After you get your headshots, what do you do with them? There are the obvious answers. You’re going to put one on LinkedIn, you’re going to put one on your business Facebook Page, you’re going to put one on the bio page of your website. You’re also probably going to use them in some industry directories, or perhaps for a speaking engagement.
What else can you do with them though? Having a few good headshots of yourself can prove to be useful in more ways than you might imagine, though they are less obvious than those above. Ultimately, it all depends on what you do and what sorts of clients you serve, but if you’re personality is at all important to your work, these three ideas might be worth thinking about.
On your business card
This one should be a no brainer, but every day I am handed business cards lacking a face to attach to the printed name.
Putting your headshot on your business card may seem a little egotistical—After all, you’re not an actor and how you look isn’t important to what you do—but it’s not about ego or appearance, it’s about memory. When we plow our memories trying to remember something or someone, we use all the cues we can find to bring it all to mind. Pictures, words, sounds, smells, all to remember something as completely as possible.
When you hand someone a business card it might be months before they look at it again with purpose, and at that point, it’s important that they can clearly remember why they were glad to take the card in the first place. Being able to remember what you look like might just be the key to that.
In your email signature
Depending on what you do for a living, this might not be appropriate. But, if you are someone whose performance in some way depends on the rapport you develop with your clients, putting your headshot in your email signature, even quite small, can help.
If you spend a lot of time conversing with your clients over email, but only occasionally see them in person, the headshot in the signature will help to subtly bridge the gap. Your clients know how you speak and sound and look. By regularly seeing your headshot in emails, what you write becomes more a part of that personal understanding and helps you develop that rapport within digital communication.
In your advertising
People notice faces, we’re hardwired to do it. All things being equal, people also trust someone they can see over someone they have never seen. Advertising is all about winning people’s attention and ultimately their money, or support, or whatever your goal is. If you’re a plumber (yes, you should still have a headshot), you might be tempted to just use photos of pipes and wrenches and appliance fixtures in your advertisement. But look up plumbers, that’s what all of them are doing.
So, imagine for a minute that you’re at an industry trade show and there are two booths that look almost identical. They’re both completely hidden behind curtains. One has an arrow that invites you in, the other has an arrow that invites you in and an attendant greeting you as you walk up. Which booth do you think is going to get more visitors?
I’m not suggesting you should use your face for your whole advertisement, I’m suggesting you put your face in there somewhere near the contact information. Help them imagine who they are about to talk to when they follow your call to action. Help them feel greeted by a human.