When you’re a home stager, it’s important to remember that potential clients will consider your headshot before they decide whether to pick up the phone to call you about their home staging or redesign project.
Home staging is such a personal service.
We’re in our client’s homes, looking through closets, medicine cabinets, basements and attics. All the places even their friends have never seen!
That’s why your headshot is so critical. People want to know who they will be hiring.
Ideally, your home stager headshot will reflect your personality.
We’re not trying out for an acting or modeling job, so the ideal headshot is not about being pretty, young or skinny enough.
Instead, we’re trying to communicate at a glance that we are: professional, stylish, contemporary, friendly, easy to talk to and trustworthy. That’s what will help a potential client decide they want to connect with us.
When you’ve been in business for a number of years there comes a point when you wonder if it’s time for an update.
Here are two great examples from Staging Diva Graduates. Their original head shots were good, but I think you’ll agree that the new ones are even better. See if you can identify why the second shot is stronger or more appealing:
Kasia McDaniel, Blue Diamond Staging, LLC
Susan Atwell, AtWell Staged Home
10 signs your headshot is ready for a makeover:
1. You’re squinting with your hair blowing across your face.
2. Your current photo is too dark or blurry.
3. The busy background distracts from your face.
4. You’re tired of the props in the photo.
That’s what happened to me with my “drill and tulips” shot that originally appeared in MoneySense Magazine.
It’s still a good photo, I’m just tired of it (even if my clients aren’t).
5. Your photo is too small to send to magazines.
Make sure you have a large original photo, you can always make it smaller, you can’t make it larger.
6. Your photo looks more like your adult child.
There’s a real estate agent in my neighborhood who uses a 30-year old photo in all his ads.
When he shows up, you’re actually shocked that he’s in his 60s. If he had a current photo, his age wouldn’t be an issue.
7. Unnatural makeup, 1980’s shoulder pads, or you’re holding your baby.
You might be proud of your kids, but they don’t belong in a professional headshot.
Overdone makeup or a dated wardrobe are also a problem. Remember we’re trying to convince someone we have the taste needed to turn their house into a dream home.
8. Your weight has changed so much that someone will have trouble hiding their surprise when they meet you in person.
One purpose of your headshot is for someone to feel like they already know who you are. If a “different” person shows up, that’s a problem.
9. Your hairstyle or hair color have changed dramatically.
To be honest, I’m afraid to change my hair too dramatically because then all my past media appearances won’t look like me anymore!
10. You’re tired of your old headshot and feel ready for a change.
Don’t underestimate the importance of numbers 4 and 10. These may seem trivial but they’re not. It’s all about having confidence as you promote yourself as a home stager and business owner.
It was from a photo shoot for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and also appeared in This Old House Magazine.
An analogy would be how much less outgoing you are at a party when you get there and realize you’re totally over- or under-dressed.
The same will happen with your marketing. If you don’t feel you look right, you won’t try to draw attention to yourself.
And if you have a Gravatar, your photo will even appear next to your name every time you comment on a blog.
Ideally, you’ll use the same headshot across all of these to help strangers become familiar with who you are. Over time, they will start to recognize you.
You might even include your headshot on your home staging business card. This is helpful if you’re attending networking events. It will make it easier for people to remember who you are when they come home with a fist full of business cards.
Special thanks to Kasia McDaniel and Susan Atwell for their permission to use their photos as examples.
Wondering how to come up with the right personality for your home staging business and how to get the best headshot? Check out the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide: Winning Clients With The Perfect Home Staging Portfolio for a very detailed and step-by-step exercise to follow.