How not to look like a tool
You’ve seen your competitors’ headshots and laughed, but do you know if they’re laughing back at you? The video above outlines some great tips for taking a good shot and it doesn’t involve a Sears studio…
We thought we would outline some possibly controversial tips in how to market yourself in your picture. We’re living in a digital era where our faces are used as more than bus bench covers, our headshots appear as profile pictures and pop up next to every single update we write on social networks, in our emailers, in our newsletters, our websites and more. Our estimation in reading thousands of Realtor blogs and tweets and Facebook accounts is that only about half of all agents online have acceptable pictures used online. Let’s fix that.
Photo DOs and DON’Ts
We introduce you to these quick tips because we’ve been to enough conferences and met enough people that look nothing like their picture that we have literally felt lied to and betrayed by a gorgeous headshot but BLAH person in person, which leads us to the first tip:
- If you’re not hot, who cares? You’re here to sell your brand, not blockbuster movies, so be accurate in your pictures, don’t Photoshop. People will be HULK angry if you have a picture online that looks like Angelina Jolie but you show up looking like post-bender Courtney Love.
- Don’t be lame. No props, no fake books in the background, no side poses with the hand under the chin, no puppies, no kittens (okay, maybe kittens), no sneakers with your 1980s shoulder pad business suit, and no phones. Do you hear me? No cell phones or office phones in your picture- we get it, you know how to dial and put the receiver thingy to your ear hole, but so does a second grader – you look ridiculous. Stop it.
- Please use a photographer. If you’re not going to, at least don’t use a crappy phone with low resolution or a webcam in the dark that makes you look like you should be interviewed by Chris Hansen in To Catch a Predator.
- Avoid situational images. No fourth of July star spangled banners or Christmas turtlenecks because you’ll have to change them frequently and they’re probably cheesy anyhow. See #2.
- No Glamor Shots. In 2011, if you’re using a Glamor Shot people are going to question if you have a second job in the “alternative” movie industry. You know what I mean.
- Be your age. If you use an outdated picture, people are going to talk about it, I promise. If you’re 50 and have grey hair, you are forbidden from using a picture of when you were 35 and a brunette. Be real.
- No props like sold signs. We get it, you are a professional, and probably a Realtor – it doesn’t need to beat anyone over the head. No pictures of you with your car, especially if it’s small and not gender appropriate. No thumbs up or “how you dooin? gun fingers” or people will think you’re on the cast of Jersey Shore. I admit, these all belong under #2, but we needed to spell it out in detail.
These are just a few pet peeves of ours and what people on Twitter said today when asked for their pet peeves.
Consumers are looking to trust you, and that’s a marketable trait, so let your photo be modern, simple like in the video, and realistic. Tell us in comments what pet peeves you have of professional headshots because if 50% of people are not doing this well, they need to know, even if it hurts. Sorry, puppy lovers.