There is no escaping the importance of a Headshot or Profile Image in Small Business these days. In fact you can’t have a Linked In profile unless you upload a profile image ! Furthermore 86% of people will overlook your profile altogether if the headshot at the top of your page is not professional.
It begs the questions – ” What does your profile image say about you ?”
Is it a marketing question, probably ! During studies for my Masters Degree in Business Admin, I learnt that in business there aren’t too many things that don’t cross over into marketing in some form or another.
When considering your Linked In profile you have to consider a few things –
1. Why do you have a Linked Profile in the 1st place. Is it because you thought you better because everyone else does and you heard you should have one ? That’s probably a good start, but you should really think about it. Are you job searching, changing careers, changing industries, networking, starting or building a business, networking etc etc. You should start with a clearly defined objective for being on Linked In. This might change and thats Ok ! So for example, you might start out job searching but, once you get a job, your profile then becomes about Networking and if you change jobs again it might change back again.
2. Once you have a clearly defined objective you need to understand your target market. If you are job searching, what industry, what level etc etc, Are you looking for clients & are they individuals or B to B
Once you have decided on the above you will need to think about what to put in your profile. Primarily, your Linked In profile will contain information about you and your professional working, business or employment history –
” LinkedIn /ˌlɪŋkt.ˈɪn/ is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. In 2006, LinkedIn increased to 20 million members. As of June 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 259 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.”
It is a ” BUSINESS ORIENTED SOCIAL NETWORKING SERVICE ” Lets talk about your Profile Image. I think, and this is only my opinion but having a profile image of you and your wife at a social function, or you at a social function, or a picture with your pet, or skydiving or in casual attire, or one that is blurry or dark or out of focus, shows a lack of preparation, a lack of caring, a lack of quality and a general lack of professionalism. I have seen profiles with an amazing amount of work that has gone into to the background, professional history and business profile but then the Profile Image or Headshot is blurry, out of focus, of someone that looks like they may have been at a wedding or some Social function ! What does this say to a potential employer, business partner, potential client ?
Statistics tell me that people spend about 4 seconds deciding if they will read you Linked Information based on your profile Image. If its not professional they move on.
Its time to ask yourself, WHAT DOES MY PROFILE IMAGE SAY ABOUT ME ? Do i look confident, approachable, trustworthy, warm, friendly do I look like someone that could do that job that I am indicating that I do or used to do ?
To think about how to get that look, you may need to have a chat with a Professional Headshot Photographer !