Thursday January 16, 2014
LinkedIn Photos: Best Practices
By Elisabeth Miller-Fox and Viveka von Rosen
So I am a big fan of investing in a decent photo on LinkedIn. Brian Horn gave me the idea to add the logos of some major media outlets that have published or mentioned me. My word of advice when it comes to LinkedIn photos is invest in yourself when it comes to your profile photo. That glamour shot from your high school graduation is not going to cut it on LinkedIn. If you can, spend some money and get a professional photographer to take you profile shots. By professional photo I don’t mean a hokey background and paste-it-on smile. I mean investing in a professional photographer who’s got the right lighting, the right angles, and the knowledge to make you look your best.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a professional photographer, then keep an eye out for special deals online. I often see offers for photo sessions at a fraction of the cost. If you don’t have any money to invest in yourself for a professional photo session, then at the very least find a friend with a digital camera, spend some time on your hair and makeup, find a place you love, and have your friend take dozens of photos of you. Choose the best one.
If you’re not a fan of your body, don’t worry about it. The best LinkedIn photograph is a close-up on your face. Be smiling from the inside. As hokey as it sounds, it really comes across.
One of our client's, PrivateCommunites took it to a whole new level. And boy - did they do it rigth!
PrivateCommunities.com Photo Session
Here's Lil's article on what they did:
Ah, the dreaded LinkedIn photo. It’s funny how we work so hard to present a great image for our community or clients but often pay little attention to our professional image online.
LinkedIn is where the “brand of you” lives online. It’s the world’s largest professional network with 84 million users in the US. And it’s a recruiting powerhouse – whether you’re the recruiter or the recruitee.
As with any brand, the visual image is important. Here are a few tips we learned as we shifted from snapshots/selfies to an organized company image.
Professional Photographer – Find one who has a studio and who also does “glamour” shots
No kidding about the glamour shots because they work with vain, picky clients and become experts at lighting and pulling out the most attractive side of anyone. Here’s the glamour side of Liz Vigistain, our database manager. You’ll see her professional side at the end of the email.
Pick a Style – We opted for B&W photos because we didn’t want to be concerned about color clashes later as new people join the team. Or, if colors & patterns are out of vogue.
Pick a Smile – If you have a nice smile, a professional photographer can pull out your natural smile. It may take a while and a few antics by the photographer like you’re a five year old but, promise, he/she will capture your best self. A natural smile conveys friendliness, health and approachability.
Turn Into Your Business Profile – Shift shoulders so they aren’t straight to the camera like a mug shot. It’s best to orient your body toward your business profile, rather than facing away.
Background – We asked for a flat background and a light halo around the head so there would be a differentiation between a person’s dark hair and the background. This is especially helpful when images are downsized to smaller formats. It also works well when images are squared to fit the LinkedIn photo template. Below was our example, the photographer didn’t get the lighting quite right, but it’s okay.
What to Wear – This was the hardest because we are in a fun, lifestyle industry. In the end,
we opted for professional rather than resort attire. We found that a dark jacket is best for both men & women. The dark V of the jacket narrows your width so it focuses on your face and you look slimmer. Here’s Whit Hazelton, our SEO/SEM manager, who is super-fit and button-down casual but the dark jacket reined him in better than the white shirt.
Don’t Broadcast Every Change – When you start making a lot of changes to your LinkedIn profile, we recommend that
you change your settings so your connections don’t see every update. Remember to change your settings back when you are finished. If you have any questions about changing your settings, just shoot me an email.
Your LinkedIn Profile – There are plenty of tips in books, and online, for maximizing your profile text. However, all that is easier once your photo is right. Kind of like that fabulous shot of your community – it’s a lot easier to write text around that. There are many sides to all of us. But on LinkedIn – it’s professional. As promised, here’s Liz’s professional shot.
Hope you find this helpful. Here’s to a great 2014.
Lil Miller-Fox Co-Founder, PrivateCommunities.com