Acing Your Professional Headshot

Professional Headshot

If you’re using a selfie you took in your car as your networking photo, it’s time for an upgrade. Your business headshot is a branding tool. It’s often the first impression many people have of your brand. Consider what your current headshot says to potential clients about you and your brand.

While investing in a professional headshot is your best option, you can still take your own headshot (with the help of a friend).

Here are some strategies to ensure your photo will say that you’re someone people should trust with their business.

  • Be Mindful of Your Background – Aim for something neutral that won’t compete for the viewer’s attention. Keep an eye out for anything that might appear to be sprouting out of your head, like a tree branch or painting.
  • Keep Your Clothing Simple – Business attire is best for a business headshot. Avoid patterns. Bold colors can work, but be careful that the color doesn’t clash or make you look pale. Get some outfit options that you can easily change up, like a jacket or a scarf that you can remove in one shot.
  • Have Fun with (Relevant) Props – A writer might be sitting at her laptop. An accountant could have a calculator in the shot. Small details can not only illustrate what you do, but also make your headshot stand out.
  • Play with the Angle – For most, having the photo taken from higher up is more flattering. This may or may not be the case for you. Have your photographer play with angles.

The key to a good headshot session is taking lots of photos. Aim for variation in expression, background, wardrobe, angles and lighting to give you more options.

Full article written by Susan Payton. Click here to read.

 

Advertising FAQs for Small Businesses

Small Business Marketing and Advertising

Running a small business means that you have to wear many hats and marketing and advertising is one of the most important. Making sure your potential customers know that you exist and know what you do is essential for any business to survive. Advertising can sometimes feel like a minefield. If you’re considering spending lots of money on marketing, don’t forget to budget for legal help. Having your marketing reviewed for legal compliance can save you time and money in the long run.

Click here to read an informative article written by George Khoury. He answers five frequently asked questions from small business owners regarding advertising and gives tips on how to make sure your ads don’t cross any legal lines.

Become a Master Networker

Networking

You know networking is an important business tool, but sometimes it can feel awkward. Here are ten tips to help you feel more comfortable.

  1. Create Your Relationship Action Plan – You need an action plan that outlines who you want to build connections with and how you plan on doing it.
  2. Be Interesting – A key to networking is being the type of person that other people want to interact with. To do that, you need to project positivity and be able to have engaging conversations.
  3. Make People Feel Special – Focus your attention on the person you’re trying to connect with. People want to feel like they matter, and to do that you need to show them that you genuinely care about what they have to say and express how much you appreciate them.
  4. Help Others – Once you help someone, you instantly become more likable because you relieved some of their stress and added value to their life.
  5. Join New Social Circles – If you can find a way to meet one person in a group you want to be involved in, you can start connecting with everyone in it.
  6. Become a Master Mentor/Mentee – Mentorships are one of the most valuable relationships you can invest in. There’s no better way to get ahead and expand your network than to spend time with people who have already achieved your goals.
  7. Be a Super Connector – You know those people who seem to know everyone? They’re known as super connectors because they’re the superheroes of the networking world. If they’re unable to help someone, they know a list of people who can, which makes them great friends to have.
  8. Have a Social Media Strategy – The key to fostering your network using social media is to always add value. Instead of randomly posting whatever comes to mind, consistently share relevant, funny and informative content that offers a glimpse into your life and the ideas you’re interested in.
  9. Diversify Your Network – Though building close relationships is essential for a happy, successful life, research shows you actually get more career related value from acquaintances you see only occasionally.
  10. Don’t Forget the Follow-Up – If you don’t follow-up, you will fail at networking. People are busy and if you don’t connect with them often, you’ll be forgotten. Follow up once every quarter with acquaintances and at least once per month with people you’re trying to build a closer relationship with.

To read the full article written by Vanessa Van Edwards click here.