Recently, I’ve had to pose for headshots. Not because I’m a Juilliard-trained actor in need of some literature to hand out at auditions, but because I’ve got a handful of speaking gigs coming up. As I’ve found, it’s best to actually give attendees a current face to go with the name of their keynoter/session presenter.

So, dark shirt adorning my torso, hair tousled in a professional manner, a smile upon my face, I pose. And I pose. And I pose. I look like crap and the camera is amazingly adept at capturing that quality. Which brings me to the topic of image. What’s yours telling your audiences?

Are you putting your best face forward in business? What about in social gatherings? Among family? Where are you at your best? And how can you leverage that ease and comfort – and good image quality – to benefit you in every occasion?

Here are a few tips to help you capitalize on that glamour shot – the image you want to project everywhere you go. If nothing else, you’ll gain confidence. We all know that confidence is the first step to success…and if you didn’t know that, it is!

1 – Exude Confidence

Confident people seem taller, more popular and more successful than others. And the cool thing is, perception starts to become reality and this confidence exercise will likely result in you making more lucrative connections, landing more work, and coming off as more successful. Then, it’s self-perpetuating as you’ll have more confidence because you’re doing well. Be confident, now.

2 – Be Genuine

We all know the paper people. These are the folks built on smoke and mirrors. They’re equal to used car salespeople of old – hustling to make a buck and willing to step on, slander and disrespect people on their imagined trip up the ladder. This isn’t you. The more genuine you can be, the better your relationships will be – in business and in life. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. And don’t waste energy trying to get people to like you. If you’re as good as you know you are – and are genuine in all your dealings – you’ll have more than enough friends, customers and colleagues who believe in you and support your efforts. So, be a good person and good will befall you.

3 – Remove Your “I”

Sure, it sounds icky. But the process of giving props to the folks around you is a great way to engender support and keep you focused on goals, not glamour. Sure, it’s fun to be featured in a magazine article or be at all the fun events around town. But wouldn’t you rather have some substance to your persona? Be in the moment with the people around you and spread the credit for your growing success. Compliment others where appropriate and hesitate to talk about yourself unless cornered. You might actually be great, but acknowledging your greatness isn’t cool. The lesson we all learned in high school is that somebody else has to give you a nickname. Let others do the same when it comes to your style. Don’t look in the mirror, spend some time looking around you.

These might be slightly weighty messages to carry with you as you climb your own ladder of success. But I assure you that the more you can focus on helping others, being a good person, and functioning with an air of ease and confidence, the more you’ll reap the rewards.

Some people say it’s how you play the game. I like to say, it’s not a game and we’re not playing. Take yourself and your actions seriously and you’ll be on a happier path professionally and personally.