How to make people like you in less than 7 Seconds...

Great-headshots-of-blonde-woman-in-grey-jacket-from-Waggener-Edstrom-agency-in-Seattle Full disclosure...I am mildly obsessed with everything business and branding -- cue the shock & awe if you've been reading my recent post related to taking your personal brand to the professional level. (I'm pretty sure you already were well aware.)  Anyway...I read this great article about the 15 Secrets of Really Persuasive People in Entrepreneur Magazine that said "Research shows that most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction."  Right now is a great time to ask yourself if your digital handshake - aka. your Linked In profile picture, editorial and industry trade photography, website bio picture and all of your professional branding images are delivering your strongest first impression?  What are your prospective clients, readers, & network deciding about you solely based on your online presentation?

When we photograph Professional Portfolio Sessions (like Dawn Beauparlant above)... that is the question that we are answering with the images that we create. Dawn is crushing it in the technology space -- YES women in tech (don't believe everything you see on HBO's Silicon Valley!)  and communicating her personal brand as a leader would not be telling the whole story unless we also focus on showcasing her confidence, creativity and modern style across all of her varied media channels.  (If you are thinking...her what?... that's a fancy way of reminding you that when people Google search you... your picture comes up on all of the different websites that exist and you will want to tailor your image to each of those places)  Quick rule of thumb --

- Linked-In is your networking calling card ... a little more formal or dressy is never a wrong choice here

- Company website & blogs - consider using the firms brand colors for a sharp presentation that will make marketing & collateral pop

-  Twitter... this is a conversation space so go ahead and lighten the mood and loosen up the overall look

- Facebook & Google +...if you are using it with a mix of business and personal contacts... you're okay to get more casual but keep it professional (you are still representing your brand)

If you like this article and would like to read more headshot and professional branding related tips -- here's a quick link to more.