As a professional blogger, the most my clients and colleagues will ever get to know of me is what they see on cyberspace. They begin to recognize my headshot as much as they recognize my blog. It becomes increasingly important to have a good head shot, a professionally done (or at least professional looking) photograph that I can attach to e-mails, bios and resumes. Online, your photograph really becomes an extension of your personal brand.
Why a headshot is a good tool
Several Psyhchological studies show that we are preoccupied with faces. We’re naturally drawn to them and when we become a big fan of someone’s blog or their writing, it’s only natural for us to be curious about what they look like. Having a photograph by your biography makes you more personable and makes you appear more honest.
On the online world, we want full transparency! We want to know every morsel and detail from our bloggers, including what you look like.
What is a bad headshot?
A bad headshot is one that doesn’t look like you. It’s natural to want a flattering picture of yourself, but the problem with something that is too flattering is that it may not look like you. It’s like going to an online dating website and putting a photograph of yourself at 19 years old when you’re really 32. Even worse, you can be downright airbrushed, which is the greatest sin in this industry. It’s one thing to scrub off a loose hair from a digital photo, but there’s something wrong with taking off a small birth mark that will be there should you ever meet some of your fans in person!
So if the headshot doesn’t look like you, people would consider that vanity, or even deception. That’s the greatest sin in this world that’s moving towards full transparency.
Is it the perfect symbol for your brand?
On my Tough Girl 101 blog, it wouldn’t make sense for me to have a headshot where I’m wearing a business suit or a pretty dress. The only thing that made sense was to wear a nice blouse with jeans. On my blog geared towards Gen-Y careerists, maybe a nice suit would be more appropriate.
For someone who blogs about running, a headshot with race medals would make more sense or a boxer might have boxing gloves over their shoulder. Whatever picture you do use for your brand has to portray the correct image.
That picture that looks like it’s subject, portrays the right brand can be a great tool for brand recognition.