Most articles tell you to update your headshot every one to two years in order to stay relevant in our constantly changing digital world. First impressions matter, and so I encourage you to be more intentional about your headshot needs, the audience you are hoping to reach and the expressions you want to convey in your new business portrait.
It takes only ten seconds for someone to look at you and form an opinion about you, as shared in this Forbes article.
Let’s take a look at these 7 key signals that will easily tell you when it’s time to update your headshot so you can make those ten seconds count.
1. People don’t recognize you on the street.
Imagine, someone hands you a business card, and you do a double take because the headshot doesn’t look anything like the person in front of you. We have all experienced this, and it makes you question how relevant this professional is.
As much as we would like to think that we still look the same, we don’t. Take a look in the mirror and compare it with your current headshot. What has changed?
- different hairstyle and hair color
- new frames for your glasses
- you’ve lost or gained weight
- your wardrobe has upgraded to a more current style or better fit
- your face is showing signs of simply aging (I know…I’m struggling with that one too)
This is the simplest form of a quick self audit without going any deeper into why it may be time to update your headshot. Let’s take a look at the next signs.
2. You are upleveling in your profession.
Show off your growth and expertise. It’s always amazing to see the confidence that shows when you are reaching new professional heights. Getting a set of new branding portraits will give your audience the opportunity to celebrate with you and further expand your visibility. This is a great time to be the center of attention.
3. You are expanding your marketing reach.
Most of us start with a basic headshot for our About page on our website, along with social media profile images. As your business grows, you may want portraits to better showcase that you are a keynote speaker, author, or workshop facilitator. Think about the non-profit boards you are actively involved in or other community engagement. You want headshots that fit each of these areas in order to make the best possible connections.
FOUR – You are asked for a media or press kit
Press kits are a must for speakers, authors or anyone who would like to get published. You want to have a variety of headshots and portraits available for a marketing team to pull from and fit in with the branding needs of the event you will be speaking at. Every event has their own marketing look, and you want to make sure that your headshot has a chance to stand out from the crowd.
FIVE – You don’t love your old headshot
You would think that it’s an easy decision to update a headshot you don’t like. Most people who hate their headshot have had a bad experience in the past and are hesitant to spend more money on a new session.
A respected (check Google reviews and get referrals), professional headshot photographer will take time to get to know you, listen to your concerns and share how she works with her clients to create portraits that show your essence in every pose and expression. Trust the photographer to create headshots you will love.
SIX – The quality of your headshot is not up to professional standards
Let’s talk about blurry, over or underexposed, and badly cropped headshots. Using portraits that are not on par with high-end professional standards shares a strong message to your followers on LinkedIn. It might be interpreted as not valuing yourself, being under-qualified, not willing to invest into your own future. It leaves your clients wondering if you have their best interests at heart. You want the quality of your headshot to be on par or slightly higher than how you view your own services. It will set the tone for client interactions.
SEVEN – You are using the same profile image across all social media platforms
It is antiquated advice to use the same profile image across your website, social media platforms and professional directories. You are welcome to argue with me that it easily helps people recognize who you are, regardless of where they find you. While I agree with the concept (see point ONE “Be recognizable on the street”), it keeps you from showing up in a way that better fits the style of each platform.
A headshot on Facebook can be more relaxed, fun or personal while still maintaining a professional look and making it easy for others to refer you to friends and family. On LinkedIn on the other hand you want to show your most professional, perfectly cropped, stand-out headshot to attract other professionals, head-hunters, CEO’s, businesses to collaborate with and connect with outstanding prospects.
How many of these points apply to you? Is it time to update your headshot and add a few more business portraits to the mix for a more well-rounded selection?
BONUS: Professional Headshots vs AI headshots
Here at Heike Martin Photography, we help savvy professionals experience the power of feeling seen. Can you go the AI headshot route? You sure can, but only an in-person experience will give you the expert coaching you deserve to look and feel beautiful and confident.
Sharing your new professional headshots will give you the results you’ve been looking for. As one of my clients told me after posting her new headshots on Facebook: “Heike, you were right. The comments and attention I’ve received since posting have been amazing.”
When is the last time you felt seen?
As one of the top headshot and personal branding photographers in Lancaster, PA, I specialize in helping business owners, entrepreneurs and creatives magnetize their brands with intentional, eye-catching images they actually love. It’s an experience that will transform how you see yourself.
I invite you to experience the power of feeling seen, so you can book your dream clients!