Do You Like Your Headshot? 8 Steps to Take a Good Financial Advisor Headshot

Take a good headshot by smiling!

If you’re running your own financial advisory firm, you are literally the face of your business. Being the face of the business, you’ll need to treat your financial advisor headshot not only as a way of allowing potential clients to know how you look but also as a part of your overall marketing strategy.

Since I am an expert at Subconscious Branding for financial advisors , my strategy is all about communicating key elements of your brand to help clients make the decision to hire you by the way you are presenting your brand. Does this make sense? Don’t worry, I’ll explain throughout this blog post.

There’s no better time than now to give thought to why you should invest in a good headshot and how you can use it to communicate messages to your clients subconsciously.

Since I’ve been coaching advisors since 2004 , I have realized that most financial advisors don’t have experience being a professional model; still, you can take a good headshot with some preparation. To learn more about why your headshot is important and how you can take a fantastic headshot, read on below.

Why Are Financial Advisor Headshots Important?

Headshots Build Trust

Every successful financial advisor knows that customers come first — always. To build a healthy client base, you’ll need to earn the trust of prospects. They are, after all, trusting you with major financial decisions.

Portraying yourself as a positive person is an easy way to make clients feel comfortable with you and your business. When someone stumbles upon your website and sees a cheerful financial advisor headshot, the headshot creates a positive impression in their mind; thus, they become more likely to trust you.

When it comes to first impressions, you don’t get a lot — if any — time to prove yourself. With the rise of social media, people are discovering businesses online more than they do offline. This means that if a client finds you on the internet, they already have a first impression of you — even before you meet them face-to-face.

Headshots Reinforce Values

Since clients are likely to associate your face with your business, the financial advisor headshot that they look at should show your and your business’s core values. For example, cropping a picture of you partying and using that as a headshot will not bode well with clients; it’ll make you look unprofessional.

How Can I Improve My Financial Advisor Headshot?

Do a Self-Study

To better prepare yourself for photoshoot day, it’s best to do a self-study — basically taking a bunch of selfies of yourself and figuring out your best angles.


Take a good financial advisor headshot

Engage with your prospective clients by smiling so that your smile goes from your mouth all the way up to your eyes, and ladies, don’t worry about wrinkles 🙂

Know Your Clothing Colors

Does your skin have cool, warm, or neutral undertones? If you’re unsure, now’s the best time to learn what colors — whether for clothing or makeup — look good on you.

A simple trick to figure out your undertones is to look at your veins. Veins that look green suggest warm undertones; veins that look blue or purple suggest cool undertones. If you can’t tell, your undertone may be neutral.

Warm undertones look good in red, yellow, gold, and warm earth colors like brown. Cool undertones look good in silver, purple, blue, and cool earth colors like grey. Neutral tones can wear almost any color.

Ask Your Photographer to Tell Jokes & Play Music

When you sit down in the studio, you may initially feel — and look — awkward and stiff. Feeling this way is natural; however, forcing a smile won’t help. A genuine smile looks much better.

You’ll want to look happy, approachable, and friendly in your financial advisor headshot — while still looking professional. An easy way to put yourself at ease is to ask your photographer to play your favorite songs or to tell you a joke.

Ask For a Pre-Session Consultation

Before you head to your photographer’s studio, ask if you can talk over the phone or face-to-face with them to give them an idea of what kind of headshot you’re looking for.

You’ll be able to help your photographer take the most appropriate headshot by filling them in with basic information such as your profession and what your mission is as a financial advisor. The photographer will then be able to tailor the photoshoot according to the message you wish to send your clients.

Hire a Makeup Artist

If you wear makeup and are planning to wear makeup for your headshot, you should hire a professional makeup artist. A few of the benefits of working with a professional makeup artist are:
Years of Makeup Experience. Professional makeup artists have years of experience. This means they know precisely how to approach different complexions, face shapes, and skin tones. What’s more, they know what techniques and products will make you look your best on camera.

Professional Products. Your average over-the-counter makeup products don’t work well with studio lighting. If you use the wrong products, you may look washed out in your headshot. Luckily, a professional makeup artist will have a complete kit of studio-grade makeup products.

Flexibility. Any professional makeup artist worth hiring will be willing to sit in with you throughout your headshot photo shoot appointment. This will allow the makeup artist to see what’s going on and make real-time adjustments to your makeup as needed.

Tailor Your Suits

Even though you may have managed to find well-fitting suits off-the-rack from your favorite clothing store before, the quality of those pre-made suits can’t compare to tailor-made suits that fit perfectly on your measurements.

With tailored suits, you won’t have to deal with baggy shoulders or arms. Nothing will feel tight nor awkward, and so, you’ll feel comfortable — and look slick — on photoshoot day.

Regardless of your body’s shape and size, a well-tailored suit will allow you to look your best in your headshot.

When ordering a custom-made suit, there are a few things you’ll have to keep in mind, such as:

Fabric Comes First. A tailor can sew your suit in a thousand ways. But ultimately, your suit can only be as good as the fabric it’s made from. When designing your custom-tailored suit, you’ll need to choose high-quality material to ensure your suit will look good and that it will last a long time. Avoiding any fabric with a synthetic blend would be an excellent place to start.

How It’s Made Over Where It’s Made. The attention to detail and quality of overseas manufacturing varies from one workshop to another. But overall, the quality of manufacturing has increased worldwide. So, just because something is made in a specific country, it isn’t automatically of high or low quality. It’s best to check the reputation of the manufacturer instead of checking where they are located.

Invest In a Professional Photographer for your financial advisor headshot

A professional photographer, especially one specializing in headshots and personal branding photography, can help you project yourself and your business in the best light to build your brand.

A good photographer knows how to balance professionalism and approachability in financial advisor headshots. They will know what techniques to use and will be able to make use of studio-grade equipment.

By hiring and investing in a professional photographer instead of taking the headshot yourself, you can be sure you’ll get a high-quality headshot that stands out against the headshots of your competitors.

As a bonus, you’ll likely be happy with how a professionally taken headshot turns out. In turn, this will make you feel confident about yourself — and your clients will notice.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

If you want to look your best on photoshoot day, one of the best things you can do is get a good night’s sleep the evening before.

Your body recovers and repairs itself while you sleep, leading to a whole host of benefits for your appearance. It’s crucial to get enough sleep each — seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night.

When it comes to your beauty routine, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. Your body repairs itself and recovers while you sleep, and that leads to a long list of benefits for your looks. The key is to get enough shut-eye — 7 to 9 quality hours each night.

Here are some of the benefits to your appearance of getting enough sleep:

Fewer Wrinkles. Your skin makes new collagen while you’re asleep, which prevents sagging. This collagen production is part of the skin repair process; more collagen means your skin will look plump and less wrinkled. If you get five hours of sleep, simply bumping that number up to seven will drastically leave your skin looking less dry.

A Glowing Complexion. While you’re asleep, your body increases blood flow to your skin. This increased blood flow leads to you waking up with a healthy glow. Skimping on sleep gives the opposite effect; you’ll look drab or lifeless.

Brighter, Less Puffy Eyes. One of the most well-known effects of going a night or two without enough sleep is dark circles or bags under your eyes. You can quickly fix the puffiness under your eyes by getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Apart from that, drinking enough water the day before the photoshoot and elevating your head with an extra pillow the evening before can help, too.

Final Thoughts

Financial advisor headshots have the power to leave positive first impressions and earn the trust of potential clients. When done right, your clients will view you as a professional who takes your work seriously while at the same time having an approachable human personality.

Apply the tips in this article to produce the best headshot you’ve taken in years. And feel free to send this article to a colleague who you think will receive help from it (or send this article as an excuse to network with professional contacts whom you haven’t reached out to in a while).

To learn more about how you can improve your financial advisory business, check out the other articles on the blog or contact me for business development coaching.

11 tips for a better financial advisor brand: branding design ideas

11 tips for a better financial advisor brand

Branding design ideas for financial advisors! I have been working with Financial Advisors on their Branding since 2004! Branding your practice has many benefits, the least of which is to stand out from the multitude of financial advisors competing for the same clients. Since purchasing decisions are mostly made subconsciously, it pays to brand your financial advisor practice.

What does branding GIVE you?

  • Higher quality clients.
  • Pre-sold prospects.
  • A competitive advantage!

In my opinion, design concepts for the majority of the financial services websites in existence today are overly bland and unexciting. Every brand looks the same, which can sometimes be attributed to advisors’ fears of compliance.

Push back and demand a better brand!

Don’t fear your Broker/Dealer nor compliance! If you’re feeling stuck with a lackluster brand, don’t accept average. While there are several website and brand design companies that cater to financial advisors using standard template designs, for a little bit more money in your budget, you CAN ask for custom design. There is nothing to fear about asking.

Let me ask you a question:

Who is paying who?

Yes, you must pay attention to compliance and the guidelines given to you by your B/D, when considering your brand design ideas. BUT, who is paying who? If your B/D receives a cut of YOUR income, that means you are paying them. They WORK for YOU! So push back if they say they don’t like something or they don’t want you to have your own custom website.

I’ve had many clients over the years who have pushed back and won. All it takes is reasonable discussion and there can be a solution.

Clients and branding design ideas

Your ideal clients are looking for uniqueness and creativity in your brand. They want to see the BENEFITS of working with you. If you only share your left-brain features such as Tax Planning, Financial Planning, Investment Management, then you will not be painting a beautiful picture of your clients’ ideal lives.

Clients don’t want to see this:

  • Uninspiring colors.
  • Angular, uninteresting logos that could have been designed by a first-year graphic designer.
  • Bland self-focused taglines that don’t express a benefit.
  • Template websites without a custom message.

Poor branding mentors in the industry

It’s very discouraging to me to see that a popular financial services branding expert with many years’ experience produces very standard, ho hum designs (I won’t embarrass them by naming them here). Even the largest financial planning organization in the United States has a bland brand with a black logo.

  • What is wrong with the financial planning industry?
  • Is it full of too many left-brained people?
  • Is it full of people who are not willing to take a risk? (oh the irony).
  • Let’s get creative and attract better quality clients with unique branding design ideas.

What is good design?

It is not a blue website with an uninteresting logo. That is not good design. Good design uses imagination and creativity, while directing potential clients to take a specific action, like sign up for your blog or book a consultation.

Advertising executives and brand developers alike agree that companies that take visual risks are the recipients of prosperity in the form of new clients. This happens because purchase decisions are often based on “feelings” and “associations” as well benefits, which are demonstrated through creative design.

The subconscious purchasing decisions consumers make are clearly driven by quality and visual sophistication.

Your Big Branding AHA Moment:

Affluent clients are sophisticated, well traveled, and enjoy the finer things in life. If an affluent client visits your website and it looks exactly like other sites, what will they think? A stock image template website is not going to help you attract quality clients.

11 tips for a better financial advisor brand:

1. Please consider other colors besides blue – it can be overdone! (See this article about mistakes to avoid in color choice).

2. Avoid uninspiring colors like grey, beige, and black.

3. Don’t be afraid to take a visual risk.

4. Use more than one color – use contrasting colors (but stay away from black and red).

5. Hire a creative brand strategist who knows their stuff.

6. Use your imagination when brainstorming to come up with your tagline.

7. Clients want to know what’s in it for them so present your brand by focusing on BENEFITS.

8. Use Inbound Marketing to attract clients right to your front door, regardless of geographic location.

9. Use stimulating VISUALS in your brand.

10. Work on your Value Proposition – what’s unique and wonderful about you?

11. And last but not least, use custom design, not templates.

There. Now that’s off my chest and I can go about my day knowing I have shared something valuable about branding design ideas. I hope you decide to work on a creative brand that will help you stand out from your competitors.

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