Hey, good lookin’. Yes, we are talking to you. You have a great face. But are you making the most of it in your professional profile picture? That great face of yours is your logo, a key element of your brand. Like any company brand, your brand is the perceptions others have about you, the words that come to mind when they tell others about you, and the conscious or unconscious reasons they want to do business with you – or don’t.

This is not what a professional profile picture looks like

Sliced from weekend life – We didn’t have to look through all 360 million profile photos on LinkedIn to find examples. These good lookin’ people sent LinkedIn connection requests to Hollister Creative President Kim Landry.

Social media has enabled all of us to put our brand on display 24/7/365, at no cost. We are virtually face to face with the world. That is a huge opportunity full of risks and rewards.

On Facebook, most of us display our personal brand. Your profile photo might feature your weekend face, or perhaps your dog, kid, lover or cause-of-the-moment. You may or may not choose to “friend” business associates on Facebook.

If you “connect” with business associates on LinkedIn (and you absolutely should), you need a professional profile picture as the face/logo of your professional brand.

Your professional profile picture a cleaned-up version of your personal brand, just as you are a cleaned-up version of your weekend self when you arrive at work on Monday morning. You show up as a professional in your choice of clothing, behavior, language and beverage.

Which is why we are amazed by the number of people whose LinkedIn photos are – literally – sliced from their weekend life. They have awkwardly cropped in on themselves in a group photo taken at a social affair. Their own face is oddly off-center because they are sharing their tiny square face/logo space with another person’s hair, forehead, cheek, earring or shoulder.

Why, why, why? There is no excuse. If your employer won’t pay for a professional headshot (big mistake), pay for one yourself. Or at the very least, get someone to take a photo of your great face: alone, groomed and dressed for work, with a plain background.

If you don’t have a cell phone with a camera, someone within 20 feet of you does. It costs nothing but a little time to take enough photos so one is in focus, well lit and looks like the cleaned-up, professional you.

Have a marketing challenge? Call Kim Landry at 484-829-0021 or email [email protected].

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