eBusiness Blog

Why Your Headshot May be Your Best Client Attraction Tool

5 Tips for getting professional headshots done that will build your personal brand

Photoshoot with Taneane Twele Photography

When you are attracting customers in a digital world, first impressions are important.

Many times with a quick glance at your website and photos, people make a judgment about you… and if your headshot is bad, you look bad.

You want to be seen as a pro, not an amateur, so the way you present yourself in your picture is everything.

After reading this article, I hope I’ve convinced you how important it is to getting a professional photo done and how it doesn’t need to be a painful experience either! I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway at the end!

One of the most important elements in showcasing your personal brand online is your headshot.

Taneane Twele, a photographer who recently did my professional headshots says, “Now-a-days with social media and websites your headshots are the first introduction to you, your business and your personal brand so shouldn’t your picture be the best it can be?”

It’s true. (Here’s a quick video of my photography session with Taneane and Judy Doduk who did my makeup:

As you saw in the video, I know that I am quite guilty of not getting professional shots done for many years when I should have. I had every excuse under the sun – needed to lose weight first, needed to get a haircut done first, needed to be… anything… other than the perception I had of myself!

However, this way of thinking really was backfiring on me. The photos I ended up using were very old and didn’t at all reflect who I was currently, leaving a poor impression of my personal brand.

And the same thing may be happening to you and you may not even realize it.

When someone Googles your business or checks out your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles, you want them to think, “Wow, they look like a really cool person I’d like to work with” instead of “Yuck, I think I’ll take a pass, I’m not sure I can trust this person.”

Here are some tips for putting your best face forward in professional headshots that let’s your personality shine through:

  • Great pictures start with how you feel on the INSIDE. If you feel scared or insecure, this will come across in your pictures.  The good news is that if you are shy when it comes to pictures, there are many things you can do to relax and look confident:
     

    • Getting makeup done by JudyTreat yourself like a celebrity. Any girl will tell you that on her wedding day she feels like a queen. She splurges and gets her nails, hair, and makeup done.  She wears a beautiful dress that makes her look radiantly beautiful.
       
      Why not take the same approach to your photo shoot?  Treat yourself to a day of beauty so you feel confident and gorgeous when the photographer starts snapping pictures.
    • Dress for Success. Treat yourself to a new blouse, suit, or outfit for your picture day. If you aren’t shopping inclined, bring a girlfriend to help you choose the perfect outfit that makes you look and feel like a million bucks.
       
      Stay away from busy patterns but do wear colours that bring out your eyes and look sharp on you.  You also want to stay away from whites.
       
      Your photographer will want you to bring a few different wardrobe options so that you can switch it up during the shoot.  Some can be more casual and others more professional.  Don’t forget to add the accessories for a polished, together look.
    • Set the mood. When you sit on a stool with bright lights shining on you, it’s easy to feel a bit intimidated. Bring a CD with your favourite music to play during your photoshoot.  It will loosen you up, put a smile on your face, and maybe even get you dancing away!
       
      When you have FUN during the shoot like I had during mine, it will show in your pictures.
    • Bring a friend. You don’t have to go to your photoshoot alone. Bring a friend, your spouse or child –  someone to tell you how incredible you look.
       
      You’d be surprised the incredible pictures you’ll take with a girlfriend telling you “you look amazing girl” or “you got it going on” etc.
  • Go pro.Don’t try someone who shoots weddings, kids yearbook pictures, or your cousin who has a nice camera. Spend the money. It’s worth it.  Spend the money to work with a professional photographer who is known for taking headshot photos that bring out the personality of their subjects.  Find a photographer that you connect with and makes you feel very comfortable so you look relaxed and natural in the pictures.
  • Image sells. Remember to get a new headshot every few years.  It’s important to have an accurate representation of you.  Hairstyles change and fashion changes. It’s also important to look your age – not 5-10 years younger.  Plus people love seeing new pictures of you.  It gives the impression that you are progressive and moving forward in your business.
  • Get body shots too. It’s nice to mix it up and have a few headshots along with some less formal ¾ or full body shots. These can be standing, sitting in a chair, speaking or just showing you DOING what you do.
  • Print quality files. Make sure that you can get high resolution versions of the pictures (300 DPI). This allows you to use your image for printed brochures, book covers, and other marketing pieces.

As you can see, getting a professional headshot done of you does not have to be painful or difficult. For me, it was very fun and made me feel fabulous! Month’s later, I still get people complementing me on how great those photos turned out. So don’t wait because you know “someday” will never arrive. Take it from me, if I can do it, so can you!

What are your thoughts on getting professional photos done? Have you ever not worked with someone or didn’t connect with them on social media because their headshot looked scary?

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Exhausted? Stressed? How To Redesign Your Life to Feel Normal Again

Winner! Most Exhausted

Exhaustion seems to be the new “badge of honor.”

It affects both men and women, although women’s nervous systems are not designed to be as resilient to stress as their male counterparts.

We don’t have to look very far for the impact that stress has on our physical health, on your mood, and on your behavior: nagging headaches, frequent insomnia, decreased ability to focus and be productive, anxiety, and weight gain or loss, to name just the tip of the iceberg.

If you think living a stressful life is normal, it’s time to think again, if you are interested in living a quality life.

I remember, when I worked for a Fortune 500 company, getting into the office earlier and earlier and staying later and later.  Arriving home around 8 PM, I would drink a glass of wine with my dinner and then fall asleep – only to repeat the scenario all over again.

Taking time off was discouraged.  “You’ll miss too much if you take a vacation.  Better to spread it out talking a 3-day weekend every so often,” was the advice from my boss!

After four years, and 30 lbs gained, I decided that it didn’t matter how much money you made if you had no time to spend it!

According to The Huffington Post, 40% of workers leave paid vacation days on the table!  And, a recent marketwatch.com post shouts that Americans forfeit over a billion dollars per year in paid vacation days!

What’s up with that?

The path of the entrepreneur is not much different.

Do you notice how you’ve taken over the voice of your boss, insisting that you chain yourself to your desk even on Bank Holidays?

When was the last time you took a vacation longer than 3-5 days?

When do you take the time to smell the roses, or exercise your body?

Does your workday include some balance points that provide a pause, an opportunity to breathe some fresh air, or to sip tea out of a bone china teacup?

If this profile fits you then, perhaps, it’s time to redesign your life!  Here’s how:

  1. Start by noticing where the issues are in your life.
    Is it your health, your stamina, or is it your impact in the world?  Could it be that your finances are drawing your attention more than usual or that you are tired of limping along financially?

    Perhaps, your relationships are up: your partner or spouse, or family, complaining that you aren’t present for them?  When problems surface in life, it’s your sub-conscious trying to get your attention to make a needed change.

  2. Continue by examining your habits.
    Do they make you feel more alive or do you perform them by rote, just because you always have?  We’re not just talking about negative habits like reaching for the next cigarette, pouring that next glass of wine or sitting on the couch all evening; we’re talking about habits that are unconscious.

    Yes, negative habits can be unconscious; are you even aware of how many cigarettes you’ve smoked, or glasses of wine you’ve imbibed?  But, we’re also talking about the habits you do by rote, meaning there is no awareness, no aliveness – you are not even present with what you are doing.

  3. Next, take a look at the beliefs that are running your life.

    How current are they?  Are they even yours, or are they your parents’ beliefs?

    Most of our beliefs are limiting.  For example, many of us were taught to believe in scarcity – or ‘Scare City.’ If this is the belief that drives you then when is any effort enough?  Living in ‘Scare City.’

  4. Clean out the deadwood.
    You know those projects or relationships that clutter up your day without contributing anything of value.

    They have outlived their usefulness or they are a drain on your energy without giving enough back.  Anything that needs to be released opens the space for something new to come in!  It can’t get in while you have other stuff occupying the space.

    This includes updating your address book, your Rolodex, your file cabinet.  Perhaps your clutter is sending a signal that you are full and have no more room for new clients.

Now, that you’ve cleared the space and made some room, take a large sheet of paper and draw a circle in the middle.  This represents your own self-care.  After all, if you are a busy executive or an entrepreneur then you are the commodity you are selling.

If you don’t renew yourself on a regular basis you will burn out and no longer be able to play at the top of your game.

What nourishes and re-juices you?

We each have a different formula but typically quality time alone, time to stretch or go for a walk, time spent in nature, bubble baths, and massages are on most peoples’ lists.

Now, draw another circle around this first circle.  This circle represents your inner circle; those people who are the most important to you.  For most of us it’s your partner or spouse, children, family members and perhaps a ‘bestie’ (best friend).

The next circle, drawn around your inner circle, contains the next most important people in your life.  For many of us, this means your clients or boss. It also includes people in your life that you hold dear; extended family, circle of friends, and your colleagues.

There’s one more circle to draw.  This circle contains everyone else; people in your community, vendors and marketers, even strangers.

Now, take a look at your drawing.  Where do you spend the majority of your time?  Is it in alignment with what you say is most important?  You are not alone if this shocks you as you recognize that you spend most of your time with people who are in your outer circles.

What one or two Inspired Action Steps could you take that would bring your life back into balance, or at least, move in that direction? 

If you feel like sharing them, we’d love to hear!

Aimée Lyndon Adams

About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams

Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.

Visit www.WhatTrulyMatters.com to claim instant access to your free gift for your juiciest life EVER!

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started With Google Plus for Business

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started With Google+ for Business

You may be wondering about Google+ and if you should bother with it to help give your  business some extra brand exposure.

What is all the hype about anyway?  Are your customers really on Google+? If you are active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn isn’t that enough?

Like you, many business owners are curious if they should be focusing on Google+ in their marketing efforts or if it’s just a passing phase.

After reading this article, you’ll find out more about what exactly Google+ is and why you should seriously consider being active on this social media network for your business.

What is Google+?

Google+ is a social networking platform that is owned and operated by Google.  While you may think only LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are important, Google+ hosts an estimated 343  million active users. That’s a number that shouldn’t be ignored!

Why is Google+ important to my business?

Even if none of your potential customers are on Google+ right now, why would you want to spend time setting up a Google+ profile? The answer is SEO!

So if you are ignoring this social media platform, you are missing this “website lead generation” boat – big time!

Smart business owners are realizing the power of Google+ to boost SEO.  After all, Google is the most widely used search engine, so it makes sense that being active with social media on Google’s platform would improve your website rankings.

How do I get started using Google+?

Just like Facebook, Google+ has a personal profile option as well as business page option. You want to create and build upon your business page as that’s where you want the most exposure. Get started by setting up your business page here: https://plus.google.com/pages/create

Google+ business options

Or, if you already have a Google+ personal profile set up, you want to  choose the “pages” option from the sidebar on your profile page:

Google+ page creation link

Don’t have a Gmail email address yet? Click here: https://accounts.google.com/SignUp  to create a new account first:

Create Your Google Account

By creating a new Gmail account, this will act as a base access to not only Google+ but also YouTube and many other Google features. The odds are good that you probably already have a Google account created.

When setting up your profile be sure to include to following:

  1. Pick a business type: Store front, Service Area, Brand.
    • Store front: This is for businesses with an actual physical location where customers go to shop in a brick and mortar location.  This is the business type for local businesses.
    • Service Area: If your business travels to serve customers at their home or business location, you should list it as a service area business on Google+. You will be able to set service areas based on the zip codes or cities you serve.
    • Brand is for businesses that sell goods and services. This is the selection to choose if you are a service-based business or consultant that serves customers remotely.  Such as a business coach working with customers nationally.
  2. Then you’ll need to enter your business name, your website, your category (or industry)
  3. You’ll be asked to upload a profile picture and choose a tagline. Be sure to include business keywords in your tagline. I suggest using a personal and professional photo of you and not your logo unless you are a large company that doesn’t have a particular personality that represents your brand.
  4. Now it’s time to complete your Google+ Profile.
    • Upload your Google+ cover image. The recommendedsize is 1080px x 608px with a minimum size of 480px x 270px. You’ll want to make this image a professional representation of your business brand. Unlike Facebook, there are no current restrictions as to what you can put on your cover image so use this space wisely and make it compelling by expressing your brand image, showcase your products or services, advertise a special or upcoming event.
    • Introduction. Use this space to engage people and promote yourself and the work you do. Here is a great place to share your compelling story, what you do, your ideal client, why people love working with you etc. Include important business keywords here as well as a call to action.
    • Other important profile information to include:
      • Your website URL
      • Other social media URLs such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your blog page etc
      • Contact information including work phone, mailing address and email address. (You can select who has access to this information if privacy is a concern.)
    • Get a Google+ Custom URL. After your profile is set up, and you have ten or more followers, you should be eligible to create a custom vanity URL. First you have to be a verified Google Places business,  meaning, you have set up your Google Places listing, receive the verification call or email from Google, and enter the code to activate your listing.

Using Google + for SEO

Build an audience by adding people to your Google+ circles.  Some ways to grow your following on Google+ include the following:

  • +1 your own content so your posts stand out.
  • Use hashtags so people find your posts when doing keyword searches. just like Twitter, Google+ uses hashtags. They are used to find, start and join conversations about specific topics.
  • Create content around trending topics.
  • Create juicy posts people can’t resist sharing.
  • Put a link to your Google+ profile on your website and all your marketing materials.

Plus, don’t forget to ask for your Twitter and Facebook followers, email subscribers, and current contacts to follow you on Google+.

The key to getting the most value out of Google+ is getting your posts seen by the maximum amount of readers. The more your content is “Google+” by readers (the Google equivalent to a Facebook “like”) the more weight that post carries with Google’s search engine. So building the number of people in your Google+ circles is important to ensure the biggest number of readers are viewing your posts.

Noticing others and interacting can help you grow your Google+ following too. So remember to comment and share others Google+ posts to build connections and a following.

You will also want to add a Google+ link on your website, other social media channels and your email signature, pointing your followers to your Google+ account.

Best content to share on Google+

Like other platforms, Google+ readers want to learn about you, your expertise, and how you can help them. Share valuable information while building a connection with your audience.

You can share posts that are text, videos, or images.  The best content to share are: expert tips, articles, infographics, quotes, behind the scenes insights, events, freebies, pictures and photos, deals and more. Remember to include periodic calls to action to sign up for your mailing list, get a free consultation, like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter etc.

That’s the Basics of Google+

This article was intended to be a beginners guide but should serve as a great start to set up your profile, post great content, and build your Google+ circles.  Remember, the more your posts are seen and shared, the greater the SEO benefit.

Do you have a Google+ business page set up? Share it below in the comments section and we’ll connect! Ours is: google.com/+EvisionmediaCa

To your success,

P.S. Our November Social Blast membership call covered Google+ and demonstrated, step-by-step how to set up a professional Google+ business account. If you would like this kind of hands-on training, come and join us live every month for a new social media and eMarketing topic. You’ll get instant access to the Google+ recording. Simply register here: www.socialblastcoaching.com

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

3 Secrets to Experiencing Time Abundance

3 Secrets to Experiencing Time Abundance

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” ~Harvey MacKay

When I ask most business people what some of their major obstacles or challenges to success are, Time Management is what most people say—being overwhelmed with all there is to do in a day.

When I say the word Time, what does it bring up for you?

Not enough? Not enough hours in a day? The clock’s ticking? It goes too fast or too slow?

Believe it or not time for the most part is no longer a major problem for me. People often ask me how I have time to do all that I do. I work full time in my business. I homeschool my son. I have an organic garden and love preparing most of our meals from scratch. I preserve much of my harvest. I have a very active social calendar. I enjoy a lot of pampering and self-care on a regular basis. I travel and take vacation often. AND, I still get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night.

So how do I do it? Here is my secret…

It has nothing to do with any time management program.

It has everything to do with how I perceive time itself.

Today, I’m here to help you with your relationship to time. It has to do with how you live your life and how you can become more effective by being truly present and being in the flow within your life.

Being in that place, you are automatically more effective; you are more productive; and you get more bang for your buck out of any activity that you do. When you’re in that flow state, you have more power with each activity that you do.

Instead of it being “I’m trying to get as much done as possible in the shortest amount of time”, it’s more the idea that “Everything I do I want to do with the most power possible.”

Wouldn’t it be great to no longer feel overwhelmed by all the things that you have to do to in a day? To no longer be hurried and rushed and worried?

It’s a fact that the more that you want to accomplish in the world, the more things there are to do, the more things you put on your plate. Ultimately, how you spend your time IS how you live your life. It’s a currency you don’t get back – EVER. So spend it how YOU want to.

Do you feel used by life?

Many of us feel victimized and resentful of all that we think we must do.

But you don’t have to feel this way. If you really want, you can choose to shift your perspective. And shifting your perspective will help you do things differently and more effectively.

Here are three suggestions for how you can do that:

  1. Free your mind of time scarcity. What mindset do you think most people have? You guessed it. A sense that there is never enough time and you don’t know how to get everything done. You feel overwhelmed and at times out of control.

    Are you a “busy person” or an “I’ll make the time” person? A “busy person” has a sense of time scarcity, through which they see everything. It doesn’t have to be that way. It is actually a defense mechanism – a way to try to protect yourself from disappointment and stress. But this scarcity mentality usually does exactly the opposite. It creates more stress and disappointment, by focusing on what you can’t get done or what you still have to do.

    When you see life through a time abundance mindset you know you can find the time to do what is really important. Where do you stand on the time, scarcity vs abundance continuum?

  2. Love everything that you do. When you love everything you do, you don’t dread things. You don’t procrastinate. If you’re choosing between watching your favourite TV show or watching your favourite movie that just came out on DVD and you can’t wait to watch either one, how motivated do you need to be in order to watch one of those things?If you could imagine that the work that you do could be just as enjoyable as deciding between watching your favourite TV show and watching a great movie, if they’re both joys, motivation basically takes care of itself.

    It’s going to come down to either doing things that you love or getting yourself to love things that you do even if you don’t currently love them. Start making a conscious effort to choose to do things you love. For the things you don’t love, is there some part of it you can love?

  3. Develop patient timelines. Most people have unrealistic expectations about how much they can accomplish which leads them to over-promise and under-deliver. Sometimes self-judgment gets in the way and keeps you from developing patient timelines. “Well, I should be able to do it this fast.” And “Other people do it this fast.”

    Be patient with yourself. Don’t over pack your day. Create a list of 3 top priorities for a day and then do those. If you have a larger task, break it down into small tasks spread out over a few days, weeks, or months.

    If you need to clean the garage but just can’t face it all at once, decide to clean out one small section a day until it is done. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be patient. Rome was not built in a day. Take daily consistent action and your goals will be achieved.

So there you have it, three time abundance principles to get you started.

If you even apply just one to your life, you will suddenly find yourself feeling less hurried, less stressed, and you will feel more peace and joy. If you apply 2 or more principles, the changes in your life will be dramatic.

Do you struggle with time? I’d love to hear your biggest take-away after reading this article, share in the comments section below.

Heather

Heather Wilson

About the Author, Heather E. Wilson

Need help? Would you like to learn more ways to avoid burnout, add more fun, more success, and more joy into your life and business? Heather E. Wilson, is a certified transformational coach, author and international speaker who loves to share her passion for helping you take charge of your life and business so that you can have the success and fun you've always dreamed about.

Go to HeatherwilsonInternational.com to view more of her free training and to receive a copy of her FREE ebook: The Burnout Principle.