Let’s face it – we live in #SelfieNation. Photos of who we are, are all over the web. We now want to know who we are talking to, listening to, working with when we communicate online. How can it be any different when it comes to doing business?
I am a Client Success Director and my role is Sales and Business Development. I spend my work days meeting and emailing clients and prospects. For me, the face-to-face is always the goal and whether I do that in person or online, I want to connect with my audience. As an avid networker, I began noticing that many people now have their photograph on their business card and recently, I added mine to my email signature. When I did, I found it made an immediate difference in how people responded to me and subsequently greeted me when I finally did get the face-to-face meeting.
I’m a believer in that a photograph conveys your personal brand. Just think about LinkedIn. It changed everything when it made it possible to put a face with a name, a title and a company. I venture to say it is probably the first thing you look at when you search for someone on the platform – and isn’t it a bit of a downer when the person has opted to not include a photograph? The photo is your first impression. It can help make your case or lose it depending on the photo you select.
I found some great tips for using a photo in business – whether it be for your LinkedIn profile, a business card or for an email signature.
If you can afford it, spend the money and go to a pro.
The right lighting, angle really does make a difference. Nothing is worse than having that friend’s ear cropped next to you or someone’s unknown hand on your shoulder. Sure it’s a photo you like of yourself, but look at it from a stranger’s perspective.
Choose a photo that fills the frame
Crop the photo from just below your shoulders to just above your head.
The background will set a tone as will your expression.
Dark or light backgrounds can convey different moods as can a smile or a serious expression. Think about your audience and what will make the best impression.
Be dressed for your audience.
Look as professional as possible, but still be you. What are you likely to wear the first time you meet someone in your target audience? Don’t forget to smile!!
If you don’t go to a pro, avoid the selfie.
If you won’t spend the money for a professional headshot, have a friend with a good eye take it. That selfie angle with the arm extended rarely is a good business look. For my professional photo, I used Jaclyn Noelle Photography in Northport, NY 631.72.8580
PhotoFeeler is a handy little tool that lets you get feedback on your profile photo via feedback from actual people who vote on it. The results measure perceived competence, likability and influence.
The motivational speaker Jay Danzie may have said it best with this quote, “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.”