How to Grow Your Presence and Launch Your Career During SXSW

How to Grow Your Presence and Launch Your Career During SXSW

From March 9th through the 18th, Austin’s famous South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) transforms the eclectic city into a mecca for all things business and art related. The SXSW Conference had grown exponentially since its launching 31 years ago when the primary unifying factor was music. Music is still is a significant attraction and vital part of the conference, and has always featured major artists. SXSW is a unique event, exploring topics that traditionally aren’t covered in “business” conferences. Mixing art, technology, live entertainment, networking, and everything in between, the conference has something for anyone who wants to learn how to promote themselves either in an existing role or a startup.

Professionals need to be connected to both people and developments in their industry to succeed in the marketplace. Reactionary development is no longer successful; you need to be ahead of the curve or at the very least, aware of the curve. No matter what your area, SXSW will give you something to take back and apply that will help your success. Their extensive website has complete information all the awesome content available, and you may want to bring a colleague (or two) because the volume of pertinent information is more than likely too much for one person to cover alone. The following sections provide guidance on how you can launch your career during SXSW. 

Promotion

Learning how to promote and launch your brand, idea or product is basic to success, and there are several sessions available that will guide you. The sessions cover everything from how to pitch your cause to developing a product/design. If you are your product, then there are specialized breakouts for you that cover how to improve, develop, or even change your career direction to something that is suitable for you and more rewarding. Promotion includes people getting to know you – the person – and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to get your face in front of people. Korey Howell Photography is the leader in the Austin area for presenting you, and your face, in a positive and professional way. Please contact us for more information on how we can help your time in Austin at the SXSW conference more successful.

Related: SXSW Guide: Boost Your Professional Image at Events

Keynote Speakers

The diversity of speakers presenting at SXSW illustrate the conferences broad appeal and have helped its success.  Whether your industry is journalism, government, technology, art & design or fashion, there will be a speaker that can help add insight or information to your journey. To give an idea of the range of topics covered during the week, they include – Christiane Amanpour on Sex & Love Around the World to a discussion on Artificial Intelligence and Social Media by – Chelsea Manning in conversation with Sally Singer.

Startups

For you who are considering or in the middle of a startup, there is an abundance of invaluable information that will help you develop, plan and execute a successful startup. Pitching your startup to prospective investors, buyers and developers is the beginning, and arguably, most important step to success. SXSW offers a “pitch event”, where 50 finalists are selected from among varying categories and then given awards for the best pitch in their field. It is a unique opportunity for a budding startup to see what works in a pitch. Check out the event here, and don’t miss it if you want to learn how to pitch!

There are several startup sessions available that will cover everything you need to know regarding everything from getting financing from some not-so-typical sources to partnering with major companies, like Google or even government agencies.

Related: 5 Skills for Entrepreneurs to Achieve Success in 2018

Networking

Without a doubt, networking inside and outside of your industry is the single most important thing you can do to help ensure you reach your goals, whether you are a startup company or a proven corporate leader. Networking has grown leaps and bounds past the idle conversation and passing out business card model of the past. Today’s networker is focused on helping people grow, people helping people is what success is all about, and in the world today, women need to become engaged with other successful women to help strengthen each other. SXSW offers everything you need to become a networking maven.

Related: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Becoming Known in Austin

To prepare for the endless activities you’ll be attending during SXSW week in Austin and to really impress if you plan to launch your career during SXSW, you’ll need a fantastic headshot to impress your peers and potential investors. Book your appointment at the Korey Howell Photography Group Studio today! 

5 Skills for Entrepreneurs to Achieve Career Success in 2018

5 Skills for Entrepreneurs to Achieve Career Success in 2018

It’s your time and your year; this is when you found the financing, the friend, and family support is strong and the optimal office space is available. You have the tools, the time and the tenacity to go out on your own, be the one taking and giving orders and managing your own business, even if it’s starting as a staff of one. And although the rental contract is signed, the legal paperwork filed and the supplies ordered, there are personal issues that can either hold you back or advance your entrepreneurial or professional career, depending on how you address them. Every female business owner and professional needs skills to push forward, advance a career and achieve career success, but these skills are not always easy to achieve. 

What skills take you from standard to stand out in the business world and achieve career success?

1. The ability to network

As if spending 50 or 60 long hours a week in your new business isn’t enough, there’s networking. Going to conferences, meetings, professional dinners and charity events will take additional time. You’ll rarely be paid for any of these, and some of them require membership (the fees are often tax-deductible). It’s not about making money in these ventures, it’s about professional exposure. Your face, name and business venture are now a public entity. You’re a trusted and knowledgeable community leader. In the longer view, networking earns money, but it also builds respect among your peers.

2. Having both a sense of humor and a thick skin

Of course you’re serious about your new career venture. But you’ll spend a lot of time making mistakes, annoying people and blundering through a project or two. You can be invested in your mission and still make a joke about yourself. Clients will find it difficult to deal with someone who’s straitlaced and strait-faced all the time; it’s like talking to a telephone pole. In the age of taking care and caution when it comes to sexual harassment, use common sense mixed with humor when speaking to any client. And resilience in the face of setbacks and disappointments is the mark of a committed and competitive entrepreneur; your mental toughness takes you through the days when you’d rather burn your shingle than open your door.

3. Time management and the ability to delegate

Even at your business’ beginning, you’ll be busy; not necessarily with clients, but with paperwork and getting the day’s tasks and routines organized. The gift of delegation does not always require another person as the recipient. Sometimes you have to delegate tasks to yourself, moving them to another hour, day, week or month. Find a calendar method that works, whether it’s a paper planner or digital smartphone version. Start and end your day with that calendar. Make notes, allow sufficient flexibility for last-minute clients or meetings. And start the search for an office manager/assistant early; the hardworking, dedicated, no-task-is-too-small types are hard to find and worth every penny.

4. Communication & negotiation

The ability to speak and write well is paramount before you pursue new business. Take a public speaking course and a basic business writing skills class. You can cajole, charm and persuade a contract right out of a first client meeting, and you can do vivaciously, gracefully or deftly; but always perfect, as long as your communication skills are top notch. And the power center of your business, whether you’re an entrepreneur as a negotiator or a working professional, has an impact on everyone you meet, whether clients, vendors, peers or employees. Your ability to bargain on prices, supply dates, contract terms and employee benefit costs determines the financial health of your business and it will determine your professional and working relationships with clients, partners, and more. 

5. Be willing to learn until you become a master, and keep learning

Those dinners, conferences, and lectures are good PR and building opportunities for any professional or entrepreneur, but they’re even better as a learning experience. You meet other entrepreneurs who have started as you are, with one person in a tiny office with hand-me-down furniture and the dream of becoming the best and best-known in their field. But there’s nothing like talking to them about the truly dark side of the downside of going it alone: worrying about making a half-dozen deadlines in one week, followed by no foreseeable work; wishful thinking about past vacations when you realize your money won’t buy a long weekend and all the pitfalls intertwined with the pride and joy of owning your own business. Professionals can continue their journey to achieve career success through professional development programs, designed to help them hone their current or new skills and become all they can be. 

At Korey Howell Photography, we work hard to present the most professional you to honor and represent your new venture. Whether photographed in my studio or your office, you won’t just look ready to take on a new career, you’ll be ready. Contact the Korey Howell Photography studio today for information and to book a headshot appointment.

5 Occasions When a Professional Headshot Will Help Boost Your Resume

5 Occasions When a Professional Headshot Will Help Boost Your Resume

When an employer has hundreds of resumes to go through, you don’t want yours to be the one that’s just given a quick scan and then placed on the collection pile. These days, just having a resume isn’t enough. You need a marketing tool that is modern, fresh, and an accurate reflection of who you are. In certain situations, a professional headshot will take your resume to the next level and help you get noticed, interviewed and hired quicker.

Because there are labor and anti-discrimination laws in the US, most organizations won’t request a photo, nor do they expect one. There are 5 occasions, however, when it’s okay to include a headshot on your resume.

1. If you’re looking for a career as a designer (graphic, interior, etc.)

You can build your brand by letting your resume tell who you are and what you’ve done, and then use a headshot to help employers and clients match the face with the name. This will help push your persona to the forefront of their minds and shows ingenuity as well as substance. In this way, you’re saying that you can do more than just make something pretty; you’re also a very creative thinker.

2. When pursuing a career in Fashion

Whether you’re a coordinator or an administrative assistant, a professional headshot on your resume says a lot. That is a very visual industry, and hiring managers want to connect with you on a human level. A great photo at the top of your resume allows you to stand out from the crowd and shows your personality. When they see a picture of you wearing fashion-forward clothing and looking and feeling good, this shows confidence and makes them take a second look. They’ll say, “Hey, this candidate really has something special and knows how to dress for success.”

3. If you’re seeking a career in the arts

A good, high-quality headshot will tell a compelling story and make an employer want to know more. As an actor or model, this is critical in helping you become memorable, and others in this industry like art directors, film industry interns, photographers, production assistants and reporters can also use a photo to help boost their careers. In this visually driven world, having a headshot that makes you look both professional and personal will keep your name in the mind of hiring managers and increase your chances of landing that perfect job.

4. To showcase your talents 

If you make fantastic floral arrangements or can make food look as pretty as a picture, you can put a photo of you along with one of your creations at the top of your resume. If you’re applying to be a pet groomer, a photo of you and a well-groomed dog goes a long way in giving you a huge advantage. If you’re seeking work as a public relations manager or consultant, a high-quality headshot on your resume lets you market yourself and shows employers and clients that you know how to launch a PR campaign. Realtors and insurance agents know this because they rely on their picture as part of their whole marketing package.

5. When bringing your resume to networking events 

Having a professional headshot on your resume at networking events helps new contacts remember you and maximizes that first impression. At these events, you’re trying to connect with as many people as possible, and by providing a picture along with a resume, this is a quick and effective way to market yourself, find work and build up your name recognition. When you’re working the room, just let everyone know that you’ll be happy to furnish a version of your resume without a picture if they require more formal job screening.

At Korey Howell Photography, we know how important a good, professional headshot is because a picture does speak a thousand words. We want your picture to say that you’re the perfect candidate for that job. Using a selfie or having a friend do it, however, is not the best way to guarantee a great shot. You want a professional photo that shows that you know what you’re doing and is a true reflection of who you are. That sends a clear message about what you offer, what you value, and the quality of work employers can expect from you. To book your professional headshot session, contact Korey Howell Photography today. 

Cheap Shots: When A Good Employee Makes You Look Bad

Cheap Shots: When A Good Employee Makes You Look Bad

As a small business owner, you know the expenditures never stop, even when your income gets tight. You try to spend carefully, save where you can, cut corners where you think it won’t be noticed much and hope it doesn’t cost you in terms of service or clients. But some savings tactics backfire in multiple ways, such as reducing the price of your professional headshots by handing one of your employees a camera and asking them to take your picture, then deciding, “Hey, that was so easy. Let’s get everyone’s photos and use them for the website and promotional materials!”

In the era of easy-to-use P.H.D. (photo-slang for ‘Push Here Dummy’) cameras and smartphones, there is considerable temptation to forego the pro and stand by your staffer’s amateur but earnest efforts. It’s a nice thing to do, but in business, it’s not the right thing to do. Here’s why:

You put your employee on the spot

It’s hard for someone whose salary you’re paying to tell you no. So they take your photo even though they know it’s a bad idea because there’s no way to get out of the situation. It’s a damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don’t conundrum.

The employee as cinematographer

Because the camera is in their hands, the staffer feels powerful and creative. They’ve seen classic movies and film noir. And wouldn’t it be great to recreate a famous film scene around your headshot? Something black and white and moody all over, maybe in the rain, with you wearing a black turtleneck and leaning against a graffiti-covered wall, and…just stop this right here. This is a business, not Documentary Filmmaking 101. Keep the headshot conservative and leave creativity in the office and for the clients.

Your employee probably isn’t an experienced photographer

The staffer has some decent experience with family and vacation photos, but a professional headshot requires proper lighting, angling, background color, hair and makeup styling and facial expression. And office protocol requires good manners; the staffer won’t be honest enough to tell you, “Look, your current carrot-red hair color is hideously wrong for this, and there’s not enough photo-shopping on earth for me to fix it.”

Your employee will go along with your picture selection

If you like the picture, they’ll tell you it’s great, even if the reality is closer to FBI Most Wanted List quality. They won’t argue with the person signing their paycheck, and it’s just not a lengthy discussion anyone wants to have when their desk is piled with work, they have 30 emails waiting and a dozen phone calls to return.

It’s likely a spur-of-the-moment decision

You won’t be dressed, made-up or coiffed properly for the professional headshot if you do this in your office. That’s not to say you come to work looking like something out of an all-night, alcohol-fueled “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” commercial. But a great business look and a great headshot look are two different things; the latter needs the assistance of a photography professional.

The results cost you

While the employee’s time is free (aside from their salary) and downloading the photo onto your website and promotional materials takes only a short time, the poor quality result reflects on you. The photo looks cheap because it is cheap. It looks like you didn’t care enough to present yourself as a professional. It doesn’t say, “I want you as a client and I can be trusted.”

So after knowing this, forgo the decision to save expenses by getting cheap headshots and opt for polished headshots taken by a photography professional. Take the pressure off your staff and contact Korey Howell Photography for the best in professional headshots for you and your staff. No matter where and how your picture is viewed, you confidently present your best look to the business world.

How a Bad Business Headshot Can Drive Away Customers

How a Bad Business Headshot Can Drive Away Customers

How can your business attract customers and grow? We’d like to think that the quality of your product or service matters above all.

Sure, it matters. It might even be the most important factor once your audience knows about you. But before that, first impressions can rank just as important as selling your products and services to audiences. In fact, even a bad business headshot can lose you significant business.

The Importance of First Impressions

Here’s a shocker to start it off: first impressions matter. You probably already knew that, but you might not know just how important they are in marketing. The first time your potential customers see a visual representation of you as the owner of your business, they need to see you as professional and credible. 

Here’s a fun fact. Your looks and professionalism is the single most important factor for your audience to decide whether or not they will like you. And that’s not all. According to the review of a recent study by Business Insider,

Our first impressions of people in photographs influence our perception of those people even after we’ve interacted with them personally.

Let’s recap. Your audience will decide on whether they like you, and whether they will find you credible, based on their visual first impression of you. And that impression sticks with them, even after they learn more about you. Which brings us to the importance of headshots in today’s digital environment.

Headshots in the Digital Age

Any business owner knows just how important the internet has become in marketing your product or services. Most of your potential customers will begin their search for a company like you either through a search engine or social media.

When they do, your strategy should be designed to get your brand name and benefits in front of them. But when that happens, you need to make sure to nail that first impression.

Especially for small business owners, that means establishing a personal connection – generally, through personal photos rather than highly stylized graphics or images. On social media and on your about page, showing your face helps you make your business more relatable to your audience.

Now, think about the now ubiquitous Google search. When searching for your company or personal name, relevant images will be pulled into the results page as well.

Before they even start reading your online presence, they will have a visual first impression of both you and your business.

Imagine that first impression being a selfie you took or a phone image taken by your significant other. Neither will look professional, or communicate the type of professionalism that you need to convey. And when it’s the first thing your audience sees, you risk losing them before you even have a chance to convince them about your brand benefits.

Grow Your Business By Improving Your Online Presence

No business owner wants the above scenario to occur. So now, imagine the opposite: a visual presence that helps to immediately communicate the credibility you need to draw your audience in. Rather than making them cringe, you awaken their curiosity as they ready themselves for more information.

That’s exactly what professional headshots can provide. Get them just right, and you can use them as a canvas to convince potential customers that your business and its product or service is worth further consideration above its competitors.

It might seem minor. But once you consider the psychology behind first impressions, and just how important visuals have become in the digital age, you begin to recognize the importance of professional, high-quality headshots. Schedule your appointment today to take your first step toward business growth.

Cheap Business Headshots Will Cost You

Cheap Business Headshots Will Cost You

As a small business owner, keeping the lights on, paying employees and keeping clients happy costs money. Most small businesses run on a very slim profit margin; many times between three and seven percent. As a small business owner, your natural inclination is to save money wherever possible – whether it’s buying office supplies in bulk, meeting clients online instead of long-distance traveling and cutting corners on less client-oriented items, like your headshots. But a cheap business headshot can hinder your business and drive away potential clients. Here’s why cheap headshots cost so much, even when you pay so little for them. 

Cheap business headshots look cheap

Cheap business headshots look cheap because they are usually printed on less expensive stock, resulting in a lack of color depth and detail. They don’t reproduce well on your website or in promotional materials, and a potential client holding one in their hands thinks they’ve been handed (literally) a flimsy excuse for an introduction.

They are typically reprinted in a size smaller than the standard headshot size of 8″ x 10″. The smaller size may save you money, but a client may look at it and be reminded of their kids’ school pictures instead of a working professional.

Cheap headshots feature odd backgrounds

A professional headshot normally shows a neutral background; the subject stands out better against it. A cheap headshot attempts to jazz things up with a prettier background. A busy background is not professional; it looks like a 1980s glamour or boudoir shot.

A cheap business headshot’s background not only lacks neutral color best suited to the subject, it often consists of material unsuitable for a photograph, such as poorly draped cloth, blanket material, doors, walls, and cabinets. The client understands you work in an office environment, but portions of that environment should not be seen in your headshot, unless there is a strong and direct link to your business (such as a company selling outdoor, hunting or camping gear) and in that case, a secondary headshot featuring an additional background is acceptable.

Cheap headshot subjects look cheap

Once you cut corners on the photograph, you tend to keep cutting on other aspects, such as hair and makeup. Unless you’re a professional stylist, doing your own primping leads to a less-than-professional, more-like-early-Madonna look. It’s hard to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself when you’re a cheapskate about this cheap shot. You consider it a money-saving move. A client sees the result and wants to post it on social media tagged “Holy throwback, Batman!”

And along with hair and makeup, there’s the jewelry, accessories and the outfit. A professional stylist/photographer works with you to determine the colors, styles and shapes that flatter you. Going cheap means you might thrash through your wardrobe until you find what’s clean, mostly wrinkle-free and basically fits, and not knowing when enough jewelry is enough. 

Cheap business headshots don’t aim for the right angles

Full-face on headshots, with eyes staring directly into the camera, are best reserved for that unfortunate moment when the booking officer at the police station tells you, “Look straight into the camera.” A professional headshot is not a mugshot, therefore it should not look like one or be photographed like one. An experienced photographer knows at a glance if you have a “good” side and if that side needs to be highlighted with additional exposure.

There’s an acceptable amount of head, shoulders, torso, and skin suited for a professional headshot. How much makes the photo depends on the subject’s height and proportions, but a good photographer checks sizing and ensure no undue exposure of body parts, tattoos or piercings occurs. A cheap one goes for whatever the subject has to offer that they love or might tempt/shock a client. That makes a great art house photo, but not one a client is looking at and thinking, “I want to do business with this person.”

Korey Howell Photography specializes in bringing out the best in you and ensuring that your professional headshot is the partner and advocate for your business.  Contact Korey Howell Photography for more information and appointment availability.