One of social media’s great mysteries is why people think it’s appropriate to use holiday snaps showing them in their swimsuits for their LinkedIn profile pics. Complete with fruity cocktails and palm trees.
LinkedIn is a business and professional platform. Users’ photos should reflect that. You can portray your personality and look warm and friendly and approachable (if that’s the image you’re after) while still looking professional and businesslike. But not in your bikini (or Speedos!). Facebook or Instagram are the places for that.
Then there are the profiles with no picture at all. No photo, no logo, nothing. Why? Are people really that camera-shy? Maybe they don’t know how to upload images? Marketing professionals say that “people buy people”. But it’s difficult to engage with a head-and-shoulders icon and think “Yes, that’s somebody I could do business with”.
With everyone on LinkedIn telling visitors to their page how professional and expert and passionate (!) about quality they are, your photo is one sure way to differentiate your profile from all the others.
LinkedIn isn’t the only place with image-free profiles. A quick look at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting directory shows (hides?) way too many translators without photos. That raises questions of marketing and branding, not to mention our reputation for introversion and anonymity… and frugality, to cite Chris Durban. As a self-employed professional, you are your brand. A decent set of professional photos needn’t cost much, and is surely a good investment in your business.
Confession: my own profile pics were taken 4 years ago… Time for an up-date!
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By Marian Dougan