Cheryl Hunter Cheryl Hunter

First impressions, how long do you have to make your first impressions online now?

7 seconds.

Is this true?

I have read that we only have seven (7) seconds in real time to make an impression. “You meet a business acquaintance for the first time – it could be your new boss, a recent addition to your team, or a potential client you want to sign up. The moment that stranger sees you, his or her brain makes a thousand computations: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are you trustworthy, competent, likeable, confident?” (Quote from Forbes Link to article by Carol Kinsey Gorman)

Guess what? Now you have even less time to do this online. First impressions are instant impressions. Do you want your photograph to send a message to your prospective clients before you even get the chance to do so yourself? Understanding, now in this modern business market, that there is more value being put on a great portrait, especially one that is representing your business, your status, and credibility in the marketplace. You want a photograph of yourself that your prospective clients will look at and say to themselves ‘I already, like and trust this person and I want to hire them.’

A great professional photo integrated into your marketing campaign can make the impression to your clients of growth and success in business. I have seen what a great portrait can do for the confidence of entrepreneurs and that translates to increasing the vision and scope of their business model and lifestyle.

First impressions are very important for in person meetings but these days most people look you up online way before they meet you. 80% of employers google prospective job seekers. It’s time to google yourself and see what photos pop up.

If you already have a beautiful, professional, iconic photo (that you love) and are proud of then you don’t need to read any further.

If you are using a photo that isn’t up to those standards and if it has been more than 5 years since you have had a new business photo taken then I would recommend thinking about how you are being seen in the world. Whether you are the business owner and looking for clients or if you are the employee looking for the job.

I would recommend refreshing your photo every time you refresh your marketing or every time you are looking for a new job. Keep it fresh on your LinkedIn profile, on your website, business card, marketing materials and social media. Understand the value in a great photo: not a selfie or a cut out from a group photo that you just happen to look really good in because you were dressed up at that party…, or that super shot from 15 years ago, or your high school mug shot. I think you get what I am trying to say: What image you put forth will be the image of success that you are looking for.

If someone looks at an out of date photo on the front of your website or looks for your image on your website and finds a photo from years ago or a photo with bad lighting then it doesn’t even take 7 seconds to make a decision whether they will contact you.