By image, I don't mean the impression that you present to the world, the clothes you wear, or your brand. I mean you, the actual physical image of yourself that you use to show the world what you look like.
Since the advent of the internet and social media, it has never been easier to get your face in front of your audience, potential clients, or target market, so let me ask you two questions:
- How much thought have you given to the face you are showing them?
- How many different faces do you have?
Whether I’m working with you one to one or training you in a workshop on how to get even more business from LinkedIn, I will always ask you the question “What does your profile picture say about you?”
If you walked into a room to meet a client for the first time, what would you be wearing, what impression would you be trying to give and what do you want them to think of you?
The human brain is hardwired to make snap decisions on appearance. In prehistoric times our safety depended on being able to quickly assess potentially dangerous situations and potential enemies, on making instant judgements on perceived threat.
The figures quoted for the time taken to form an impression of a stranger from looking at their face alone, range from seven seconds down to a tenth of a second. What isn’t disputed is that body language, including appearance, accounts for 55% of our effective communication and the way we are perceived.
Your LinkedIn profile photo has a direct effect, in less than seven seconds, on the way you are perceived by anyone clicking onto your profile, whether you like it or not. What impression are you giving them?
It may be nice to show your fun loving party side, or collecting an industry award, or sunning yourself at an idyllic holiday destination, after all this is your personal profile, but is it helping you create a strong first impression?
A professionally taken head and shoulders shot of you (and only you) dressed as you would be when you are walking into the meeting room for the first time is your chance at creating a positive, professional, “I’m ready to do business” first impression, why waste it?
Which brings me to my second point:
How many faces do you have?
I use the same image across all of my professional media.
LinkedIn profile, business cards, website, email header, email signature, promotional banners and anywhere else I can think to put it.
For anyone who’s first contact with me is in any way “virtual” they will see the same single image, my professionally taken, head and shoulders shot. My image is consistent and is used to steadily build rapport.
Are you taking advantage of the all the touches you have with potential clients or leads to get your chosen, professional, “I’m ready to do business” image in front of them before you ever meet? Why dilute the message, when you have control of what they see?
How many media platforms / outlets are you marketing through and do they all carry a consistent image, a consistent version of you? By mixing your images you are mixing your message, if only subtly. Why not make it easy for your clients to get to know you?
I accept that you may look to deliver a different message, or a different “you”, on some digital media platforms (my Facebook profile photo is not my professional headshot) but consider every point of contact.
Have you ever had people come up to you and start speaking because they think they know you but can’t quite remember where you have met? I have, but it’s simply because they know me from my profile photo. They have seen the same image repeated in various points of contact and when we finally meet they recognise me but assume it’s because we have met before. I have started building rapport; the “know” of “know, like and trust” and I haven’t had to do anything, how powerful is that?
My only issue now is that I have an image conflict!
Over the past few months, I’ve gone from this:
Its either shave, or RE-BRAND time for me!!
Dave Holloway, 3DegreesSocial
To find out more, connect with me on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/daveholloway01
Visit my website: www.3degreessocial.co.uk/daveholloway
Or simply call me 01628 788 300