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Oct 04 2012

Don’t Let A Bad Photo Ruin Your Marketing Message

One popular marketing strategy in real estate marketing is use of the agent photo. Agents put their photos on business cards, post cards, door hangers and signs. This builds familiarity amongst the residents they market to. It also brings a very personal touch to the marketing pieces. It sends the message “Hi! My name is Bob. I’m friendly, honest and excited to help you buy or sell a home.” The wrong picture, however, can send the wrong message. An unprofessional picture sends this message “What up? I’m Bob. I just rolled out of bed and will probably be late to our first meeting.”

Don’t invest a bunch of money on a beautifully designed printed piece and then ruin the message with a bad agent photo. Here are four tips for choosing a fantastic head shot:

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This is a great headshot. The agent is dressed professionally, has an open honest smile and she is placed in front of a warm neutral background.

Keep It Professional– Look at the background of your picture. Does it show you at a party with a bar and your drunken uncle in the background? What about your attire? Are you sporting a button up shirt or a skimpy tank top? Everything in your picture needs to give an air of professionalism. Keep your backgrounds simple and neutral. Locations make great photo settings, as do studio backdrops or lightly colored walls.  As for attire, make sure it’s modest and professional.

Keep it About You– Don’t include friends, family or pets in your photo. The whole point of an agent photo is for people to become familiar with your face, not someone else’s. (There may be some exceptions to this. For example, if you want to send a family photo Christmas card or your pet is a significant part of your business and brand.) Also, don’t try to crop people out of your photo, especially if they are touching you in anyway. People can always tell when another person has been cropped out, so it’s best to get a photo taken with just you in it.

Keep it Current– The whole point of a photo is to get people familiar with your face so they will recognize you. If you’re using a photo from 20 years ago, chances are that when people see you in person, they aren’t going to realize it’s the “you” from the photo! Update your picture every other year or so to keep it current.

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Professional doesn’t have to be boring. This location headshot stands out as being unique and interesting

Keep it Touched Up– We suggest having a professional take your photos for you.  One reason for this is that a photographer can touch up your photos by reducing red eye, adjusting shadows and correcting blemishes. A good photographer will make touch ups that make the photo look more professional but don’t drastically change your natural look.

Do you know of any good head shot photographers? How about some great places to take pictures?  Share your tips in the comments below

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