WHY THE PROFILE PICTURES OF YOUR EMPLOYEES MATTERS
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
🇺🇸This scenario will speak to you either you are working for a multi-national company or you have your own business and you just hired employee #10.
Logo, Branding, graphic design: YES, CHECKED! All good!
Website, brochures, promotional videos, social media platforms: YES, ALSO CHECKED, on point!
You are at the top level in terms of brand and communication and that feels super good, right?
But let's challenge you and go even further as you might have literally forgotten to take care of the face of your brand and your company: YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM.
YOU ARE THE FACE OF YOUR BRAND. YOUR EMPLOYEES AS WELL.
Do you have a page 'about your team' or an 'about us' page on your website: are there pictures on that page? Have you checked the Linkedin profile pictures of your employees? Are they all in line with the value and energy you want people to feel when they come across your business or project?
The professional headshots of your employees and yourself are the complete part of your brand and should definitely not be disregarded as a secondary topic: It might be the first image your future clients will have of your company!
THE MOST UNDERESTIMATED EMPOWERMENT TOOL
We have all recently heard it: "If you take care of your employees and they will take care of your business" Richard Branson.
Booking a proper executive portrait shoot for your employees and the executive team is one of the most underrated tools to truly empower a team.
To create with them a professional portrait at the level of their own individual ambitions, making them feel seen and recognized goes way beyond having a ping pong table in the break room. A solid modern headshot is a tool that will make them feel confident and proud of the person they are becoming in your company. Speak about bringing real value to your team 😃
'YES OK, BUT WE TRIED, IT WAS A BIG FAIL.'
I speak from a fully personal experience here. A long (not so long actually) time ago, I was in the middle of another professional life where I was working in the corporate world, in the medical device industry in Paris. (Yes... completely different environment than my current one !)
Here was my first experience of being photographed by a professional, as one of the companies I worked for decided to have all of the team have a professional headshot. I remember being super excited by the idea. Not really knowing what to wear for my professional photo, I Googled, read many different things and tried something new on the day of the shoot (which would end up being a mistake among others).
Here I am, on a nice morning, shy in front of the camera, quite uncomfortable. The portrait photographer, not super talkative, took different photos while I was trying to pose myself... in an outfit I wasn't used to wear, which added to the unease of the situation. 2 weeks later I receive an email from our head fo communication with my corporate headshot and... I don't look at my best, body shape wise but most of all, I don't really recognize myself as the expression is weird.
Results: No wish at all to use it as my Linkedin profile picture. THANK YOU BUT, NO THANK YOU! So this is a typical example of a complete waste of money as if your employees don't like their executive headshots, they won't use it on Linkedin and you can't force them to do so ....
HOW TO MAKE SURE IT IS A 110% SUCCESS STORY
The basic principle is: if someone likes her/his professional headshot, there are 99,99% chance they will feel super happy to use it as their Linkedin profile picture.
So how to make sure that you and your team are in full love with your executive portraits?
Here are things to look at for when you book the portrait photographer for your corporate shoot :
#1 You don't want the same type of fo portraits than your competitors
So book a professional photographer that completely tailor the shoot (location, type of lights, type of background) to your communication needs, brand value, and energy.
#2 Preparation is half of the job
The light, the posing/body language & the expression: it's all on the photographer's shoulders. You are all way too busy to teach yourself all of that!
However, what you and your team can prepare (and the professional photographer you book should help you with that) is the best cloths to wear on professional photos! Giving them guidelines on clothing and accessories for their pictures will make them feel on point on the portrait shoot day and avoid unnecessary stress.
#3 View the images directly on site with the photographer
It is quite personal to each headshot photographer, but for corporate portrait shoots, you might want to prioritize photographers that show the images directly. It allows each and every employee to choose their favorite directly on-site and feel super happy about it.
#4 Put all your chances on your side by hiring a makeup artist.. even if just for touch ups
It might seem like nothing, but you would not believe how a little bit of translucid powder can change everything! At work, everyone is busy managing their own day and projects and when they arrive for their professional headshot, the day might already be quite advanced... So to have a bit of powder for the men and a bit of more advanced touch-ups for the women will feel good and the results will definitely feel way neater from scratch.
#5 Editing: Everybody's best friend
Do yourself a favor, choose a professional photographer that provides image editing and retouching. There is nothing worse than a '3pm wrinkled shirt' or a 'headshot day - middle of the forehead's blemish' to make your team feel bad.
So let's keep a truly empowering mood and be professional all the way!