In today’s competitive world of business, an online presence has become indispensable. For entrepreneurs and professionals, LinkedIn has emerged as the go-to platform. Your LinkedIn profile picture is an integral part of the first impression you create – it gives people some insight into who you are and what your personality is like. Some research suggests that you only have a tenth of a second to make a first impression. Make it count!
As a seasoned portrait photographer with over 12 years of experience, I have witnessed the transformative power of compelling personal branding photos. In this blog post, let’s explore the five LinkedIn profile photo mistakes that professionals should avoid.
Mistake 1: You’re Using an Outdated Photo.
If someone wouldn’t be able to recognize you in person after seeing your LinkedIn profile picture, it’s time for an update. Whether you’ve changed your hair color or style, or you’ve simply lost a significant amount of weight, it’s best to update your headshots.
Will people recognize you when they meet you in person? If your current profile picture doesn’t authentically look like you anymore, you will run the risk of losing someone’s trust right off the bat. Aim to update your LinkedIn profile photo every two to three years to ensure it accurately reflects your current appearance and style.
Mistake 2: The Backdrop is Distracting
Your LinkedIn profile photo should place the focus squarely on you. Busy or distracting backdrops should be avoided as they could divert attention away from your face.
If you are getting your head-shots done in a studio, opt for a clean and solid backdrop. Neutral colors such as medium gray, white, or black are your classic, professional backdrop colors. If you are getting environmental portraits taken on location, either at your office or work environment, your photographer should know where to pose you, keeping in mind where the best locations are for lighting and flattering angles. Any environmental background should complement your professional image.
Mistake 3: You’re Wearing an Unprofessional Outfit
While it’s perfectly fine to wear something that represents your personality and creativity, you should always look professional. What are you currently wearing in your profile photo? Would a potential client or employer find it unfavorable? If so, it’s time to update your LinkedIn profile photo.
Keep in mind who is your target audience on LinkedIn. Is it potential employers? Are you trying to reach potential new clients? Perhaps you are there to broaden your network with other potential business partners in related industries. I always suggest that my clients wear an outfit that is in alignment with their industry, position, and target audience. Choose an outfit that exudes confidence and competence.
Mistake 4: Your Profile Photo Lacks Personality
As much as you want to appear professional, your headshot should still tell some sort of story. Using a stiff and overly formal LinkedIn profile picture is a sure-fire way to blend into the background. If you want to stand out, bring a bit of personality into your headshot.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is through your facial expression. You don’t want to appear stoic, uninterested, or disingenuous. Likewise, avoid overly casual smiles or exaggerated facial expressions. Striking the right balance is key. Aim for a personable and approachable look that exudes confidence and professionalism. Your headshot photographer should be able to engage with you during your photoshoot to capture the right, authentic expression from you.
Equally important is how well your photographer poses you. You might be thinking “It’s just a headshot. Can’t I just sit there for a head and shoulders picture?” An experienced headshot photographer will guide you toward the best pose while utilizing the best lighting and angles for you.
Mistake 5: Using a Poor-Quality Photo
The last mistake you want to avoid is using a low-quality LinkedIn profile picture. Please do yourself a favor: NO SELFIES! We can all tell if your profile picture was taken in your car, in front of your bathroom mirror, or even cropped from a group picture. If you took it with your phone and the photo looks grainy or blurry and is poorly lit, it’s time to invest in a headshot session with a professional photographer.
In summary, your LinkedIn profile photo is a visual representation of your personal brand. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can have an amazing LinkedIn profile picture that stands out and aligns with your goals and aspirations. At Elle Forte Photography, we can help you create a compelling professional profile that not only captures attention but also leaves a lasting impression.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. It is the spiritual.