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Using Headshots to Define Your Business Brand

Do you ever wonder if you should put your photograph on your website?

Many online business owners seem to opt into the anonymous aspects of internet ecommerce. They don't publish their name, let alone share their face with website visitors and customers. But is that the right decision?

The question has to be, are potential clients and customers more comfortable making first contact with someone they have seen? I think we know the answer to that one. Take a look at your local newspaper. Scan the display ads for car dealers, chiropractors, dentists, doctors, life insurance and real estate agents. What do you see?

You see faces that assure you by their expressions that the person is just who you need.

Sometimes the smile is warm and the eyes are friendly, perfect for the dentist you're going to call for help with that aching tooth or that OB GYN that will deliver your next baby.

Other photos display strict business like confidence. Just the look you'd want to see on your lawyer's countenance when they deal with that difficult situation you're facing or perfect for the CPA you're going to hire to do your taxes.

This offline marketing venue has something to teach us about our online efforts. An appropriate photograph added to your website has a positive impact on visitors and can increase your client conversion rate.

Before you crop your vacation photo and stick it up on your website, let's stop and ask what it is that you want to convey to your website visitors. There is an art to taking a quality headshot for both print and online marketing and there is a price to be paid when you make a poor choice.

In my hometown every copy of the local paper is christened with the biggest smile I have ever seen from a human being. It's located on the bottom of the cover; probably the most valued ad spot in the whole newspaper. And it's terrible. The photo is clearly taken in a dimly lit room with a home camera. The image has been cropped down to the point where you only see his face. No one should ever appear to have no neck in a photograph.

Print advertising costs being what they are; this Chiropractor is paying dearly for prominent exposure. Someone should tell him to take some of that good money and have a professional headshot taken.

Similar mistakes are being made on many online business websites, usually those operated by solo entrepreneurs and home based businesses. The owner understands that a photograph adds something important to their web presence; only they haven't really thought through what their photograph is saying about them.

The image a real estate agent uses in the newspaper becomes a part of their overall brand. They often incorporate their face shot into their business cards, their marketing materials, perhaps even on for sale signs. The same can be applied online.

What if you are a coach, consultant or providing some important service? You are holding yourself out to be someone that can guide and serve others as they move towards their important goals. Do you believe that a blown up, cropped copy of last year's beach vacation is a good representation of what you have to offer?

The fact is that the greater the value of products or services that you offer, the better your image needs to be. Grainy, dark or outdated photographs tell prospective clients that you're not operating at the level of excellence that they are looking for and your business loses out on potential profits. It's time to take your business brand to the next level and seek out a professional headshots photographer.

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