Your personal brand is about creating emotional connections. Just like a real-world first impression, the images you use for your digital presence have the power to create an instant connection or turn your customers off. In a competitive market, any edge over your competition is worth activating. Whether you’re an experienced corporate executive or a successful entrepreneur, a congruous online impression is a must. That presence plays a crucial role and your photographs should reflect that you are an authority in your field and trusted professional.
- Hire a team who really knows their stuff. Remember, this is your chance to make a stunning first impression even before you meet your client. In the world of social media, even a layman is sophisticated enough to spot high quality shots. Yes, you do need a professional to do your styling, hair and makeup, someone who’s highly experienced in his/her field. Over the top? I think not. This is an investment in your success.
- Dress the part. Consider the personal brand you want to convey when choosing your wardrobe. If you’re a professional organizer, you want to LOOK like the most polished professional organizer EVER! If you’re a bank executive, look like one while maintaining your individuality. For example you could wear traditional business attire and add a complimentary accessory that ‘feels’ like you. Remember… your wardrobe is meant to compliment you, not overpower you so keep it simple. The details matter, too. Be sure your clothes are nicely steamed and your shoes polished. Is your mani-pedi current? Are your roots done? Your eyebrows shaped? Your skin well moisturized? For the guys, focus on nicely manicured hands, well groomed hair, brows, nose and ear hairs (yes, I said it).
- Be approachable and smile. During your photo shoot treat the camera lens as if it’s your ideal or favorite client. For example: Do you want to come across as warm and engaging or focus more on looking qualified and efficient? Often times it’s a blend of the two.
- Be yourself. Avoid looking too posed. A high quality photographer will allow you to move freely and make tiny adjustments so that your body language will represent who YOU are and look natural. As always, keep a regal posture. You’ll look and feel confident and capable.
- Market yourself. Your photographs should function far beyond a headshot. Take vertical AND horizontal shots. Discuss your needs with your marketing/branding/web expert before your shoot. Is there a tasteful prop that represents you? Do you need speaker, book cover, general marketing campaign shots?
- Consistency is key. Once you have landed on the look and feel of your personal brand, be sure the images you use are consistent with it. Credibility and recognition are achieved much quicker if your look is consistent and current. Are your photographs current or do they look like you 15 years ago?
- Take care. I would be remiss if I didn’t strongly remind you to take extra care of yourself for the few days leading up to your session. Lots of water, sleep and healthy food. Nothing too salty or spicy.
Your photo session can be a fun and rewarding experience if you plan for it accordingly. Remember to enjoy and be yourself!