Key Visual Elements to Finding Your Best Clients

How can you attract better fitting clients to your business? Your headshot can significantly impact the types of clients who will contact you. It sets an expectation of you as a person and the business you represent. There are three key elements to keep in mind for a headshot that will work FOR you. (Note: You should always practice numbers one and two when networking or meeting prospective clients.)

1. Make sure you are dressed appropriately for your industry.

If you own a dog walking business, don’t dress like a financial advisor. Conversely, if you’re a financial advisor, don’t dress like a dog walker! When people don’t see what they expect to see, it throws them off and takes away from their initial confidence level. That’s an extra hurdle you don’t need to put in your way.

2. Dress one level above how your prospects would expect to see you.

Using the dog walker as an example, don’t wear the same old shirt you ordinarily wear when taking a client’s pooch for a neighborhood stroll. Wear a shirt that’s a bit nicer (preferably new), clean, properly fitting, and winkle-free.

3. Leave the key visual elements to a specialist.

You won’t be able to maximize the impact of the first two elements unless your headshot is created by a photographer specializing in headshots. There are many advantages of having your image created by a headshot specialist. To begin with, they’ve studied that specific area of photography. They know the human face and how to light it properly. They understand how subtle gestures like a head tilt psychologically impact the viewer. They know how to coach you through multiple expressions. They’ll ask you about the specific audience you’re trying to reach and create an image designed to connect directly with them. There’s more, but that should give you a good idea of what a trained headshot specialist can do for you – and your business.

It’s tempting (and a ton easier!) to choose your favorite candid of yourself for use as your profile photo or on your business’s “About” page. Or to just ask someone you know to use your cell phone and take a quick snapshot. But the easier route is rarely the better route. You know it. And, to your detriment, your prospects and peers will immediately know it, especially when they compare your “quick and dirty” picture to someone else’s headshot created by a specialist.

Right or wrong, never have we had such visual expectations placed on us. The people we want to reach will judge our competence, professionalism, talent, and more based on a passing glance. During those few milliseconds, they’ll unconsciously decide whether to learn more about us or pass us by for a “better” option. Don’t do that to yourself and your business. Get a professional headshot created by a headshot specialist, and put your best face forward.

Charlie Cotugno is a Seattle headshot photographer/specialist whose clients range from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. He is also a sought-after speaker on leveraging photography for career advancement and marketing success and implementing the creative process for innovation in the workplace.