8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot

Are you thinking about investing in a professional headshot? Let’s make sure you get an amazing return on your investment, with these 8 ways to use your professional headshot.

It’s often said that a photo replaces a thousand words. A professional headshot can also convey emotion and showcase who you are. Whether you are a small business owner, entrepreneur or employee, a professional headshot can make or break your digital presence. 

Do you know how long you have to make a first impression? The Harvard Study of Communications reported that first impressions are made in just seven seconds. Other studies report even less, down to milliseconds! You will want to ensure that the first impression of your business is professional, trustworthy and reputable. A quick snap on your phone, in front of a wall is just not going to cut it. And believe me, it’s obvious. 

Traditionally, headshots have been defined as photos of just a person’s head and top of their shoulders. These days, you will find a range of definitions, however I like to think of a headshot as a professional profile image. It can be tightly cropped, or even cropped from the waist up. It’s the first digital impression that people see of you. What’s your professional image saying about you?

Let’s take a look at my zero fluff, top 8 ways to use your professional headshot. I’ve even used a few real. examples from my clients for you to gain inspiration from.

1. Social Media and Your Headshot

According to Hootsuite, there are over 4 billion users of social media. That’s a lot of eyeballs! What are they seeing when they come across your social media pages? Are they being intrigued to learn more and follow you? Do your pages appear professional? 

There so many social media platforms that you might choose to use as marketing avenues. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are a few of my client favourites. The first place you might consider showcasing your headshot is your profile image. The easy way out is to use your logo. A logo profile picture is a great choice – however (and this is a big tip) – if you are the face of your business then I recommend using your headshot so that your clients can see you straight away.

The second location is on Facebook and LinkedIn cover images. Use your headshot as part of a graphic to tell the story about your business. This single graphic can include information on who you are, what you do and how you help your clients. I love this example below from HR with Ease.

8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot
One of my clients, HR with Ease is taking full advantage of her cohesive, yet different headshots on Facebook: both in the cover image and profile image.

2. Submitting Your Bio with Your Headshot

If you are ready for positive PR about you and your business, having a schmick headshot ready to go will help make the process of submitting your profile as a contributor or speaker run smoothly. Whether it’s printed publishing materials, or online, your headshot will be one of the first impressions people will make of you! You won’t have to stress about squeezing in a sub-standard phone photo with a looming deadline. It will be ready to go and you’ll be proud to be presented to your ideal clients!

8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot
Dr Shane Cameron uses his professional headshot to supplement his published research articles and special interest project posters.

3. Using Your Headshot on Your Website

Your website will make or break your lead conversions. A website can often be that first impression that customers will have of your business. Showcasing who you are – an approachable, professional and very real person will help clients move through the know, like & trust journey they take before hiring you.

What does your current image say about you and the service or products you sell? Your professional headshot will convey a story about who you are, or what you do. You will absolutely need your headshot on your website’s About page. Have you also considered other pages for customers to ‘see’ you and learn more about you?

It might sound obvious, but the reality is that people like to buy from people. Posting your headshot on your website allows customers to learn more about you, it personalises your business as so much more than just a pretty logo. Is your headshot working hard to help customers become comfortable with you?

8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot
Catherine uses her professional headshot and branding images to build a relationship with her customers on her website.

4. Include Your Headshot in Your Emails

You want to be remembered, and for the right reasons. Keep people thinking of you by showing them who you are when you are communicating with them. And not just once. Regularly. One of the easiest ways to do this is by personalising your emails. There’s more than one way to do this, so let’s take a quick look at what you can do:

  • Add your headshot to your email icon. Every time your contacts skim through their inbox, they see you. 
  • Add your headshot to your email signature. A great way to keep them ‘seeing’ you. 
  • Add your headshot to your regular EDMs. Let your clients see the face behind the email. Invite them into a relationship with your business.  
8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot
My current email signature, featuring my profile image, my logo, clickable links and an acknowledgement of country.

5. Podcast Cover with Your Headshot

What are your top 5 podcasts? Do you remember what their graphics are? I’ll bet that you remember more with a person on them.

Forbes.com reports that in February 2021, there were nearly 2 million podcasts. This number grew exponentially during 2021, with both the number of podcasts growing, along with the number of active listeners. We know that podcasts are popular, with growing competition.

You want to stand out from the competition. You’ve worked hard to produce a high quality, high value podcast. You know that it’s jam-packed full of great tips and tricks – but how do you entice your potential listeners to click through? That’s right, you will be marketing with your podcast cover image – which will most likely need to showcase you! Put your headshot to work by including it on your podcast cover graphic. It’s a great way to continue earning the trust of potential clients by showing them who you are every time they see your episodes and then listen to what you have to say.  

8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot
Clean & fresh headshot of Bridget at Village Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation.

6. Add Your Headshot In Your Proposals

Imagine this: You have a potential client who is on the fence. They’re learning more about whether to invest in you or not. They’ve enquired, you’ve learnt about their needs and you’re ready to send them out a proposal. How do you think they will feel when they open it up? Does it feel up to date and professional? Or is a Word document with a table that outlines your proposal? Not that there’s any problem using a Word document, of course.

One way to add some pizzazz to your proposals is to include your professional headshot. Make it easy for your customers to trust you, as a friendly face ready to guide them through to the next step.

8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot
Professional headshot for Leisha at Rebalance Naturopathy.

7. Your Headshot is Perfect for Printed Marketing Materials

Make your business card the one that stands out! In person networking is one of the most effective marketing strategies around. It’s common to share your business card when attending events to pass onto the business owners and entrepreneurs that you meet. But you’re wondering how to make sure your card stands out, rather than gets tossed out? Make an impression and be remembered, all thanks to your professional headshot!

You can also use your headshot to showcase who you are in flyers, brochures, magazines and other printed marketing materials. Show your potential clients what you do, as well as who you are. A headshot will convey a sense of who you are, your professionalism and personality.

8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot
A client of mine, Lyndal from Calmbirth with Lyndal uses her professional headshot to personalise and elevate a printed magazine advertisement.

8. Lead Generator

You want to grow your email list, but not sure how to combine it with your headshot? If you are the face of your business, you will want your headshot to start a relationship with potential clients. Your lead generator will be offering them something of value, whether it’s a freebie, download or sample offering. You want it to be clear that this value packed offering to be coming from YOU, especially if you are a service based business.

You can (and should!) use your professional headshot to increase your sign up rate.

8 Ways To Use Your Professional Headshot

Tell the story of you and your brand. Allow the headshot to do the leg work, so you can sit back and focus on engaging with your community. Be everywhere! We know attention spans are short. Be remembered as the professional, relatable and trustworthy person that you are. Investing in a professional headshot will give you and your business a significant marketing advantage.

Up-level your brand with a combined headshot and branding photoshoot to create additional and cohesive content for you to use. This is also the perfect opportunity if you are a working within a team to create an amazing team introduction online.

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