Five Tips to Get A Rockin Business Headshot

No matter how wonderful the product or how amazing the cause, when you are the owner or on staff in a customer connected position, people will want to see who are. Several years ago, there used to be more of a refined control over the “face” that was associated with the company. The consumer did not get to see “behind the curtain” so to speak. But now with a shift to content marketing, social media and the need to have a strong visual presence for search engines like Google, the community can research to find out more about who is associated with a company.

This is where a headshot comes into play. Believe it or not, this image can make or break a deal. A headshot is often the first impression that someone has of you before you ever meet or talk to them. This is why we have written this post and help professionals create a rockin business headshot. But before we get to the top tips, here is a sampling of what not to do and why:

Bad Headshots | Silver Keys Media
Identities Hidden to Protect The Innocent

So now that you have a visual snapshot of what not to do, here are the top five tips you can follow to make certain you are on the right track

 

  1. Get a professional image.
    Ditch those selfies or cropped image from last years holiday party and make the investment in a quality photo session. However, not all photographers are equal. Make certain to visit their website and take a look at their portfolio. If they know how to take headshots, they will have this highlighted as one of their services. A wedding photographer may capture lovely images, but may not know how to present you in a polished and professional way.
  2. Have photographer deliver it to you in a large format pngThis format will give you the ability to resize and optimize your image for different online sites. Why? because you will want a certain size for your profile image on social sites and a different the size you will likely use on your website. If you are working with a web designer, be sure to ask them what format they prefer your head shot image delivered.
  3. Be prepared with a  few different looks for the photo session to give you variety.
    You want to make certain that you have some choice for your final edited images, so bring a few professional looks. It can be as simple as changing your jacket or add an accessory. Sometimes photographers will have on-site viewing of proofs so you can choose them on the spot and take some additional if you do not like what you see.
  4. Choose a complimentary color, black or dark grey for your clothing.
    Also color is also crucial! Don’t try out a new color, wear shades that you know look good on you.
  5. Choose a look that matches your business personality, yet is professional
    You want to have an image that feels like you. People will look at a headshot and they create a persona in their mind of how you will interact with them. So make certain to identify ahead of time the professional personality you want to have online

Why Are Reviews on Social Media Important?

There are many ways that you can attract clients and more business, however what impression are you leaving with your digital thumbprint? Through your website, social media, local listings and digital content (more in future posts on these specifically) you can have quite a bit of control over the story you are telling. A key element you can leverage are the reviews on your social media.

There are many ways that you can attract clients and more business, however what impression are you leaving with your digital thumbprint? Through your website, social media, local listings and digital content (more in future posts on these specifically) you can have quite a bit of control over the story you are telling. A key element you can leverage are the reviews on your social media. Why not ask clients to share their experience. It is proven that prospects typically base their decision to use a business or give to an organization based on what others say in reviews. Think about how you make these types of decisions.

Below are a few step-by-step instructions for the top three social platforms.Take control of your branding and story, this can help you attract more clients and build a solid community of followers. In a later post we will explore reviews on your local listings.

Facebook Reviews
We will start with Facebook, one of simplest platforms to request reviews for. To get a link to send.

Don’t have a branded (or Vanity URL as they call it) click HERE for a how-to.

Facebook Reviews.JPG

Google Reviews
Google is an important one to keep tabs on. Why, well it’s Google and this is something that will pop up when someone searches your business. So kind of important!  Here are the official steps that Google provides to help you create a link for reviews:

google-id

LinkedIn
There is not a way to create or send a specific link that directly takes someone to recommend you on LinkedIn, but you can send them a link to your profile. Written recommendations are at found at the bottom of your profile. To encourage recommendations, send someone to your profile (use the public or serial ID URL) and ask them to scroll (or hit Ctrl+End) to go to the bottom to see your recommendations.

If you have not already, you should brand your LinkedIn URL so that your community can easily find you. Click HERE for a link on how to do that. If you have customized it, the link to your public profile is www.LinkedIn.com/in/YOURBRAND.

linked-in-branded-url

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Product Video | Corporate Commercial

You can tell the story of your product, services and company with a simple video. Make sure to keep it short and sweet. Here is a great sample of using intentional words and striking images to create a visual message.

 

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Marketing Yourself While Being Realistic

As a small business owner you wear many hats. You do the work, manage the books, pull the trigger on your marketing….it can be a lot. One of the first things have my clients do is to tell me what they are doing for their marketing and then we talk about what makes them happy…and what is purely a chore.

Marketing your business is different for everyone and there is no magic formula. The key to figuring it all out is to look at what is realistic for you. What? Realistic…what does that mean? Well that means you need to access the time you have, what you enjoy doing and what you can leverage to others. This may mean you need to pay someone to pick up the tasks you do not like or do not have time for, but by taking the time to think it through you can make an educated decision.

Marketing Yourself

Here are a few tips that will help you along the way to make this assessment:

  • Social Media: Do you like social media, know how to use it and have at least 2 hrs a week to manage it? Keep in mind, you do not have to be on every social profile, choose what fits your business and ability to use.
  • Email Marketing: Do you have a way to capture customer contact information? Do you have content that you can send regularly (bi-monthly or monthly)? Do you have the ability to pay for a management system?
  • Digital Ads: Do you know how to do basic design? Do you understand Google Ads, Facebook Ads or any other ad platform? Do you have at least 45 minutes a day to check in and manage ads (this can be less on one and more on another)?
  • Blogging: Do you like to write? Do you have the unique content needed to maintain regular blogging? Do you have at least an hour a week to manage this?

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Lights, Camera, Action…My Life on a Film Set

Stepping on a film set is amazing. I have had the opportunity to do it for a professional film company here in Portland as a paid extra on “Portlandia” and I have had the opportunity to do so for the last 5 years with Marble Mountain Films working on the short film “Unmarked” and the current film project “Dead Lake“.

My Life on a Film Set

It is not glamorous as one may think. I have hiked miles to locations, nearly frozen my feet off, baked in the 100 degrees weather, mucked around in dirty water and hauled tons of gear. But I have loved every bit of it. There is a thrill of working with actors and directing them to tell a story. To orchestrate visual, emotional and audio to impact an audience.

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What Story Are You Telling Without Saying A Word?

You don’t have to hang around me long to know that I am a bit dramatic. I have been acting, dancing and performing since I was 4 years old. My mother put me in dance and acting to increase my confidence. Both of these crafts focus on how you present yourself and how to communicate with out words…to tell a story with out even saying anything.

These skills translate to everyday life. I think all too often we float through and are note aware of what we say with our body, our eyes and the energy we focus from ourselves. This blog post is an overview of a few key non-verbal elements (there are many more) to be in tuned to. I will be offering a workshop & webinar soon that I will to help give more application.

What are you saying with out speaking a word?

Body Energy
We all have energy that flows from our body, but it is how we channel this energy that tells the story. When you are in a situation at work, at home, under stress…what energy is flowing from you. It is a different way to look at things, but awareness of this can help you turn a situation around or elevate the mood of things.

Stance
How you simply stand gives a lot away about how you are feeling and the confidence you have.  A tight, closed down or twisted stance sends a message that you there is insecurity and that you are not as open. A wider stance communicates that you are rooted and thus signals confidence. The most strength lies in the “Power Pose” (think superman or wonder woman) to take charge of a situation (for yourself and to give those around you the cue that you are in charge).

Bubbles
We all have a bubble…some have the need for lots of space and others are very comfortable when someone gets into their bubble. I am a notorious hugger…which I am very aware of being very intentional. But just like the three little bears, there is a way to approach the “bubble” that is just right for a professional setting when you are networking or just meeting people. When you are a step to close while you are speaking this is a signal of control and dominance. When you are just a bit out of reach (to far away) you communicate that you are either insecure or uninterested. To find a distance that is just right will signals confidence and that you are sure of yourself, but takes into consideration the other person.

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Content is King: Create Your Own Meme

Part of this fun journey of blogging for 29 days is to provide some quick tips on how to create unique content to tell your story.

Original content is so important to have in your social media and digital marketing. Do you like those images with text…or better known as meme? You can easily create these with your own photos in a very simple way. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to creating fun, inspirational and informative content for your business.

Meme
Sample Seasonal Meme from Original Photography

First…Identify your Screen Capture Tool

PC = Snipping Tool

  • Locate Snipping Tool in Accessories (Start Menu Search) and Open
  • A communication window will appear
  • Click on arrow next to choose the type of snip you want. Rectangular Snip is best for memes
  • Once you have the item you would like to capture prepared, click “new”
  • Drag cursor over area you want to capture
  • Save as the image format you want

Mac = Command (⌘)-Shift-4

  • Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4. You’ll see that your cursor changes to a crosshair pointer
  • Move the crosshair pointer to where you want to start the screenshot
  • Drag to select an area. To adjust the area, hold Shift, Option, or the Space bar while you drag
  • When you’ve selected the area you want, release your mouse or trackpad button. Or to cancel, press Escape (esc)
  •  Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop

Second…Create Meme in a Word Doc

  • Open Word Doc
  • Go to Insert tab and select Picture…this will allow you to import the image
  • With image selected go to Format and click Wrap Text and select In Front of Text
  • Click on Insert tab and select Text Box…this will give you the option of which text box you want to use
  • Double click on Text Box content and then type the quote you want on your image
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click on Home tab. Highlight the text you just added and format using all the Font formatting tools
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click Format tab. This is where you will select Shape Fill (none) and Shape Outline (none)
  • With box selected drag the Text Box to where you want it on the image.
  • Use screen capture tool to capture and save as either a png or jpg

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29 Days Of Blogging | Day 5: Top Fifteen Songs I Love

I love music…music of all kinds. I listen to country, classic rock, hip-hop, dubstep…the list can go on. Since I was little I have created emotional ties to certain songs. When I hear them they can transport me back to that time and place. If my life could have a sound track here are ten songs that would be part of that collection. They all have their own hook into the story of my life:

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer  – The Beatles
Brown Eyed Girl  – Van Morrison
Defying Gravity – From “Wicked” (yep here comes the musical numbers)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band – The Beatles (actually this whole album)
Foxy Lady – Jimmy Hendrix (this one holds two memories)
Suddenly Seymour – From “Little Shop of Horrors”
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough –  Cyndi Lauper (“Goonies Never Say Die!”)
Smells Like Teen Spirit  – Nirvana (ode to the brooding 90’s teen years)
Jesus Freak  –  DC Talk
Come What May – From “Moulin Rouge”
Monster  –  Skillet (helped out on a couple tours with them…amazing band!)
You Can’t Stop the Beat – From “Hairspray”
Thief  –  Third Day
Elements – Lindsay Stirling (I love everything she does…the video is worth a watch)
Hello  –  Adele (yes it is over played…but she is soooooo amazing!)

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My Favorite Quotes

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  –  Maya Angelou

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”  –  Helen Keller

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”  –  William Shakespeare

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Eight Things About Me

At first I thought it might be difficult to come up with 8 interesting thing…but this was a rather fun exercise to examine the life of Amanda Goff to dig up some fun and funky facts.

  1. I started my “career” as a performer at the tender age of 4 at my first dance recital. I was done for after that and bitten by “bug”.
  2. I love to people watch. It is one of the best ways to study as an actor and also learn about the stories people tell with out even knowing it.
  3. I cannot parallel park to save my life. Well I can, but avoid it at all costs.
  4. I went to Jr High & High School with the Disney TV actor Jason Earles. We acted together in several productions.
  5. I have been working for the last 5 years on local independent film projects right here in Clark County with Marble Mountain Films….. I have loved every moment of it!. Thank you to my hubby and son for supporting me in this crazy en-devour.
  6. I have visited Costa Rica twice on mission trips. It was amazing and I think I could live there someday. It was not just the beauty of the country, but the wonderful people who live there.
  7. I could eat sushi or Thai food everyday if given the chance. Love the freshness and variety.
  8. I have worked several crazy jobs (call it life study). I have been a nursing assistant, preschool teacher, nanny, legal assistant, concert promotions manager and education assistant for a whole body donation organization.

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