selfie

Goodbye Selfie, Hello Headshot

When perusing social media platforms, how many selfies do you see? Whether they’re taken with a selfie stick, or by holding an arm out, they appear unpolished and unrefined. For those of you in the business world, it’s time to step up your game and invest in a professional headshot. Having professional headshots taken for social media and your online platforms are both a necessity and an investment when building your online reputation and creating your brand. Too often individuals make the mistake of using a selfie or a headshot cropped from a group photo of an obvious night out with friends as their default photo on social media. Neither of these photos, as flattering as they may be, express the professionalism and confidence that you should want in a profile photo.

A professional headshot should express your character and conduct. Ultimately, it ought to be a slightly improved adaptation of yourself in everyday life. Be sure that it is easy to see in small sizes (100-200 pixels), as several social media platforms require a smaller sized profile image. Always wear solid color clothing that complements both your eye color and skin tone. For those of you with blue eyes and fair-colored skin, your best choice of clothing color is blue, gray, or pink. Our green-eyed friends should wear brown, orange, or green-colored garments. Those with brown eyes and medium or dark-colored skin can showcase themselves in most colors, but be sure to avoid bright red; it proves to be too strong a color for any skin tone or eye color.

Once you have your professional headshot, keep it consistent. Make this photo your default across all platforms so that there is no confusion as to whether or not the attached work or social site belongs to you. Post your headshot on every social media platform you can get your hands on. Attach it to your blog posts, forum comments, and your author biography. By posting your professional image frequently online, it triggers search engines to show these results when searching for your name or business.

One last tip: when you receive your professional headshot, be sure to change the generic file name to “yourname.jpeg” or “yourbusinessname.jpeg.” By doing so, search engines can identify it for search results.

Rather than investing in a selfie stick, it’s time to spend some of your hard-earned money on a professional headshot. It’s well worth it and will take your brand to the next level.

Sarah Pearce is a professional speaker, business coach and social strategist: Author of Online Reputation: Your Most Valuable Asset in a Digital Age