5 Strategic Ways to Use Corporate Headshot Photography to Win More Business

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By The Light Committee

There are many people behind companies that fully understand the benefits of using high quality headshots in their marketing and then there are some that don’t. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has stood the test of time and its power should be evident as to how important a headshot can be. Still, let’s showcase five ways a good headshot can help you win more business. This post will also point out one big thing to avoid and why with a little legwork, it is easy to find the value to do so.

men best professional headshot in Los Angeles of an executive board member
Using Headshots of Senior Leadership or Board Members is Common Practice on a Corporate Website

Use Headshots to Showcase More of Your Team

The first obvious use of a corporate headshot is to show potential clients who your senior leadership team is. Many companies do this. However, in companies with around 100-200 or so employees, you might want to consider a headshot for mid-level managers too. It can become daunting for companies with a thousand or more such employees but plausible for up to a few hundred.

Some people doing due diligence on a business they are considering engaging understand that senior leadership is not likely who they will be working with daily. Senior leadership might be brought in to help win the business. But they know the work will be delegated to someone else.

A company that understands this about their potential customers might put up bios about these mid-level managers. But a company that wants to gain a strategic advantage will add a headshot to these bios. Adding such a picture is powerful. A high-quality headshot of your team alongside their bios not only spruces up the look of the web page, it also subconsciously influences. It can help you make the final cut of one company to do business with. Furthermore, it creates familiarity for a potential client when those people show up to the business pitch. Familiarity usually builds comfort and people want to do business with someone they trust, believe in, and are comfortable with.

woman's business headshot Los Angeles
Consider Using Headshots on Your Website for All Client-Facing Managers or Employees

Leverage the Power of a Headshot in RFQs

Many people put together presentations to pitch a potential client and they might put headshots in it of just their senior management. As above, many people understand senior leadership is not likely the people they will be working with or that will be doing the work for them.

Senior leadership are not likely the project manager at the construction site. They are not likely the local real estate property manager, nor the loan officer, or HR person, or engineer, or lawyer, or PR person doing the actual work, etc. You can make submitting an RFQ or similar document stronger by including headshots of the team members you are proposing will lead the work, not just of senior leadership.

Just like that, for the same reasons as in the first example above, you can gain a leg on competition that will not go this extra mile.

In a Small Business, You Can Create a Brand Around a Headshot

In Los Angeles, there are several entrepreneurs that have successfully created a brand around their headshot, making their face ever-so-familiar to Angelenos. It’s likely the same case in other large metro areas.

In LA, there are many lawyers that successfully do this. There are also insurance agents. They have used their headshots so effectively in their marketing that many Angelenos can tell you their name just by seeing their headshot, and without ever having met them. The competition in this effort is big.

Some of these entrepreneurs run all kinds of TV commercials to reinforce the marketing but others have done an effective job just with print or online ads and you can do this too.

professional woman in a headshot Burbank
A good headshot can be used during communication with clients, such as part of an email signature

Place a Quality Headshot in Your Email Signatures

This can be impactful for anyone in charge of lead generation, like your key salespeople. Many people send out introductory emails targeting potential customers. Most of these emails are without a headshot, at least in this photographer’s experience. But again, a headshot in such an email can be powerful. It puts a face to the person sending the uninvited email which can make it more inviting.

It can help tell the receiver that a real person sent it and that they spent a little time understanding you before doing so. Let’s use a simple analogy. If you have ever gone house shopping, you have likely walked by a real estate agent sign with their headshot on it. You saw who the agent was before entering the home and then when you enter a house with other people in it, you easily know which one is the agent. You can more easily approach each other without the uncomfortable moment of wondering who is who. The same can be said about an email signature with a headshot when you finally get on that Zoom or Teams call to close the deal.

Strategically Use Headshot Poses to Build Your Business Story

This can be particularly effective for smaller businesses. For example, on the “about” or “contact” page for a psychologist, they might have a pleasing smile to show approachability, encouraging you to call them. Meanwhile, under the “services” page where the psychologist lays out how they deal with depression, they might use a headshot where they instead come across warm and understanding, conveying they are trustworthy and understanding of your concerns.

A lawyer can do this too. In their “about” page they might come across approachable. Meanwhile, if they provide criminal defense services, on their “services” page they might want to rely on a more serious-vibe headshot as they lay out how they can help a defendant get out of a serious jam. The same is true or countless professions: an acupuncturist for pain; a financial consultant for retirement planning; a doctor specializing in sports injuries; a chef trying to become known for barbecue; etc.

Pictures help tell stories more easily or can truly complement a message being conveyed. If you’re using your headshots in this fashion, you can gain a marketing advantage over competition that is not.

bad AI headshots are real
AI headshots are often considered but just don't. They're really bad, lifeless, and usually not an accurate portrayal of a person. Hello mannequin. Avoid them.

Avoid the AI Headshot or Selfie Headshot

The one thing to avoid when trying to use headshots in a way that can help you win more business is to use unprofessional headshots. Corporate headshot photography begins with using a good photographer in a city like Los Angeles, but elsewhere too.

If you use an AI headshot of employees, first good luck organizing getting team headshots done for everyone. But more than this concern is that AI headshots are not real. They were never a moment in time captured of a person – what a photo is by definition. An AI headshot is a mash up – usually not a good one – of a bunch of selfies that someone fed to an application to generate files of a person’s face. Often, it is not the clothing a person would wear or a hairstyle they usually style. Sometimes, their teeth are perfect or imperfect in ways their teeth or not in real life. The list goes on. Besides, nothing says lazy more than an AI headshot.

A selfie shot for a headshot is another one to avoid. Even with claims by smartphone manufacturers of having portrait-mode or a portrait lens, nothing compares to a real optical lens specifically made for a medium format, mirrorless, or DSLR full-frame sensor camera. In addition, working with an experienced photographer means they will know plenty of tips with posing to enhance end results. This doesn’t even account for premium lighting that a knowledgeable photographer uses.

How to Find the Best Headshot Photographer for Your Needs

One barrier to finding a good headshot photographer is time and money. Many people complain headshot photography is too expensive, yet they spend less than three minutes looking for value. Value can be found in a major city like Los Angeles. You might even find affordable mobile photographers that can come to your Los Angeles office for team headshots. Here are a few bulleted tips to search online. Generally, this will work similarly on a desktop or smartphone but a desktop – or phone held horizontally – will be best.

  • Use Google Maps so you can see star ratings.
  • Search for “headshots Los Angeles” and then move and/or zoom the map out to cover a wider area, like around 25 miles or however far you are willing to travel – remember to select “search this area” at the top after moving the map.
  • In Los Angeles you can see plenty of photographers with 100+ 5-star ratings. Go through 3-4 pages and make a list of the top 10 you find with the most star ratings. The best way to start this list is to click the map pin and then while holding down CTR (PC) or OPT (Mac) open the photographer’s web site. This will do so on a new browser tab so you can keep searching.
  • Check out the photos for the photographers you have open in tabs.
  • Check out their rates page too and start to close the tabs for ones not providing the value you want until you end up with 2-3 you are going to message to learn more.

If you want to go an extra step, also check out how each of the photographers on your final list are rated on Yelp.com. With a little effort, you can find a corporate headshot photographer to work with for years to come.