Yesterday, Dawn Gartin, a colleague in my LinkedIn network, posed a great question asking what people thought their profile picture did or didn’t do for them. I love the question, because it comes up in every social sales training that I deliver. Some will debate that the picture doesn’t matter or argue that it could create bias in advance. To the first point…well, yes, I feel strongly that your picture does matter, as you’ll see in my response below. As for bias…when you choose not to post a picture that can create a bias in someone’s mind also. Are you hiding something they might be asking themselves. But the way I see it, you are going to meet them at some point anyway, right? Why not let them know who you are right up front? I suspect that often the concern is that you don’t have a great photo to use. That I understand. And it’s worth having a professional take a head shot for you, if you feel unable to tackle it on your own.
Here’s my response to Dawn’s question…
I currently use the same photo to maintain consistency across LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, Blog, Facebook, etc. My business focus is on executives and sales professionals, so I use a professional picture and feel strongly about the importance of doing so to support my brand message and target audience. As sales professionals, it is important to remember that your picture helps people connect with you. They feel they are getting to know you…something about pictures and voice that draws people in. That’s why using video is so compelling.
It’s About Your Brand
Combine your picture with active online participation and you gain important visibility. Crucial to success in this new social world is being seen. You have to put the effort into participating so that when you buyer is ready – they think of you! OK, so back to my colleague, Dawn…if you happen to be in Atlanta, you might be interested in the networking “meet up” she’s got going on Thursday, January 21. You can find the details here. What I think is cool is that you can get a professional headshot taken at the event that you can then use on your social profiles. Do it! The price…incredibly inexpensive at $35.00. Again, find the details here.
BTW – having a current picture on your profiles also means that when you do “meet up” with prospective buyers or partners in person…you both already know what you each look like:)