In the last 20 years, we’ve seen communication move from land lines to mobile and from mobile to increased usage of internet technology like “Skype”. Communication is becoming increasingly face to face (though not in the physical sense) as video chat and conferencing become ever more mainstream. A business portrait is crucial to attract customers.
Before someone picks up the phone to call you (or your company), they’ve probably already checked out your Linkedin* profile (and been frustrated if there’s no photo or a photo that’s so small they can’t tell what you look like), your Facebook page and your company’s various social profiles and website “team” pages. Does the collective information paint an accurate picture of your company or is “cohesive” the last word that comes to mind?
Don’t put the cart before the horse… In an increasingly online world, first impressions are all about internet presence and much less about a first phone call. If your representation of “you” is a bikini-clad photo from your last vacation to Puerta Vallarta (and yes, we’ve seen these on Linkedin), or your Facebook photos are public (and let’s just say that some of them shouldn’t be) or your team photos were taken over a five-year period by five different photographers in five different locations, then it might be time to start planning your new “first impression” for that increasingly-savvy potential client; the one who is looking for professional, approachable and reliable, the one who can surf through five companies in five minutes before he picks up the phone and ultimately, the one who might decide on your company because the people look so approachable. So yes, you do need a good business portrait because in an online world, that first impression is where a potential business relationship begins. See examples.
*As an addendum, according to a recent online Forbes article (click here for full article), Linkedin career expert Nicole Williams said, “One of the biggest mistakes I see is no photo. You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have one. Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong.” She also says, “Unless you’re getting hired for a modeling gig, people are just looking for energy, which you can communicate through great posture, open eyes and a smile.”