7 Reasons Why Premium Headshot Images Differentiate a Business
Business is more competitive today than ever before, requiring more emphasis on differentiation – how do you stand out from your competition in ways that matter to your prospective customers. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, these prospective customers are taking advantage of the internet, social media, sties such as LinkedIn, and ever improving search capabilities to research and compare potential solutions and providers to satisfy their needs.
For product based businesses in a B2C setting, the product is generally the key differentiator – features, aesthetics, price, are generally the most important elements. In a B2B environment, potential customers may also want to know more about the leadership of the business, particularly in more mission critical applications where there is the potential for a long term relationship that involves significant investment.
For services businesses in both B2B and B2C settings, the product is really people. Yes, many service based businesses talk about their process (as do I) as key differentiators, but people are implementing the process. A potential customer will not only want to read about the people and their backgrounds, they want to see who they are – and whether we like it or not, they make emotional judgement calls on things such as honesty, trusthworthiness, competence, experience from those images.
Given the above, it’s important to put your best foot forward with professionally done headshot images of your leadership team, key employees, or other team members who will be working directly with your clients.
You can use these images to differentiate your business from the pack in the following ways:
1. Highlighting your leadership team – a reflection of the business culture, approach,
Getting a good, confident feeling from the leadership team can influence buyers’ decision processes. The leadership team is generally indicative of the business’s culture, values, and standards. If you were a business looking to hire a law firm to help you litigate a matter, one of the first places you’d look is their website and research the named partners of the firm. If you’re looking for a firm that can fight for you in what you expect to be a tough legal battle, consciously or sub-consciously, you’ll look for partners that you think “have the chops” to win.
On the other hand, perhaps you’re looking to acquire a company in a less contentious deal where you need more creativity and new ideas. Again, you’ll look to the named partners to see if their background/style is a match for what you’re looking for.
2. Images of people personalize the business
You can utilize quality images of people to personalize a business, conveying the message that you’re more than just a name – your business is comprised of people. And by having high quality images of those employees, whether an exec team or staff, you convey that these people are professionals, they take the business seriously, and that your business values them.
Now imagine a potential client visiting your website with high quality images vs. a competitors website who has no images of their team, or the images are of poor quality. The more professional look will more likely influence the visitor’s thinking and impression of your business – and they’ll likely feel like they’re getting to know who you are, and have the impression you value your people.
3. Quality of your headshots is a reflection of your attention to detail and quality as a business
First impressions are critical – when someone looks at an image of a person, they get an impression of trustworthiness, competence, experience is as little as 80ms. In addition, there is a sense of quality, professionalism that is conveyed by the overall look – lighting, background, correctness of color, and if there are multiple images, consistency.
Here's an example from a company website with inconsistent images:
Different lighting, different backgrounds, different looks – feels like they’re not from the same company, dated, like it was thrown together, disjointed. Compare this with:
Fresh, vibrant, inviting as well as cohesive, they look like a team!
1. Provides a view into the business’s culture/values
The look of headshots can reflect the business’s values and culture, and you can use those images to attract both customers and new potential employees. Businesses that want to convey a collaborative, creative culture would choose a more casual look, vs. the law firm that specializes in litigation, where you want to convey power, the ability to fight/win, and authority.
2. Show unity combined with individuality – SHOW PROFITERO)
In the example below, this e-commerce software company wanted to create images that would show they’re professional yet easy to work with, showing individuality of their employees yet they’re all working on the same team with the goal of customer success/satisfaction. The consistency in background color and lighting shows unity. The differences in clothing style shows individuality. The range of expressions also show individuality yet they all look approachable, people who you’d like to get to know/work with.
3. Improves your branding
Every individual/business has a brand, whether it’s intentional/conscious or not. Some are clearer and more positive than others. Headshots that are inconsistent in terms of lighting, color balance, quality/overall look convey a more negative brand vs. consistent, high quality images. Here’s an example taken from a business’s website showing a lot of inconsistency – the impression you get is disjointed, questionable quality, old/stale, and the impression these images were takes some time ago (are those people even still with the company?). Compare this with the image from the software company above – fresh, vibrant, together, and quality.
4. Improves the ability of the company to attract the best new employees
When prospective employees are researching companies, particularly for more advanced positions, they’ll want to see who the management team is, and potentially research them as well as other key employees on both the business website and on LinkedIn. Creating the right first impression can attract the types of candidates you’re looking for. Another reason to have as many key employees as feasible have high quality, consistent profile pictures on their LinkedIn Profiles (many businesses are funding headshots for their employees and encouraging them to post those images on their profile).
How well differentiated is your business? Are your headshots reflective of your branding, company culture? As a prospective customer or employee, what impression would you get after viewing headshots on your website or on your employee’s LinkedIn profile? Make sure you have the best image of your business to differentiate yourselves.
For more information on headshots for your business and your team, download my ebook “Marketer’s Guide to High Quality Team Headshots” here: