Your 10 Step Checklist When Adding Your Photo on LinkedIn
I recently worked with a client who insisted on keeping a photo on his LinkedIn profile that was a picture of him speaking on stage. He was so far away that I could hardly see him but he wanted to be known for speaking and thought it was relevant. His thinking was right but it was actually better for a website than a LinkedIn profile as it was so small.
Something we don’t always remember is that LinkedIn has a lot of other distractions happening when someone looks at your profile. Things like ads, recommended connections or connections in common hamper the decision-makers analytical ability and decision making so your profile needs to stand out from the noise on the screen.
A recent study shows that decision makers tend to follow a consistent path when reviewing online profiles, so the organisation of your layout is crucial. Of the time that someone is looking at your profile, as much as 19% of that time will be looking at your photo!
Here is an image showing the tracking of someone looking at your profile:
So some ways to get a high return on investment on that time are:
- Does it portray what you’re trying to achieve? If you have a suit on then you will attract ambitious corporate clients. If you have soft flowing fabrics then you will attract softer people. It sounds a bit too obvious I know but you will get back what your photo is saying, more so than your text.
- Remember the context of where your photo is. It needs to stand out from the clutter in a feed. Too many people think their photo is just seen in the context of their profile rather than someone’s feed. Remember it may be in the context of a comment or discussion where most people will see it. Many people will view your photo on a page other than your profile page.
- It is not a glamour shot. It is not where you get your long soft flowing locks out or use a photo of yourself in an evening gown or wedding suit. It is a corporate professional business photo.
- Look at the camera. Wistfully looking away does nothing to personalise your potential connection. Create “chemistry” with the reader by looking down the lens.
- The use of props should only be used if it conveys your goal. For example if you’re a photographer you can have a camera, if you’re a saxophonist you can have the saxophone in the shot. If you’re a speaker only, yes you can have a microphone in your hand if your goal is to speak. If you want to be more well-rounded, just have a picture of yourself. You will get back what you ask for so be clear about the message your photo sends.
- Have a headshot on your social media. No blank heads or eggs! We know that a profile with a headshot will have 7 times more click-through than a profile without.
- Make sure it’s a clear headshot from the upper chest to the top of your head. In other words, no full body shots or anything where I can’t recognise you if I met you at an event or on the run.
- Smile and show teeth. It makes you look open and friendly, which means it does some of the rapport building for you. It helps the “Know, Like and Trust” perception amplify.
- Make sure you don’t have sunglasses on. It can look like you have something to hide and a bit “shady”… pardon the pun!
- You get what you pay for. If you’re trying to get a million dollar client you need to look like a million dollar expert yourself. Invest in a professional shot that mirrors what you’re asking for from your client.
So invest in a shot that matches what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t skimp! By investing in a great headshot you’ll stand out easily, people will feel like they already know you, making the sales or recruitment processes easier. If you have a tight budget, prepare to spend about $300 for a good professional shot.
If you are ready to really step it up in your business invest in a higher quality photographer and make-up artist. You can expect to pay around $600-$2000 for a series of highly targeted shots to use in articles, brochures, newsletters, webpages and other marketing collateral. These shots need to mirror your business goals for the next 3 years.
Need help with your profile? Contact us here.
Jane Anderson is a Speaker and Author who works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
She is the author of “CONNECT: How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation.”
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email email@example.com or click here.