The start of a new year is a good time to update the bio photo on your website and online platforms.
An outdated or unflattering picture – think criminal mugshot – will turn off potential clients.
And because every picture tells a story, consider using more than one shot to tell the story of who you are and what you do. Add other elements – audio, animation and the like – as you like.
The objective: create a visual presence that is appealing, interesting and unique.
“My advice to the professionals I work with has always been to stand out, to have a unique feature,” writes Anca S. Munteanu, the marketing director at a New York law firm. “Try to find something that will help connect to the audience, to the people that were buying their services and to understand what they were looking for and what determined their ultimate decision.”
Munteanu began her marketing career back when websites were still a new thing. For one of her first clients (a CPA firm), she added sound clips to the CPA bios.
“I wanted to have something ‘cool’ and that made the accountants stand out more and overcome the stereotype that accountants were ‘kinda boring,’” she says. “I remember the clients’ feedback that they liked to hear their advisor’s voice and not just see their picture in their bio, that it helped hearing what they had to say and connecting in a different way. It helped prospective clients make the decision to want to work with a particular accountant.”
Munteanu won an industry award for that first assignment, and she hasn’t looked back since.
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6 Pro Tips for DIY Headshots
First impressions count, and the headshot that accompanies an online profile can be as important as the words,” says Chris Rutter for Digital Camera World.
Following are 6 pro tips from Rutter (quotes are from his article):
- Plan in advance. Use a pose and style that will (a) showcase you most appealingly, and (b) be appropriate for the site where it will appear.
- Adjust your camera settings. “Set the lowest ISO,” says Rutter. “In manual exposure mode set the fastest shutter speed that will work with your triggers. Set the aperture to f/5.6. Take a test shot. If you can’t see the subject, move on. If you can see the subject clearly, reduce the aperture.”
- Soften the flash. “To reduce harsh shadows from the flash, use a softbox or umbrella. The larger the apparent size of the light source to the subject, the softer the light will be. We used an 8x9inch LumiQuest Softbox III.”
- Position the flash. “Even with the softbox in place, you need to position the flash close to the subject in order to get the softest results. This should be around two feet (60cm) from the subject, and slightly above their eyeline and to one side.”
- Set the flash power. “Once the flash is in position you need to set the power level. With the flash close to the subject start by setting a low power, such as 1/16 power, take a test shot and then adjust it until the main subject is correctly exposed.”
- Experiment with different settings. Try using one flash, two flashes, and passport-style shooting.
The bottom line, says Munteanu: “Your bio picture does matter! It is a small tool in the marketing toolbox but it has a huge impact.”
Jay Reeves is author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World. He practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Now he writes and speaks at CLEs, keynotes and in-firm presentations on lawyer professionalism and well-being. He runs Your Law Life LLC, which helps lawyers add purpose, profits and peace of mind to their practices. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-619-2441.