We’ve all done it (and so we should), gone to connect with someone we met at networking on LinkedIn, to be confronted with loads of people with the same name, many represented by a blank grey head as there is no LinkedIn photo. Yes, we can do an advanced search and add in more information to help but that takes more time and for some reason doesn’t always work. So that’s just one reason why a photo on LinkedIn is essential!
There are others too though including:

  • It helps others to get a feel for what you are like before they meet you. Yes, they can form an incorrect perception but usually they get an accurate idea, if you’ve thought about your photo. This helps them feel more comfortable and potentially helps them judge the appropriate dress code.
  •  It enables you to stand out positively, particularly versus others who have no photo or a bad one! This is particularly relevant if you want to attract clients and use LinkedIn for lead generation.

So the next question is, what constitutes a ‘good’ photo?

  • Clear, with the ability to see your ideas. Unless you are trying to make a statement or be dramatic, head shots should be straight on to your face.
  • More creative poses are fine, including holding objects, as long as it is relevant to what you do. You’d expect a photographer to have a different type of photo to a lawyer!
  • Avoid cropping yourself out of a group photo, it looks lazy and is always obvious.
  •  Make sure it looks like you now! Not what you looked like 5 years ago…
  •  Whilst the photo doesn’t need to be taken professionally, do get it taken specifically for the purpose. Think carefully about the background and what you are wearing.

Remember your LinkedIn photo may be the first experience people have of you which will impact their perception of you and IT is likely to affect if they engage with you at all, and if they do, how. If they’ve met you already, make sure your on-line photo is consistent with the person they met. Whilst that doesn’t mean the same outfit (obviously), a photo that is identifiable as you and reinforces who they met.
Do you need to update your LinkedIn photo (or add it)? Don’t put it off, with great phone cameras, the whole thing can be done in less than 30 minutes!
If you would like a professional headshot, Annie Armitage is great and regularly holds sessions to do several headshots in a location, so at a very reasonable cost.
If you’d like to consider your personal image for how you come across wherever other professionals encounter you, just send me a message to arrange a no obligation conversation.

Image thanks to LinkedIn