I’ve been meaning to write about the importance of posting an appealing photo on your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. profiles, VisualCV, website, blog – anywhere you publish your photo online. Then my good blogging friend, Luke Harvey-Palmer, beat me to it yesterday in his post, Start the Year with a Brand new YOU.
Although you may not have to go to a professional photographer, it’s probably a good idea.
Think about it, along with your personal brand statement, your photo (if you post one) is likely the first thing people will see in your online profile and elsewhere. Be very selective before publishing one and using it across all media.
Luke hit the nail on the head:
“The real benefit of using the services of a professional photographer are all related to AUTHENTICITY. You see, an important part of a great portrait is that they spend some time with you to engage and get to know the real you!
This forms a very important part of the portrait – who has seen a portrait and then met the person only to feel that something ‘was not quite right’?”
Your photo can either attract your target audience or turn them off. Doing research on LinkedIn recently, I saw some photos that were all wrong:
- No actual photo – just a logo or goofy drawing.
- One for a CEO that showed him in a t-shirt proudly holding up a beer.
- A very suggestive one of a female marketing director in a revealing low-cut top.
- One of a man who looked like he just woke up.
- One that could have been a mug shot – a VP of sales who looked like he was on his way to the slammer.
Maybe the most incongruous one was a photo of a young child. Was this the person’s child or themselves as a child? Either way, it did them no good on their profile.
Whether you go to a professional or have a friend photograph you, have them take lots of varied shots, with various facial expressions – inside and outside. Try some head shots, waist-up shots, full-body shots – in different clothes, but make sure they all strike the right professional tone for your industry and niche.
Then sit down with all the possibilities and a few friends. Try to reach a consensus on which one evokes the real you, consistent with the brand message you want to get across.