On Instagram the other day I happened across the page of a Los Angeles realtor that is an extreme example of why you need professional headshots.
She was a young woman billing herself as a top real estate agent… but her images said otherwise. Not only was every picture taken with a cell phone camera, she had gone that extra step to put on filters… the kitty ears, the kitty nose, the bubbles and all the “cutsy” little toys Instagram had to offer.
Would I call her to list my house, or find one for me? Not a chance! If someone isn’t professional enough about what they are doing to put a professional image on their marketing materials I doubt they will be any more professional about their job.
Another real estate agent down in Orange County that I know of through a friend skipped all the filters, but her page is loaded with photos of her in expensive, very expensive evening gowns sipping cocktails in posh clubs. She’s beautiful. The photos make me want to call her, but not to help me sell my house!
This isn’t to say that you should never post a cell phone photo to your Instagram page. It does mean that you need to think about the image you are presenting. And when it comes to your headshot, it must, must be professionally done. Even the best selfies still have that “selfie” look about them and it just isn’t good for business.
Your headshot is your brand. It goes on your business cards, websites, social media pages and anywhere you put out a public presence. This is the photo that makes the potential client decide if they are going to contact you or move on to the next person.
It should in a glance communicate that you are professional, approachable, confident and able to get the job done. And yes, one professional photo can do all that.