My favorite blogging and branding coach Maya Elious always says the people buy from people not big brands, so show your face! Every business owner needs a quality headshot of themselves for their Bio or About Me page plus a few lifestyle photos of you showing what you do or something that expresses your personality.
Think of a brand like Spanx where the founder, Sara Blakely, is the face of the company. Spanx is fairly large operation but people can relate to her and her products because she shows her face in relation to her brand. On the company Instagram you can see her with her favorite coffee cup, interacting with customers or spending time with her family. There’s even a section on the Spanx website where customers get snippets of her life running the company from meeting other women business owners to showing how you should wear Spanx. You don’t necessarily have to do all of that but at least show that someone is behind the operations of your business or blog and give a face to the name.
When I was in art school I wanted to show that I was artsy, creative, fashionable and very expressive. So I used this photo as my headshot. At the time I had purple hair, wore bright makeup and colorful clothes. This accurately showed who I was, my personality and how I fit in with my brand and business as a fashion photographer.
I have since toned down my look a bit (I think I want to take a second stab at having purple hair again so we will see about that) so it was definitely time for a new photo op. I had these photos taken by Shannon Elizabeth at the Bloggers of Atlanta meetup so it saved me the trouble of setting up a shoot myself and taking my own photos.
Whether you take your own photo or hire someone else to take them make sure they are in focus and that they are high quality. Whoever is taking the photos whether it be on an iPhone or a camera should make sure that the image can be blown up or resized. Pixelized images are not cute.
I would recommend having at least one of just your face and/or one that is full body. And please, Please, PLEASE…NO SELFIES! No self respecting business owner should have a seatbelt and headrest in their photos from the all too common car selfie. The glare of the flash from your phone’s camera onto a dirty bathroom mirror isn’t a good look either. This isn’t ‘08 and Myspace is still dead.
As far as lifestyle biography shots, customers want to see you in action whether it's going to the farmer’s market and mixing up fresh ingredients for your skin care line, shopping at a trade show or drawing patterns for your newest collection.
For my business, clients like to see me holding the camera and actually shooting or talking to hair and makeup or the wardrobe stylist. They want to see that I am in command of my expertise and know what I am doing on the job.
Many times I’m too busy actually running the show to take these “behind the scenes” photos so usually I’ll ask whoever is on set with me to snap a few and send them to me. People love to feel involved and chances are they are already snapping photos, especially with my line of work.
Overall, if you want to show that your brand is by people and for people then show your face and how you do what you do. And just in case you forgot… NO SELFIES.
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