Is It Time for a LinkedIn Professional Headshot?
How important is a professional LinkedIn headshot? To answer that question you must ask yourself why you have a LinkedIn account. Is it to build your personal brand, generate leads, advance your career, or all of the above? If so, a professional headshot could make the difference between being taken seriously, being ignored, or worse.
What Message Do You Want to Send?
A professional headshot photographer can help you define and present the image that best fits your purposes on LinkedIn. Whether you want to appear serious, business-like yet fun and a bit quirky, trustworthy, or confident, a professional business photographer can capture that essence. But first, you need to know who you want to reach.
Who is Your Target Audience?
If you’re looking to advance your career your target audience may be an industry, or it could be HR specialists or influencers within the industry. If your purpose is lead generation, consider who is your customer. Is it B2B (Business to Business) B2C (Business to Consumer) or NFP (Not for Profit)? Are you looking for vendors or providers? Do you want to reach potential business partners and interested parties? Regardless of your target audience, a professional headshot photographer can help you reach your intended audience.
But what if you already have a LinkedIn profile image? How do you know it’s time to change it out?
The Top Ten Reasons You Need a New Headshot
And not only no smile but awkward expressions. Let’s face it; not everyone is a professional model. Many, if not most folks are self-conscious in front of the lens. A professional photographer knows how to put people at ease to get the best shot possible.
Old and Outdated
A few years ago, before giving a presentation, an audience member approached me and said, “You don’t look anything like your headshot.” I politely laughed. He said, “It’s not funny.” He was right. I updated my headshot (Yes, I used a pro). If your professional portrait is past its prime, regardless of how much you like it, consider what people think when they meet you face-to-face. Whether it’s for a job interview or a sales call, an old photo that poorly represents you isn’t a good place to start.
There may be a place for glamour shots on LinkedIn, but I can’t think of it. LinkedIn is a professional network. Glamour shots are for the boudoir, not the boardroom.
A Group Photo
LinkedIn should be about you, not your team. Your cohorts can be found on your company’s LinkedIn page, not yours.
Let There Be Light!
Poor lighting can ruin the best of shots. A professional photographer knows how to use light appropriately for headshots. Don’t be left in the dark.
Selfies are popular. People like selfies. Selfies are great on Snapchat and Instagram but LinkedIn? The key word here is professional. Selfies aren’t professional; LinkedIn is.
Using the Wrong Professional Photographer
Hiring a wedding photographer, child portrait specialist, or a photojournalist to take a professional headshot might be a mistake. All of these disciplines take special skills and years of practice, but as good as a wedding photographer might be at that specialty, it doesn’t mean that experience translates to business photography.
When a face doesn’t fill the screen what fills it? When other images and backgrounds dominate a business shot, the message can be lost. In a professional business headshot, the face should dominate the screen.
Even if you wear branded company apparel every single day at the office, LinkedIn might not be the place to show it. A professional business photographer can help you determine what clothing will best reach your audience.
If your LinkedIn profile image is an egg, it’s time to scramble it. Have you put off uploading a profile image because you were uncertain about the image, or didn’t know which photo to use? If so, get off your bottom, call a pro, and let them advise you. You won’t regret it.
How Important is a Professional Headshot?
I’ve heard people say a headshot doesn’t make all that much difference. Really? When a professional business headshot positively influences a potential customer, an HR manager, or an industry influencer how important does a professional shot become?
Take a look at your LinkedIn headshot and ask yourself if any of the ten points fit your image. If so, isn’t it time you were “headed” our way? If you have any questions, please Contact Us.
Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He is a beer geek and on weekends he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under The Radar. He is the proud father of two educators, has four amazing grand children, and a public-speaking wife. His twitter handle is @randyclarktko, and you can find him on Facebook – RandyClarkTKO, and LinkedIn – Randy Clark.