It's a new year and a new you! You're working out, you're eating right, you have a clear view of what you want to accomplish this year; so exciting! But why does the new you still have a bathroom selfie as your LinkedIn profile image?! And a wedding photo where you cropped out your bride as your biography image on your website?! Cringe! As a photographer and a human, I have to spread the word to these entrepreneurs who continue to represent themselves poorly as professionals. This is what potential clients are thinking of you and your business:
Ouch, that hurts! But you know what pal, it's the harsh truth! We live in a world of options and you're one of a shit load in your industry. Before anyone meets you, they view your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., and you have a photo of you that has nothing to do with your business. Ask yourself this: if you and 10 other professionals in your city were presented to a client with just your current "business" photo, would you be chosen? Probably not with those board shorts and tank, brah!
It's all in the details and we mean ALL of it! If you're willing to overlook a major detail in the marketing of yourself and your business, then your clients won't trust that you're able to address all the details of their projects or needs. It's not silly, insignificant, or O.C.D., it's absolutely, 100% necessary; just like all of the other details.
Your photo can be screaming "I'm not making money yet!" Maybe it's because you're taking your business photo via webcam. You might be thinking "but it's an HD webcam with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens!". It's still a webcam! You may have been in business for years but all your potential clients can see is that you may not have the experience they're looking for.
If you don't invest in your business, how can you expect others to? One of the 1st things an actor is told to invest in is a headshot, that should be the same for all professionals across the board. A talent agency would never represent an actor with a car-selfie as their headshot so why would you represent yourself that way? You've invested in your education and your training so don't be cheap when it comes to your image!
What separates an amateur from a professional? It's not just about wether or not you're getting paid, paying taxes, or if you're an expert in your field. What makes you a professional is a level of seriousness. I know it sounds vague but it's true! Do you take yourself seriously? Do you think of yourself as a business? It's up to you to take the steps to bring your title and business from "aspiring" to "legit"!
So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and be a professional!