Whether you’re applying for a job or setting up a professional profile on LinkedIn, a great-looking headshot can go a long way in making a favorable first impression. 

According to bestselling author and development molecular biologist John Medina, 65% of people have better image retention than the paltry 10% text retention when recalling a memory after three days, which is the same time recruiters or potential clients take to make a decision.

If you’re a SaaS business owner, a  bunch of fabulous corporate headshots of you and your team on your website’s ‘About Us’ or ‘Our Team’ section can go a long way in growing confidence in potential clients browsing your website.

Suppose you have never considered the importance of a LinkedIn headshot till now. In that case, this article will detail everything you need to know about this critical topic that’s often left out of career advice conversations, as well as how to get the best corporate headshots.  

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you’re going to learn here:

  • What is a Corporate Headshot?
  • How Your LinkedIn Profile Photo Differs From Your Casual Photos
  • Why you Should Have a Professional Headshot For Your LinkedIn Profile
  • A Professional Corporate Headshot Demonstrates Professionalism, Personality, And Branding
  • How To Get The Best LinkedIn Profile Picture
  • Examples of Best SaaS Profile Headshots on LinkedIn
  • It’s All About The First Impression

What is a Corporate Headshot?

First, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and get the basics out of the way so that you can understand what all the fuss is about. A corporate headshot is a semi-close-up photo of a person’s face taken at certain angles with specific poses to put it in layman’s terms. 

The main target of a corporate headshot is looking professional, not good.

If you’ve been wondering why you’re having such a hard time nailing clients or interviews despite using your best-looking photo, this might be the main reason. Historically, corporate headshots have been in use since the invention of photography, mainly for political and marketing purposes. But it was Hollywood that popularized its use. 

Today corporate headshots are indispensable for professional application and documentation in all industries in different forms such as CVs, LinkedIn profiles, company websites, personal websites, business cards, etc. 

Why you Should Have a Professional Headshot For Your LinkedIn Profile

There are several excellent reasons why you should have a professional corporate headshot instead of a casual photo when putting yourself out there in front of the world. 

By highlighting key features of the subject based on the pose and angle of the photo, a headshot increases an individual’s marketability. 

In many industries, especially in the corporate world and media showbiz, careers are made or destroyed based on personal branding. Pictures are the most common form of personal branding in the world today, thanks to the internet and the age of social media.

A Professional Corporate Headshot Demonstrates Professionalism, Personality, And Branding

A great professional corporate headshot demonstrates three significant attributes of the subject- their personality, professionalism, and brand. 

When your professional image reflects these attributes, it signals to whoever’s looking at it that you put care and effort into your chosen career. It also signals good work ethics and accountability, both of which are necessary to get into and climb up the corporate ladder. 

When you start getting noticed, you’ll find that proper personal branding can open up many opportunities for you.    

Let’s consider, for example, that you’re a high-level executive in a promising but new SaaS firm setting up your LinkedIn Profile. 

When your potential clients look you up on Google or LinkedIn, do you want the first picture they come across your profile to be a dreamy picture looking at the sunset or you goofing around at some party? 

Or do you want the first picture they see of you to come across as professional and confident? Once you get into the habit of changing your public photos to professional headshots, you might be amazed at how differently people react to your professional profiles and such.    

Social media networking also plays a vital role in why you should emphasize a professional corporate headshot since most recruitment and business networking happens online on social media platforms. 

LinkedIn and Facebook, two of the biggest juggernauts in the professional networking and social networking space, boast a user count of 756 million and 2.6 billion, respectively. 

To maximize your coverage among the hundreds of millions of users on these platforms, you need a decent headshot.   

There are aspects of photography that a rookie or amateur might not be well-versed in, leading to a subpar corporate headshot. 

Professionals are called professionals for a good reason; they spend incredible amounts of time and effort to master and progress in their craft. 

If you want a professional corporate headshot of you taken, just get in touch with a professional photographer and let them work their magic on you.

How To Get The Best LinkedIn Profile Picture

If you’re confused about getting the best corporate headshot, here are several tips that you might want to consider before going out with your camera.

  1. Schedule a meeting with the photographer: The first thing you want to do to get a professional headshot is finding a good photographer in your vicinity and schedule an appointment with them. A good photographer will ask you questions such as the purpose of the photo, the relevant industry, etc., and create the shot’s composition. In addition, subtle differences in what you’re wearing can significantly change the headshot’s vibe.
  2. Create a simple backdrop: As it’s a corporate headshot, keeping the background simple with no frills is the best way to go, even when going for outdoor headshots. The ambient lighting should also be kept to a minimum. But, of course, a good photographer will insist on this, so you’ll have to stick to a plain background even if you want to be flashy.
  3. Large aperture lens: A professional photographer will use larger aperture lense for professional headshot photography. The most significant difference between these and wide-angle lens is that the former gives a more natural look to a photo, while the latter adds an artistic effect. Taking a creative headshot might seem appealing, but it makes for a poor professional first impression as it makes the subject seem too vain.
  4. Go for softer lighting: When a photo’s lighting is soft, it makes it more natural, preventing glares from ruining the photo. This is especially important for headshots where the focal point is the subject’s head. Any additional effects will distract the viewer from your face, which is a big no.
  5. The pose: The pose for the photograph depends on you more than anything else. Remember, the main point of the pose for a corporate headshot is to show you in your most relaxed and natural state. So just follow the photographer’s instructions for the pose and try your best to be as natural and effortless as possible in your facial expressions. 
  1. It’s all in the angles: Angles matter a lot when it comes to professional headshot photography. Men tend to appear stronger and more confident when headshots are taken from a lower angle, but doing the same with women is not prudent as lower angles make them look unflattering. You’ll know you’ve got a good headshot when the first thing that draws attention in the photo is your eyes, which tell a lot about you even in photos.  
  2. An excellent facial expression: Many people are so used to taking casual photos and selfies with exaggerated poses that posing naturally for a photograph becomes hard for them. If you find yourself in such a predicament, just do something comfortable and relaxing while the photographer is prepping the set. 
  3.  Drinks lots of water before the shoot: You should drink a lot of water the night before and the morning of the shoot to look your best. When your skin looks dry, it affects how you look in the headshot negatively. Drinking lots of water before the shoot ensures your skin looks smooth, and no extra effort has to be made by the photographer to counter the effect.

Examples of Best SaaS Profile Headshots on LinkedIn

In this final section of the article, you’ll learn about the different types of corporate headshots to find out which one suits you the best. Here are the profile pics of the top 20 SaaS executives on LinkedIn who make a killer impression with their profile pics.

  1. JEFF WEINER, CEO at LinkedIn

Source: LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s CEO makes a great first impression by going for a less conventional outdoor photography style for his profile pic. Take note of how the background is blurred to draw focus on Jeff’s face.

  1. NEIL PATEL, Co-founder at Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, KISSmetrics & Quicksprout

Source: LinkedIn

In the world of digital marketing and SaaS, Neil Patel doesn’t need any introductions- he’s a one-person brand. Neil goes for a standard headshot with a white background that put’s the entire focus on his face

  1. MARCIN TREDER, UX Design, and Product

Source: LinkedIn

Marcin trader uses a perfectly posed candid while he was on a  stage to enhance his image as an industry leader. Speaker headshots are a bit tough to pull off but can make you stand out as an influencer in the industry without looking unprofessional or narcissistic.

  1. Jan Zajac, Founder, CEO at Sotrender – Social media marketing, Analytics, Startups
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

The founder of Sotrender knows how to maximize impact in social media, which is apparent from his unique LinkedIn profile pic. Jan’s clothes and hair mesh with the dark background to create a stunning neo-noir look that maintains a professional feel.

  1. Richard White, Founder, CEO of UserVoice.com
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Like Jeff Weiner, the CEO of Uservoice.com takes the path less traveled, opting for an outdoor headshot taken on the city streets.

  1. Michal Sadowski, Founder & CEO at Brand24
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Michal Sadowski puts out his smoldering looks in full display in this contrasting headshot. The usual rule of thumb of taking headshots is to keep the background as simple as possible, but this one breaks convention with its transparent metallic background that works with the dark lighting.

  1. Daniel Saks, President & Co-CEO at AppDirect
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Daniel Saks opts for a standard headshot in an unconventional background that catches attention.

  1. David Cancel, CEO at Drift
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

There is no school like old-school, and David Cancel’s LinkedIn photo makes a point to remind you of that. An up-close headshot that demonstrates the subject’s charisma without any fancy effects or background creates the impression that you’re looking at a professional.

  1. Dharmesh Shah, co-founder, and CTO of HubSpot
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Hubspot CTO Dharmesh Shah’s LinkedIn profile pic shares similarity with Michal Sadowski’s style of industrial-grunge headshot but with the background blurred out to draw complete focus on Shah’s face and smile.

  1. Brad Feld, MD at Foundry Group
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Another excellent example of old-school headshots, Brad Felding opts for a conventional headshot with a simple background. 

  1. Promise Phelon, CEO of TapInfluence
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Being a social media influencer herself on multiple platforms, Promise Phelon goes for a stylish casual look for her LinkedIn Profile. While certainly not recommended for everyone, if your SaaS business model is media-based, it might just work for you.

  1. James Kaiser, Customer Success Director at Botify
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Botify’s CSD James Kaiser goes for a no-frills approach with this simple urban headshot that highlights his professional position as well as his boyish charms.

  1. Jonathan Pogact, Vice President of Marketing at Drips
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Jonathan Pogact also goes for the classic headshot on a simple background that accentuates his confidence and good looks.

  1. Ron Mason, Opportunity Leader
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

In this LinkedIn headshot, the photographer uses Ron Mason’s clothing and lighting to draw focus on Mason despite having a prominent background.

  1. Marissa Mayer, Co-founder, Sunshine 
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Like Daniel Saks, Sunshine CEO Marissa Meyer also uses an unconventional color scheme for a stock standard headshot.

  1. Jaspreet Singh, Founder & CEO at Druva Inc.
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Druva Inc CEO Jaspreet Singh also opted for an outdoor headshot for his LinkedIn profile pic. 

  1. Liam McIvor Martin, Co-organizer of Running Remote, Co-founder of Time Doctor
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Liam Martin’s LinkedIn photo uses an unconventional angle to draw attention to the photo without his face losing focus. 

  1. Yazan Sehwail, Co-founder and CEO of Userpilot
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Userpilot CEO also opts for a simple classic headshot like many of his peers for his LinkedIn profile pic.

  1. Abhijeet Vijayvergiya, Co-founder and CEO at Nektar.ai
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

Nectar.ai’s CEO takes it casually like Promise Phelon to look casual and relaxed in his LinkedIn photo. 

  1. Jayant Paleti, Co-founder at Darwinbox
linkedin profile picture

Source: LinkedIn

This LinkedIn profile pic of Darwin Box’s Jayant Paleti makes full use of the dark background to draw attention to his towering physique.

It’s Your Time to Shine

If you have stuck around this ling, you now know everything that you need to know to get the perfect corporate headshot for your profiles and CVs. 

Once you take the first steps towards making yourself marketable to potential employers and clients and see the results, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t make this change sooner. Create the best first impression of yourself and see where it takes you in life! 

But a headshot isn’t the only thing that will help your (new) SaaS business stand on its feet- you need a proper automation and data extraction setup to funnel in your leads.  

If you’re interested in getting better automation for your business, don’t hesitate to contact TexAu.app and test-drive our tool.

You may be surprised by the results you see in 12 months when you have more viable leads to work on that will definitely help your fledgling SaaS business gain the clients and brand recognition you need to propel your business through the roof!