Do you have a headshot handy that you could send to a media organization quickly?
Today I got an email from a rather large media publication requesting a picture of me for an article that they might include me in (they were being a little cagey and wouldn’t actually say if I was ‘in’ or not – so I won’t say who it is).
The email was marked ‘Urgent’ – they needed my picture as soon as possible as they were on a deadline.
Luckily for me I have a few head shots that I was able to send off within a few minutes of the request hitting my inbox – but it reminded me of a similar request a few months back when I didn’t have a suitable picture handy and ended up being left out of an article that could have brought significant exposure.
I learnt my lesson from that occasion and got a photographer mate to take some high resolution and professional looking shots.
Having a set of quality pictures of yourself can be a very useful thing – for a number of reasons:
1. Media – while some media outlets will send their own photographers to get a new and unique image of you – many will not – particularly if you are not close to them. Similarly – having your images readily available on your blog means that they’ll get used by other bloggers also. I regularly see my ugly mug on some blog or another when people write about something that I’ve written. This can be both good and bad (depending upon the shot that they choose to use) – but it’s mainly good and can add to your personal brand.
2. Personal Branding – putting your image on your blog will not be for everyone – but I’ve certainly learnt the power of it over the past few years of ProBlogger. These days my image is down in the footer (although there is one slap bang in the middle of my home page – on the video) but for the first 2.5 years of this blog it was right up the top. The impact of this was quite powerful in terms of a personal branding exercise. However this is not for everyone – some bloggers want to brand their blog more prominently than themselves (for example at DPS I don’t include my picture – in fact I don’t even include my name on posts). It depends upon the objective of your blog.
3. Adding a Personal Touch – Having said that I don’t use my image on DPS, I do use it in my weekly newsletters where I include the image to the right in one of my sections. The reason for including it is not to promote myself – but to give the newsletter a more personal touch. Interestingly the week I started doing it I had 10 or so emails from subscribers that specifically mentioned it. Sometimes having a face to put to writing can add a new dimension to your reader’s experience.
Of course using your image online can have some dangers and risks and will not be for everyone. I I’m comfortable with people knowing what I look like, but I know many bloggers choose to blog more anonymously – and this can be a good thing also.