This is my first blog post and it is dedicated to an increasingly vital, albeit perhaps unexpected, personal branding tool: The headshot.
First of all, is it just me or does it seem like everybody’s now getting them done? In the past couple of years, I have seen them on resumés (I admit, “who does this guy think he is??” may have been my first reaction) and on the Facebook profiles of friends not even remotely connected to the entertainment industry (when did candid shots become so passé?) Sure, headshots may have always been important to PR, but for various reasons I have never felt compelled to get on that train. Until now.
Let me jump in now and clarify that I’m going extremely low-budget for this first run. I have decided this is the best route for me, since I want to see what I’m in for before I make a big investment, and this first investment will be made entirely out-of-pocket.
So, while I still think quality headshots are a worthwhile investment for any PR pro, (for an “executive” headshot, expect to pay $350-$450) I’ll be shelling out 50 bucks next week to get mine done by a college student who came highly recommended. I’ve already emailed her several samples of headshots that I came across and liked, thoughts on backgrounds, lighting, and detailed questions about this $50 package I’ve purchased. She has yet to respond to any of my emails. A bumpy start, but I’m not sweating it.
After all, like social media guru Mari Smith says in her new book, The New Relationship Marketing, putting your best face forward has never been more important: “Because Facebook essentially turned the whole Internet into a face,” she writes, “It puts us into a place where we come to expect to see people’s faces.”
For more insights from Mari about social media and personal branding, check out her blog: www.marismith.com (BTW, how great is her headshot!) and here’s a particularly good post from her on the topic, titled “It’s Called FACEbook for a Reason!”
Next week, stay tuned for some (hopefully) fabulous headshots of my own! Or, conversely, some insightful lessons learned.