“Oh.  I’ve been dreading this part!”

People in our Personal Branding Workshop often groan when we start talking about profile photos.

“I don’t like ANY photo ever taken of me.”  Otherwise confident, successful professionals get a little . . . well, insecure about their profile photo.

Until now, they’ve either thrown in an old yearbook photo, a crop of a convenient snapshot, or left it blank.

There is a cost to this.

You want to be perceived as a leader in the field, and an approachable human being.

That doesn’t work if your photo looks like you don’t take your professional appearance seriously, or if you hate your teeth or your eyebrows or that weird cowlick more than you love your future customers.

You don’t have to be glamorous, but you do have to, as my Grandmother used to say, “grow up and be proud of what the Good Lord gave you,” and be a professional that’s willing to do what’s necessary to succeed.

On Monday, we talked about how to get great bios for the About Us Page and About The Team page on your website, but it’s still incomplete without good headshots!

Here are our seven tips:

  1. Invest some time and thought. Don’t just throw something out there, and don’t leave it blank.
  2. Show your face. Make sure you’re recognizable if someone sees you at an event tomorrow.
  3. Be current. Use a photo taken within the last three years, unless you’ve made a drastic change to your appearance.
  4. Use good lighting. Have light in front of you, shining on your face.
  5. Smile.
  6. Use contrasting colors. Extra points for using your brand colors.
  7. Use the same photo on all professional profiles.