Do I need a professional headshot?
What's it in for me? Is a common question someone might ask before spending money on anything they need some convincing that it's worth their hard earned money. I'm going to show that people need professional headshots and how they could be losing a ton of business without it.
In the social media era where in which your first impression isn't coming in person anymore, it's very important to have a strong "virtual handshake" aka the profile picture, your real first impression. According to an article by Forbes "Freelancers now make up 35% of U.S. workers, and collectively earned $1 trillion in the past year" https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2016/10/06/new-survey-freelance-economy-shows-rapid-growth/
That's 55 million Americans and that number is growing every year. So with over 1/3 of US workforce freelancing and with a half billion LinkedIn users and 2 billion Facebook users potential customers are checking those places first before they do business with anyone. What will they find when they come your page?
People can easily grasp the importance of dressing nice for a job interview a meeting, or perhaps even a date. So why the disconnect with social media. What does your profile picture say about you? Are you wearing nice clothes, is your hair groomed, do you look professional, or trustworthy. how's that smile, are you approachable? I hope so or your leads takes their business to your nearest competitor.
Don't believe me? In a 2006 study they found "voters seem to be heavily influenced by a candidate’s appearance, and in particular the kinds of personality traits that a politician’s face projects" with nothing but a headshot having no idea about candidates platforms random people were able to guess 70% of the time which candidate won the election. We make snap judgments on intelligence, competence, approachability etc.. Based on facial expressions in a photo. And how fast do we make these decisions? In as little as 1/10th of a second. These results are consistent in children even as young as five years old.
And with something this important and so powerful that it decides elections. It's best left up too the professionals. I would encourage anyone to look through any headshot or portait photographers portfolio before making a decision. And also have a look at their profile picture see how much they value their own product.
The entire social media world is making snap decisions about whether to hire people for freelance gigs, calling someone in for that job interview, or swiping in the right direction on tinder based on a profile picture. It would be impossible to imagine the number of missed opportunities people have everyday simply by having a mediocre headshot, or even worse none at all. You are your own billboard. People simply have to ask what image do I want to project to world.
I hoped this convinced some people that it's not only worth it but that they simply can't afford not too.
If your interested I checking out the study you can read about it here https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-look-of-a-winner/
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Dallas based Portrait photographer blog