Hey there!
Dachia here. Welcome back to Focus on Your Small Business.

I was in a facebook group for social media professionals and somebody asked how they could best take their own headshots. He was looking for tips and advice for lighting and doing it as best he could going it alone.

Having been there myself, I had some suggestions. I told him how I had done it and how long it took and where I was using those pictures and told him where he could find one so he knew what I was talking about.

Because I get it. I know that there are things you have to decide between… like hiring a professional photographer and putting food on the table. I get it.

But sure enough, along comes another person who said… hang on… let me quote this for you…

“Dachia Arritola how much is your time worth?? And… research. Your photo looks obviously amateur and … bad. Not trying to be mean or anything… it just looks cheap. If you are marketing/branding yourself, you need to invest in professional photos. Google “why you need a professional headshot” . Your business profile will get up to 14 times more clicks with a professional pic over an amateur one. If you can’t afford a real pro, try to find a student – or someone – who specializes in portraits, and ideally headshots.”

So, this guy doesn’t know me… or my brand or my business or my avatar or really just shit about me… but he has his strong opinion.

I went to his facebook profile wondering if he was a photographer…. and as I recall, he wasn’t, but his profile pic and cover pic were either the same pic or from the same photo shoot, obviously… and they were professional pictures.

And for me… they were cringeworthy. Very posed and fake and tell me absolutely nothing about this guy. No personality at all. I mean… for me, it was a turn off. But for him… according to him… my profile pic was a turn off.

So, one takeaway here is that we are NOT each others ideal customer.

And my advice and second takeaway here is that just because somebody speaks with authority… doesn’t mean they know shit.

Lots of great businesspeople do have a very polished brand. Marie Folio and Amy Porterfield. And then you have the Gary Vees of the world.

So, you need to decide who you are, what you are all about and who your customer is and how and where you’ll connect with them. And if a polished image is needed, fine… but even these polished images of Marie and Amy show their personality.

But you also may decide that your image is bristly or carefree… it is your decision. Once you make that decision for yourself, be prepared for the nitwits that learned how to google “why you need a professional headshot’ and not ‘why you don’t need a professional headshot’… because whatever question you ask yourself or ask google, you’ll get an answer to. And there are just as many carefree professional business people with carefree images out there as there are with polished ones.

But the final takeaway, and one I wish somebody had shared with this aforementioned nitwit with his cookie cutter image that looked like a 1980’s yearbook picture, was that the best pictures show who you really are.

My mom was a professional photographer. I grew up in the lights and lens. So, even f you decide to get pro shots taken, remember… show who you really are.

And there is NO shame and it is NOT a huge deal if you just need to take your own pics for awhile till you get going in your business. It is NOT going to break you.

I sent another message to the guy that posted that question… straight up, I posted it for the nitwit to read.. I do have a juvenile 12 year old inside me… she can be snarky. This is what I wrote: “Something else to be gained from running your own photo-shoot (at least once) is you just start to get comfortable and get an idea of what you like and what you don’t like. 🙂 So even if you get a pro to do a shoot with you, you just feel better in your own skin. My mom was a professional photographer and I’ve worked with several through my years… lots of people just don’t know what they want and time is wasted, and often good natural light, as well.

But you also get an idea who your ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar) is and what will be approachable for them… everybody has different draws. Some folks like the shiny polished look and some folks like the down to earth. The better you know your Avatar, the better you can recognize what they’ll like.”

So, that’s what I wrote.

Another takeaway… Just keep moving forward. Don’t let this kind of bullshit stop your movement. Don’t think you need to have pro shots right now to move forward. You don’t. And when money is tight, you might need to do a photoshoot by yourself in your garage with a smartphone on a treadmill. That’s fine. Just keep moving forward.

For more down to earth tips and advice and resources for all levels of income or non-income… go check out the membership site. It’s an easy to use, one stop shop for the best resources on the web without the crap ones and rabbit holes. If you want to see just the best resources, only a handful… not a hundred or so run-of-the-mill resources…. then check out the free trial . Grab the 25% discount code in the video. You’ll find all of that at Dachia.com/membership.

That’s all for now, friends… Talk to you next week. It’s all up to you… wit a little bit of me.