Friday, July 10, 2009

How to Get a Great Publicity Headshot

If you're seeking publicity, it's important to have a good publicity headshot on file.

I recently visited a conference Web site to learn more about the keynote speaker and was stunned -- absolutely stunned -- that this individual being touted as the go-to person on this particular topic was using a really bad, squinting-into-the-sunlight amateur snapshot as her "I'm the keynoter" headshot. It did nothing to build credibility.

A few days later, I followed a link to the blog of a business consultant and was confonted by, again, a large amateur snapshot of the man sitting on a chair in the living room of his home (it wasn't even his home office...) wearing a t-shirt and shorts. This wasn't some 20-something who hasn't figured things out yet. This was a Babyboomer.

Like it or not, packaging matters. If you're selling professional advice to other professionals, look like a professional in your publicity photo (and the photo on your blog counts as a publicity photo). I'll admit that some people use too much smoke and too many mirrors but clearly, others don't use enough.

The current issue of my free Build Book Buzz e-zine features tips on how to get a great publicity headshot. You'll get the issue automatically when you sign up for the newsletter before the next issue goes out on July 22.

What's the worst publicity headshot you've seen? Post the link here!


Gretje Ferguson said...

Great post, Sandra! As a portrait photographer, this is one of my pet peeves as well. Some of the worst I've seen include a mug shot of a woman wearing a shirt with big black horizontal stripes (perfect for prison); a real-estate guy with what looks like an arrow through his head; and a politician with a cowboy hat pulled over half his face. And you're right: Photos for blogs, and also for Facebook and LinkedIn, are all part of how your "public" perceives you.

Sandra Beckwith said...

Thanks, Gretje! These are great examples. I just followed your name to your Web site ( -- you have some lovely, lovely portraits there, all showing a lot of personality. It's a nice showcase for your work.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Gretje Ferguson said...

Many thanks, Sandra. I'm really enjoying your blog.

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