The ROI of a Professional Headshot

Your professional headshot or business portrait is often the first impression you’ll make on potential clients, collaborators, investors, or employers. An effective photo that shows you at your professional best can open doors and set you up for success. A poor one … well, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. 

It’s surprising how many people don’t understand the value of investing in a professional headshot, thinking they’re saving money by going the DIY route or seeking the least expensive option. As a client once told me, they’d learned the hard way that cheap is often way too expensive.

Although often anecdotal, those who have replaced their selfie with a professional headshot claim the return-on-investment can be impressive. From being short-listed for job opportunities, to more sales and career advancement, a high-quality professional headshot provides benefits that can easily surpass its upfront cost.

Here are a few ways a professional headshot can deliver a strong ROI:

Stand Out from the Crowd

The digital era allows us to find, connect, and do business with anyone in the world almost instantly. That kind of access and abundance of choice can make your competition seem endless. At the same time, this seemingly limitless choice of suppliers available in any given sector brings with it an overwhelming sea of sameness; the ubiquitous selfie and endless supply of amateur photos of people with similar expressions and the same white, black, or grey backdrops vying for the same market.

A professional business portrait created by an experienced, creative photographer stands out from the sea of sameness. Not only will it make the viewer stop and take a second look, but it shows potential connections that you’re serious about the image you project. You’re a professional who invests in their business and personal brand.

Boost Credibility and Trust

Research shows photos profoundly impact how we perceive people. One study found participants rated individuals who smiled genuinely and made direct eye contact in photos as more competent, intelligent, and trustworthy. These are qualities professional photographers will capture in your headshot.

A high-quality headshot or business portrait commands respect and trust from those who see it. In contrast, amateurish selfies may leave the impression you are not detail-oriented or professional in other aspects of your business.

Land Job Interviews and Offers

Multiple studies have found photographs strongly influence hiring decisions. One study found candidates with professional-looking portraits were nearly twice as likely to be invited for an interview compared to those with less formal photos.

Whether on LinkedIn or your website, a professional business portrait can help catch a potential employer’s eye, move your application higher up the stack, and lead to more job interviews and offers.

Increase Engagement on Social Media and Your Website

A quality business portrait can dramatically improve customer and follower engagement on your social profiles and website. The right photo draws attention, invites clicks, and encourages interaction. Over time, this increased engagement can convert into more leads, sales, and opportunities for you and your business.

Get More Meeting and Speaking Requests

When potential clients, customers, partners, media, and event organizers see an impressive photo of you they are more inclined to request meetings, interviews, and contributor opportunities. A high-quality portrait communicates that you are an expert worth listening to, which opens doors and grows your professional network.

Strengthen Your Personal Brand

Just like companies, individuals have a brand–the perceptions and feelings people have about you based on your values, actions, and promises you make. An appropriate portrait supports your brand promise by presenting you in an authentic and compelling way. This strengthens how potential connections perceive you and can help attract the right opportunities.

In summary, the ROI from a professional business portrait comes not just from one-time gains, but also the compounding effects over time as your portrait serves as your face to the world. By investing in a professional headshot or business portrait with a photographer who understands your industry and target audience, you set the foundation for countless career and business successes to come. 

It can be one of your most valuable marketing assets when it’s done right.

Using Format