Suppose two business owners embark on a web marketing campaign. They’re both accountants and intend to utilize Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other such tools to get their respective brands known in the community and attract new customers. One posts a picture of headshot of herself wearing business attire and a bright, friendly smile. The other posts a dim picture of himself working at a computer - one in which his face is barely distinguishable. Which would you expect to be more well received among prospective clients?
In the above situation, the second accountant could very well be the best numbers-cruncher in town. However, his image portrays him as just another accountant behind a desk - not the most inspiring of photos. Meanwhile, the first accountant displays a welcoming appearance, as if she’d be happy to tackle your accounting needs.
By now, you get the big picture. Now, let’s delve into the value of a great headshot in closer detail.
A Photo is Often Your First Impression
You only get one chance to make a first impression. And, increasingly, that first impression is a virtual one.
Whether for business purposes or otherwise, a high-quality photo is important in today’s world, specifically on your social media pages, as this is the first encounter many people will have with your brand.
One-Third of Consumers Engage Businesses Via Social Media
Consumers increasingly use social media to interact with the businesses they frequent. In fact, the JD Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study measured consumer engagement with companies in a social marketing context. The figures are as follows:
Consumers ages 18 to 29: 23 percent
Consumers ages 30 to 49: 39 percent
Consumers ages 50 and over: 38 percent
So, expect around a third of your customer base to view your online photo. You’ll want it to present a welcoming, professional image, not one that will turn them away.
Majority of Businesses Recruit Online
For job seekers, a great headshot is more important now than ever before. According to Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey, recruiting via social media is now a widespread practice, with employers doing so at the following percentages:
LinkedIn: 93 percent
Facebook: 2/3 of all employers
Twitter: 54 percent
Seventy three percent have hired employees through social media.
With these statistics in mind, you’ll want an image that portrays professionalism, not one from the bar last night!
A headshot can be beneficial to business owners and other professionals alike. With about one third of consumers engaging their favorite brands online, business owners can gain a competitive advantage with a top-notch headshot. And, with most recruiters now using social media, working professionals need a high-quality headshot now more than ever before.
Think of this in terms of how you’d want to look when meeting a customer or recruiter in person. You’d want to look as professional as possible. As such, since many will “meet” you for the first time on the Internet, you’ll want your image to portray professionalism and put forward the best face possible for your business or personal brand.