I don’t need to tell you that not having a profile picture on a business social media account is a major sin. After all would you turn up to a networking meeting with a paper bag on you head? Of course not.
In the U.K. there are 4.2 million solopreneurs or sole traders as they used to be called. Each of these business people has a personal brand and if you follow Chris Ducker‘s advice, branding is a key part of building a successful business and an up-to-date photo is a significant element of any profile.
I went to a huge conference in the US a couple of years ago where the Brits met up for a pre-conference get together. Doing my due diligence I checked out the dozen or so LinkedIn profiles of the others only to be rather taken aback when meeting a few that in reality they looked nothing like their photos. Clearly some of the photos were taken almost a decade earlier and it rather threw me as the image I had in my mind bore no resemblance to the person. So don’t give cause for surprise when someone meets you for the first time and get a fresh photo taken on a regular basis. Those grey hairs and wrinkles creep up on us!
Also, fashions in photography change. A few years ago a grey backdrop was all the rage; we’ve been through periods of black and white being on trend. Now we are seeing a much more relaxed look. My current photo is taken outside with more flattering lighting and a green background. It reflects my personality and that’s important.
Don’t forget your colleagues
If you are running your social media effectively, particularly LinkedIn, you should have a policy that colleagues routinely like and share your posts and articles. This is good marketing as their networks may be broader than your own. But does their profile picture not only let them down, but also let down the company?
Bringing the whole company, group or department together for a headshot day is an opportunity to take team photos for the website, brochures as well as for blog posts and LinkedIn articles. That gallery of photos will be a valuable long term resource.
Remember, our brains process images 60,000 times more quickly than words, so invest in your perfect profile picture.