LinkedIn or LinkedOut?
There is a quote that says, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. It has been attributed to both Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet & Playwright) and Will Rogers (American Film Actor). It may not always be true, however, when it comes to business, it can carry quite a bit of weight. Whether it’s a face to face meeting or a potential client sussing you out on social media, how you present yourself can potentially make or break your future relationship.
Your photo may be the first opportunity someone gets to “meet you”, and as the saying goes, a picture can speak a thousand words. Is your LinkedIn headshot the best version of you?
Read on to find out my top tips for creating a great profile image.
1. Look like you. Please.
Ok, this one in my opinion, is the most important. I know it’s tempting to use a photo that’s 10 or more years old, but you really need to look like you in your current profile image. Maybe you’re one of those lucky ones who hasn’t changed in the past 10 years, but most of us have. Embrace the person you are now. It’s not about trying to impress people with the younger version of yourself. Make sure you have an up-to-date photo of yourself and make sure it looks natural and not overly photoshopped. You honestly don’t want people wondering if the person standing in front of them is really the same person in the photo.
2. Invest time and money in a professional, quality photograph.
Whether you run your own business, or hold a position in a company, investing in a professional headshot or portrait is very important. It shows you value yourself and the work you do. Selfies and casual snaps of you just won’t cut it if you want to build a strong business brand. If you work for a company that values great headshots, lucky you, most of the work is done for you! If you are building your own brand or are a freelancer, it’s an investment worth making.
3. If you don’t take your business seriously, chances are others won’t take you seriously either.
A good professional profile image does say a lot about you. It shows you take pride in your work and business. A headshot doesn’t always have to be serious, but make it a point for your clients to take you seriously.
4. Engage with your client.
Connection is key. A profile image should show your true essence and bring out the characteristics of not only of yourself, but what you and and your business stand for. It should be strong, inviting and give people the confidence that they will be dealing with the right person.
5. Use the right photo.
By this I mean, don’t crop yourself out of an existing image because you think you look good. And trying to find you in a group photo is a big no-no.
7. Present the right look.
If you’re a travel agent, great! A photo in Tahiti does sound nice. If you’re not, don’t post a picture of you holding a mojito with palm trees as your profile picture. Your image really does need to reflect the business you are in. So, whether you are in the corporate arena or a creative, make sure your attire, look and backgrounds reflect this.
8. Find the photographer that brings out the best in you.
Many people feel uncomfortable and out of their comfort zone when being photographed. I’ve photographed hundreds and not many tell me they love having their photos taken. Take the time to find the photographer that is right for you. Does their work resonate with you? Don’t be afraid to call them and have a chat. Do you feel you click and have good rapport? It’s likely you will get a good feel of the person from your first conversation.