Did you know that your online profile (LinkedIn, other business sites) is 10 times more likely to be viewed with a profile photo than without? Now that said your profile photo has much to say about you. What does yours say about you? Too cheesy? Too serious? A great business portrait conveys approachability.
Here are some common mistakes people make with regard to an online business portrait for a profile photo.
Is your profile photo old enough to have it’s own driver’s license? If so it might be time to update your photo. Your portrait on a business networking site like LinkedIn says a lot about your personal brand. If you have a current photo it says you care about your brand.
You work hard and maybe even play harder. However a business networking site is probably not the best place to post a profile photo of you with drink in hand. What does this say to potential employers or people who might want to do business with you? It definitely sends the wrong message to your network.
Bad lighting makes you look, well, bad. Most likely it screams that you had a friend use their cell phone to take your “ business portrait”. Again, why does that say to your newton? That you’re too cheap to have a professional head shot?
Save the romance for the online dating sites. This doesn’t help your professional brand at all. A good professional head shot will go a long way to helping your brand.
The Serious Guy
Skip the photo of you talking on your cell phone —it screams that you’re trying to convey just how busy you are. A good upbeat photo shows you’re approachable. You don’t have to show off all your dental work—you can save that for your dentist. But a nice approachable look is important.
The Pet Lover
We get that many people love their animals. Heck I have a second brand as a pet photographer—however I don’t include a photo of my dog in my profile photo (my pet website, yes, LinkedIn and the like, no). Unless you’re a vet or your pet figures into your business (pet trainer, pet therapy etc) just leave the pet out of your business profile shot.
Enough said.Just don’t.
Best bet is to upload a nice profile shot when you set up your LinkedIn account. Yeah, I get it, as a photographer I realize that many of us (myself included) don’t like photos of ourselves but it really really goes a long way towards improving your brand.
So unless your best friend is truly handy with a camera (and understands great backgrounds and lighting) do yourself a favor and hire a professional photographer to take your head shot. You’ll be glad you did.