Here are the most common lawyer profile picture mistakes, and how they can lose you business.
Lawyer Profile Mistake 1: An Image That Creates Liabilities
Every lawyer has unique marketing concerns. A young lawyer needs to project a thoughtful and wise image and avoid looking naive or young. An older lawyer should look intelligent and experienced and avoid an image that no longer looks like them or is noticeably dated.
Good images create a first impression that inspires confidence, and that addresses any potential client concerns. When an image fails at this endeavor, it can cost you clients.
Some common errors include:
- An overly posed image.
- Postures that look uncomfortable and anxious, not relaxed or confident.
- An image that’s very old, or that looks dated. Clients want lawyers who are clued into contemporary culture and who evolve with the times.
A skilled photographer will identify potential concerns with your image, then find ways to shoot your headshot that address these issues.
Lawyer Profile Mistake 2: The Unattractive Image
Having an attractive profile image doesn’t mean you have to look like a model. For a lawyer, it means your profile must look professional, vibrant, and well-groomed.
Even the world’s most beautiful people can end up with unattractive images when photos are taken by bad photographers. It’s even harder for the rest of us mere mortals. A good photographer will ask you about any insecurities, then shoot you in the most flattering light, making sure to pose you in a way that’s both natural and attractive.
Lawyer Profile Mistake 3: The Weird or Creepy Image
We’ve all been there: we think we are smiling naturally but taking pictures is not our day job. Later, to our horror, we notice that a smile is creepy, or that the expression is more than a little unnerving. Good photography prevents this by helping you look relaxed and natural, with a real smile–not a creepy or weird fake one.
Inexperienced photographers frequently pose their subjects in cliched poses–crossed arms, pen in hand, or pointing. These images can look odd, forced, and dated. Good photography shows you doing what you do best. It never looks strange, and won’t alienate potential clients.
Lawyer Profile Mistake 4: Low-Quality Photography
Your family photo is great for framing in your office. The photo of you at your law school commencement may make your mom tear up. And the image of you skiing in Vail certainly brings back fond memories. None of these images should serve as your legal headshot.
Many lawyers make the mistake of taking their own headshot, using a family photo shoot as a way to get a headshot, or cropping people out of an old photo because they don’t want to spend time and money getting a new image.
Low-quality photos, whether they come from your family photo album or a novice photographer, convey several problematic messages:
- You don’t want–or can’t afford to–spend money on quality photography.
- You don’t take the image you broadcast to the world seriously. How might that affect you in a courtroom or during settlement negotiations?
- You don’t care what clients think of you.
- You’re not interested in showing clients how you practice, where you practice, or the personality they can expect from you.
These images are a missed opportunity. They can also be a deterrent to potential clients.
Lawyer Profile Mistake 5: The Generic Image
Stock photography is boring, cliched, and conveys little useful information about your firm. Don’t even think about using it. But images can look like stock photos even when they’re not. Dull, generic images are just that. Your clients will choose a lawyer based on their belief that their lawyer brings something special to the table. So if you don’t clearly convey what you offer in a compelling image that tells an interesting story, you might as well have no imagery at all.
Want to avoid these mistakes?
Gittings is eager to help you share the story of your firm, your work, and your passion. Contact us to learn more about how expertly crafted images can help you get new clients.