Whether you are trying to expand your business network or searching for a new job, LinkedIn can be your “go-to” social media platform.
When performing a social media audit for a new client one of the first things I look at is the presence they have on LinkedIn. Whether you are B2B or B2C (business-to-business or business to consumer) you should have a profile on LinkedIn for you AND your company. Your personal profile is your on-line resume and connection file. It is a living representation of your career and should represent you. There is a specific area to represent your company.
My question to you is – Do you use LinkedIn or just collect connections?
To help you move past the “collecting connections” phase, I offer my Top 5 LinkedIn Tips. We will be covering these over the next five articles.
Photo – There are two schools of thought on this option. The detractors feel that having a photo of yourself can lead to discrimination. My philosophy is put on a smile and snap a headshot that is professional in appearance (doesn’t have to be professionally done) that is tight and well-lit with limited background distractions.
One of the benefits of having a good photo on your profile is instant recognition. With a good photo, gone are the days of discussing what you will be wearing or your appearance when have a meeting scheduled with a new client or a prospect for the first time. If you take a look at their LinkedIn profile, you will be able to recognize and greet them right away.
Let’s spend a minute on what I mean by limited background distractions. Plain backgrounds work best. Bookshelves, an American Flag, or perhaps your “tidy” desk are all acceptable. What is not considered professional is your kids (unless you own a daycare), your dog (unless you are a dog groomer or veterinarian), and especially you in a tiki-hut with an umbrella drink in front of you. Don’t laugh to hard, I actually had an invitation from someone with a photo like that.
Try to have the photo be close enough to allow facial recognition. Group shots and further out than than the waist really don’t achieve the purpose of the photo. Branded images are, if they are used in your marketing materials are fine, but logos should be reserved for the company pages. Speaking of branded images – you should use the same headshot across all of your professional platforms. It helps with your personal branding. Differentiate your profiles by your LinkedIn image vs. you and the family on your personal Facebook page.
Worried about discrimination? Caricatures or black and white images help eliminate the representation of age.