In our digital world, you need a professional headshot to establish your presence online. If you’ve been in your professional career for a while now, when you think of headshots, you think of LinkedIn – and rightly so! LinkedIn is a preferred social media platform for connecting with other professionals in your industry. However, if this is the only platform where you use your headshot, you’re missing out on all of the different ways that you could be using your headshots to create a strong online presence. Notice that we said “headshots” – we highly advise that you have more than one headshot. (More on this later!) Firstly, let’s start with other social media platforms. If you’re a small business owner, a blogger, or public figure, you have several to choose from, but before you get overwhelmed with the amount of them (seriously – there are SO MANY!), stick first to the traditional ones – Facebook and Instagram. (Twitter isn’t the same as it once was – even in the name!)
With Facebook and Instagram, you have the following options: Facebook: Page Profile Picture, Page Banner, Event Cover, Posts, Stories
Instagram: Profile Picture, Stories, Posts, Reels (Use a Headshot for the Cover Photo) Are you a podcaster? YouTube has a profile picture and a banner. Are you on Tiktok? Stick your professional headshot there too!
Using your headshots in all of these different ways gives anyone who comes across your pages a chance to associate your headshot with your brand in more ways than one. You have several people who need the information and talents that you have so you can take advantage of this by creating posts with your headshot (this is why we advocate for having more than one headshot), making your headshot your profile picture, and inserting your headshot into your page banner and Stories.
Quick note on using headshots in your social media posts – having more than one headshot comes in handy. You can use different ones to talk about your drive behind your brand, fun facts about you, what you do for fun – the possibilities are endless, but don’t be afraid to show the many unique sides of you! This is a way to build trust with your audience!
Secondly, having your headshots on your website can be a game-changer. Whether you’re a freelancer, business owner, blogger, or motivational speaker, having professional headshots on your website can help you establish credibility and create a personal experience for your audience. Here are a few suggestions that we have:
Use the headshot that you use for LinkedIn in the banner on your homepage – this is the headshot that represents your brand.
Use another more laid-back headshot – something with a little more of your personality in the shot for your About Me (Or About Us) page. If someone’s visiting your About Me page, it’s more likely that they want to get to know more about you and make an assessment about whether or not they’d like to do business with the person behind the brand.
Another way to maximize your online presence beyond LinkedIn is with your email signature. Including a professional headshot in your email signature can help to personalize your emails and create a lasting impression with your recipients. It’s also a way to establish professionalism in your communication, which is key when you’re connecting with potential clients or employers. Hubspot has a great tool for this! It’s their Email Signature Generator. Be sure to have a headshot handy in Google Drive, Dropbox or any other online storage website where you can provide a link to your headshot for Hubspot to grab. You can also add your name, contact information, website, and any other links that you’d like recipients to visit.
Another quick thing about e-mail – do you know that little thumbnail next to your name in emails? (You see this with Gmail and Outlook all of the time.) Did you know that you can add your headshot to this to? If you didn’t before, you are very welcome! It’s yet another way to establish your headshot with your brand and it’s also reassurance that anyone who’s trying to get in touch with you that they are indeed contacting the right person!
Have an event coming up? Are you a speaker? When the host asks for your headshot and bio, provide them with a professional headshot that includes more of your personality. When guests look at a program or if the host posts the headshot that you provide as part of their social media campaign, you want a headshot that lets them know that you’re engaging! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve attended an event where I’ve seen someone’s headshot and thought, “Oh please don’t be boring!” (And yes, of course, we never want to judge a book by its cover, but it’s all about impressions here.) So, have a professional headshot that says, “Oooh, this person looks fun!” Here’s what that looks like:
Giving a presentation? Here’s where you can use multiple headshots. Depending on the topic and the audience that you’re addressing, you can use a few headshots. We can recommend 1-3 – one for the title slide, the “about me” slide, and the contact/questions slide(s). Having your professional headshots in a presentation says a few things about you and your brand: 1) you take yourself seriously, 2) you are confident in how you present yourself, and 3) it gives your audience different ways of seeing you. Lastly, another place to establish your digital presence doesn’t take place online at all: your business card. As often as we’re online, how you connect with your potential audience and/or clients is just as important offline. When you attend networking events, you want to leave people with something tangible (and not just your LinkedIn or social media page) that reminds them of your brand and the face of that brand. People may not remember the name of your brand OR what you look like, but having a business card with your professional headshot helps with either scenario.
Whether you’re a new business owner, a professional seeking a new opportunity, or a freelancer, take advantage of what all of these options offer beyond LinkedIn. Remember, it’s all about creating a personal connection with your audience – your audience members are listening a number of ways: be there to give them what they are looking for (you and your expertise!) wherever they are.