Jeanne Kalinowski dropped by for headshots early this month and mentioned a website called Photofeeler.com, where you can have other people rate the profile photos you plan to use for LinkedIn or other places. It works as a tool to choose a photo: other people who have never met you or seen either you or your photo before rate your photo on how competent, likable, and influential you appear to be.
WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS WEBSITE BEFORE? THIS IS AWESOME.
“We created PhotoFeeler so that a misleading or unflattering photo never comes between good people and opportunity,” as their website says. The site goes on to describe the importance of a first impression and how people make their decisions and draw conclusions about you instantaneously, based on the first photo they see of you on social media.
THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS! Sorry for shouting- I’m just so excited. I take a lot of headshots for professionals who are in transition and searching for their new job or entrepreneurs searching for their own clients, and I tell them that more often than not, the first time someone “meets” them it’s online through their LinkedIn
profile, Facebook photos, bio page of your website, Google+ profile, or even a Google search. So the first time they see you they’re actually seeing your photo. So it’s important to have a good headshot. Duh.
You’ve heard it a million times that “you only have one chance to make a good first impression” and nowadays that first impression isn’t actually you, but a photo of you on the internet. Our lives are so intertwined with working and communicating virtually (through email, online research, social media profiles), that psychologically we’re actually believing we’ve “met” someone when we read their bio and see their photo on their website. It’s important to have a good headshot of you that does two things: 1. looks a hell of a lot like you (so when they meet you in person they know it’s you); and 2. gives people a good first impression of you.
If you’ve got a crummy group photo on the beach that you cropped everything out but your sunburned face and using it as your LinkedIn profile, it’s going to give the first impression of, “I’m on the beach. This is me on the beach… if you can see my face through the sunglasses, that is.” But if you have a professional headshot with perfect lighting, flattering poses, an approachable, confident smile, and polished attire, it gives the first impression of, “I’m put together, friendly, confident, know what I’m talking about, and am important enough to have a professional photo taken of me.
But don’t just listen to me… the proof is in the PhotoFeeler pudding. Check out the ratings Jeanne got on the snapshot she was using on LinkedIn before her Organic Headshots session, and then the professional headshots she walked away with earlier this month. There’s no question which photos give complete strangers a better first impression. Thanks Jeanne for sharing the results of your experiment!