What does your headshot say about you?

Headshots. No I'm not talking about sniping someone. I'm talking about the photo that you put on your linkedIn profile or website to show the world who you are. We tend to cheap out on headshots. Whether that means hiring an amateur or using a selfie from your phone, I think sometimes we forget what we are trying to convey with that image.

Your headshot is probably the first impression you will make with people. If they are shopping around for someone, they may try to find someone that looks trustworthy and friendly, but if your headshot does not convey that you could be losing business.

After spending about 10 minutes on LinkedIn the other day I was amazed at the quality (or lack there of) of some of the profile photos some people have. I am LinkedIn with recent College graduates, people that work for S&P 500 companies, and some small business owners. Some of the photos are made up of selfies, lots of cleavage, and photos of people eating a sandwich or chugging beer. Now, please don't take this the wrong way, but unless you are trying to get a job as a beer taster at Budweiser or as a sandwich taster at Subway, those photos are not showing off what you have to offer. QUIT CHEAPING OUT ON YOUR HEADSHOTS! Hire a professional and I can guarantee it will pay off in the end.

As much as I would like to share some of the "bad" photos I have seen on LinkedIn, I decided to spare those people the humility and decided just to share some of my favorite headshots.

If you're a dentist, you want a photo that is going to show that you are friendly, personable, but professional.

And the same with an optometrist. And why not show a part of your office in your photo? Who said headshots all had to have a solid black or white backdrop with a cheesey smile and silly pose. Don't be afraid to show off your profession and your personality.

Think of your headshot as a way to tell a story to your target market. If you are using your headshot so that clients, patients, etc. can see what you look like, then also show what your business looks like. And never be afraid to show what your personal values are. If you are an outdoor loving person, why shoot inside? Why not enjoy the outdoors in your photos too?

I am a Colorado native and absolutely LOVE this state. In the photos I did for my Christmas card I decided to wear some clothes to support my Denver Broncos, because to be honest, my business revolves around the Broncos games during football season. But why not also show off some of the beautiful weather we get here in the centennial state?

And if your job is a business coach, then take a photo that shows that you are approachable, yet confident and motivational!

And lastly, if you are putting photos on LinkedIn, DO NOT put photos on your LinkedIn profile that you would also put on your online dating profile. Don't show any cleavage, make sure you have a good background, and please, no selfies. When you take a professional headshot your goal is to end up with a professional photo that is clean, classy, and makes you look like the trustworthy and beautiful person that you are!

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