Headshots for social media is the paramount tool for success for online branding. Upon googling the search term “best social media tool” one will find articles upon news about applications like Buffer, Social Clout, Feedly and the list will go on forever.
Tons of recommended applications found to improve content and nothing mentioned regarding headshots although the best tool for social media is your headshot.
Social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram have but one thing in common and its called “headshots”. As the old cliche used to say! Pictures convey more than thousands of words, I believe that it imprints neurological signals to the viewer’s mind. Making a favourable or unfavourable sub-conscious decision about your headshot for social media.
Why headshots for Social Media?
“Our brains are so efficient at storing the ‘essence’ of a picture, capturing not just the subject but specific visual qualities.” Dr. Daniel Glaser explains in an article for “The Guardian”, how neuroscientists have determined that pictures trigger memories faster than words.
We are inundated with competing content plastered everywhere and most of us will simply look at the headshot and ignore written content. We glance at the social media content but make a decision deliberated sub-consciously through the evaluating of the headshot.
This surprises me, being alone in the belief that the most important social media tool isn’t the hundreds of content applications but the headshot, a portrait that goes beyond thousands of words, speaks to the core in silent sub-conscious communication.
Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.
— Richard Branson
Let’s pretend that before you left this morning a pipe burst and you need a plumber asap? What would be your first action? Would you google “Plumbers in my city”?
Then you might find a list of plumbers on google maps, yelp or and index of sites with thousands of words explaining why chose one or the other. In the end, one person will be going to your home, meet your family, see you. The headshot will signal your impulse to make a decision.
Recently I received a Facebook advertisement to see a guru who would make me a better person, his campaign was outstanding. Somehow he manages to get into my inbox and offer me a 50% discount, I was excited until I saw his headshot and realized that he couldn’t pay me enough to waste half a day. His headshot, a vacant smiley portrait with red shades destroyed my willingness to see this guru and I am sure thousands of others. I wondered how his fate might have resulted had he been my headshot client?
Why headshot for social media? Social media without a headshot is a vacant spot, social media with the wrong headshot is a negative and social media with a great headshot influence others to learn more about you.
What is a good Social Media Portrait?
Whether we are aware, or not aware, everyone is a brand and others will judge us on our reputation. Whenever we praise or criticize our parents we are acknowledging his or her brand, “My mother was a hard worker…”, “My father knew a lot about machines…” or “He is a liar…”. Personal branding is important because it’s how others view and perceive us.
A good headshot for social media is one that encapsulates the best of your branding identity. It manifests a deep and profound understanding of your brand by simply seeing your picture.
Most headshots out there are what we call “vacant smiley” or “vroom look”. A vacant smiley is a picture of somebody smiling fakely with a gaze that does not match. A vroom look is someone pretending to be a supermodel for a selfy or ego. Neither is effective for social media if you want to improve awareness or your brand.
A great headshot is produced by a photographer that takes interest in your life and inspires you to smile with excitement, success and engage with anyone viewing your portrait.
More branding resources
How to choose a headshot photographer
As obvious as it may seem, I am often amazed by companies and individuals trying to shortcut and save money. “We had our receptionist do our headshots but it backfired – we hated the pictures… We are a professional architectural firm and our headshots didn’t match up with our talent”. “I have been an amateur photographer for years and thought I could do my Wive’s headshot, all we did was argue and it was uncomfortable”.
Headshots seem simple but they are not easy and require a certain type of professional who has the aptitude for taking portraits and the professional system allowing you the customer to have all the resources needed. Avoid hiring a professional simply because he or she is in the photography business.
Choose a professional portrait and headshots photographer, not a wedding guy, an architectural photographer and save your money wasted with advertising agencies that will sub-contract us anyway.
Choose the right photographer
3 Must-Have Social Media Channels
Hopefully, by now you agree with me that headshots for social media are paramount toward the success of a social campaign. Are you ready for the next step but wonder where to go? The following are the three must-have social media channels for success; Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The mission of LinkedIn is simple: get the people with the right skills connected with the companies looking for specific talent. Connections lead to success.
The Facebook company builds technologies that give people the power to connect with friends and family, find communities and grow businesses.
From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics, from big events to everyday interests. If it’s happening anywhere, it’s happening on Twitter.
Tips and examples
How to Make a Great Linkedin Profile
Expert Academy provides us with tips to spruce up your LinkedIn profile to get noticed by the right people.
This is my second time working with these guys to get my headshots done. This time round, it was really important to me to showcase my brand and that I am approachable with the start of my new company Level Update. As always, Carlos and his team knocked it out of the park.
Art of Headshots specializes in corporate and professional headshots for websites, social media like LinkedIn, and advertising. We have over 13 years of experience guiding you into authentic and professional portraits.