Today’s guest post comes from Michelle Kaffko. She's been running Organic Headshots since 2005, taking corporate headshots, entrepreneur headshots, and executive portraits for thousands of Chicago area professionals.
Photo Courtesy of Michelle Kaffko
Guest Author: Michelle Kaffko, Photographer and Owner, Organic Headshots
As an entrepreneur or someone running a startup, you’re likely juggling many balls in the air. You’re locking down your business plan, working on achieving funding, and hiring talent -- all while spending time with your new baby, making sure your German Shepard doesn’t chew up your favorite shoes, trying to fit in a sweat session or two a week and maybe even trying to squeeze a personal life in there somewhere.
As the work-life blur gets hectic, there is often a piece of the puzzle that is overlooked when entrepreneurs are getting their businesses off the ground…the HEADSHOT! I know what you’re thinking, -- I have a million photos of myself on my iPhone and I’m really crunched for time, can’t I just send them one of those?
Of course you could send the reporter covering your startup the selfie on your iPhone, but does that really say, “hey angel investors, don’t I look important enough for your money?” Probably not. Here’s why your selfie won’t work:
You’ve probably heard industry leaders discuss the importance of startups telling their story. Consumers/leads/customers want to connect with the brands they are engaging with. They want to know the who, the what, and the why behind the brand. As a startup, you have an inspiring story to tell, which needs a good visual to accompany it. The words on the page should connect to an engaging photo of the heartbeat behind your startup…YOU! You are the face of your company and the human touch your target needs to see to feel engaged with your work, and portraying a professional, confident, polished look for the company’s leaders demonstrates who you are better than words possibly could.
You likely have been or are working on a strategic marketing plan. This plan could include tactical items such as whitepaper creation, press releases, speaking engagements, and more. All of these tactics require a high-resolution headshot! The last thing you want is to be featured in a print edition of your industry magazine in a fuzzy photo with bad lighting. Remember, your headshot should be just as polished as all your marketing materials if you want to leave that great first impression that portrays you and your business as the sharp and competent experts you are.
Your startup is unique, and your headshot should be unique as well. Think about the qualities that make your startup your startup. For example, is your business laid back, or buttoned up, does it have a niche in cars, coffee or technology? Make a list of words that describe your startup, and then work with your photographer to craft a backdrop/location/look and feel that tells someone everything about your business in one image. I often recommend that individuals get a few different looks for different purposes, such as a business professional shot for RFPs, a business casual shot for speaking engagements, and action shots that show you at work for marketing materials and press releases. That way you’ll have an arsenal of images for any occasion. Check out some inspiration here.
I hope this post has inspired you to NOT use that selfie on your iPhone when putting together your business’s materials, and to add one more thing to the top of your to-do list -- the scheduling of your headshot. And believe it or not, a professional headshot can actually be quick and painless. If you work with your photographer to plan out all the details, it should take no time at all to capture the perfect headshot.
The opinions expressed here by 1871 guest writers are their own, not those of 1871. To learn more about Michelle Kaffko and Organic Headshots, follow this link.