Although it may not be necessary to hire a professional photographer, it may help to work on a number of personal properties that exude the quality traits you bring to every job. In other words, don't spend a lot of resources or time trying to look like a supermodel.
Maybe instead of focusing on a photo, start with your bio. If you have a WordPress account, there's plenty of room for you to share personal info, social media accounts, and other things that visitors (which can turn into paying clients) may find interesting. If you write for a living, or do it as part of a marketing strategy, having at least one bio is important.
The nice thing about modern bios is that most aren't as stiff or formal for online publications. Many contributors or writers may include personal interests or something quirky. Here are some funny bio ideas people use for their social media accounts. Once you get on a roll, take a snippet to include with your next article submission.
You may have also noticed that the character counts vary. Instead of wondering if your 10-word bio is enough or if your life story in a paragraph may leave out some relevant details, the solution is simple. Create at least three types of bios - small, medium, long (and extra-long, just in case).
I went with 10, 25, 50, 100, and 250 words because there were different focal points I wanted to stress, as I have a multitude of interests. Also, I didn't use a formal template but tried to think like the reader when it came to what information to include. Here are a few rough guidelines:
- 10-25 Words - name, where you're from, relevant credentials, and maybe a fun fact.
- 50-100 Words - name, where you're from, credentials, and a personal experience that relates directly to the article.
- 150+ Words - you can include all of these elements but sometimes the publisher may have guidelines in place. By having some facts handy, like social media handles or industry affiliations, it can act as a guide for promotional purposes.
As far as taking a pic goes, it can be done quickly unless you're really picky (call up a photography student or semi-pro looking to update their portfolio) or entering a beauty-related industry. Also...and this goes for the women AND men...go easy on the enhancements. Too much makeup or photo editing looks phony and can be distracting. Use concealer to cover blemishes or find the tool on your image editing program that will make your skin look flawless. Otherwise, this (to the right) is how people will see you..
The most acceptable photos are -
- Full facial shots with eyes (or clear lenses) visible
- Not taken at an angle
- Have a solid color background
- Aaaand...while pics with your pet can be adorable, these don't fit every occasion
Putting It All Together
Some who are camera shy might choose a business logo instead. Depending on your client retention strategy, it may suffice. If you're new to your field, creating several engagement properties that allow ongoing interactivity can bridge the online communication gap.