10/24/11

Face The Facts

Linkedin is the most professional of top rung social media platforms (on the same level as Twitter and Facebook). There are no videos of cats doing cute things, no photo galleries full of your children and grandchildren during every phase of their development. It's about business. Promoting your business, promoting yourself for future business and sometimes promoting yourself when looking for a business change.

Because of this focus on business and professionalism, you might think it good and proper to post your company logo or other company avatar as the image on your Linkedin profile page. You thought wrong.

Your Linkedin profile should showcase a picture of you. A head shot, your face. YOU. Not your company logo, your Pekingese or your orange tabby. Before we explain the importance of using your own face, we thought we'd share some of the most common excuses:
  • I'm a very private person
  • I don't take good photos
  • I don't want to be recognized
  • I'm already on Facebook
  • I'm worried about potential bias
Except for the last excuse, which could potentially be a concern, the others are simply that...excuses. Linkedin has greater privacy parameters than Facebook, making your profile very customizable based on your privacy choices. A good photographer and a relaxed setting help with the "bad photo" excuse and the privacy excuse makes little sense. You are trying to promote your business, aren't you?

Quick example...your name is David Smith and you own a company in Atlanta. You make some great contacts at a local networking event. The next morning an individual you met the night before wants to make a connection on Linkedin. But he/she's misplaced your business card. They remember your name, but not your company. They do a search on Linked in and there are twenty-five David Smith's listed in the Greater Atlanta area. If your photo was posted to your profile, it would be much easier for this prospect to find you, wouldn't it?

People do business with a company. They make connections and engage with a person. Your photo in your profile helps make that connection. It verifies to an interested individual that you are a company that works with and designs solutions for other people. Do you connect with faceless entities?

If those reasons aren't enough, let's get even more practical. Linkedin considers using your logo in your profile as "advertisement". One time offenders will find their image removed, leaving you with the default "faceless" avatar. Repeat offenders may soon find their accounts blocked, meaning missed chances to make connections. That's the last thing you want to happen when you're building and maintaining a business.

What might your photo be saying about you as a business man or woman? Check out Say Cheese to find out.  Look for more great discussion on using Linkedin, from Answers to Groups, in future posts.

7 comments:

Tara Lamboley said...

Great points here. It's so true that people want to connect with other people when doing business. Putting your face together with your background and experience is critical to building any kind of business relationship. Thanks for this post!

Pat Soltys said...

In a world where so many people have relationships that at some point involve the Internet, a photo and profile on sites such as Linkedin serve as a business card and an introduction.

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