LinkedIn has come a long way over the years and is no longer just a platform for job hunting. It’s an incredibly effective marketing and networking tool for businesses of all sizes – especially sole business owners.
While a lot of emphasis is put on perfecting your well-crafted biography and posting consistently, the humble profile photo is often overlooked.
You and your business deserve a standout LinkedIn profile. And that means having a standout portrait to complement it.
In this post I pick my top five tips to ensure you have the most effective LinkedIn profile portrait. And if you want more advice then download my free guide with even more tips.
1. KEEP IT CURRENT
Business is built around trust: ensuring we are who we say we are. Our style, appearance or the message we convey may change over time.
Make sure that your LinkedIn portrait reflects the current you by updating it regularly.
New hair cut? Started to wear glasses? Different fashion tastes? Check your LinkedIn photo at least once a year and ask yourself if it is the most accurate and honest version of you today.
2. FOCUS ON YOU
I consider this something of a golden rule when it comes to LinkedIn: your profile photo should only include you and no-one else. This is your profile so you should be the centre of attention.
Team photos have their place by all means but not as your profile picture. As lovely as your colleagues are, the only subject in your portrait should be you.
Anything else is only going to cause confusion among your audience and raise the inevitable question: “which one is you?”
3. EYE CONTACT
Nothing communicates engagement and connection better than eye contact – in both the real and virtual worlds.
Off-camera glances and candid lifestyle portraits are better utilised when you have more time to give context and tell more of your story. Leave them for other image content you’re using.
Your profile photo has a simple purpose: to quickly let people know who you are. Don’t over-complicate it or that purpose will not be achieved.
Look to camera and make eye contact with your audience.
4. DRESS FOR A CLIENT
Dress for your photo as you would when meeting a client for the first time. This will mean different things to different people. If you would instinctively wear a suit when greeting a client then do so in your LinkedIn photo. But if you’re a fitness trainer then wearing your gym gear (preferably with your own branding / logo) is ideal.
Your LinkedIn portrait is the virtual equivalent of shaking hands with a potential client so dress professionally but most of all what you are wearing should feel natural to you.
5. IF IN DOUBT, CHOOSE COLOUR
If you’re undecided about having a colour or black and white profile portrait I more often than not recommend the former.
In the quick-scrolling, over-saturated world of social media it is more challenging than ever to stand out. Personally I think a colour photo is an aid – rather than a hindrance – in this respect.
Black and white portraits still have their place of course. If your brand is dominated by those tones it could be the perfect fit, so don’t rule it out entirely.
But if in doubt, choose colour.
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