profile picture

The Professional Headshot: Your first chance to make a great impression.

As a professional photographer at Tripp Photography, I have been asked many times why someone should invest in a corporate headshot. Frankly, there are many reasons why you should replace that old social media avatar of you on vacation with a professional image. Firstly, unlike a “selfie,” a professional headshot will always be clear and if your photo is clear, it is more likely you will be remembered when seen on various websites, social networks or in person. Other reasons include:


A professional headshot helps keep your brand consistent – ideally, you should have a image that is consistent across all networks. This doesn’t have to be the same image, but it should be of the same consistency, clarity and professional level so people will know it’s you, even if the image is different.

The image should represent YOU. You represent your brand and your business – and as such, so does that image. A professional headshot shows others that “you mean business.”


A professional headshot builds trust. If I receive a new friend request on Facebook and the person is local, has several mutual friends and has a quality professional image, I typically do not hesitate to accept their friend request.


Keep in mind that a professional headshot should be re-taken every few years, because if your photo is more than five years old, believe me, your friends and clients will notice. We have all seen photos of Realtors who had their picture taken in the 70’s and STILL use that same image! No one is brave enough to tell them that it needs to be updated… well, here you go, “It needs to be updated!” Think about it: there is nothing worse than someone not recognizing you at a networking event even though you have been “tweeting” them for months because they were expecting someone much younger.


If you own and operate a business and your profile picture is low-quality, has someone cropped out of it (but you can still see their hair and a shoulder), was taken with your iPhone, has a harsh shadow on the wall behind you, is pixelated, has been over-edited, or is of a cartoon version of you, then you could be saying to potential clients and connections: “I am not a professional. I am brand new. I am not making enough profit to afford a professional photo. I am afraid to show my real face (I have confidence issues). I don’t care. I think my old one is good enough. I am lazy. I am a procrastinator. I just don’t know any better.”  

A professional image is simply another way you can invest in your business’ future. Taking the time to get a professional headshot done tells people you take your business seriously, you are confident, and that you are trustworthy.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at    

-Christine Tripp

Christine Tripp became a professional photographer in 2001. As an instructor, Christine has helped hundreds of eager new photographers learn how to use their camera properly and has shown them how to make money with their photographic art. Whether she is behind her camera or teaching how to take great pictures, Christine’s proven skill, talent, patience and friendly demeanour is just a few of the many reasons she is a well-known and much-liked Ottawa photographer. Connect with Christine on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Back to basics: Three steps to using LinkedIn more effectively

LinkedIn is often that network (like Google+) that you just can’t seem to remember to use - or maybe you just don’t like it. You’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other “fun” networks regularly - even religiously. But LinkedIn? It’s one that’s easy to let go by the wayside. 

That could be a mistake. Many business owners I know personally have found LinkedIn to be invaluable to their business growth. I know freelancers who’ve gained opportunities they didn’t seek out or anticipate by having an active presence on LinkedIn. Let’s explore your profile and look at ways you can make positive changes so LinkedIn becomes a boost rather than a bust. We’re going to start with the basics:

Update your Profile

Even if LinkedIn tells you your profile is complete, how long has it been since you really read through it? I once went two years without looking at it. You know what happens when you go that long? 

Nothing, but here’s how you can turn it around:

1) Add a current profile picture.

Yesterday, my profile picture was over a year old. Today, it’s brand new. The previous picture looked like me, but it was still a little out of date. Even a cartoon avatar is better than no profile picture! And, though it’s done quite often on twitter and Facebook pages, it isn’t recommended to use your logo on LinkedIn, unless it’s for your company page. 

If you do nothing else with your profile, update that picture as soon as possible. 

Now for the text…

2) Start with your headline. 

What does it say?

  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Realtor
  • Owner
  • Partner (mine used to say this!) 
  • Sales Agent
  • Digitial Marketer

How many people on LinkedIn do you think have these titles? Too many to count. The challenge is that not only is your headline going to come up in LinkedIn searches, it is indexed by search engines as well. You’ve got about 255 characters - use them!

Instead of “Partner”, my headline tells visitors who I am, what I do and how I do it:

I am a Social Media Strategist & Coach and I help small businesses optimize their digital marketing to increase sales.

You could go further and add location if your business is localized to a certain area. You can pad the description with even more keywords. For me, I could include that I offer training and am available for public speaking.

Make that headline count!

3) Summarize your awesomeness

Here’s where you get to toot your own horn in plenty of detail. What do you do? How do you do it? Why do you do it? Why should someone call you? How does someone contact you?

Don’t get so bored by LinkedIn that you throw in a generic summary that doesn’t do you justice. LinkedIn isn’t boring. (It truly isn’t.) Don’t let a false impression of the tool (LinkedIn) suck you into giving a false impression of yourself (boring).

My summary used to be short, virtually keyword free and had zero details or personality. Now I’ve given visitors an overview of what I am currently doing and how I can help them:

Social Media Strategist

I help small businesses use social/content marketing to optimize their web presence efficiently and effectively. This creates greater brand awareness and builds relationships which ultimately leads to increased sales. I like to help my clients meet their goals.


Every business owner struggles with prioritizing marketing. There is so much work to be done simply to keep the business running, providing service to clients and customers, and developing new products. I help clients stay on track with their digital marketing plans. 

Writing | Content Marketing

I have worked in communications and marketing for over ten years and have extensive experience writing for the web. When business owners don’t have time or resources to create their own content, I can help!

Do you want help with your digital marketing plan? Find out more on the Wellman Wilson website ( or email me at to book a free consultation.

Specialties: digital marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, coaching, workshops, training, mentoring, writing, software knowledge/training, branding and identity, project management, organizing data, process improvement

Don’t forget a call to action!

Yep, right there in your summary. Invite visitors to your profile to contact you right away. You’ve shared who you are, what you’re about and goals with them - now give them the chance to connect and learn more.

Until next time…

These three areas of your LinkedIn profile should be reviewed regularly and updated as required. When we come back to LinkedIn again, we’re going to finish going through the steps you should take to finish updating your profile. Until then, let me know how you’re doing and be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn!