What do holiday cards, LinkedIn profiles, and the personals have in common?
People spend way more time on them if there’s a photo.
In fact, when it comes to the personals, you’ll end up with eight times more responses than if you had the same profile without a photo. We’re hard-wired to be drawn to faces. Looking at them creates more of an impact, a connection.
Same thing applies to your LinkedIn profile. So how’s your photo? Do you even have one?
Without a photo, people assume the worst
You may be thinking photos don’t really matter. After all, LinkedIn isn’t Match.com. Yet both sites are about making connections, linking in. Whether you’re looking for a spouse, a job, or a networking connection, having a photo increases your odds. Because no matter how bad you think your picture is, without one, people will think you are worse looking than you are. And they may also jump to the conclusion you have something to hide.
But I’m not photogenic and I don’t like getting my picture taken
This is definitely a generation thing. Younger folks will upload 17 pictures a day of themselves. While those 40+, especially women, seem to think it will look vain to have their picture taken. Plus, they are way too hard on themselves, “oh dear, my hair is a mess, I look terrible, no, no don’t take my picture”. Enough already. Get over yourself and get some good photos.
How to get a great picture
- Invest in a professional Unless you have a friend who is a star amateur, it’s worth getting a pro
- Forgiving lighting Gentle, soft, warm light that almost gives you a glow
- Eyebrows Women, you need to enhance yours for a picture; men trim if needed, no uni-brow
- Get lots of shots It’s digital, have the photographer shoot a hundred at least
- Have fun and chat with the photographer A genuine smile, not posed, comes across in the photo
- Photoshop A stray hair, a pimple, that mystery blotch on the side — nothing drastic, just you on a good day
How to get a deal on a photographer
Since you’re not doing a spread for Vogue magazine, there is no reason to get a high-priced professional. And you only need about 30 minutes of the photographer’s time. Ask around. My partner sought out a professional photography business that focuses on schools and teams, and found they take individual photo bookings on Saturdays. They were even willing to Photoshop a bunch of the takes, for a mere $75.
You’ll find that you will end up using these pictures way more than you thought. When you do speaking engagements, when you write an article, for your alumni directory, for your company directory, your personal website and even Facebook.
- Look through what photos you have and put your favorite on LinkedIn (something is better than nothing)
- Do some research on professional photographers
- Make an appointment with one who understands forgiving lighting
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