The Importance of Law Firm Branding and Mission Statements
Legal Branding

The Importance of Law Firm Branding and Mission Statements

Branding is essential to a successful legal marketing campaign. Your brand explains your law firm’s value and attracts your ideal clients.

A law firm’s brand is its public identity and personality. A brand is not the services you offer. Instead, it describes how and why you provide these services.

When you are defining your law firm’s brand, a mission statement can be helpful.

How to Draft a Mission Statement

How to Draft a Mission Statement

Think critically about what makes your law firm special. While your brand can include your practice areas, it must focus on the value your firm adds.

As a firm, brainstorm over the following questions:

  • Why do you practice law?
  • Why did you choose your area of expertise (criminal law, personal injury, etc.)?
  • Why are you better than your competitors?
  • Why do your clients love you?

Focus on what makes you exceptional. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and don’t be too humble. The more specific your responses, the more detailed a mission statement you will create.

Once you understand your mission or brand, turn it into a narrative. Infuse your content and design choices with your message. Explain why your practice and your clients matter deeply to your firm.

Why Create a Mission Statement?

A Mission Statement Helps Set You Apart From Other Law Firms

Why Create a Mission Statement?

On the surface, law firms can be difficult to differentiate. But, a mission statement can help set your law firm apart from the competition. Your firm’s history, motivations and culture are unique. A mission statement should explain your culture and outlook to clients.

Generally, clients don’t care how big or old your law firm is. While they are interested in your practice areas and location, these characteristics rarely differentiate you from your competition. Culture sets you apart. Clients want a firm that matches their personality and goals.

For example, imagine two different business-related firms. One has a strong brand identity while the other does not. The non-branded firm’s phonebook ad announces:

“Our Community’s LLC Team. Founded in 1980. Free Consultation.”

A potential client sees that this firm helps with business creation, but not much else.

The branded firm’s website states:

“Our community thrives when small, local businesses are successful. We are a small business and experience the same challenges. We guide, educate and collaborate with our clients through every stage of a business’ life. Let’s build something together.”

The branded firm also boasts a business law blog and a client portal. Together, this firm gives prospective clients a better understanding of how it treats its clients and practices law.

A Mission Statement Educates Your Clients

When clients choose a law firm, there is an emotional component to their decision. Clients often choose lawyers because their early conversations built trust and rapport. A strong brand and marketing strategy can build trust even before the client contacts you.

An accurate mission statement is also the foundation for your clients’ expectations. Honest communication and accurate expectations are the key to strong attorney-client relationships. Don’t tell your clients you are compassionate and patient unless you really are. If you’re not disposed to long appointments with a lot of handholding, own it.

Mission Statements Can Guide Design Choices

As a law firm, you also don’t want a website or marketing campaign that looks like everyone else’s. Logos, images, and color choice all have emotional impact. Your visual elements should be as consistent with your mission or brand as your written content.

For example, people often connect colors with feelings. Red is associated with power while blue is often linked to peace or calmness. Together, Americans associate them with patriotism. What colors represent your law firm best? (For more information, see our article on visual branding.)

When you are developing print or digital materials, consider how your imagery reflects your brand or mission.

Mission Statements Can Guide Design Choices

If you a struggling to brand your law firm, try creating a mission statement that expresses your firm’s individuality and value added. Marketing professionals can also help refine and build law firm brands.

How Client Reviews Help Law Firm Branding
Legal Branding

How Client Reviews Help Law Firm Branding

Do you go to a movie or restaurant without checking its reviews? Thanks to social media, our purchases are often influenced by reviews and ratings. Today, reviews are an important part of legal marketing.

Hiring a lawyer is a big decision. Many potential clients rely on word-of-mouth and reviews to help with their decision. A happy client is a law firm’s best advertising.

Your law firm may be familiar with review-based websites like Martindale and Avvo. But, you can use client reviews in a more active way. Your clients’ opinions and experiences can be a powerful way to extend brand identity.

Reviews on Third-Party Sites

Reviews on Third-Party Sites

Sometimes, clients will voluntarily post a review. These reviews often appear on third-party sites like Facebook or Yelp. These reviews can be sporadic and unreliable.

Everyone loves a positive review! But, your client’s positive review may lack detail and marketing value. Which of these reviews do you prefer?

  • “My lawyer was great!”
  • “My lawyer kept fighting, even when things got tough. She always listened to me. I was surprised how quickly the other side settled! I have already sent friends to my law firm for help. Thank you.”

Both clients were happy with their lawyers. Clearly, the second review gives more information to potential clients. You can’t edit a client’s online review. But, you can encourage happy clients to post detailed online reviews.

If you receive negative reviews, write a prompt and empathetic response. Encourage the unhappy client to meet with you, and work to resolve the issue. While you cannot make everyone happy, prospective clients will notice your quick and courteous response.

How to Create a Client Questionnaire

How to Create a Client Questionnaire

You should also create your own client questionnaire. At the end of a case, send each client this questionnaire. Information from a client questionnaire can be used both internally and for marketing purposes.

A client questionnaire is simple to make, and should ask open-ended questions. Potential questions include:

  • What did our law firm do best?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your lawyer?
  • How would you improve our law firm’s services?
  • Would you hire our law firm again? Why?
  • Would you refer friends and family to us?
  • Would you like a free subscription to our email newsletter?
  • Can we publish your review on our website?

If you want to publish reviews, you must get the client’s permission.

Client Reviews Can Show Strengths and Weaknesses

When you use a client questionnaire, you should analyze the responses, and look for trends.

Internally, these client reviews can be used to highlight a law firm’s strengths and weaknesses. If a staff member is providing exceptional service, it should be recognized and rewarded. Similarly, if clients regularly complain of communication delays (or other problems), you should improve your processes.

Your clients’ experience should always be consistent with your marketing message.

Client Reviews and Website Marketing

Client Reviews and Website Marketing

Again, a well-branded law firm’s reviews will reflect its mission or identity. You can use these reviews to extend your brand.

Prospective clients value reviews. If the reviews are consistent with the law firm’s message, they build trust. So, publish client reviews that express elements of your brand or mission.

For example: A personal injury firm prides itself in both its compassion and fierce representation. These characteristics are the pillars of its marketing message.

On its client review page, the firm has published these comments:

  • “I always knew I could call my lawyer for help. The firm helped me through my darkest hour—and negotiated a great settlement!”
  • “The insurance company couldn’t push my lawyer around. I was in good hands. He never stopped fighting for me.”

These client reviews match the law firm’s message—and are particularly persuasive because they come from clients.

A well-designed law firm website should include published client reviews. Give your prospective clients insight into your firm culture and mission through client reviews.

Use Buyer Personas to Get Better Legal Clients
Legal Branding

Use Buyer Personas to Get Better Legal Clients

Lawyers know their clients, right?

Lawyers think about their clients every day. You understand their daily challenges. You guide them through complicated legal processes. You celebrate their successes and victories. But, do you ever see your clients as buyer personas?

In today’s competitive legal market, lawyers and law firms need to think strategically about client marketing. Buyer personas can bring your law firm the best possible clients.

What is a buyer persona?

Marketers build “buyer personas” when developing a marketing or branding strategy. A buyer persona describes part of your client base and helps you create targeted marketing messages.

Each of your law firm’s buyer personas has different goals and perspectives. A message that convinces a father of a disabled child to hire you for an SSI appeal may differ from than that of a business professional facing a drunk driving charge. Your marketing plan for these two personas should be different.

Your client base contains multiple buyer personas. You need to understand who they are. Once you identify your firm’s personas, you can create branded messages that speak to them.

How to Identify Law Firm Buyer Personas

How to Identify Law Firm Buyer Personas

Since you work closely with your clients, it should not be difficult to identify your firm’s buyer personas. It does, however, take some time.

First, go through your law firm files, and build demographic profiles. Use the data you already have to spot trends.

  • Do you clients tend to be men or women?
  • What are the average ages?
  • What are their average incomes and educational backgrounds?
  • Why did your clients hire you, and not your competition?

Your intake interviews probably contain a lot of this information.

You should also consider who you want your clients to be. Do you want higher income clients? Do you want to expand a practice area? Or, do you want to extend your law firm’s geographic reach? You will create profiles for these desired clients too.

Finally, you need to do market research. If your intake interviews are lacking information, ask your clients for more information. You can send a client survey, or perform a follow-up interview.

You will also want to evaluate your competitors. Examine their marketing materials. Do other law firms target different buyer personas?

What Does a Buyer Persona Look Like?

What Does a Buyer Persona Look Like

Next, build profiles that summarize your client demographics. Your buyer personas may resemble these:

  • Name: J.Q. Public
  • Average Age: 45
  • Job: Skilled laborer/electrician, union steward
  • Goals: Resolve workers’ compensation dispute and protect financial stability.
  • Fears: Losing home and other assets, not getting back to work, tension at home.
  • Attitudes: Not tech savvy, but okay with email. Prefers face-to-face meetings. Experienced with union negotiations and basic employment law.
  • Name: Marta Smith
  • Average Age: 60
  • Job: College Professor
  • Goals: Needs help with estate planning.
  • Fears: End-of-life expenses.
  • Attitudes: Travels often for research. Prefers email and video conferencing. Likes long-form explanations.

Again, your law firm should always have more than one buyer persona.

How to Use Buyer Personas in Law Firm Branding

Now that you have buyer personas, both for your current and desired client base, apply them to your marketing strategy. Think about how you have successfully marketed to a buyer persona in the past. Build a strategy that speaks specifically to each persona.

A marketing strategy for J.Q. Public may include:

  • Both digital and printed workers’ compensation brochures.
  • Discussion of your ties to labor unions.
  • A targeted email campaign about workers’ rights.
  • Offers to run free workers’ compensation and FMLA training sessions at union steward meetings.
  • In-house family law and bankruptcy referrals.

In comparison, Marta Smith’s marketing may involve:

  • A detailed estate planning blog.
  • An electronic client portal, allowing easy access to documents and information.
  • E-books and downloadable forms.

Modern marketing focuses on building a buyer’s trust and confidence. By using buyer personas, law firms can convey expertise, and help build that trust.

Do You Need Marketing Help?

Do You Need Marketing Help?

Lawyers’ time is valuable. Many law firms do not have the time or resources to handle their own branding and marketing. If you need help, contact an experienced professional.

Legal Branding

Why the Hearsay Rule is so Important

Most people who are involved in a criminal case as either a suspect or a defendant are unfamiliar with the term “hearsay.” The reason this legal concept is so important is because it can easily become an impediment to your defense. If you make the mistake of assuming some kinds of evidence are admissible, only to find out that evidence is not admissible, you might find yourself in a much more difficult legal position.

It is vitally important that you understand hearsay, because it will teach you the value of exercising your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent during questioning.

What is Hearsay?

Generally speaking, testimony in a court of law must be offered by the witness himself or herself. In very limited circumstances, one person may be allowed to testify as to what someone else said, but courts enforce the hearsay rule in order to prevent an out-of-court statement from being admitted as evidence.

A given witness, therefore, generally may not offer testimony about an out-of-court statement, especially if the person who made the statement is available to testify on their own behalf.

Exceptions

In some cases, hearsay is admissible. For example, the author of a commercial publication need not appear to offer testimony covering what they published. Neither does a medical doctor need to appear to testify as to their own written medical diagnosis. Sometimes a statement against penal interest can be admitted. Such a statement can be presumed credible on the grounds the person making the statement is at greater risk of prosecution as a result.

Why is Hearsay Important?

Suppose you are being questioned by police. You know you are innocent of any crime. Nevertheless, the police say they have evidence that may implicate you. So you listen to the evidence and immediately seize on a fatal weakness in their case. You explain your innocence in detail, believing you have proven you are not guilty of any crime.

The police arrest you anyway. So you hire an attorney from a firm like http://www.leyba-defense.com/criminal-defense/. At trial, you persuade your attorney to call the police officer to the stand. You proved you were innocent right in front of them! So, your defense attorney calls the police officer to the stand and asks the following question.

“Officer, would you please tell the jury what my client told you on the afternoon of March 10th?”

At that point, the prosecutor will rise and say “objection, hearsay.” The judge will then sustain the objection, and the police officer will be prohibited from answering your attorney’s question. Why? Because your attorney is asking the officer to testify about an out-of-court statement made by you. Further, your defense attorney is attempting to admit your own testimony at trial without giving the prosecutor an opportunity to cross-examine you.

If you want the evidence you presented to the police admitted, you have to take the stand yourself. This is also the reason you never answer if questioned by the police. No matter what you say, it cannot ever help you.

The law isn’t as complicated as it sometimes seems. It does require some study and some time, but even some of the trickiest concepts can be understood and can therefore work in your favor.

Legal Branding

Distracted driving accidents in and around Milwaukee

After being injured in a car accident in Milwaukee that was caused by a distracted driver, you’re confused and hurt. You’re physically unable to work, and the medical bills continue to accrue. At the Groth Law Firm, our Milwaukee car accident lawyers provide effective and compassionate representation of men, women and children who have been injured in car accidents in and around Milwaukee.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, distracted driving consists of any number of activities that take a driver’s attention off of the roadway. Those can consist of:

  • Using a mobile or navigational device
  • Changing radio stations or CDs
  • Looking for something inside of the car
  • Eating
  • Grooming

When we’re driving a car, we’re required to use three cognitive activities. Those are:

  • Manual using your hands and feet
  • Visual by keeping your eyes on the road
  • Cognitive in keeping your mind on what you’re doing

Texting while driving
Keeping those cognitive activities in mind, it’s then clear that texting while driving is the most dangerous distraction. It requires a driver to take his or her hands off of the wheel and their eyes off of the road while concentrating on something a world away from driving. As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, if you take your eyes off of the road for five seconds to read or send a text message at 55 mph, you’re traveling the length of a football field. Anything can happen in front of you in those five seconds. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that there were 24,089 distracted driving accidents in Wisconsin in 2015. Those accounted for 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents statewide. That translates into a distracted driving crash occurring every 22 minutes in Wisconsin.

Your rights
Pursuant to Wisconsin law, if you’ve been injured in an auto accident as a result of the carelessness and negligence of a distracted driver, you may have the right to obtain compensation for damages. Those may include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Any permanent disfigurement
  • Any permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a normal life

Preserving your rights
Sometime after the accident the opposing insurer might contact you and ask for a statement about how the crash occurred. Never give any type of a statement to an opposing insurer. Your under no legal obligation to give a statement, and it’s likely that the insurer will only try to use it against you in the future. Call us first. If we’re retained, you’ll never hear from that insurance company again.

If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, or if a family member perished in one anywhere in Wisconsin, contact the Groth Law Firm in Milwaukee at 877-375-7001. Consultations and case evaluations are free, and if you’re injuries don’t permit you to travel to us, we’ll come visit you. Don’t worry about having to pay a cash retainer. That’s because we don’t get paid until we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.

Legal Branding

Three Facts About Disability and How They Affect You Personally

Being disabled without money coming into the home can be a nightmare. Those who are recently unable to work may find themselves with more questions than answers. If you are wondering about filing for Social Security benefits, you may have a great deal of angst regarding the process. Most things about the process are common knowledge; however, there are some things that are not talked about as much. You may not be aware of things that can affect you personally.

1. Everyone Has A Five Month Waiting Period

The waiting period is something that many do not consider when filing for disability benefits. First, you must be disabled for at least 12 months or expect to be off work for the next 12 months to qualify. After you have been approved, no benefits will be paid for the first five months. You actually won’t get anything until the sixth month.

The Social Security Administration goes back to the date of your disability. For instance, if you were disabled on February 1, 2017, you will not get a check until August of 2017. There is no way around this waiting period, and it is difficult for those who are suddenly disabled. Most people are owed back pay when they receive their benefits, and they do not feel the pain of losing those five months. However, if you get approved right away, you may be waiting a few months to get any money.

2. If Your Need Is Great, Then Your Case May Be Fast Tracked!

The Social Security Administration has identified the need for some people to receive benefits right away. If the applicant has a certain illness, their application may be picked to be “fast tracked.” Social Security can speed up the process when they feel a Quick Disability Determinations or a Compassionate Allowance is needed. About 60,000 applicants each year will be fast tracked. This means that the benefits can be approved in as little as three months.

The Administration just added 52 new illnesses to the list in 2011. So, they are aware of the suffering caused from those who wait for benefits for years. However, the waiting period still applies in most cases. Talk to an attorney from the Summit Disability Law Group to see if your condition is on the “fast track” list.

3. You Can Collect Both Disability and SSI Payments

Many people do not know that you can collect both SSDI and SSI. SSI is a need-based program that is used to supplement income when SSDI payments are low. All the figures are based on an average on your wage history. If you make less than a certain amount a month, then they will also give you an SSI check to help supplement your income.

While it is not a huge check, it is enough to help you cover your bills. Some people who collect both SSDI and SSI also qualify for food stamps and a medical card to help pay for incidentals. Everyone who gets SSDI gets Medicare, but they are required to pay a spin down and get supplemental insurance. Those who collect SSI on top of it will receive Medicaid and not have to pay anything.

Legal Counsel Can Help

Filing for disability can be a difficult time. It is best to have an attorney representing you during this process. Whether you are approved right away or need to go to a hearing, you will need the extra support from a legal representative. There are timelines, waiting periods, and plenty of questions that clients are concerned with. Do not try to maneuver the disability program alone, get professional help from someone that knows the ins and outs of filing for Social Security Disability.

Legal Branding

Tips for Keeping Teen Drivers Safe on The Road

When you have a baby, you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to protect that child. And you’ll worry forever, especially when they are able to drive a car. You can’t keep them little forever, and unfortunately, you can’t keep them in a bubble. But you can do your best to help protect your child when he’s on the road, and as such we would like to provide you with some tips on how you can keep your teen safe while he’s on the road.

Teen Driver Safety Week

Each year, there is a designated National Teen Driver Safety Week. This is to bring attention to the fact that teenage driving is very dangerous. It’s estimated that thousands of teenagers are involved in deadly car accidents each year. It is very important for adults to help reinforce proper driving technique and behavior because teen drivers are the least experienced drivers on the road.

Display Proper Driving Habits

Parents and guardians of teenagers should help to teach teenagers the proper driving techniques as they help their teen learn to drive. There are so many distractions that are vying for a teenagers attention that they tend to lose focus on what’s important. Helping to teach your teenager basic and safe driving etiquette to avoid car accidents is vital. Some safety tips to pass along to your teenager include:

-Implementing a no-cell phone use rule while driving. Find a punishment and follow through when you find out your teenager has not followed this rule.

-Not allowing your teen to have extra passengers in the car.

-Make sure your teenagers know the importance of driving at a safe speed limit.

-Teach your teen the dangers of drinking and driving.

-Make sure your teenager knows to always wear his seat belt and that he should encourage his passengers to do the same.

Consider Other Drivers on The Road

You will also want to help your teen better understand the other drivers on the road by implementing the following tips:

-Teach him to not drive like he owns the road, but to drive like he owns the car.

-Never make assumptions about what other drivers are going to do. For example, don’t assume a driver with a turn signal on is actually going to turn. He could have just forgotten to turn it off.

-Be on alert for aggressive drivers, and try to stay out of their way, as they are generally the cause of many accidents.

– Never swerve into someone’s lane or pull out in front of anyone. Give that person plenty of room.
These tips are basic and somewhat repetitive, but they need to be reinforced because you’re not only creating a safe teen driver now, but you are helping to build lifelong skills for later.

For more information on safe teen driving, or if your teenager has been injured in an accident, please visit http://www.ladahlaw.com/las-vegas-car-accident-lawyer to learn more about our law firm and experienced team.

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Digital Branding

Ask for What You Want with A Clear, Effective CTA

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities to juggle: managing employees, monitoring your inventory or accounts, bookkeeping, and of course, providing excellent customer service. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that you’re too busy to mount any efforts towards growing your business. That’s where a direct response marketing website can help.

You already know the importance of maintaining your website — making sure it’s up to date, uploading content, checking your rankings on Google. To truly drive prospects into leads, and leads into sales, however, you may want to consider a dedicated direct response website.

There are a few attributes that every lead generation website must have. First is a clear call to action (CTA). Simply put, a CTA asks visitors to your site to do something specific. “Try Our Demo,” “Call Us Now,” “Start Your Free Trial,” and “Download This E-Book” are all examples of CTA.

A good CTA also makes it easy for the visitor to take that action, providing a button or an online form right on the landing page, rather than taking the visitor to a separate contact page or form. Call to action pop-ups are also popular; since they interrupt the user’s experience, they are impossible to ignore.

Another type of CTA is exclusive to mobile websites and uses a “tap to call” button, which allows the user to call your business directly with just a single tap. This makes it much easier for the prospect to contact you, rather than having to write down or memorize the number and then open their telephone application on the phone.

Don’t be afraid to play around with your call to action, either. Vary the headline of the page it’s on, the graphic design, and the words you use to exhort your visitors to take an action. Even changing the color of the CTA button can yield huge results! If you want to change things up, however, don’t do it willy-nilly. Make only one change at a time, all while analyzing the results, so you know for certain what works and what can still be improved.

Calls to action on social media can also be highly effective, so make certain not to ignore that aspect of marketing. Another great tip is to personalize your CTA for certain visitors, rather than using a “one size fits all” approach.

Whatever action you want visitors to your lead generation website to take – whether it’s signing up for an email newsletter, agreeing to a two-week trial, watching a video, liking the company on Facebook, or simply telephoning your business — a call to action is the best way to make it happen. It may seem awkward or even tacky to ask prospects so directly, but research consistently shows that it’s the most effective way to drive action. You can’t simply wait around for the potential customer to take initiative.

No matter how busy your schedule is, take time out to learn more about direct response websites. You’ll be glad you did!

legal
Legal Branding

Common ADA Violations That Lead To Lawsuits

The ADA, or Americans With Disabilities Act, was passed back in 1990. This Act requires that businesses become accessible to those with disabilities. Although most businesses have taken the initiative to become more accessible, others haven’t. This has lead to a surge in the number of ADA violation lawsuits. The most common of these are listed below.

No Handicap Accessible Entrances 

It’s required that every business serving the public have a ramp or other form of accessible entrance to their facility. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter the age of the building, all businesses must be compliant. Those stores who have stairway entrances or high lips on the doorways are finding themselves being sued by angry individuals who can’t gain access to their doors.

No ADA Accessible Bathrooms 

In some cases, individuals can make it inside public businesses but do not have access to a public bathroom. This is the second biggest problem that handicapped individuals face at public places. To avoid being sued it’s best to have a commercial ADA Compliance inspection company come in and advise you on the issues that you have. It’s best to trust a professional to give you the exact details of what you need to do to be compliant.

No ADA Van-Accessible Parking Spaces 

For those who enjoy their independence, having a van-accessible parking spot where they exit their vehicle via a ramp is important. Businesses are required to have at least one ADA parking stall that has room for a ramp. Using signs as well as pavement markings is highly advised as snow can easily cover the parking spaces.

Unnecessary Firing or Not Hiring Due To Disability 

It’s part of the Americans With Disabilities Act that a disabled person may not be fired due to their disability. In addition, those in charge of hiring new people can’t discourage hiring an individual due to their disability. This is a general law that encompasses the fairness of those with disabilities having access to various jobs.

It’s important to note that there are specific occasions where businesses can’t be compliant with the law. For example, a boss for a construction company can’t be found at fault for not hiring a quadriplegic that wants to apply for a construction worker job. This law is mean to protect the right of the disabled but also to be followed on the grounds of common sense.

Refusing Service Dogs Access

According to the ADA, a business must allow a service dog access to wherever their owner goes. Any business that forces a service dog and its owner out of their establishment can be sued for violating the ADA. While there are certification papers that verify a dog is a service dog under the law, disabled owners are not required to procure these papers for any businesses.

If you are a business owner, you should ensure that you are following all the regulations set forth in the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. This will help you to avoid unnecessary lawsuits and keep your business open for all those with disabilities.

Digital Branding

How to Prepare for Your Headshot Photo Shoot

There are all types of people who want to get a headshot – it’s not limited to just actors and actresses! Businesspeople, models and even children will need or want a headshot from time to time. Here’s how to prepare for your headshot photo shoot.

1. Pick the Right Photographer

Every photographer will have their own specialty and style. If you need child headshots nyc, choose a photographer who is used to working with kids. Take a look at their portfolio to see if you like the types of photos they produce. Read their reviews to find out about other customer experiences. You can even visit the photographer in their studio beforehand to get a feel for how the day will go. The best way to get a good photo is to be comfortable with the photographer.

2. Get Familiar with the Different Types of Headshots

There are a few different headshot styles that you’ll be able to choose from or you can ask the photographer to take a few of each kind. Vertical studio headshots are the most common and they’re the type of headshot you’re probably most used to seeing. While the vertical headshot may be close to the face, it can also be back a bit to show off the subject’s outfit. You may also like the Peter Hurley style of headshot, which is horizontal against a white background. There’s also the environmental headshot, which means the photo is taken outside and the background is usually a natural setting.

3. Pick Your Outfit Wisely

The clothing that you choose for your headshot should show off your personality. However, you want to make sure to stick to some tried-and-true tricks. Opt for solid colors instead of prints or patterns. If you have your heart set on a pattern, just make sure it’s a simple one. You may also want to bring a change of clothes to the shoot to take a few photos in each outfit. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s neat and pressed – you may want to carry it to the shoot and change when you’re there. Also, don’t worry about what you’re wearing on your feet – your shoes aren’t going to be in the picture.

4. Find Your Good Side

Everyone has angles that they prefer and angles that they don’t. Find your angles before the shoot so that you’ll naturally angle yourself to the camera in the way that you like the best. If one of your eyes is smaller than the other one, angle the smaller eye toward the camera, which will make it appear to be the same size as your larger eye. Also, before the shoot, try out different expressions in the mirror to see which one you like the best. Even though your photographer will help you loosen up and direct you when it comes to posing, it always helps to go in as prepared as possible.

5. Get Comfortable in the Studio

During the photo shoot, ask the photographer if they would mind turning on some music, which can alleviate some of your anxiety and help you look more natural in your photos. Don’t force a smile, which will look obviously unnatural in the photos. If you can’t smile natural, then don’t worry about smiling at all.

Getting a headshot should be fun, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself. If the worst happens and you don’t like the photos, your photographer may even offer to reshoot them at no cost. Either way, you can always have more taken.