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A professional headshot is more than just a picture for your LinkedIn profile! Check out this post to learn more about the reasons lawyers should have a professional headshot.
Some professionals are hesitant to invest in a professional headshot. Other times, they will take a headshot once but never update it or settle for so-so quality. The reasons for failing to prioritize obtaining a professional headshot often vary. For some, the cost is a concern. For others, it is simply a product of time allocations or priorities.
Regardless of the reason for not prioritizing a professional headshot initially, lawyers need to add this to their marketing to-do list. Research shows that people are innately drawn to faces online. In our own Justia Lawyer Directory, the data indicates that lawyers with high-quality, engaging profile photos tend to receive more profile engagement and leads.
What does this mean for you? In a digital society, headshots are an increasingly important professional marketing and branding tool. Keep reading to discover more about why lawyers should invest in a professional headshot now.
You Need a High-Quality Photo to Develop Your Professional Brand
Branding helps businesses differentiate themselves from competitors, create recognition amongst consumers, and build authentic business connections. However, branding is not limited to business entities. Instead, many individualized professionals create a personal professional brand as well.
While it may seem silly, think of your favorite celebrity. What are they known for? What is something that easily brings them to mind for fans?
For instance, Matthew McConaughey is well-known for his iconic catchphrase “alright, alright, alright.” Lady Gaga is known for over-the-top fashion statements. The list goes on but these instantly recognizable moments are part of their brand. They’ve built a personal brand within their industry, and it makes them (and their work) more connected to and memorable for fans.
Similarly, lawyers should also focus on creating a professional brand. For decades, lawyers have abided by the principle that reputation is everything. Professional branding is the next phase of that tenet. It is about boosting your reputation and leveraging what you are known for to create more memorable connections with potential clients, current clients, and colleagues.
In a digital age, many elements make up a lawyer’s professional brand, from your social media presence to your blog content, law firm website, and beyond. However, most of your professional brand assets require an engaging, appealing photo as part of their foundation.
Headshots Are a Versatile Marketing Asset
Historically, headshots may have had a limited purpose. Perhaps they were included in a physical directory of lawyers or hung in the lobby of a law firm. However, those days are well behind us.
In a digital world, headshots have various virtually instant uses for marketing. For instance, a high-quality headshot should be included on your social media profiles, lawyer directory profiles, and similar business profiles. Ideally, your headshot will remain consistent across these various platforms, solidifying your personal brand.
You will need a headshot for your attorney profile on your law firm website and, depending on your website design, for your homepage as well. Your marketing strategy may even include online advertisements that include your photo, such as Google Local Services Ads.
As a bonus, a new headshot is a great way to instantly refresh your existing marketing assets too! If you want to breathe new life into a directory profile or update your social media presence, uploading a new photo allows you to do just that.
Headshots also still have offline uses. Want to appear on a billboard for your practice or otherwise incorporate your photo into a print ad? Having a headshot is often step one in that process. Some lawyers even include their photos on business cards or other printed marketing collateral.
Due to this versatility and numerous possible uses of your professional headshot, the investment may just be much more cost-effective than most initially think!
Strong Images Increase Leads for Your Law Firm
As mentioned above, faces and pictures have a strong impact on consumers. Your potential clients are not an exception. People form their first impression within 7 seconds of their first interaction with a business. In this interaction, you want to be sure you are memorable.
Ideally, potential clients should feel connected to your practice on a more personal, authentic level than other firms from the first moment they see your website, ad, or other marketing channels. Having a high-quality, professional headshot can certainly help!
Having a strong headshot helps you put your best foot forward. It puts a face to your name and creates greater confidence and trust in your practice by showing real people are on the other end of the screen. It can help you stand out from other attorneys who are using stock photos or lower-quality images on their own marketing collateral.
In the marketing world, authentic personal connections that instill confidence and create a personal connection are golden and photos tend to do just that! With this stronger relationship, it is more likely that a potential client will contact your practice.
We have seen this play out over and over both in the Justia Lawyer Directory and on our client websites. When a lawyer has a high-quality, engaging photo on their Justia Lawyer Directory profile, they get more clicks and in turn more leads. When law firms include professional photos in their homepage banners, they receive more leads and contact forms through their website. Thus, we strongly recommend incorporating a professional headshot into your legal marketing assets.
Tips for Getting More Out of Your Headshot
When you are ready to take your new professional headshot, you may have questions about how to ensure you are getting the best image!
A professional photographer can certainly help you through this process. A well-qualified photographer should be able to help you put your best foot forward and can manage lighting, backgrounds, etc. However, you should also take special care to consider your intended use for the headshot too.
For instance, if you plan to use your headshot as part of your law firm website’s homepage imagery, be sure that the shirt you choose to wear for your photo will not clash with your firm’s brand colors.
As another example, if your firm prides itself on having a more casual culture than others, you may not want to wear a full suit for your photo and you may want to suggest a more casual setting for your photo shoot, such as an outdoor shot as opposed to a traditional backdrop or an in-office image.
We suggest smiling for the camera, as most people are drawn to the friendliness of a smile. However, you can choose the facial expression that best fits your brand personality. For instance, some practices want to emphasize their toughness in the legal field or how fiercely they battle for their clients. Such messaging often better aligns with a pleasant, but more serious, expression.
At the end of the day, nobody knows your brand tone, messaging, and appearance better than you. Be sure you are remaining consistent with that voice.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
A professional headshot is a gift that keeps giving to your practice. A good headshot is versatile, helps build more authentic connections with clients, and strengthens your brand. Investing in a professional headshot is an investment in your practice’s growth.Related Posts
- Drafting Your Ideal Attorney Biography
- Key Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Header Image for Your Law Firm Website
- Maximizing the Benefits of Your Justia Lawyer Directory Profile