting great business from your website, you need to think about including professional headshots.
So, what makes a great headshot? We are so glad you asked. We have come up with few tips to point you in the right direction:
- First off, your headshot should reflect your brand. The style of your headshot will communicate a lot to your visitors. Remember what we said earlier about how much information is remembered from a picture versus just text? Say that your company’s stated values are “creativity, intentionality, fun, and professionalism”, but your headshot is a grainy picture from the summit of your last 3-day hike. While that may be fun and creative, it doesn’t exactly scream “professionalism.” Potential clients want to see that you can be trusted, are capable of handling whatever service they are seeking from you, and will highly value your interaction with them. It is wild to think, but all of that can be communicated from a great professional headshot.
- Secondly, make sure you keep your headshot up-to-date. Though it may be tempting to use a headshot of your younger, perhaps more attractive, self for your organization’s website, it is probably a better idea not to. Visitors on your website want to find out who you are, not who you were. Let’s say a visitor of your website turns into a client, but when they meet you in person they do not recognize you because the headshot they found on your site does not accurately reflect who you are now. It will seem misleading and confusing. And, the last thing you want to do is lose trust with clients. So, keep your headshot current.
- This next tip is a big deal. BIG DEAL. Find a professional photographer. It might be tempting to save a few bucks trying to take headshots yourself, but it will benefit your company in the long run to hire a professional. Not only is it crucial to hire a professional photographer, but you need to look for consistency in their portfolio. Do not just hire the first professional photographer you come across or your friend who you want to support. If their portfolio is not cohesive, they probably have not discovered who they are as an artist. You want to see people in a photographer’s portfolio looking confident, because you want to look confident in your own headshot.
- Lastly, keep it simple & clean. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take creative photos that represent your brand, but try not to compromise the focal point of the headshot. The purpose of a headshot is to highlight the person, not the background. When an image is crowded or too busy, it can be distracting, thus taking away from the intent of the photograph. Using the great outdoors or other backdrops for your photo can be effective if it keeps in line with your brand. But a simple grey, white, or neutral background is best.
The goal is to give future clients a reason to remember you, putting a face to your company. Including headshots on your website will do just that. They humanize your company which can help build trust with your future clients. So, hire a professional photographer who can help ensure that your headshots represents your brand well.
Does your website accurately reflect you? Contact STORY today.