The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful: The Professional Marketing Image
Your online space is exactly that. Yours. You want to own it by expressing what your business stands for and what makes you exceptional. I’ve often discussed the advantages of being unique and ignoring the mold when it comes to your digital marketing, but sometimes it can be a little tricky to negotiate what might be upbeat and edgy and what might turn customers off. In this series we’ll break down good marketing images, bad ones and those outstanding images that will truly make the most of your marketing dollars.
Let’s jump right in with the professional image. You know that clients want to see your face, they want to connect to a real person, whether it’s on a business card, website or via social media outlets. So how do you put your face out there in the best possible way? Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful.
The standard professional image is your professional headshot. A great professional headshot will showcase the best of your features, capitalizing on lighting and angles. It will also capture a bit of your personality through those minor details. Are your arms folded? Does a smile play at your eyes but not your lips? Are you an all out grinner? Body language will be key communication points in the headshot. A good, professional headshot, well lit and modestly edited, is a safe place to land, especially for those in more conservative fields of work.
The bad news about the Bad is that many images can easily fall into this category. The good news, though, is that a little bit of common sense will keep you away from most of them. Any picture taken of you by you (the infamous selfie) should never land on your website, business card or business social media profile picture. Unless, of course, you’re a professional Selfie Taker, in which case this might be accepted. Emphasis on might! All others should stand clear of this, and all cell phone images, poorly lit images, and poorly cropped images of you along with a random elbow or shoulder of the “cropped out” person. This can all be easily avoided by sticking to one simple rule: leave the professional images to the professionals.
A stroke of genius happens when the professional image is creatively mixed with personal passion in just the right way, creating a visually appealing yet relatable marketing piece. A great photographer will combine all the skills needed to create a great headshot together with the subject in their element, surrounded by their passion. Angles and perspectives can be explored, and all the standard headshot rules are out the window. This type of professional photography is perfect for creatives, but can even find its way into other markets including real estate, restaurants, and fitness. When done correctly these stylized headshots can easily turn into marketing, and even artistic, gold.