A while back I talked about the importance of the visuals that go along with the words that describe your business. I think it's safe to say there is no more important visual for a small shop - especially a one (wo)man show - than your head shot. And I just had mine re-done so I thought the timing was right to have a little chat about why they're important and what makes for a good one.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of a) having a head shot and b) having a good one.
You need to show your audience your mug. But, more importantly, the photo you use should (just like your copy) be professional yet real, which is a balance that is sometimes hard to strike. 'School photo-style' professional head shots often look stiff and lack 'real-ness'. On the flip side, I've seen many people crop their head out of a group shot at a bar. Real maybe, but definitely not professional. What you're going for is something in between.
Although I really hate having my picture taken, I'm pleased to say that I think my new shots (taken by the wonderful Emily Doukogiannis) hit the mark for me. My old photo served me well, but it was taken a few years ago when both me and my business were quite different. I feel like these new shot reflects me and my biz as I am right now.
So if you've got a grainy head-shot, or one that's more than five years old, I'd suggest a refresh - it's a really quick and powerful way to give your potential customers a feel for who you are. After all, a picture really does tells a thousand words.
Janet Nielsen is a communicator with a passion for helping small businesses succeed.